Marketing for managed service providers is different than your typical B2B firm. Your sales cycle is longer, your clients are different, and your offerings are technical in nature. The sheer complexity of your products and services require a deep understanding of IT services and solutions.
Our team of MSP marketing professionals has experience with marketing specifically for managed services in order to increase your conversion by at least 5X.
Your stack of offerings aren’t plug and play, you’re selling your knowledge and your brand to assist your clients for extensive periods of time. Whether you’re managing their entire network, acting as in-house support or providing virtual CIO services, you need creative MSP marketing ideas and concepts that keep your brand top-of-mind.
Through our MSP lead generation services, we can guarantee that your leads are nurtured from their first visit through to conversion and towards a sale.
As a way of continually keeping them engaged, our MSP inbound marketing services act as a complete package that includes SEO, content marketing, email marketing, website design, and social media.
Our MSP marketing services utilize your specific branding and buyer personas in order to target everything we do to your potential clients. Whether they’re government entities looking to tighten their cyber security or healthcare providers seeking the best possible compliance, we know what their challenges are, and we position you as thought leaders capable of solving their problems.
Through the creation of MSP websites that speak to your target audience, that are optimized with the best possible SEO, and actively work for you to increase your sales leads, we can position your MSP firm for optimal growth.
Our successes in the MSP industry prove that we’re up to the task of generating leads, converting sales, and creating thorough IT marketing strategies that engage, inform, and delight your customers.
We can ensure that your website is getting more traffic and in turn increase your conversion rate. Get in touch with us today for your free 30-minute MSP marketing consultation.
Inbound marketing is the process of optimizing your website and digital strategy to rank in search engines and interacting with potential leads through your website. The MSP marketing toolkit includes numerous opportunities to engage and delight your prospects, such as:
Targeting your buyers:
Understanding your clients wants and needs ensures that our MSP marketing plan directly speaks to their challenges and positions your managed services firm as an immediate and trustworthy solution. Understanding what makes them tick is what helps us increase your qualified leads.
Our MSP inbound marketing plan focuses on the core inbound marketing concepts.
In a world where we’re inundated with outbound mass marketing messages, MSP inbound marketing relies on engaging with an audience that already wants to talk to you. They’ve landed on your website from a search engine, downloaded an educational asset, or entered their information in your ‘contact us’ form. It’s providing them value for when they want it.
According to a Regalix study, 96% of marketers use search engine marketing to provide educational and informational content. That’s because informing and educating your leads and clients has proven to increase website traffic and leads.
Unlimited opportunities to engage with audience:
EBooks, whitepapers, blogs, social media, email marketing, the list of opportunities to engage your MSP leads goes on. Once you’ve established a list of warm leads, it’s important that you work to cultivate a community that nurtures and educates to prove thought leadership in managed services and technology.
Real-time measure of success
As your website starts to rank, thanks to SEO content and automation tactics, you can immediately gauge success. You’ll be able to see your website ranking for keywords in search engine results, and we provide you with monthly statistical reporting that encompasses your website traffic, leads, and complete conversion metrics.
Throughout the process of MSP inbound marketing, our digital marketing experts can ensure that your MSP web design, content, and entire MSP marketing toolkit favourably engages and converts your prospects.
Your service or technology firm is unique… the buying process and decision makers are different…
The Hinge Research Institute reported that 64% of technology firms struggle to attract new business. Which is why we’ve curated MSP leads generation tactics to create a holistic approach including email marketing, content creation, and social media that can all work in tandem to increase your qualified leads.
Trust is one of the most valuable assets in MSP marketing because of the complexity of your services. Through open and honest communication, proven through the educational style of your content, your potential leads will grow to trust you.
Marketing Materials for MSP Leads Generation
Our content marketing experts strategize and create engaging, informative MSP marketing materials that educate your potential clients on your services and solutions. Not everyone understands the complexity of their network architecture, but if you’re the managed service provider that’s helping to educate them on the intricacies of your service offerings, they are more likely to trust you.
Trust means very little, however, if you don’t have the website traffic to bring in new leads. If you’re only receiving 200 visitors a month and converting at 1%, you’re only actually receiving two leads per month. However, leads don’t mean sales. If you’re converting at a 6:1 ratio, that means that you’re only seeing four sales a year. Our MSP lead generation engine is geared at increasing your traffic, targeting your buyers, and keeping your brand top-of-mind so that your potential leads continue coming back.
