While creating valuable and engaging content isn’t easy, especially if you’re not a marketer and have a technical mindset, anyone can get by with the right plan in place.
Unfortunately, Managed Services Providers (MSPs) have always struggled with marketing. In fact, sales/marketing is one of the top four concerns of MSPs, according to Datto’s most recent Global State of the MSP Report. But by understanding a few main ideas, you can develop an effective content marketing strategy.
Content marketing is one of the best ways to generate leads. While many MSPs are satisfied with the leads they’re generating through word-of-mouth referrals, they’re leaving money on the table by not having a content marketing strategy. Putting together a content marketing plan isn’t rocket science. (Believe it or not, it’s a lot easier than handling a Cyber Incident for one of your clients.)
Simply put, your content marketing strategy is a framework of how you plan on creating and delivering content to your targeted audience. One of the key components of a content marketing strategy is your goals. What do you hope to achieve? Would you like to increase traffic to your website? Generate more leads? Your content marketing plan should also include a mix of content and delivery channels. For example, blogs are particularly useful tools MSPs can capitalize on. Finally, be sure to consider your messaging and build it into your overall strategy.
But even though content is king, you need to have the right strategy.
Why isn’t my content marketing strategy delivering?
Now, if your content marketing strategy isn’t delivering, you probably didn’t consider any of the above points. For instance, are you creating content for your targeted audience? If you’re developing blog posts for techs while trying to target C-suite executives, you’re wasting your time. You’re targeting the wrong audience! Always research your content topics ahead of time to ensure they’re of interest to your target market.
If your content marketing goals aren’t aligned with your business goals, you may have difficulty calculating your return on investment (ROI). Is your goal to generate more leads or increase brand awareness? Each target should have a key performance indicator (KPI) assigned to it to help determine if you’re making headway with your efforts.
MSPs also have a hard time with developing their own messaging. If you’re using content from a vendor, add your voice and spin it — that’s another way to set yourself apart from your competitors. In other words, add your personality to the content.
Finally, don’t be discouraged if you’re not generating leads immediately. If you’re starting from zero, it’s going to take some time. It could take up to several months before you see a return on your efforts — but that’s okay. You took the first step of developing a content marketing strategy, and you’re following it through. Giving up is a sure way to pour money down the drain.
There’s no “silver bullet” to developing an effective content marketing plan. What works for your competitors may not work for you. Ensure your content marketing strategy delivers by following the above guidelines.