There are several ways to promote an MSP business and attract new customers regardless of whether the MSP is new or already established. Some of the most popular methods include:
- Social media
- Cold calling
- Attending conferences & networking
- Sales funnels or email marketing
- Social proof
- Webinars or video content
- Client testimonials
- Niching down
- Written content
- Pay-Per Click (PPC) marketing
- Reviews and word-of-mouth
But merely using these strategies isn’t enough. The industry is highly competitive, so MSPs need to stand out.
How To Stand Out
Today, a company’s image begins with their website. As such, the website shouldn’t be a copy and paste template. It needs to be different and unique. Unfortunately, many MSPs opt for the same look and design and so nothing truly stands out. Even then, customers find it difficult to understand what an MSP offers regarding:
- Core values
- Their promise to the clients
- Or a brand identity
This is a bit of a blessing for MSPs as to make them unique, covering those three things will allow them to distinguish themselves from the rest. But therein lies the rub. When starting out, it’s difficult for an MSP to know what their core values and promises are. They’re only starting.
Once they are more established, MSPs become too busy working on their clients to consider brand identity and core values.
The solution to all this rests with the customer – specifically an MSPs best customer. Talking to these, an MSP can understand why the customer choose them out of other MSPs. This provides more perspective as customers look to brands and engage with the ones that make them feel good and valued.
It’s those elements that an MSP should focus on for brand identity, core values, and what they promise to customers. Communicating those things at every instance can allow an MSP to stand out amongst the sea of generic MSPs.
Another great addition to the website is testimonials. Whether they appear on a website or in Google reviews if an MSP is listed there, these are all vital for conversions in a business. These help prospective customers decide whether to trust or work with an MSP. As such, having a lack of them can lead to people being hesitant to engage with a brand.
There doesn’t need to be that many. Having about four or five amazing testimonials from trustworthy people is enough to give customers an idea of the company and trust in the services. Also note that testimonials can be in the form of text, audio, or video too. Video is ideal as videos can be used again and again to promote a company through multiple channels beyond the website.
Having A Content Strategy
Everyone consumes digital content daily, in some form. As a result, businesses don’t need to put in radio ads, pay for billboards, or flyers to get their name out there. One of the best ways now is through content. Whether that’s on social media or on their MSP website, there should be thought put into the content being published.
With content on websites, this demands keyword research, SEO strategies, and so much more. On social media, it’s being able to be consistent and publish content that gets people talking and engaging.
And content doesn’t just apply to blog posts either. Avenues like podcasts and YouTube channels are also a consideration and a whole other beast.
Using Video to Grow An MSP
An MSP doesn’t need to have a YouTube channel immediately, however lacking video as a strategy means an MSP is lagging on their competition by a long shot. Getting onto YouTube or using Live on social media should be a top priority in promoting an MSP.
In terms of content strategy itself, it helps to know what kind of audience that an MSP wants. From there, an MSP can start through education. Providing helpful pointers on operation optimization, IT infrastructure, scaling, and best industry practices in IT. Videos such as that can attract potential customers for years.
Beyond this, an MSP can grow through YouTube ads. Even if an MSP is camera shy or it might not be appropriate right now, this is an option. This requires understanding the target audience and placing advertisements on select videos or other related videos. Very few companies are doing this so it is a viable strategy.
Getting Social Proof
Social proof is like testimonials, but they are much stronger and display authority instantly. The reason many MSPs aren’t doing this though isn’t because it’s a bad idea, but rather they don’t have enough social proof or presence. Beyond that, getting social proof requires a lot of time and not every MSP owner can afford that.
But despite those hurdles, getting social proof is extremely important because:
- It establishes an MSPs creditability instantly when someone is learning about a brand for the first time.
- It validates any customers who buy services or product from that business
- It comes across as being a thought leader in the industry
This is an excellent way to strike positive emotions into the hearts of potential clients that will get them to positively engage with a brand. It makes them feel confident in their decision and it builds up positive reviews and comments as well as other engagement with any other content an MSP has.
So how does an MSP gather social proof? Some strategies are by:
- Asking for reviews and testimonials
- Mentioning clients and collaborations in social media posts
- Highlighting any awards on social media and on a website
- Getting testimonials from experts or well-established brands in the industry
- Getting verified (the small checkmark or icon that appears next to the name) on social media platforms.
- Collecting valuable and high-quality backlinks to the website
- Getting a featured article on recognized sites
- Getting featured by social media accounts with massive followings
- Using LinkedIn recommendations to build authority
While being a generalist MSP seems nice at first, growth will eventually be stifled. Niching down is one way for MSPs to be more effective. Niching down doesn’t have to be that the MSP needs to specialize in a particular field. Rather, niching down can be for a specific location, demographic, industry, or sub-industry.
Regardless of what an MSP chooses to do, the important aspect is that an MSP becomes narrowly good in that area. For example, niching down to a specific location can mean the MSP serving this region and doing it excellently.
Do note that every business, and industry is different so an MSP will need to understand what the nuances to those businesses and industry are and adjust their skills and technologies accordingly. This also applies to any marketing efforts as well.
Conferences & Networking
A more personal and intimate approach is to attend events and conferences. This not only brings awareness and exposure, but it can also help MSPs meet other people and expand the business in possibly other ways.
Provided that the MSP owner is empathetic, a good seller, or have a solid representative, personal interactions are highly beneficial. The only thing to keep in mind is to pick and choose which conferences and events to go to. Not every conference or event is necessary for an MSP. Especially when they have a grasp on what kind of target market they want to have.
Building A Referral Culture
Another form of testimonials is referrals. These are also great in driving sales for MSPs as word of mouth can travel quickly.
If an MSP lacks that kind of culture, cultivating one shouldn’t be too difficult. The big thing an MSP can do is to be unique and provide a memorable and positive service. After all, an MSPs best referrals are going to be the ones who will recommend the product because they got what they were promised.
Beyond that, providing more incentives for referrals can come down to offering discounts to people who referred someone who became a client. Alternatively, MSPs can offer presents or coupons.
Using B2B Advertising
SEO is one of the ideal methods for B2B marketing. With specific keywords, search engines will be able to scan an MSP’s website and understand who their target audience is. Have strong enough SEO and an MSP will be able to specifically target their market from keywords alone.
This is a gradual process, but it’s a free way to grow long-term and organically. In fact, many MSPs have gotten well-qualified leads through this strategy alone.
Best of all, MSPs don’t have to use paid ads to get the word out. Hiring content creators that can follow SEO procedures is one avenue to optimizing content for Google and other search engines. Beyond that, there is social media as a means of advertising. Out of them all, an MSP should consider LinkedIn as it is the ultimate B2B advertising platform available.
About MSP Corp
MSP Corp understands you’ve worked hard to build your business and you want to protect it. With a mission to be a world-class business partner for MSP owners across Canada, we actively seek to acquire and partner with owners looking to secure the value of the business they have built and provide a seamless exit process that ensures business continuity and employee and client stability.
Contact us today to learn more about selling your business and maximizing its value.