Digital Marketing Basics for MSPs

Digital Marketing Basics for MSPs - Innovation

How nice would it be if customers came to your MSP? That would be great, wouldn’t it? Essentially that what the goal of digital marketing is: automate prospecting. Meaning that qualified leads come to you. 

Traditional sales methods are slowing you down

Selling services has traditionally been a consultative approach; has any of your salespeople spoken about being the ‘trusted advisor’ before? Many IT salespeople believe this is the best approach to look like the good guys. While this approach works, it takes a while to find new leads and convert them into customers. Quite simply, this approach is not scalable.   

I’m not advocating for you to fire your entire sales staff and replace them with digital marketers. However, our goal is to automate your prospecting and get your customers to look for you. Thus, automating a major function in the sales cycle, and it’s done through the most powerful tool on the internet: Google … or Bing or Duck Duck Go if you prefer. 

If your MSP has a website, then you need to understand how digital marketing will help your business. 

In this blog, I’ll run through a few basic concepts for your digital marketing that should help you get going with marketing your MSP.

Track your prospects and sales with a CRM

Before we begin, you need a CRM. My advice is to use a tool that is designed for Marketing and Sales. 

Please don’t use Connectwise Sell in place of a CRM …  

I recommend the fully integrated HubSpot or even Pipedrive for your MSP. 

If you’re considering Mailchimp, please be careful. As much as they would like you to believe they have improved, MailChimp doesn’t have decent automation capabilities you’ll need. 

When selecting a CRM for your MSP, take into consideration:

  • Deal management. You’ll need an easy way to track deals, add notes and notify you when changes need to be made, or a deal is rotting. 
  • Bulk email sending. A primary function of a CRM is to send highly targeted emails to leads and customers that are in the right stage of the journey. 
  • Inbox Email tracking. You might not realise it straight away, but automatically logging emails into your CRM is a big time saver. One of the best features of Hubspot is the ability to automatically capture leads when you’re emailing them. You’ll save hours of work with this simple feature. 
  • Forms. A primary goal of marketing is to get more leads and your site visitors much be able to submit a contact form that will not only send a request to your inbox, but it needs to be able to cookie your visitors so you can track their online activity. 
  • Track visitor activity on your website. To be successful online means you need to know what people are doing on your website. You need to know how they found you, what content they are reading etc.

Start with a plan

When poorly managed, digital marketing is often seen as a dark hole, and this is true when marketing has no plan, and it’s not measured correctly.

See SMART for Digital Marketing

Planning your digital marketing properly is critical to success. Planning is essential, and it helps you put your money in the right places and enables you to understand what success looks like. 

 At the very least, your plan should be able to make sure your marketing efforts are measurable. When creating a digital marketing plan for your MSP, you should understand the following:

  • Who are your competitors? 
  • What are your competitors doing well? 
  • What do you expect from marketing your business?
  • Who are your ideal customers? 
  • What is your unique sales proposition? 
  • Why should people buy from you? 
  • What is your business famous for? 
  • How much are you prepared to spend? 
  • Who is going to perform your basic marketing tasks?

MSP Digital Marketing Ecosystem

Let’s understand a few of the basics before you get to involved with digital marketing in your MSP. Below we’ll explore a few areas of marketing and how your business can benefit. For the sake of simplicity, I have simplified digital marketing into Channels, Website, Conversion, Offer and Leads. 

Channels

This is where your visitors are coming from and it can be online or offline. There are four significant forms of channels you should target:

  • Organic Search – this is your primary source of traffic from Google. Without a good SEO strategy, you’ll be stuck on page #2, and we all know the best place to hide a dead body is on page #2. If you want to understand more about SEO and how it can help, click here
  • Referral – This is from your partners, and you can take this from online or offline sources. Think about your customers and partners, you should look at getting links from your customers and partners. Those referrals will help boost your SEO and the potential for someone to find you.
  • Paid Advertising – there is a lot of ways you can pay for traffic, but it can be a giant cash pit if you haven’t set up your ads correctly. One of the most significant issues with paying too much for online advertising is that you’re paying too much for the wrong keywords, and your landing page/website does not give the visitor what they are looking for. 
  • Social – Don’t underestimate the power of Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. One of our best performing clients posts more video on Facebook and YouTube, and they are really successful with their content. 

Website

When it comes to the web, first impressions count. If your website doesn’t impress you, then no matter how good your business is, you’ll fail to impress visitors.   

Consider hiring a professional to create a website that you’re proud of, and also DELIGHTS your visitors. 

Your website needs to track user activity, and you need to be able to capture leads. I could write an entire book on what you need to do with your website. 

Conversion

Getting better conversions does not mean you need to put contact forms all over your site. It can seem a little desperate if you have contact forms galore. If your website visitors want to convert, they will, as long as you have something they want. However, figuring this out can take a while to understand. 

Worried you don’t get enough leads? One of our top customers only gets one lead per month. While this doesn’t seem like a lot, each of these leads is worth at least $100K/year, and they have a lead/sale rate of at least 67%, which is not bad. 

Focus on a great offer that is appropriate for the customer’s stage in their buyers journey. See our blog on content for the buyers journey. 

Offer

What are you offering your customers? A once in a lifetime chance to talk to your salesperson? I see it all the time, so many forms for a sales enquiry, but no one is converting. 

Try and offer something that people will that’s less intrusive. It could be a newsletter invite, ebook on cloud migrations, or even a calculator to find out if they are spending too much money in the cloud 

Check out our blog on the customer journey for some ideas. 

Leads

Lead generation should be your primary goal… Well, customers are your end goal, but for your website: the more signups and conversions you get, the more potential customers you can get.

Lead management is critical: How do you capture leads, and what do you do with your existing leads? Do you call them once a month or do you manually email them?

Consider setting up an automated marketing program where your leads are nurtured or educated. After all, even if someone is not ready to buy today, one day they will be. A few useful blogs on lead nurturing. 

When you generate leads, you should:

  • Qualify, if the lead is not ready, put them in a nurture bucket.
  • Think of this like keeping them up to date, just be careful not to overdo this stage.
  • Send them the content they care about. This is more than sending your leads offers to buy or invites to events. 

A simple concept for keeping your leads engaged the 4-1-1 strategy which can be applied to content marketing fairly easily. 

Need help with digital marketing for your MSP? Feel free to drop us a line and one of our experts can point you in the right direction.

Author avatar
Steven
Inbound Lead Generation is my game - I work with IT Companies to help them get more leads for their businesses. I built my first website at 14 and have been working in digital businesses ever since.

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