Professional MSP Lead Generation Services
Through our customized and carefully cultivated MSP inbound marketing tools, Jumpfactor can rev up your business by bypassing traditional growth to ensure that you’re bringing in MSP leads that are qualified and ready to buy.
Check out our napkin math of lead generation blog for a more detailed overview of how you can Utilize Your Website to Attract More IT leads and More Sales.
Your service or technology firm is unique… the buying process and decision makers are different…
The other day I was wondering, “how many MSPs (managed IT service providers) are there?” I asked because some of our best clients at Jumpfactor are MSPs, so I wanted to get a feel of the competitive space, especially in the United States. I couldn’t find a clear number, but I was able to find out that Microsoft — an industry-leading IT vendor — has 640,000 partners all over the world in its Partner Network.
If every person in Portland, Oregon was a business, all of them would be a Microsoft Partner. Think how challenging IT services marketing is with so many businesses competing in the same client pool. Like you, they know how to configure cloud services, manage a business’ IT hardware, keep atop of cybersecurity threats and deal with regulatory compliance issues.
And like you, they’re each touching on the same customer pain-points and problems, while also promising the same fundamental solutions. So it begs the question: “If I have so many similar competitors, how do I stand out? How do I get heard? How do I come up with a better pitch with the same strengths and flaws?”
Inbound lead generation could be the secret sauce to supercharging your business.
With inbound, you can invest in strategies that allow your audience to come to you — rather than the other way around. Let’s look at an example. How annoyed do you get when you answer that random phone call, and it’s someone trying to sell you an expensive, pre-approved credit card? If you were actually in the market for a credit card or a personal finance product, you’d do some research on the internet or visit your bank. That’s what makes inbound lead generation so special. It helps people who are actually looking for your solution find you, and only when they’re ready. But before we jump straight into execution, there are a few things you’ll need to do. Chiefly — taking inventory of your resources and setting the proper goals.
Digital marketing is a highly specialized department. Traditional marketing “generalists” — while valuable to overall branding and messaging — are not enough to execute on an effective digital strategy.
In today’s competitive landscape, you’ll need specialists for almost every channel you want to target:
SEO Specialists to make your site and content visible on search engines
Paid ads specialists to plan, execute, and validate campaigns on Google, Bing, and Social Media ads
CRO Specialists to monitor, test, and optimize your conversion paths
Content marketing specialists to produce content that your audience not only wants to read but also engage with
Before you dive into hiring, make sure you understand your current team structure — you might already have several specialists on your payroll that might fit the bill. And if you don’t have the talent on hand, building a team that can execute on your strategy should be a top priority.
2. Determining Digital Marketing KPIs for IT Companies
Let’s be frank here: it’s not easy to execute an effective digital marketing strategy for MSPs. It’s even harder when you aren’t tracking the proper metrics.
So you should avoid vague KPIs like the plague. Imagine you have a directive from management to ‘double conversions’. What does this actually mean? Are we talking about conversions on your email newsletter, middle-funnel case study, or sales call booking? Are we talking about conversions from any prospects, including small mom and pop shops, or do we need enterprise clients? Are we okay getting leads from any industry, including high-risk ones (like gambling companies)? Are we equipped to handle leads coming in from regions of the world where we have no office or sales reps? If you don’t answer these questions, then you set yourself up for failure. It’s actually quite easy to double conversions (if you have no other metric to optimize for). You can easily get tens of thousands of low quality, unqualified prospects, for pennies on the dollar. And it won’t do your company any good. So before you embark, make sure your KPIs are aligned according to SMART objectives.
– Specific – Measurable – Achievable – Relevant – Time-based
Let’s take a look at these in closer detail.
Does your strategy highlight problems and opportunities with specific information? Are the objectives clearly defined? Compare: “Grow the business” And, “Increase our US-based sales-ready leads in enterprise software through organic search.”
Will your campaign be able to leverage quantifiable metrics to determine its success? Don’t say: “Increase our sales-ready leads.” Do say: “Increase our sales-ready leads in enterprise software through organic search by 30%”
Are the results realistic enough to be attained? This one is self-explanatory. Don’t set yourself up for failure with ridiculous goals.
Is the objective aligned with the overall goals of the organization? Are you targeting the correct metric, within the correct time frame, for the correct audience? Is this in line with what your organization has planned during this timeframe?
