Does Your MSP Brand Tell a Story?

January 7th, 2019
Scott Kaplan
Scott Kaplan

Creating a deep, emotional, and permanent connection between your MSP brand and your audience isn’t nearly as hard as a lot of people think it is. Really, all you have to do is tell a good story.

By taking the ideas that you’re trying to convey with your marketing collateral and reframing them as part of a narrative, you’re doing more than just presenting them in a familiar format.

You’re giving yourself a genuine chance to key into what’s important to customers in a way that immediately sparks interest and emotion. You’re taking information that is already relevant and presenting it in a way that is suddenly compelling too — the importance of which cannot be overstated enough.

So at this point, the question becomes obvious: Does your MSP brand tell a story in terms of your marketing efforts? There are a number of very important and forward-thinking reasons why the answer to this question needs to be an enthusiastic “yes.”

tell a good story

Tell Your Customers a Story

Storytelling isn’t just important for your MSP marketing because it gives your customers something to latch onto. By building the message that you’re trying to get across around a simple story at the heart of it all, you’re presenting inherently complex ideas in a way that is easy for people to identify with, engage with and relate to.

By using stories, either that center around your business or the ways in which customers are using your products and services, you’re in a better position to share what your company stands for and what it represents. You’re making it easier for people to understand what you’re all about. You’re not just telling them how you’re going to make their lives easier — you’re showing them how in full detail.

These qualities, by the way, are the key ingredients required for forging the types of mutually beneficial relationships that will serve you both well for years to come.

Focus on Your Company

In an “About Us” page, for example, don’t just post a timeline of the events that connect your company’s founding to today. Really dive into detail and draw out any emotion that you can. Talk about why you wanted to start your company and what problems you were trying to solve.

Highlight the challenges you faced and how you overcame them. Talk about why you do what you do, and tell the story of satisfied customers with lives that you’ve objectively improved. You’d be surprised by just how effective this approach can be.

Every blog post you write needs to have a story that drives it — that’s the major reason why people will make it past the headline and all the way to the end. Videos are a great form of storytelling as they allow you to use the old rule of “show, don’t tell” to your advantage.

Storytelling even has a home in pay-per-click (PPC) ads and on social media. The social network Vine may be dead and buried, but compilation videos of people telling stories in as little as seven seconds still exist on sites like YouTube.

If you ever doubted how much of an impact you can make in just seven seconds, watch a few of these videos and prepare to be amazed.

The Art of Dual Narratives

Once you acknowledge that telling a story on behalf of your MSP brand is important, you can then move toward actually executing that idea in front of a larger audience. For this, you’ll have to master the art of dual narratives — or two stories that are being told at essentially the exact same time.

To get an idea of what this looks like, consider the example of a season of any television show you enjoy watching. Each episode usually tells its own complete story. If you only catch one episode every few weeks, you don’t feel like you’re missing out on too much.

You still get a complete experience at the end of the 30 or 60 minutes you spend sitting in front of the television. There are obviously exceptions to this, but you get the idea.

Be Compelling and Creative

Each episode also furthers the overall arc of the season — the larger story that is being told over a longer period of time. In one episode of “Breaking Bad,” Walt and Jessie might meet their new benefactor Gus Fring and begin working in a new, state-of-the-art laboratory.

However, in terms of the overall season arc, the events of the episode also put Walt one step further to being discovered by his DEA agent brother-in-law. Two stories are being told at the exact same time, each moving at a different pace and each both compelling and rewarding on its own.

be compelling

In terms of your MSP marketing efforts, the collateral that you create needs to be a lot like that but on a somewhat larger scale. In terms of the main story of something like an explainer video, you might teach your customers how to troubleshoot common issues or understand why a particular product feature is so important.

But with regard to the larger story, each piece of collateral also provides those customers with another glimpse of the larger brand behind those products and services. You’re taking both a macro and a micro approach to storytelling, often within the context of the exact same piece, and both your existing and your potential customers are benefiting as a result.

The Bottom Line

In the end, it’s important to remember what your true job is to effectively market your MSP brand. You must engage customers with relatable, emotional content that not only helps them feel good today, but also motivates them to want to engage more with your brand and invest in a true partnership tomorrow.

By far, take a narrative, story-driven approach to your marketing: it is one of the best ways to accomplish an expanded, wide-ranging business. All of this is one of the big reasons why, if you’re not already experimenting with storytelling across all of your MSP marketing efforts, now would be an excellent time to start.