While virtually every business owner agrees that marketing is an essential component of success, few can agree on the best online techniques. According to a recent HubSpot survey, the average person is online twice as often as he or she was only 12 years ago! As a managed service provider, you need to lead the pack in tech-savvy marketing techniques.
So which digital arenas are most likely to benefit your business?
Your website is your digital face. As such, it should reflect the personality of your work culture and product/service offerings, while following basic design techniques.
- Less is more: Minimalist websites allow for easy navigation, readability, and comprehension.
Things to include: basic company information, such as your name, what you do, how to contact you and why your company is the “best in the business.”
Things to avoid: confusing “artsy” graphics that do not relate to your company or product, long paragraphs of information, more than one or two fonts/colors.
- Accuracy is vital: Proofread everything. Then proofread it again. If you are a “public” company, make sure you are not advertising yourself as a “pulic” company. Remember that spell checking and grammar checking software is not infallible. Equally important, ensure that all of your links are accurate and functional.
- Tell the customer what you want: A simple “call to action” button gives your potential clients a reason to visit your website. It tells them what you would like them to do with the information they find. It allows them to search your website for further information, and it allows you to help your customer design his or her own web experience based on the options you provide.
By now, pretty much everyone has an email address. Additionally, everyone either has a “spam” folder or automatically deletes emails from unrecognized sources. The following tips will help you increase your “open” rate and your “click through” rate:
- Use a real email address: The first clue that an email should be deleted is that the return address reads “email@example.com” or “firstname.lastname@example.org”. Whenever possible, use a person’s real name as part of the email address. An email coming from “email@example.com” looks personal and professional.
- Create a compelling subject line: Again, sometimes less is better. If you really are running a limited time sale on your most popular service, “50% Off Data Migration Services” is pretty catchy. Of course, creativity also works well, depending on your audience. “See Why ABC is the Reigning Cloud Service” may appeal to those companies who are stretched to the limit and need to outsource non-essential functions.
- Be strategic: You have a limited amount of time to create an effective email marketing campaign. Your potential customers have a limited amount of time they are willing to spend opening and reading emails. An effective email marketing strategy marries those two needs to create a win/win situation for your clients and your own bottom line.
As Mark Twain famously said, “You need not expect to get your book right the first time.” The same applies to your blog post. Never allow fear of failure or fear of writing itself prevent you from using a very potent digital marketing tool. Blogs can:
- Introduce staff and products: One of the easiest ways to create a blog is to ask each of your employees to write a brief description of what they do. This description not only personalizes your company, but introduces potential clients to your products and services.
- Position your company as a resource: Not every blog entry needs to relate directly to your product or service. Ancillary information establishes your company as a “go to” resource for relevant, current ideas. As an MSP, you may want to write a blog about the importance of managing big data. Such a blog shows that you are on top of one of the growing concerns of small business owners – how to manage and effectively utilize the influx of data coming their way.
- Increase web traffic: Blogs provide a great source of keyword-rich data. Whenever a potential client searches for a company such as yours, he or she generally uses the same basic words. If you want to find a veterinarian in your area, you do not search for steak restaurants. Search engines track appropriate usage of these keywords to return the top results.
You are a managed service provider. Show the world what you can do. Three simple steps – creating a solid website, utilizing email marketing and regular blogging – will help your clients discover that your company is their perfect fit.