Drive Your MSP Strategy with Big Data Tools

November 2nd, 2018
Pete Langas
Pete LangasDirector, Sales & Business Development

Even though “big data” has been a huge buzzword in marketing over the past few years, it’s still widely underutilized by many IT professionals. This is partially due to the unwieldy nature of managing that much information.

Early attempts to digest the deluge of data were difficult to control and produced questionable results, and professionals were often unsure as to how they could best interpret the data to their advantage. But today, there are more options and methods that really work.

MSP marketers can use these tools to understand more about what their customers want from them, so they can start delivering more relevant services and pricing structures. And the best part is, these tools don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg or suck up all your time.

Big data tools don’t have to be so complicated to use that people abandon them in a week or two. If you’re looking to step up your strategy, here are just a few ways to weave big data analytics into your current campaigns.

SEO at Your Fingertips

The first place to start is by designing a website that really speaks to search engines. Luckily, SEO algorithms are starting to align with public expectations, meaning you’ll be able to optimize your site for both your customers and the formulas that determine your ranking.

social media scores

SEO tools like Browseo are a free way to learn more about what’s working on your site and what needs to be changed. It shows you what a search engine sees rather than what you see, so you can make adjustments that will make it easier for people to find you. This a great way to get more eyes on what your company stands for and why you can serve people better than your competitors.

If you’re looking for ways to optimize your keywords, tools like Keyword Clarity can help you identify the right keyword clusters, showing you the semantic groups without having to run any formulas of your own. A tool called LongTail Pro will even calculate your keyword competitiveness so you can proverbially stack the deck.

For MSP strategies that rely on backlinks, tools like Ahrefs perform the analysis you need both on your strategy and on that of your competitors. And Find Broken Links (from Internet Marketing Ninjas) can make it easier for you to identify opportunities you may have missed along the way. Finally, if you’re starting to go overboard with your SEO, you can use Remove’em as a way to back off a little.

Tapping into the Open Well

Open-source software has by no means been perfect, with many companies preferring to stay away from it completely. But it’s no longer a sketchy strategy, now that legitimate platforms have had the time to prove themselves to companies who use them. This method can be the key to getting the data analysis you need without having to give away your budget. With solutions like Apache Hadoop, MSPs can see all the tiny details that have a big impact on their bottom line.

Whether you want to develop more intuitive packages for your customers or you just want to see where you could tighten up your daily operations, Hadoop can light the way. Other open-source products like Apache Spark and Apache Kudu can show you the in-memory and real-time analytics you need to stay at the top of your game. Both solutions are designed to give you fast results so that you can adjust your strategy on the fly.

So, if you spot financial fraud on your network, you have the option to interfere immediately before it even turns into a thing. Without real-time analytics, you would have to focus on your damage control rather than preventative efforts. If you start to find that you’re relying heavily on your real-time analytic tools, you can look into a business like Snycsort to help manage streaming analytics on your mainframe system, so you can be sure you’re getting the alerts you need.

Social Media Tools

Everyone knows that different social media platforms require different approaches to reach the target audience. A Twitter post simply can’t have the same tone as its Facebook counterpart. But not everyone knows if they’re adjusting their strategy enough (or too much) as they tweak and rework their content across the board. Data tools like Sprout Social show you the performance of all your social media content in one easy-to-use platform.

seo data collection

Or, you can reverse-engineer your analysis with tools like Buzzsumo. This tool will show you how your website content is interacting with social media, so you can see which content is working and who is more likely to share it. So if your last blog post received 200 shares on Facebook and only 15 on Twitter, you can start to see the patterns emerge that can make it easier to cater to the right audience.

Old standbys like Google Analytics can also help you track your social media efforts by estimating the ROI of your campaigns. Most people are already using Google Analytics to help them understand the traffic on their website, but not everyone realizes that they can generate reports for social media as well. Incorporating GA into your general social media analytics will provide a 360-degree view of who’s interacting with your content and who’s leaving it alone.

When it comes to deciding which tools work best for your MSP goals, look for platforms that mesh well with your content and that are intuitive enough for your team to quickly learn. Many of these suggestions are either free or low-cost, so you don’t have a lot to lose. Some even offer free 30-day trials, so you can get a sense of their real-world capabilities.

Understanding the Advantages

Because information technology moves so quickly, MSPs who can correctly implement these big data tools will gain an edge over their competitors. They’ll be able to better anticipate and stimulate demand, adjust their pricing structure as the times change, and focus their efforts on the people who will benefit the most from their services.

Despite the vast sea of information out there, marketers are still wasting too much money with efforts that simply don’t go anywhere. To improve your trial-and-error stats, consider adding one or several big data tools that can cut through the numbers to find the answers.