Scott Lindars, a former Citrix senior alliance marketing manager and now director of technology markets at Merit Mile, an interactive agency in Boca Raton, Fla., outlined MSP marketing tactics at the MSPWorld conference this week in Orlando.
Here are his top five tips:
Optimize your website for mobile devices
Lindars emphasized the date April 21, 2015. That’s when Google Search ramped up the importance of mobile-friendly websites in its page-ranking formula. By October of last year, more than half of Google searches were conducted from mobile devices. Lindars implored MSPs to optimize for mobile if they hadn’t already, noting the availability of tools and web specialist companies that can help update websites.
“There’s no excuse for having an outdated website,” he said.
Deliver only the essential content
Lindars said an MSP’s “why” — messaging that tells prospective customers why the company is different — must be front and center on its website. He advised MSPs to audit their web presence, trim and focus. For example, if an MSP offers 50 services but only 10 are critical, it should focus on those 10 services rather than describe the entire portfolio. Good content is still king, he added, noting MSPs should aim to emphasize quality over quantity. Examples of possible content include whitepapers, surveys and reports, thought leadership pieces, trends and predictions, emotional customer stories, how-to articles, infographics, and top-10 lists.
“Video is a must-have,” Lindars said, noting that business executives watch work-related videos at least weekly. He described three types of videos that companies should include in their MSP marketing approach:
- How it helps — Such videos describe how the MSP solves a particular problem, trend or demand in the marketplace.
- Lifestyle solutions — These videos show how the MSP’s services help customers in the real world.
- How it works — In this type of video, the MSP sets forth the technical basics of how its offering works.
Lindars suggested MSPs keep videos short, noting the top-performing Facebook videos are less than two minutes long. He also recommended using strong, compelling visuals.
Use social media to drive sales leads
Lindars pointed to research that suggests MSPs using social media can increase revenue, reduce marketing costs and close more leads. But Lindars cautioned companies to refrain from targeting every social media platform with an MSP marketing campaign. He said the social media landscape continues to evolve, advising MSPs to stick with the outlets their buyers are most likely to use. And social media messages should be designed to elicit audience action.
“Get them to bite,” he said.
Do email the right way
Nurturing leads via email works, according to Lindars, but getting sales-ready leads via email requires MSPs to have a strategy. The emails dispatched in a given campaign should work together and offer a consistent look and feel. The email list should be up to date and segmented (targeted toward a particular IT customer audience). The email copy should be clean, simple and focused, Lindars said.