Digital marketing strategy?
As with any form of marketing, digital marketing is essentially all about people — about identifying and connecting with the type of people most likely to be experiencing the IT challenges that your MSP business can resolve. It’s about staying on their radar and covering as many touch-points with them as possible. And it’s about doing this without the ‘hard sell’ associated with some of the more traditional marketing methods.
If you are not a marketing specialist, digital marketing can be confusing. The aim of this email series is to dispel some of the mysteries by providing practical advice to help in a few areas.
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Setting up a digital marketing strategy
Your prospective buyers must be able to find and connect with you through the digital channels of their choice. So you need a presence in all the places they are likely to look for information about managed services.
Easy to say, but do you have a strategy in place to achieve this? If not, you can try this threepronged approach to getting started:
1. Claim it
Claim your ‘digital real estate’, including:
› Business listings/directories that matter to your target market. These are important because they are heavily localised and results show prominently in search engines.
> Social media channels that are used by prospective buyers: for MSPs, typically Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, Twitter and YouTube. These are good channels for building your company brand and are also important for SEO because they are picked up by search results pages (particularly Facebook and LinkedIn).
> Your website — the cornerstone of your digital strategy and often the end-destination of visitors from other channels. A clear, easy to use website is essential. Traffic across the site needs to be monitored constantly to reveal where visitors are coming from, which pages are attracting most interest, whether users ‘bounce’ after the first page or stay to look around and whether they take up calls to action (CTAs). Tools are available to help you track activity, including Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster tools and Google Tag manager.
2. Brand it
Your online brand presence is important because it can enhance your credibility at each stage of the buying process, from awareness right through to action. The following are essential to building up a strong brand presence:
> Social media
> Business reviews
> User experience
3. Drive it
This refers to driving lead generation, by marketing to each stage of the sales funnel, using different techniques and content to reflect the different requirements at each point in the buyer’s journey:
Awareness > Interest > Consideration > Action
For example, at the awareness/interest stage, you should focus on industry content by highlighting common IT challenges for SMBs: the benefits of in house versus outsourcing; ways of handling security and BDR issues; and the challenge of retaining skilled staff.
At the consideration stage, you can focus more on your brand and services: USPs; customer experience as expressed in case studies and testimonials; service details; and SLAs.
By the action stage, you need to make it clear how and where to contact you — and how to move to the next level.
Been there and done it?
You may already have a digital marketing strategy in place, but don’t forget to carry out regular audits to make sure you’re still on track.
It is important to set tangible objectives for each element. Without these, you’ve no idea if your strategy is actually working.