You know you need to ramp up your marketing efforts. Everyone is telling you so ― industry advisors, consultants, your sales team, your spouse. I’m sure you’re dog, if he could, would look up at you and say: Dude. Content marketing.
The problem isn’t identifying the to-do items. The problem is finding the time to execute.
So, in the time-honored tradition of good, resource-saving hacks, here are 10 ways to help you get more out of the time you invest in your MSP marketing efforts.
- 20 minutes to your key selling points. Write down the top three benefits you deliver that clients say are the reasons they selected you. Under each benefit, list the top three ways your company is better than anyone else at delivering this benefit. Then, under each of these items, list the three to five tactics or actions you and your team do to make this happen. There you go ─ benefits, features and functionality on one piece of paper. You’re welcome.
- This one crazy trick will save you hours. Whenever you start to write an article or blog, picture your favorite client – the smart one who gets it and is a joy to work with. Then ask yourself: will he care about this post? If the answer is no, stop writing. The point of creating content isn’t just to fill up a page. It’s to create a blog or post that delivers value to your reader. So, instead of just writing till you feel like stopping, think about what angle on this topic would make him care. Then, write about that. This trick will save you time, since you’ll 1) stop writing generic, me-too content that gets you nothing for your effort and 2) write your posts faster. Once you’ve tightened up your focus, you’ll know when you’ve made your point(s) and can stop writing.
- Prime the pump for good content ideas. Tools like Buzzsumo and Google Trends can help you see the relative trending of different terms and keywords. Even better, the results may spark ideas for new content in the future.
- Don’t bury the lede. Your reader may take five seconds on your content, so make sure they count. As someone with a technical, non-marketing background, I tend to build an argument in my writing point by point, so that the main conclusions come at the end ─ which is opposite of where they should be. So, after I finish writing, I go back and put the concluding points right up at the top. Then, I list the supporting materials. Sometimes, the best way to do this is to walk away from your writing for at least a day to get a fresh perspective.
- Craft clickable and sharable headlines. For fun, try TweetYourBiz or Portent. For more serious feedback, check out CoSchedule’s headline analyzer.
- After you write a good blog, don’t drop the mic and walk away. Instead, think how many OTHER content items you can produce. Perhaps what you really have is a three-part blog that can be turned into a longer whitepaper. If you create a killer Powerpoint, share it via SlideShare; then write a blog about it, then post updates on your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter properties.
- Easy way to improve SEO. Hack #6 also helps your SEO ratings. Blogging directly via your LinkedIn or Facebook accounts doesn’t help the SEO for your website. Posting the blog on your website and driving traffic there via social does.
- Calls to action. What do you want a prospect to do after reading your collateral or blog? Great idea! Have you clearly told the reader what that is? They aren’t mind readers, after all. Make the buttons big and clear and the text something to drive action, such as Get My Free eBook.
- Simplify design. The best design hack is similar to the best writing hack. Simplify. Do less than you think you need. Don’t pretend you’re a good designer when chances are you’re not. Two colors and a font. That’s all you need and all you should use unless you’ve been trained. Remember, if you try to give emphasis to everything on the page, then nothing on the page has any emphasis. Make it simple, clean and, when in doubt, use lots of white space.
- Remember to have fun. Marketing is important, but it’s also the place to have a little fun. For example, business cards are an overlooked venue for reinforcing the essential components of your brand and content. Moo.com offers business cards that can have a different photo or design on every card in a pack. (No, I’m not getting paid for this mention.) Create your own ― but if you don’t have the time or money to spend on your own design, you can explore the ready-made designs and see if any of them are right for your company.
I hope that least one of these hacks has triggered a light-bulb moment as you’re plan your marketing efforts going forward.
Of course, all your marketing efforts should synch with your business plan. You do have a business plan, right? If not, find out the best way to create one by downloading MSP Guide to Growth: Market Evolution And What It Means For MSPs.