Have the goals been set with a specific guideline in mind? This is how you turn a vague KPI like “increase sales” into a useful goal your team can deliver on, like: “Increase our US-based sales-ready leads in enterprise software through organic search by 30% in Q2.”
3. Building an Agile Digital Marketing Team is Critical
Your current staff may have decades of experience in soliciting sales through traditional channels — industry trade shows, cold calls, referrals — but times have changed. 89% of B2B researchers now use the internet during the purchase research process. So if your strategy still hinges around offline mechanisms, it’s high time for a re-think. The fulcrum of your digital marketing team ought to be the digital strategist. Variations of this title could be a digital marketing manager or director of digital. This person will lead a team of content creators, designers, and SEO experts to develop conversion-based strategies, analyze analytics, monitor results and optimize where needed.
So what Digital Marketing Tactics Should I Use for my MSP Business?
Right off the bat, it’s important to note that notwo digital marketing strategies are exactly the same. Your approach depends on what you want to achieve with the campaign. Perhaps you’re just starting out and want to build domain authority and drive inbound traffic to your site. In this case, you might want to focus on keywords that have high search volumes regardless of geographic location — even if they don’t convert. Or, you might want to invest $50,000 into PPC campaigns to get traffic fast, without waiting for organic SEO efforts to bear fruit. Or maybe you want to focus on a very specific niche with low search volume, but very high targeting, and develop a large inventory of technical content that only applies to this niche. Ultimately, you’ll need a seasoned digital strategist to formulate your overall approach (after consulting with other stakeholders in the company, of course). However, until then, you can get an idea of what each strategy involves in terms of investment and desired outcome. We outline each of the main digital marketing strategies available to you — especially in terms of content, SEO, and PPC — in the next section.
Content Strategy Tactics
We’ll start with content. The basic idea of content — such as blog posts, ebooks, and others — is to deliver on your readers’ expectations when they visit your website. For example, if they found you by asking a question on Google, they’re expecting answers or solutions from you. It’s vital that your content corresponds with the needs and interests of your target buyer, which you will have defined in your buyer persona.
For More on How to Develop Compelling Content, See:
Content at the top of the funnel — typically used for educational and informational purposes — can be best served with a blog post. When writing posts, keep your target market’s problems and goals in mind. A smart and agile MSP will have an intimate understanding of what their buyer persona is like. They use years of experience and data-driven research methods to understand consumer problems. And blogs are an excellent way to discuss high-level problems that your audience may be researching about.
B2B pillar pages act as a cornerstone piece of content on your site, delving deeper into a topic with high word counts, topics that cover the entire industry, statistics, infographics, CTAs, and more. Such pages are a great way to build your brand as an authority on that topic. For example, a pillar content strategy on IT security might look something like this:
Your content strategy should leverage your expert knowledge about the issue and combine it with information about your target audience. The result is content that speaks to the reader’s issues and solves their problem, thus earning their trust.
Once that trust is earned, the buyer will start seeing your service offerings as solutions they could buy into. And this is where you begin your pitch — typically through a service page. A service page (alternatively known as a ‘core page’) is content designed for pushing the reader into doingsomething, such as signing up for a consultation or requesting a sales call. There are two major parts to this.
First, from an SEO standpoint, you should target bottom-of-funnel (BoFu) search terms to attract the right readers, i.e., people looking for products and services similar to yours. Whereas a pillar page would target a middle-of-funnel (MoFu) search term, such as “how to implement data security”, a core page will target a term like “data security services” (note: for more clarity on the content marketing funnel, see one of our earlier blog posts). Second, your pitch should be informative, but easy to read.
For example, a study by Unbounce found that business consulting pages that read at a 6th-grade level convert more leads (nearly 2X) compared to difficult, graduate-level content.
Easier to Read Pages Convert More That Difficult to Read Pages
The same study found a correlation between more words and lower conversion rates. Business consulting pages saw a gradual decline in conversion at more than 200 words. Pages with more than 800 words had half the conversion rates of pages with less than 200 words.
The Importance of SEO for Your MSP Digital Marketing
There’s a reason businesses spend approximately $80 billion on search engine optimization (SEO) every year — with the trend showing no signs of slowing down.
Search engine traffic accounts for 93% of all website traffic.
So if you’re not taking a long, hard look at SEO best practices, you’re not doing justice to your organization. Think of it this way: without investing in SEO, you’re not investing in what it takes to actually pull your target reader to your website. Below, we’ve outlined a few examples of what you can do to get people to find your website.
