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Marketing and creating content can be an absolute minefield for MSPs. After all, why do you need to do it when you have survived and grown your business so far through referrals.
One way to shortcut the content creation and thinking time is to use Microsoft Marketing Partner Content and or other Services like Content MX – But are they worth it and what role do they really have in MSP Marketing?
In this blog, I share with you how you can use these resources to get the best bang for your buck and time spent nurturing new leads, while your team are busy closing tickets.
Deciding on what content to use
Surely, delivering excellent customer service and value for money is easier than sitting down and structuring and writing content.
After all, many businesses just don’t understand the benefit of creating engaging content that tells a story to the reader.
At the end of the day, for any business transaction to take place, there needs to be an element of trust to be built. And for this to be built there needs to be a rapport between the buyer and the seller.
This is where many MSPs miss a trick. The most effective types of content are those that will tell a story of an issue or a technical problem where the reader says “That’s ME! I’ve had that problem”. If you were to ever hear those words, then you’ve hit the jackpot!
This could be around a security breach and because the customer didn’t have a reliable backup, they lost all their data. In this piece, you would be talking about the issue and how you prevent that from happening.
This then starts to build that rapport because you are resonating with their pain points.
Although many MSPs believe that “You all provide the same technical service” and why most of the time, that is very true, the one fact that people buy from people is often overlooked.
I have never worked in such an energetic and inspiring business sector in all my life. The technical know-how and energy of Channel businesses can be off the scale, your teams quite simply get up every morning to fix problems and clients love you because they can’t even begin to understand how to do what you do.
But how do I create content and make it different? Simple, tell an engaging story of a situation where you have helped someone overcome a technical issue and then relate it back to a real business outcome for THEM.
Where the Marketing meets the Tech
Marketing plays a massive part in building that trust, rapport and likeability that turns contacts into clients and this is where your content planning comes into play.
So, as a business, you have decided that you need to put some effort into this and start to share with the world what you do, how you help and why you are better than every other MSP on the planet!
The first thing to remember is not to sell the TECH!
People aren’t interested in HOW you do what you do, and much of the content through Microsoft and Content MX is based around the technology, so there is a trick here to make it more personal rather than “Stock Content”.
So instead of an article title being “Using Backup to protect your businesses data” you could try “How data recovery can prevent you going bust!”
Also, no one wants to see the same LinkedIn stock image or post across multiple MSP’s.
At IT Experts, we help MSPs Business Owners adopt a more personal and individual approach, particularly if you are marketing into a niche.
Remember that people buy from people and trust and likeability are key factors when selecting which content to put out there.
Making your Content Personal
The trick here is to create and post content that your target customer cares about and not what the vendors want you to sell. This can be tricky for techie businesses because your happy place is in the Tech and not in the Marketing.
So, when you start to create content, should you use the Microsoft Content Programme and Content MX OR should you start from scratch and use either your own skills or that of a marketing agency?
Below are my 4 top tips to help you get the best out of both worlds! Additionally, we’ve also embedded a video conversation that Andy Syrewicze (a fellow Dojo author) and I had on this topic as well. Here we talk about much of what we’ve covered below and then some!
Watch: Andy and Ian Talk About MSP Content Marketing
The Steps to Success
Step 1 – Decide on your Content Model
As marketers in the business, our job is now to share our message with the world and connect and build rapport with our target market. This will be much easier if you are Marketing in a Niche and have a specific business sector that you are targeting.
Typically, there will be 4 or 5 different elements to your business, Security, Availability, User Experience, Help Desk etc.. etc… These are the areas that you can create your own business model around and once tested with your audience, it will be easier to create “Pillar Content” themes/subjects that your target audience wants to read about because they are key to their business functioning.
Step 2 – How to shortcut the creation
People build trust easier when they know they are dealing with an Expert and yes, you need to tell everyone how amazing you are at what you do.
Once you have this threaded through your content plan and by adapting to Microsoft (or any other pre-written content), will help you get your head above the parapet and stand out from your competition. The “Stock” vendor content will help you get the subjects together, but you MUST relate it back to a BUSINESS problem rather than clearly selling the vendors’ products.
Step 3 – Post consistently
Consistency wins every day. Having a well-thought-out content plan means that you will never run out of things to say or post about. Now start to mix this up with some Stories on what your business is up to, New Starters, New Clients, New Vans… whatever but mix in the human element.
You can even add a few personal stories and achievements as well. People love this kind of content. Be careful if you are using an automation tool, as they have been known to affect post reach when you hit the Social Media Channels algorithm (as these are always changing). Also vary up the images, titles, copy to see what resonates best with your audience.
Step 4 – Measure your success
EVERYTHING in business must return an ROI and Marketing activities are no different. However, measuring Marketing Success can be difficult because it can so many times be seen by so many as intangible.
Start to track the impressions, likes, comments, and shares as a starting point. Tag people who you think may be interested and ask them an open question to try and build engagement.
Content creation can be very powerful, particularly if you have a clear Call to Action (CTA) into an event, a survey, or an introductory call.
So many times, we simply don’t tell people what we want them to do when they have finished reading an article.
I think the Microsoft Content programme can add value, but to really stand out from the crowd you need to turn it into YOUR content and interesting and relevant articles that your target market cares about.
There is also an opportunity to adapt some of the content pieces, so they are simple to understand rather than techno-jargon that blatantly just sells vendors’ products.
Remember most B2B customers won’t care about the tech, they want to understand the business outcomes that YOU are going to help them with!
Also, if you’re interested in any of our other marketing-related content, be sure to check out the below articles!
Have a great day and it would be lovely to hear how this article has helped you out in the comments below 🙂
Thanks for reading!
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