Many of the firms we talk to know digital marketing works for MSPs and VARs but they feel it’s a time-consuming endeavor. Most would rather focus on serving their clients and depend on a decent website and word-of-mouth to keep them afloat. That’s not a strong plan for growth. Savvy MSP or VAR business owners know there must be marketing systems in place to produce a steady flow of leads for the business.
Implement the right systems, strike the right messaging, develop a strong understanding of your ideal customers’ pain points and you’ll develop a consistent and predictable outcome for your marketing efforts.
Here are a few ways to save time, money, and effort as you market your MSP or VAR business:
1. Position your firm as the ideal solution to a thorny problem. Figure out your ideal customer’s major challenge – and develop compelling messaging around solving it. Also known as an elevator pitch or positioning statement, developing this kind of message helps firms communicate the results they create for a firm. Here’s an example:
At XYZA Technologies, we provide healthcare organizations with world-class technology solutions to help provide the highest quality patient care, remain in compliance with HIPAA regulations, and protect the data associated with running a solid medical practice. We do this through a proven method of technology diagnostics, implementation of state-of-the-art systems, and establishment of intrusion detection and protection.
Time-saving tool: Persona Generator
Benefit: This tool helps you create a clear picture of who your ideal customer is and what their needs are.
2. Give something of value away for free – in exchange for the lead’s contact info. The good news is once you understand the challenges your audience faces, you can create tools, resource guides, and solutions to help them address their challenges. Be sure you have a system set up to capture the leads in these situations. Note: Some MSPs have found success offering free evaluations of network configurations, with the key advice being, “hire my firm to manage your network.” So the “something free” in this scenario isn’t necessarily a downloadable digital asset. This strategy makes good business sense if you’re targeting a specific type of business that doesn’t have someone on staff to handle network security but they understand the need and they have the budget for your services.
Time-Saving Resource: CRM or Contact Management System
3. Position your firm as the expert in your niche. Establishing your firm as the expert is all about creating distance between your company and your competitors. Publishing a blog should be a foundation or a mainstay for your business, along with development of an email list. To take it a step further, consider seeking out opportunities to be a:
– speaker at an industry conference
– guest columnist in a popular industry publication
– guest on a popular podcast
– go-to person on a vendor’s webinar
The point is to get exposure and be the face the solution to your ideal customer’s toughest challenge.
4. Expand your reach with social ads. Many people only look at social ads as a way to draw in leads. While that’s usually the primary purpose, they’re useful for other things as well such as audience building (getting more followers), increasing engagement with your existing social media content, and overall brand awareness. “Do I have to pay for this kind of exposure?” you ask. The answer is, most of the times you do have to pay. Just be sure to teach your dollars sense. Meaning, focus on social media platforms that bring in the traffic you want and not the traffic they happen to give.
5. Build a community by starting and participating in conversations online. For social media to truly work for your MSP or VAR business, you have to be, well, social. Answer questions your peers pose on the social platforms. We’re big fans of Reddit but we actively participate in all major social platforms applicable to the B2B space. This includes Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Retweet Twitter posts that provide high value to your followers. Find, join, and comment in Facebook groups where your ideal customers hang out. Quick tip: When you comment, resist the urge to promote your firm. Solid advice and keen insights are currency in the social media world and will help you develop a great reputation. That’s not to say you can never promote your business, just do it sparingly and at the right moment. The right moment is usually when a user on a social platform specifically asks for recommendations of companies that solve a problem you’re the best at addressing.
Time-Saving Resource: Content Calendar
(Note: A content calendar helps you direct your efforts as you engage on social media. For instance, you can create themes around what you share, retweet, and comment on. One week you could focus on sharing best practices in software upgrades and patches. The next week you could share insights into network management. This gives you a way to coordinate your efforts to get the most out of your firm’s social media communications.)
These five steps are the essentials you need to develop marketing systems that churn out qualified leads for your MSP or VAR business. The tools and resources we’ve listed can save you some time and money but the most successful firms in the world focus on what they’re great at and devote much of their resources and efforts to perfecting capabilities in those areas. For everything else, they bring in the experts to help them get results.
If you’re ready to take your MSP or VAR business to the next level, consider starting a conversation with us at Presh Marketing Solutions. We’re passionate about helping IT solutions providers like you achieve success in business development.