We understand digital marketing is really a means to an end. The ultimate goal is to bring in more sales to build business and get more monthly recurring revenue. As the channel changes, so must MSPs and VARs. With that said, digital marketing is perfectly positioned as a vehicle to help you get more MRR and a thriving business that’s ahead of the curve in channel marketing.
A few ways digital marketing helps you reach your goals in building out your roster of monthly recurring revenue customers:
Lower cost of lead acquisition: With the right platform (such as Facebook or LinkedIn), the right ad, and the right audience targeting, MSPs and VARs can drastically reduce costs compared to traditional lead acquisition methods.
Brand awareness: When done well, the combination of email marketing, solid content offers, consistent blogging, and social media create an aura of success and focus around your company that gives potential and existing customers confidence in who you are and what you do. Bottom line: Effective digital marketing helps to set your firm apart from the competition.
Flexibility in targeting potential customers: With digital marketing, you can develop ads that help you target your ideal customers. If one tactic isn’t working, you can try others that help you to ultimately reach your goal. For instance, if you have an ad that may be underperforming, you can quickly and easily re-target that ad, change up the wording, and modify the offer to make it more compelling to your target audience.
Other benefits of digital marketing also include: easily measurable results, higher overall conversion rates for offers, and personalization of offers.
When reaching for these benefits, some organizations run into a few pain points, though. And MSPs and VARs are presented with a unique set of challenges when leveraging digital marketing to build up and attract new business.
Low-Hassle Ways to Address Digital Marketing Pain Points
There’s such a vast landscape of approaches and ideas for digital marketing it can be tough to identify one area to ‘play’ in and depend on for desired results. In those instances, we suggest MSPs and VARs keep it simple with a combination of social ads, blog content, email marketing, social media marketing, and relevant content offers such as ebooks, infographics, and white papers.
When taking this approach, most likely you’ll run into a few roadblocks/pain points such as the best way to set an effective budget and how to produce consistent, quality content. Here are a few ways to overcome these challenges and emerge with the results you’re looking for:
1. Set a flexible social media ad budget.
This remains one of the biggest parts of any marketing program, but with digital marketing, it’s especially important. Of course, you’ll want to start with your overall goals such as a desired amount of leads from a campaign, or a specific amount of downloads of a content offer, but once you have that goal in mind, it’s important to set and stick with a budget for promoting your offers online.
Solution: Focus on budget allocation and the length of your ad campaign. Consider running weekly ad tests to draw traffic to your site. To get going, you can start with a budget of anywhere between $10 to $50 per week.
2. Commit to consistency for blogs, email, social media, and ads. (Note: There’s an easy fix for this.)
Beyond online advertising, a key component of digital marketing is having a strong presence with your internal digital assets such as your blog, email newsletter, and social media accounts. It’s of utmost importance to develop a solid brand using these tools. The foundation of branding is consistency. It’s also one of the hardest things to accomplish for any firm, but especially for busy MSPs and VARs servicing clients, nurturing the sales process, and keeping up with the latest and most relevant technology for clients.
In the midst of handling all of those things, sometimes an email newsletter may fall to the side, or you may be tempted to skip posting on social media for a week or two. You may wonder, “Will my entire digital marketing apparatus crumble because I don’t send out that blog this week?” The answer is, it just might. Consistency sends a clear signal to your industry and your potential customers that you’re a reliable, focused expert in your industry. A strong, clear, consistent content marketing ‘voice’ allows your firm to subtly communicate you’re serious about what you do.
Solution: To build more digital marketing consistency into your efforts, consider leveraging content calendars. Plan out what you’re going to share with your audience at least 30 days in advance and then fill in the blanks as you go along.
3. Look to your ideal customer for guidance.
This is where things get tricky. It’s extremely difficult to know what to say to your audience when creating blog content, email newsletter, content offers, social ads, and other marketing pieces that represent your company. Knowing what to say and how to say it remains one of the biggest barriers to MSPs and VARs getting the most out of their digital marketing efforts.
Solution: Keep in touch with your target audience. Use regular touchpoints and surveys to get first-hand information. But also keep an eye on the results your digital marketing efforts are producing. Review which of your blog posts are most popular in a given period (month or quarter).
Do the same for emails and social media posts. Review their performance. Identify which posts and emails perform best and replicate those efforts to continue to produce similar results. When you see results fall off a bit, return to speaking directly with customers to find out what their needs are, because they may have shifted over time.
Final Takeaways: Test. Test. Test.
There’s no definitive answer that applies all MSPs and VARs across the board for digital marketing. One thing is for sure, though, the demands of running an MSP or VAR causes business owners to be resourceful, creative, and extremely knowledgeable about the markets served. It’s important to test and monitor your efforts in digital marketing to ensure you’re making progress in your efforts.
Set goals for the amount of leads you bring in per week from digital marketing efforts. Create a conservative baseline and push your firm to increase those numbers by producing more compelling offers through your understanding of your target audience.
Finally, work with a partner who understands the unique needs of your business.