Managed Service Providers often find it difficult to differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive B2B field — and with the commodification of their services, they often struggle to attract fresh leads and generate enough new clients to support growth.
Yes, you offer 24/7/365 IT support. So does everyone else. Yes, you are a Microsoft Gold or Cisco Select Partner, but so are at least five other competitors in your market. Providing IT support is simple, right? Set something up, and if it breaks, you get called in to fix it. Why would a client choose you over anyone else?
What are You Actually Delivering to Your Clients?
Despite the name, MSPs don’t just provide services — they are in the business of providing solutions. The kind of technology solutions that improve their client’s productivity, efficiency, and security. Clients are looking to hire an MSP because they don’t have the expertise or resources to handle every aspect of IT in-house. And they’re looking for a partner they can trust to take care of it.
It’s not just about the services or products — it’s how they are delivered, how they will help your client address specific challenges, and how they will enable them to spend more time being proactive and focusing on strategy and growth.
Now, are you communicating this anywhere online? Or are you still relying on your sales team to sell these benefits after a lead contacts you? If you’re waiting that long to pitch your value proposition, you’re already missing out.
Customers are Making Up Their Minds Before Reaching Out to B2Bs
Way back in 2012, a study by the CEB Marketing Council found that in the B2B sales process, customers had already completed about 60 per cent of the purchasing decision-making process before engaging with a sales rep. And in 2019, that number is certainly higher.
And what do you think these (potential) customers are doing before they reach out to sales? They’re online, self-diagnosing their problems and forming opinions about the available solutions. They’re using Google. Maybe they’ve found your site and had a look around, or tried to find you on social media.
This pre-contact research phase is an incredibly important window in the buying journey, and one that MSPs can capitalize on by adopting a content marketing strategy.
So What is Content Marketing and How Can It Improve B2B Sales?
According to the Content Marketing Institute,
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and ultimately drive profitable customer action.”
Content Marketing can be used to achieve a variety of interrelated business goals, with brand awareness, lead generation, and engagement ranking as the top three:
The content you create can take a number of forms – blogs, white papers, landing pages, eBooks, social media, podcasts, webinars, and more. However, you can’t just start pumping out this content and expect results; you need to develop a content marketing strategy.
Think about who the decision-makers are in your target markets. What are their pain points and challenges? What keywords would they be using when searching for solutions or more information about these problems? (Protip: good SEO is essential to content marketing) How do your services and products solve these client issues?
The most important things to remember is that no matter what you are creating, it must be relevant, valuable, and consistent.
If you are an MSP looking to increase visibility and attract more leads in a crowded B2B market, a solid content marketing strategy can definitely give you a boost. But content marketing really comes into its own when it is incorporated into a larger inbound marketing effort.
At Flawless Inbound, we maintain an expert team of marketers, strategists, content producers, and technologists who create results-driven campaigns designed to grow B2B organizations’ revenue. We’ve had so much success with MSPs — read more about what we do for the industry here.