In today’s fiercely competitive environment for cloud solution providers, successful CSPs need to use marketing to stand out from the crowd. Business clients have probably heard of giant providers like Amazon Web Services, Google, and Microsoft Azure. Your smaller company may offer clients advantages over dealing directly with a large, impersonal corporation; however, you have to use your marketing to let prospects know why they should choose you.
Five Tips to Help You Avoid Costly Marketing Mistakes
Since marketing has grown more competitive along with the size of some players in the industry, you’ll need to make good use of your budget to maximize profits. Make the most of even a small marketing budget by avoiding these costly mistakes:
- You Don’t Understand Your Customers and Their Needs
If you hear business advice about the importance of getting to know your customers, you should not dismiss it as an old-fashioned cliche. The more you know what your current customers want, the better chance you have of retaining them and increasing business in the future. You can also use information about existing customers to create buyer personas that will help you target new business.
Your small company might not have the resources to cast a wide net. Carefully developed profiles of your typical customers can help you focus your marketing efforts to avoid wasting time and money.
- You Don’t Engage Potential Customers on Social Media
One of the best ways that your smaller company can differentiate itself from your largest competitors is to let your customers and prospects interact with you through your social media sites. Hopefully, you have accounts on such large social sites as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Be sure you take the time to post engaging content about your company, your people, or even about community activities.
Also, make certain that you create professional profiles that are designed to help bring in leads and customers. If social site users take the time to engage with you, be sure you let them know you value them and want them to contact you.
- You Always Sell
When it comes to producing outbound marketing content, sometimes less is more. Maybe it’s fair to say you should always sell; however, sometimes, you should simply work to sell customers on the idea that your business is one that supports their own values and offers reliable information. For marketing emails, social content and even blog pages, you can post articles that relate to your business but may not directly relate to selling.
Some examples might include introductions to various employees, videos of recent community service activities, or helpful tech answers and updates. These can help customers associate names and faces with your business and remember you as a good source of information and as a community member.
- You Don’t Include a Call-To-Action
As stated above, it’s important to not always sell. But perhaps it’s more fair to say that you should not always dedicate 100 percent of your marketing real estate to selling. However, you should always include a call to action that tells readers and viewers how they can take the next step.
For instance, you might offer a free audit or demo, schedule an appointment to discuss their needs, or simply give them the chance to fill out a lead form to subscribe to your digital newsletter. If you want your audience to take an action, make sure you let them know what that action is.
- You Don’t Up Your Email Game
First, make sure you filter your email list to remove duplicates so you don’t risk annoying your subscribers. Experiment with different topics and subject lines to improve your open and click-thru ratios. Try sending an informational or marketing video instead of text to see if that improves your ratios.
One study found that just mentioning “video” in the subject line dramatically increased open rates. You might also increase the number of email subscribers you have by offering interesting white papers or instructional videos that only subscribers can access.
Use Your Marketing to Set Your Company Apart From Others
Get started by making sure you truly know a lot about the types of customers your business is likely to appeal to. If you want to differentiate yourself to customers, you have to take the time to understand the positive aspects of your company and what customer problems you’re positioned to solve. For example, your ideal customers may represent growing businesses with concerns about security, storage costs, or the complexities of moving data to cloud storage. Let your marketing make customers aware of your business and the advantages you can offer them.
Interested in more marketing tips for your CSP business? Give us a call and let’s chat.