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Once an MSP has established the groundwork for its marketing strategy, the next step toward marketing maturity involves investing in the right tools.
MSP marketing tools can draw on a variety of free and paid options. Here is a look at what three MSPs use today -- and the marketing tools they can't live without.
Valiant Technology embraces video, livestreams
At Valiant Technology, an MSP based in New York, most of the company's marketing efforts go into content production.
"We're doing some targeted marketing, but a lot of [our strategy] is to put out great content to get people interested in what we do," said Georg Dauterman, president of Valiant.
Valiant has focused on three vertical markets over the past couple of years. Those verticals are marketing communications, the nonprofit sector and professional services.
Since the pandemic began, the company has used StreamYard, a livestreaming platform, to conduct a weekly stream for customers and prospects, Dauterman said. The livestream covers an assortment of IT- and business-related topics, such as cybersecurity insurance and business process automation.
StreamYard also lets the company create 20- to 30-minute "how-to" videos, which Valiant posts on its YouTube channel. In addition, the MSP uses free video production tools, such as HitFilm Express video editing software and Open Broadcaster Software open source software for recording and livestreaming.
Of all Valiant's marketing tools, Dauterman said he can't live without StreamYard and YouTube. "Those are our main efforts, the key tools to get content out to the community," he said.
StreamYard and YouTube provide a low-cost way to reach people, he added. "The cost is in the time and effort to put together the content and deliver it."
Creating and delivering content has proven an effective method for generating business during the pandemic. "People find us," Dauterman said. "They do Google searches and leave comments on YouTube. Sometimes, people give us ideas for content creation and tell us what they're looking for."
When content on a certain topic received lots of likes, Valiant will create content on related topics. For example, Valiant will introduce a collaboration software guide, inspired by the number of people that have downloaded the firm's guide for Microsoft Teams.
"We're putting this [guide] together to provide value to customers," Dauterman said. "There's no hard sales pitch. It's much more about telling people we're here and want to help them to succeed."
About 10% of Valiant's annual marketing budget is spent on marketing tools. Valiant's toolkit includes HubSpot's software platform, which provides everything the MSP needs to interact with customers, such as analytics for inbound leads, landing pages and tools for scheduling conversations via the company website, Dauterman said. Additionally, Valiant uses Mailchimp, a marketing automation platform.
SADA Systems taps Google Workspace, HubSpot
Like Valiant Technology, Los Angeles-based cloud solutions provider SADA Systems has invested in content creation over the past year. In addition, the company has made inroads in producing virtual events.
"We've become more strategic about events," said SADA chief marketing officer Narine Galstian.
SADA's content and virtual events typically target customers in specific industries and regions. "From a thought leadership perspective, we're producing more industry content" geared toward healthcare, retail and entertainment, among other verticals, Galstian said.
SADA's marketing tools include Monday.com for project management, Google Analytics to track web traffic to key landing pages, and HubSpot for all email and drip campaigns. As a Google Cloud Premier Partner, SADA also uses Google Workspace to boost internal collaboration.
Galstian said she couldn't live without Google Workspace and HubSpot. "[Both] have been such a lifesaver for us to collaborate in this remote environment in the past year," she said. "I don't know what we would have done if we didn't have those tools."
Additional tools include LinkedIn Sales Navigator, which SADA deploys for targeted, account-based marketing. The LinkedIn-based sales tools let SADA identify and learn about prospects and conduct LinkedIn InMail marketing, Galstian said.
About 10% to 15% of SADA's marketing budget is spent on tools. SADA does not use any free marketing tools because its teams are "way too big to take advantage" of them, she said.
This year, Galstian said she will evaluate a few more tools to incorporate into the mix, including Sprinklr, a SaaS customer experience management platform, to support SADA's social media reach.
Synoptek's tools for targeting multiple verticals
Synoptek, an MSP and IT consultant based in Irvine, Calif., targets customers in a wide range of vertical industries, spanning healthcare, financial services, higher education, manufacturing and distribution, retail, software, and media and entertainment.
"Our primary marketing strategy is to build thought leadership in the B2B market as a technology consulting, systems integration and managed services provider," said Synoptek marketing director Nandita Nityanandam.
Different information is meant to be consumed by different audiences, Nityanandam said. To that end, Synoptek uses multiple MSP marketing tools to connect audiences with relevant information, including the following:
- HubSpot, which serves as Synoptek's primary marketing automation tool;
- ZoomInfo's B2B database for targeted contact list building;
- Drift chatbot software to provide information to visitors of Synoptek's website;
- Google Ads for online advertising;
- Crazy Egg, Semrush, Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager for search engine optimization and analytics; and
- Adobe Suite and iStock for graphic design.
Nandita NityanandamMarketing director, Synoptek
For social media-based marketing, the MSP relies on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, according to Nityanandam.
Around 20% of Synoptek's marketing budget is devoted to tools. The free version of tools such as Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager also play an extensive role in the MSP's marketing activities.
"We also evaluate martech tools through their trial versions to check how useful they could be for us in the long run," Nityanandam said. "That's how we have chosen most of our martech stack."
Nityanandam said she could not live without "the basic martech pack," which includes Google Analytics, HubSpot, ZoomInfo and LinkedIn. "Each of these tools performs an activity that's critical for running our marketing campaigns efficiently … from identifying the right target audience, reaching out to them and then analyzing how these audiences are consuming the information provided to them."