Enterprise SEO tactics are inherently different than regular websites. The technical elements – subdomains, microsites, duplicate content, architecture, and more – need to be optimized continually.
This refers to the process of getting other quality domains within your industry or niche link back to your content. Some ways of achieving this are to guest post on blogs, build relationships with influencers, and encourage people to post reviews.
On-page SEO tactics are designed to give search engine crawlers the best possible chance of determining what your site is about and its hierarchy. This means SEO-friendly URLs, internal links, proper use of H1, H2, and H3 tags, and proper use of keywords.
Often, people search for businesses or solutions to their problems that are within their immediate physical vicinity. So as an MSP, you could potentially look to leverage queries like “cybersecurity provider near me” or “Microsoft partner Toronto”, for example.
This involves setting up a Google My Business Account, inserting targeted local keywords into your pages, building out local citations (directories that publish company addresses), and ensuring that all citations have corresponding NAP (Name, Address, and Phone).
Video SEO is an extremely powerful form of inbound marketing, especially when you consider that YouTube is the world’s second most-visited search engine. 73% of B2B marketers who have employed video marketing have seen a positive ROI.
There’s no point in investing in an SEO strategy — or any digital marketing strategy — if we are not measuring the results of our work to identify flaws and, if need be, change course.
For example, if your prospective customers are searching for help in setting up their Azure cloud services to support their SaaS offering, then publishing a guide (e.g., an eBook) called “How to set up Azure cloud services for your SaaS” seems like a great idea. Obvious, right? Not exactly. How did we determine that your target clients are: (1) SaaS providers (2) asking about Azure and (3) are using Google to even ask that question? Sure, we can always assume things, but when time and money are on the line, assumptions are never a good idea.
To corroborate our assumption, you can use an SEO tool like Ahrefs (SEMrush and Moz are great alternatives, too). For more information on how to use those tools, then be sure to read my colleague’s blog, “How to Do a SEO Content Audit.” By inserting the search terms into Ahrefs, it’s possible to determine the volume of searches and how difficult it is to rank for that particular term. In this case, Ahrefs suggests a slight tweak to your approach. The keyword ‘azure tutorial’ is a far more widely searched term and can possibly drive more organic traffic to your site. Using SEO tools can help validate your assumptions or understand where the actual opportunities lie. Don’t dive into SEO without a working understanding of these principles. Keep in mind — this isn’t an exhaustive list of all the SEO tactics you should be aware of. That’s why it’s vital to have an expert on-board to plan and execute on your SEO. Get a FREE SEO Audit and Boost Traffic
A paid Google ads strategy is worthwhile if you’re looking to get leads instantly without waiting for your inbound campaign to work its magic.
Pay-per-click marketing, which is also referred to as Search Engine Advertising (SEA), is done via a platform like Google Adwords. While users generally shy away from clicking on the sponsored results, it’s still a good strategy to stand out.
Other than SEO and keyword campaigns, your MSP paid digital marketing strategy can also try to leverage retargeting campaigns and paid social.
Account Based Marketing (ABM) is rapidly gaining prominence to target specific users in your niche. It needs a strong base of content along with fully mapped buyer personas. AMB involves a three-tier approach.
ABM is reserved for high-value, strategic accounts. In this approach, there’s a dedicated account manager for each prospect that provides a highly-targeted marketing strategy. The ABM Lite approach involves marketing campaigns and programs focused on small groups of accounts. Such accounts usually share business attributed, challenges, and pains. Programmatic ABM is also known as a ‘one-to-many’ approach, with one marketer targeting hundreds of accounts that are aligned with its sales model. For more information on B2B ABM, see my colleague’s blog, 50 Examples of B2B Account Based Marketing Tactics.
You could have brilliant ideas and a strategy to back it up, but all the plans are worthless without a relentless focus on executing them. That’s what can make or break your business. You could hire an internal digital marketing team to do the heavy lifting for you. But that involves a ton of time and resources in sourcing talent, onboarding them, and getting them up to scratch. For More on Building Your Digital Marketing Infrastructure, See:
But you’re short on time and your marketing strategy ought to be in place yesterday. Your needs are best served by getting a partner on board — one with a team of in-house experts and a solid foundation of industry best practices.
Jumpfactor is a full-service digital marketing agency offering on-site technical SEO, in-house content production and growth-oriented marketing strategy. Contact us today to discuss how you can use your website(s) and other online assets to increase revenue.