Here’s what we recommend.
1. Review your current marketing channels.
A good first step in your MSP marketing analysis is to take stock of your current channels. If you haven’t done much marketing to this point, this may not take too long – but chances are, if you’ve been pursuing lead generation to any degree, you have at least a few platforms you’ve invested in.
Here’s a quick rundown of major channels and what to look for:
Again, you’ll need data to review this effectively. If you don’t have data, you won’t be able to judge what’s working and what isn’t – but if you do have data, here’s what you should look at:
- Traffic. We’ve found that, for most MSPs, you need about 1,000 visitors per month to consistently generate qualified leads. If you’re below that, you’ll need to find a way to boost traffic.
- Conversion rate. How often are visitors becoming contacts? An industry-standard rate is 1-2% – meaning that, for every 100 visitors, 1 or 2 become contacts. Your goal should be to get above that.
- Top landing pages. What pages are users hitting first? How can these pages be improved to drive more conversions?
This is closely tied to your review of your website, but it’s worth breaking out for its importance in driving traffic. The best way to check your SEO is through a tool like Ahrefs or Ubersuggest (there’s a free version). Here’s what you’ll want to check:
- Keywords your website ranks for. This will help you understand how people are finding you.
- Backlinks. Links to your site from other sites will increase your chances of ranking.
- Technical construction of your site. You’ll need a paid tool to run a deep check on this, but it’s worth doing – most sites we review have at least some technical problems that are hindering SEO performance (like repeat H1s, duplicate content, broken links, etc).
Your email list.
Email famously has the highest ROI of any marketing channel. To use capitalize on it, you should evaluate these factors:
- List size. The more qualified and engaged people on your list, the better. It’s not uncommon to have unused contact lists that have been sitting for years without activity – if that’s the case, you’ll want to pare the list down to make sure the emails are still active.
- Frequency. Using email marketing effectively requires sending emails consistently. How often have you been engaging your list? We recommend that you send emails at least monthly – and you’ll see more value if you can engage your list weekly.
- Open and click-through rates. The percentage of contacts that open and click on your emails is representative of the impact your content is making.
- Conversion rate. The ultimate impact, though, is conversions. For most MSPs, this will be scheduled calls.
Your social platforms.
We’ve found that most social platforms aren’t hugely impactful in marketing for MSPs. Two possible caveats to this: LinkedIn can be a great sales tool and YouTube can be effective for generating engagement. It’s worth reviewing current activity via metrics like:
- Number of followers. As always, the more qualified followers you have, the better. It’s also worthwhile to look at account growth over time, so you have a general sense of the trajectory of your platforms.
- Post engagement. If you’re posting on Facebook multiple times a week and gettin no likes or comments, your time is better spent elsewhere. On the other hand, if your YouTube videos are racking up engagement, dig deeper to determine why and how you can translate your audience into sales.
2. Review your competitors’ marketing strategies.
Besides simply reviewing your own activity, a good marketing analysis should look at your competitors’ activities, too.
You probably have a sense for the top 3-5 firms that you’re competing with on deals in your area. You’d do well to study their marketing efforts – especially the firms that you feel are having the most success or growing the fastest.
So, check out your competitors’ platforms using the same punch-list outlined above. Look at their websites. Plug them into SEO review tools. Follow their social media accounts. Sign up for their email lists and see what kind of content they’re sending.
You won’t be able to capture the same level of data that you can gather for your own platforms, but you can still gather a surprising amount – and, at the very least, you’ll almost always be able to get a sense of where your competitors are investing their marketing spend. This is informative; if they’re growing, then what they’re doing is probably working.
Don’t copy them, but don’t be afraid to enter the game, either.
3. Review your market.
The final piece of an MSP marketing analysis is to review your market – meaning the actual audience you’re targeting that would be relevant for your services in your area. There are a few things to consider here:
- The size of your market. If you have a specific niche – say, financial firms, or healthcare, or manufacturing – you can, with a bit of research, figure out how many potential clients are in your service area. ZoomInfo is a good source of information. If you’re a generalist and are content serving anyone, the US Census data can give you a decent idea of how many businesses are out there.
- The competition. Yes, you have a sense of this already – but it’s worthwhile to do a deeper dive into how many firms you’re competing against. Google your services in your geographic area (ex: IT support in Albany) and click through the results pages to see how many firms you can find. Most likely, this will be a sobering exercise, because the MSP market has gotten pretty crowded over the past five or ten years. That’s okay – use it as motivation to stand out.
Want expert help as you conduct your MSP marketing analysis?
Get in touch with us. At New North, we’ve helped dozens of MSPs to dominate their regions, enter new markets, and get acquired – and it starts with intelligent analysis that informs effective strategy.