How effective is your marketing strategy – and are you seeing the results you want? MSP and technology brands offer a valuable service that should be easy to sell, but some common errors often prevent them from making a real connection.
From not “getting” your prospect's true pain points to overindulging in self-promotion, here are some of the most common errors MSP brands make – and how to get past them for good.
1. Not Understanding Your Prospects' Pain Points
You know they need help – and your service will suit their needs, so why aren’t your marketing efforts connecting? If you are simply listing out the services you offer, but not letting prospects know what those services will do for their business, you are missing out on a valuable opportunity.
Each business is different, but most SMBs share similar concerns about their network. Since the typical business owner is likely a capable user of technology, but not an IT expert, they’ll have concerns about their lack of knowledge, worries about system failures, and headaches over the most recent news stories on ransomware or phishing attacks.
Identifying the pain points that your prospects are most concerned about allows you to reach out to them in a meaningful way and showcase how your solutions can help. Think about your prospects and ask yourself the following questions:
What is in the news right now that a business owner might be worried about (malware outbreaks, a major retailer breach, etc)
Are they concerned with falling behind competitors who are better equipped?
Are they worried about what might happen if their network went down or was damaged?
Is there specific equipment or data that must be available for their business to run?
Are they worried about company secrets, proprietary data or other unique information being stolen?
Are they in charge of information belonging to others – that could be stolen or misused?
Are they concerned about regulatory or compliance issues unique to their industry?
- Would their business recover after a week of downtime? A month?
Think about your ideal prospect, then examine each of the questions above. Some won’t relate to your preferred customer base, but many will. Tailoring your content and marketing efforts to match the things that most concern your prospects will help you send a message that resonates and that they pay attention to. Overlooking pain points and simply showcasing the features of your service is a mistake that will cost you prospects and potential clients, but this strategic and targeted approach will help you connect on a whole different level.
2. Not Using a Subscriber List
You may not have time today to create a regular newsletter or weekly email, but you might want to explore this option in the future. Creating and maintaining a subscriber list provides you with far more than a set of emails you have permission to market to – it gives you a list of warm leads waiting to be nurtured.
If you don’t have an appealing opt-in or a reason for prospects to subscribe to your mailing list, you risk losing them to another MSP who pays more attention to marketing. When you create and actively use a subscriber list, you create a way to reach out to targeted groups of customers based on everything from the size of their organization to the offer they responded to. These details are valuable for follow-ups and essential if you have an active sales team.
Even a small list will help; everyone has to begin somewhere. The targeted newsletters and content you send to your subscribers will help you stay connected and further position you as an expert to turn to in a time of need. Overlooking this crucial component removes one of the easiest and low-cost ways to track your marketing performance and consistently connect with warm leads and prospects.
3. Overly Promotional Marketing
Clients need assistance, information, education, and guidance – not a steady stream of promotion. A common mistake made by many MSPs is to go for the sale, immediately and constantly. If you’ve ever gotten too many emails from a persistent salesperson, been chased around a car lot by an over-enthusiastic sales agent, or been bombarded by promotional messages on LinkedIn, then you know the over-sell can get old, fast.
You may not be chasing customers quite so vigorously, but if most of your content and marketing is self-promotion, you may be driving them away from all the same. Ideally, the content you produce across social media, your blog, and your email newsletter should be helpful to the viewer in some way, not just a commercial. Repetitive promotional posts drive prospects away on virtually all channels.
Instead of opting for pure self-promotion, aim for a strategic and calculated mix of content on every platform you use. On social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, only about 30% of your content and posts should be about your brand.
Everything else should be informative and useful in some way. Instead of sharing the same product again, consider sharing one of these posts instead:
- A piece of industry news
- A story about emerging tech from an online magazine
- A blog post from an authority in your field (tag them in the post to enhance your connection)
- A meme, humor post, or cartoon relevant to your industry (most effective when used sparingly)
- An inspirational quote that would resonate with your prospects
- An educational piece that provides a quick IT or security tip
- A roundup or checklist of security, business, or IT reminders
- A seasonal post highlighting a holiday, time of year, or event
A combination of any of the above posts can be slotted in instead of self-promotion to ensure you have an engaging and appealing mix of content and that you are connecting with readers.
Your blog and email posts need similar attention; if every blog post you make is about your product, it simply won’t resonate with readers. Instead, focus on positioning your brand as an expert in the IT field by dispensing timely, actionable advice. Some things that seem incredibly obvious to you may not be so clear to your readers, so taking the time to provide insight for lay readers will keep them coming back for more.
Your topics don’t need to be complex or overly technical. “X Mistakes You are (Probably) Making with Passwords – and how to fix them” is likely to be read by an SMB owner who is worried about security. Include a call to action and an offer of help at the end of every post to encourage readers to connect.
Creating a diverse and useful catalog of content gives you more to talk about on social media, positions you as an expert, and ensures you are not scaring away your best prospects with repetitive sales messages.
Want to make sure your messages truly resonate with your prospects and free up your time to focus on what you do best? Our team can help! We guide successful IT brands through the marketing process. We’ll help define who your ideal customer is and incorporate proven strategies and methods to ensure your message is getting through. If you’re ready to scale things up and grow your brand with a solid, proven approach to marketing, we can help.