Even though it might seem like eons for some of us, every now and then, it’s important to think back to when you started down the path of IT services. What was it about business technology that drew you in? You knew that your gift with technology meant you could provide a service of extreme value to other businesses. Technology improves their business and you improve their technology. That spark of idealism is a little thing called passion. You remember it. It’s why you’re here - and the purpose behind remembering why you are a part of the IT channel is more than just a nice stroll down memory lane. Your passion just might be the thing your marketing is missing.
When you are in a social setting and someone asks you what you do for a living, you probably tell them about your business and what you do, the abbreviated version. Maybe share a few IT horror stories (we all have them…) and you do what you can to make your job sound interesting to non-techie people. You might geek-out a little bit but most of the time you find a way to keep them engaged long enough for a conversation. Yet, for some reason, a lot of IT marketing skips right over that interest and enthusiasm in favor of a straight-laced, technical approach.
Over all, the nature of a business-to-business (B2B) relationship is going to be more formal than that of a business-to-consumer (B2C) relationship. As an MSP, your primary goal is to convince your target to entrust you with their technology. Too many IT providers make the error of assuming the only way to demonstrate how seriously your MSPs takes delivering superior IT support services to their prospective clients is through a no-nonsense delivery of features and specifications. In reality, your message doesn’t come off as serious and authoritative - but rather aloof and alienating.
There are many ways to create engaging, valuable content that is also professional and authoritative.
- Use Real-Life Scenarios: If your MSP is like ours, you’ve probably been contacted by businesses that are trapped in a technical nightmare that just keeps getting worse. Especially in areas prone to natural disasters on a regular basis, true stories about data backup and disaster recovery will really resonate with both prospective and current clients. The same goes for a lot of your services, including network security, unified communication solutions, monitoring, and maintenance, to name a few.
- Put Commonalities to Use: When you’re trying sell your services, you might find yourself losing sight of the fact that in a lot of ways, you and your MSP has a lot in common with your target and their business. You know how busy they are. You know how hard they work. You know that they rarely have a “normal” 8-hour work day. You know them - because they are you. Make a connection.
- Make IT All About Them: Thinking back, again, to the beginning of your days as IT support. You probably didn’t think “I want to use remote monitoring and maintenance software.” You wanted to provide a service that will help others. The right technology can improve processes and drive revenue. The majority of marketing content should be all about the target audience and how working with you will benefit them.
- Avoid Alienating Language: Another issue that you've probably encountered is the communication breakdown between your staff and your clients. A computer savvy technician often sound condescending and arrogant when they use IT terms that they use every day. For many of your prospects and clients, however, technology jargon is very off-putting and intimidating. Try to make your marketing end user friendly.
- Your Narrative: Even for a B2B client relationship, humanizing your organization makes an impact on the buyer’s decision. Social media has made it easy to give your marketing a personal touch by demonstrating company culture. At the beginning at the sales funnel, a prospect is going to look for reasons to choose your business over your competition. Company culture, office life, and the story of how you and your business has changed and grown over time are great ways to become more memorable to a prospective client.
- Sell Your Passion: Truthfully, all of the previous bullets can be classified as marketing methods that demonstrate your passion and enthusiasm for helping other businesses, just like the ones you are targeting. The bottom line is that you got in the managed it service industry to help other businesses through superior services. Your marketing should convey your passion - and that fire and enthusiasm can be very contagious to those who feel it.
When it comes to your marketing, it's time to start showing the love. For the sake of your audience, try a little less ‘what my MSP does’ and a little more ‘how our services can improve your business’. There is plenty of time to talk shop once you have them a bit further down the sales funnel.
If you are still struggling with loving your marketing strategy, give us a call. We have an in-house team of marketing and content experts who know the managed IT industry - and the needs of your target audience!