Marketing for Managed Service Providers or (MSPs as they are know in and around the industry) can be an overwhelming undertaking. You know your business needs a digital marketing strategy, you feel your competitors breathing down your neck, you know that in order to grow you need to continually generate a steady flow of qualified leads.
But how? Where do you begin?
Let’s talk about the five most effective marketing tips to get your MSP business in front of the right people at the right time. Because when it comes down to it, digital marketing for your MSP business is simply delivering the right message to the right people at the right time. Easier said than done, however if you follow these strategies, and take it one step at a time, one goal at a time, then marketing becomes a process, a science, and not some black hole to through money into.
Tip #1: Websites Built for MSPs
First, you need a home base, a hub for your marketing efforts and to showcase your IT services to the world. You need an online front office, otherwise know as a website. Aside from outlining all your services and explaining who you are, your MSP website will be the center of your marketing solar system.
Remember for most potential leads, your website will be the first impression of your business. Make it a good one. Be sure to clearly identify your IT services, display your company’s culture, provide images of your offices, and reviews or testimonials are a huge help when it comes to turning a passive browser into a paying customer.
Include Calls-to-Action or CTAs such as “Learn More” or “Schedule Now” or “Download Your Guide Today!” The goal of CTAs are to get people clicking, get people engaged with your website. We do not want someone reading your content then hitting the back button and moving on because they did not have a clearly defined next step.
Of course you want the website to look good to people, but also make sure it looks good to Google. This means focusing on strong, legitimate Search Engine Optimization practices.
Tip #2: SEO for Managed Service Providers
Meta data, title tags, H1 and H2’s; it can be easy to get lost in all the technical aspects of SEO for managed service providers. So make sure that whoever is designing your website has a good understanding of what Google likes and doesn’t like to see on-page. It’s easy to build a beautiful, sleek website with lots of pretty graphics, however if Google cannot see it, then what is the point?
Aside from all the technical aspects of SEO for MSPs (which there are some really great plug-ins to help with that, check out All in One SEO or Yoast for more information), content will be the biggest factor when it comes to separating you from your competition.
Back in the day (in internet years, so like 6 or 7 years ago) anyone could pack their website full of keywords with no coherent narrative and boom… they are ranking #1 on Google!
Do not give Google any reason to think you are a fake or scam-like business.
That is not the case any longer. Google has smartened up (and continuing to do so!) and has realized that keyword stuffing provides no value to the end-user.
Providing the highest-quality user-experience has become one of Google’s main goals. Happy User = Happy Google (and Happy Google Executives).
So when crafting MSP content for your website give the people what they want. After all, you are the expert in your field, provide value! Think of what your potential customer might be typing into Google, think of what questions they may have and then answer them!
Moreover, there is a whole other side of SEO, the off-site SEO. This is where you want to make sure your business is listed in the most important directories across the internet. You definitely need to create and verify a Google My Business listing, and while you are at it, create a Facebook page too. It is important to keep all your business information consistent across the web, especially your business Name, Address and Phone Number (aka NAP). Do not give Google any reason to think you are a fake or scam-like business.
There is plenty more to do when it comes to SEO, so be sure to build a solid foundation from the start.
Tip #3: MSPs and Social Media
Another way to help bolster your SEO and overall marketing efforts for your MSP company is to get active on the appropriate social media platforms. I say “appropriate social media platforms” because it is easy for a marketing agency to tell a client “post on Facebook once a week.” That is “doing” social media, but is that where your clients are? Do people interact with your posts? Is it a waste of time?
So before you begin with blasting off Instagram stories, do your market research, figure out where your ideal customers are browsing. Dig into what type of content is valuable to them. This will make your experience with social media much more effective and in turn, more enjoyable for your marketing team.
And keep your voice personal. They call it a “social” network for a reason. People want to see that you are a real company, with real employees and not just some outsourced, anonymous internet company. If all else fails, post cat videos.
Tip #4: Reviews & Online Proof of Life
As mentioned above, providing that proof that you are a real MSP business with real people running it, reviews are a great way to garner that social proof that is so important when it comes to beating out your competition. Google reviews, Facebook reviews, Amazon reviews, people love their reviews! In this anonymous, treacherous world of online browsing, reviews are a safe haven where consumers feel they are hearing from another real person.
Then make sure that, moving forward, you have a system in your place to gather feedback throughout your client’s lifecycle.
Start gathering reviews as soon as you can. Reach out to your current contact list. Ask business partners and clients to let you know how you are doing (don’t be afraid to provide them with a link directly to your Google My Business page!). Then make sure that, moving forward, you have a system in your place to gather feedback throughout your client’s lifecycle.
Get reviews wherever you can, but for SEO and general conversion factors, focus on building up those Google reviews. These help with your rankings and almost everyone in the world uses Google, not so sure about Yelp anymore..
Tip #5: Measure Your Success
If you are going to have any success marketing your MSP business, you will need to set up some clearly defined metrics in which to measure that success. These metrics can be Google rankings of Contact form fills on your website or website traffic or consultations per month, just have goals.
Other MSP marketing agencies like to keep their clients in the dark, fire over a white-labeled report once a quarter and keep cashing your checks each month. Metrics, measurements, and goals scare most agencies. It puts pressure on them to provide results and be transparent about their services.
And that will be your bonus tip: When looking for a marketing agency to help with marketing your MSP business, be sure to inquire about how they will measure success.
At First Call Digital Agency, we start any MSP marketing campaign with strategy first. We want to know what success looks like to our clients, then we set goals accordingly. Ranking #1 on Google for your primary keyword is great, but if your goals are to build a contact list of high-level decision makers, that ranking means nothing.
Think about where your MSP company is today. Where do you want to be in 6 months? Where do you want to be in 5 years? We would love to hear about your business’s goals and provide some insight on how you might get there through digital marketing. Thank you for reading for those that got here!
Outline Your Goals, Get There.
Let’s build an effective marketing strategy for you.