MSPs need to do more digital marketing

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are highly regarded in business sectors due to the efficiency and data security benefits they offer to small and medium-sized enterprises. These businesses have become increasingly popular, with their services in the tech sector leading to a crowded marketplace where hundreds of individual providers compete. This creates the need for compelling, high quality digital content marketing strategies uniquely suited to these businesses.

Content is of critical importance for any digital marketing strategy. As a digital marketing expert for MSBs, years of experience have taught me that the five most important types of content are as follows:

  • Website Content
  • Blog Articles
  • Emails
  • Sales Letters
  • Case Studies

Content Produces Value for Customers

Each one of these content asset types fulfills a specific purpose, and successful MSPs use them to achieve a position of thought leadership in their field. In my experience, people don’t care about features in this industry—they are focused on the change that products and services create. From this, it follows that promoting the business transformation made possible by hiring the company in question builds greater customer support than focusing on features.

For companies providing managed IT services, it is important to remember that most businesses in the field offer similar services. This is part of the reason why customers do not care about features. In this situation, businesses need to use a reliable content generation system to produce value for their customers and gain their trust.

Successful Content Follows a Specific Formula

While digital marketers will constantly contradict one another on the finer points of their trade, the bottom line is that your strategy either works or it doesn’t. In my experience, the best formula for creating powerful digital marketing content begins with the creation of a fact sheet. Every piece of marketing material, from one-line slogans and tweets to white papers and eBooks begin as a fact sheet that details everything the company knows about its product or service. This fact sheet:

  • Lists available features of the product or service;
  • Shows its cost or value;
  • Explains how it works.

This fact sheet is responsible for steering MSPs in the right direction when marketing their products and services. Since customers do not care about features, they get translated into benefits with the creation of a benefit sheet. This sheet addresses three concerns:

  • The impact of the product or service personally and commercially;
  • What improvements the end user enjoys as a result of using it;
  • Why the consumer should bother purchasing it.

With these questions answered, a content marketing strategy begins to take form. The next step is knowing the business’s audience. Identifying the fears and concerns of a target market is a good approach here; but avoid the pitfall of trying to speak to everyone in a general way—speak to your audience.

Successful content addresses the reader’s human concerns rather than making overly technical statements. It does this through the use of eye-catching headlines and compelling offers. By focusing on the transformation that MSPs provide to their clients and addressing their emotions, the audiences’ concerns can be directly addressed in a compelling manner.

Writing a First Draft

MSPs writing their first drafts for marketing content usually do their best by adopting a five-step process:

  1. Begin with a compelling headline;
  2. Write a personal introduction;
  3. Avoid concentrating on spelling or punctuation;
  4. Write at a quick, conversational pace;
  5. End with an offer.

The idea for this marketing approach is to produce content in a natural, conversational manner. Spelling, punctuation and even grammar can be improved at any point before the marketing materials get released, but a conversational tone that provides valuable insight and offers something valuable has to be there from the very beginning.

To ensure the content’s conversational style is written successfully, read the copy out loud and cut out any unnecessary content. After ensuring that the draft has a comfortable pace and a conversational voice that remains focused on the product or service’s power of transformation, it is time for grammar and style editing, which can be broken into five steps:

  • Fixing spelling and grammar mistakes;
  • Ensuring the correct font is used;
  • Breaking up the copy using sub headers to delineate ideas;
  • Spacing the content so that it is easy to read;
  • Listing information in bullets wherever possible.

At this point, final touches can be added to the marketing materials. Stating a bonus after the material’s main offer and using a call to action to tell the customer exactly what to do helps compel readers to move forward. Furthermore, reiterating the offer and bonus while stressing a deadline in a P.S. is a tactic for increasing content conversions that has been proven effective.

Stuart Crawford is an IT services and managed services marketing expert. He founded Ulistic in 2010 and has been a regular contributor to CDN ever since.

At Ulistic, we have the expertise to help you get your company’s message out there and maximize your connections. We offer a wide array of unrivaled services and relevant content designed for your company’s success! To learn more about the solutions that Ulistic can bring to your strategy, give us a call at 716.799.1999, or send us an email: [email protected].

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Stuart Crawford
Stuart Crawford
Stuart Crawford is an MSP marketing specialist and coaching professional. He is president of Ulistic Inc., a managed services coaching, mentorship, sales and outsourced marketing services firm. For more info call u 716.799.1999 or email [email protected]

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