About a year ago, we created something called the MSP Content Marketing Launch Pack.
Here’s the idea: You own an MSP. You want leads. But you don’t have the resources to afford an engagement with a marketing agency or the expertise / time to create effective marketing materials internally.
So, we put together a collection of editable blog posts, ebooks, and email sequences that any MSP owner can implement. Taken altogether, these marketing materials can go a long way toward helping your MSP to 1) rank highly in Google search results for important keywords, 2) convert website visitors into contacts, and 3) convert contacts into leads.
It’s basically MSP lead generation in a box.
A year later, we still think it’s a pretty great idea – and that feeling is only enforced by the fact that there are now a bunch of similar packages on the market.
There’s UK-based IT Rockstars, a subscription service that includes monthly white-labeled content and explainer videos each month. There’s Technology Marketing Toolkit. There’s MSP Marketing Edge (another subscription plan). There’s MSP Growth Hacks, which offers marketing coaching and a recurring content service. And there’s MSP Advantage Program, which goes one step further and offers coaching, content, and sales support.
Some of those platforms are brand new. Some have been around for longer than our Marketing Launch Pack. But all of them are purposed toward the goal of helping MSPs create marketing materials en masse.
It proves that there’s incredible demand for MSP marketing materials. But it also leads to a problem: If you create (or just pay to access) the same MSP marketing materials as everyone else, how will your MSP stand out?
The truth is that, without understanding a few fundamental concepts, you’ll be wasting your time. Here’s what you need to do to create effective marketing materials for your MSP.
1. Define your persona.
One of the key challenges to using white-labeled MSP marketing materials is that they’re not specifically crafted toward your persona. Now, this can be easily remedied with some editing (usually). But you can only tailor your marketing materials correctly if you know who your persona is and what their business is like.
Messaging is much more effective when it’s tailored toward the right audience.
There’s been some back-and-forth in the marketing world over the past few years about whether personas are still valuable. They are – but you don’t need to know your ideal buyers’ favorite music or what car they drive or where they hang out on a Friday night.
You just need to know why and how they buy your services.
That means you should understand:
- The size of the company your buyer represents. 20 workstations? 100? 500?
- The specific industries you’re targeting. Healthcare? Nonprofits? Manufacturing?
- The role you’re marketing to. Are you targeting internal IT directors? Small business owners? Office managers?
- The buying process that leads to a sale. How are options evaluated? How long does this take? Is it a group decision? Who gets the final say? Where do they go when they’re researching options? How do they pull the trigger?
- Pain points that lead your persona to look for your service. Are they choosing IT services for the first time? Are they switching from another provider because they’re dissatisfied? Are there certain needs in their market (i.e. HIPAA compliance in healthcare or ERP for manufacturing) that they need a specialist for?
Once you understand your buyer, you can tailor your marketing materials to speak to them. And that’ll make your message far more effective.
2. Refine your brand.
The second problem many MSPs have with marketing materials is that they don’t represent their brand well.
The adjectives from most MSP marketing materials read like they’re taken from a boilerplate: Reliable. Responsive. Strategic. Trustworthy. Friendly. It’s even easier to list the bad puns. Believe it or not, “You can trust IT to us” and “We’ve got IT covered” and “Get IT done” have all been done before.
I don’t mean to be harsh. For one thing, most MSP messages still communicate value even if they have been used before. For another, it’s legitimately hard to represent an MSP in a way that stands out.
Still, it’s key to identify your differentiators before you start mass producing content. A few thoughts to get started:
- What are your core values?
- Does your niche make you unique?
- Is there something unique about your service model?
- What makes your people great?
- What makes your culture great?
The more specific you can get, the more your brand will resonate, and the more your marketing materials will prove compelling.
3. Work on your offer.
Your offer is the next step people take when they encounter your marketing materials.
Refining your message with persona and brand development will go a long way toward helping you to create marketing materials that actually work. But it’s crucial to think about what your marketing materials are working toward, too.
For instance, let’s say you subscribe to one of the MSP marketing material products listed above and they send you content about Windows Virtual Desktop. Do you even offer support for that? And if people who find your materials are interested in your product – what’s the next step they’ll take?
There are three common levels to offers:
- Lead magnets – things like ebooks, video tutorials, or whitepapers where people can provide an email in exchange for access to resources or information.
- Introductory products – things like free trials of solutions or quick tools. One of our clients, for example, has had success offering a free “Dark Web Scan” as an intro to a software tool they provide.
- Consultations – this is the proverbial “raised hand” that signals a prospect is ready to discuss the details of buying.
For your marketing materials to work, you have to ensure they’re aligned to what you’re offering. That means you should create and structure your offer in a way that makes it the logical next step.
4. Have follow-up (sales support) in place.
If you don’t have the ability to follow up on sales opportunities, don’t invest in marketing materials. If you don’t have a sales process in place with the people to make it work, you’ll be better off building that than investing in marketing. Switching those priorities is like buying bait without having a fishing pole. No matter how great it is, you’ll have no way to reel your catches in.
Marketing can support your sales team; as part of our MSP Marketing Launch Pack, for example, we offer email sequences that make follow-ups automatic. And some marketing products even include access to sales personnel who will help you close deals.
But please, don’t waste time on marketing without the capability to back it up with sales. You need sales support for marketing materials to be effective.
Looking for marketing materials for your MSP?
If you incorporate the elements we’ve listed here, you’ll be on your way to driving leads with your MSP marketing materials.
If you’re interested in trying templated marketing materials, check out our Launch Pack – it’s built to be tailored to your persona and brand, and it will give you a major boost as you get started.
If you’re ready for the next step, get in touch with us to discuss an agency engagement. We’ve helped dozens of MSPs to grow, conquer new regions, and get acquired – and we’re confident we can help you.