We’ve helped dozens of managed IT service providers with marketing. In this article, we’ll outline what a digital marketing plan looks like for a typical month.
But first, three caveats:
- Digital marketing plans should absolutely vary based on your unique context. Depending on your business model, your service offering, and your market, different tactics will make more sense. This is just a template.
- This template is for MSPs that have already done the upfront work of refining brand, message, and target audience. If you haven’t clarified those pieces yet, it’s best to start there before jumping into activity.
- All activity should be aligned to your goals. For example, if your goal is to rank for the keyword “MSP in [your location]”, then that should inform your content creation. Without goals / strategy, tactics are just spinning wheels.
Still – you’ve got to spin wheels to go somewhere. With that said, let’s dig into a tactical digital marketing plan for MSPs.
Here’s an example of what it might look like on a monthly basis.
1. Produce five pieces of strategic content.
The vast majority of digital marketing for MSPs revolves around content creation. We’re talking things like:
- Blog posts
- Explainer videos
- Ebooks and whitepapers
The topics and focuses will be dependent on your goals – but, as part of nearly any digital marketing plan, you should be consistently creating content.
Here’s an example breakdown:
3 blog posts targeted at a high-value keyword (i.e. “How to Choose an IT Provider”) to move the SEO needle.
1 video explaining a developing tech trend (i.e. “Tech Tips: Special Features to Help You Get the Most from Microsoft Teams”).
1 ebook or whitepaper offering value related to a specific service (i.e. “The Guide to CRM Migrations in 2021” or “Cybersecurity Employee Training Checklist”).
2. Send a bi-weekly newsletter.
As you regularly create content, you should distribute it throughout the month across your platforms and channels. Email is one outlet that’s a) great for distribution, and b) easy to forget about, which is a shame, because it still has the highest ROI of any marketing channel.
If you’re going to do email, you should send out a monthly newsletter at a minimum. For best results, though, it helps to be a bit more consistent, which is why we’re recommending a bi-weekly send here.
Here’s an example schedule:
First Tuesday of the month: Send a Tech Tips Tuesday email, including a link to your latest video and some additional copy.
Third Tuesday of the month: Send a Service Spotlight email, featuring information about one of your services that’s particularly relevant due to trends, news, or your internal focus.
3. Maintain social media.
Somewhat-controversial take here: Organic social media is not worth spending a ton of time on, especially if you’re focused on MSP lead generation. Very few leads come from Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Here’s what we recommend:
Use the content you’re creating to maintain a presence on Facebook and LinkedIn. That means taking excerpts from your blog posts, sharing videos, and posting links to whitepapers.
You can supplement this content with company-culture stuff, like staff events, office pictures, and so on – but don’t stress about it. Your time is best spent elsewhere.
Automate this process as much as possible. Tools like Hootsuite and Buffer will make posting painless.
(Note: LinkedIn does work for lead generation, but it’s most effective when used for ABM campaigns rather than as a place to post articles – and we aren’t including ABM as part of a regular monthly cadence. If you want to learn more about the strategy, though, start here.)
4. Run search ads on high-value terms.
Finally, we recommend allocating budget each month for search ads. This is a great way to augment your SEO efforts and capitalize on people who are actively looking for IT services.
Target high-value terms that align with your service offerings, and designate time each month for optimizing your campaigns to make sure you’re spending money wisely.
As an example:
Create ad groups targeting “Managed IT service,” “IT support,” and a featured service (like virtual desktop deployment or cybersecurity audit). Target your service geography.
(Be willing to spend at least $1,000 month for six months. If you aren’t, you should probably skip paid ads, because you’re unlikely to collect enough data to get results.)
Need help putting together a digital marketing plan for your MSP?
The above example is a great template for you to get started with. But the truth is that you’ll be best served with a plan that’s tailored to your business.
If you want help, let’s talk.
At New North, we’ve helped dozens of MSPs to create digital marketing plans that generate leads, make entering new markets easy, and even lead to successful acquisitions. If you want to put together an optimized plan, we can help you. Schedule a free consultation today and let’s put together a digital marketing plan that’ll actually get results.