Video Above: Just as fast as technology is evolving, so are the ways consumers are buying and making purchasing decisions, including their IT needs for their business. To help MSPs improve their lead generation opportunities, we are providing a new webinar series to share marketing best practices. Watch the full webinar to get more in-depth information and series of FAQs including: Bounce Rates, Site Speed, Outsourcing Options, etc.
Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are passionate and skilled when it comes to technology. However, when it comes to marketing their IT business, MSPs continue to share and identify “lead generation” as a top pain point:
“MSPs indicate Marketing and Sales is their #1 business challenge.” - Datto
“Marketing and Sales #4 Challenge for MSPs” – ChannelE2E
“84% of HTG respondents (150) surveyed indicate Marketing and Selling Services as their biggest challenge. For Non-HTG respondents (31), it was their 2nd top challenge.” – ConnectWise
We find that when it comes to marketing, MSPs are either (1) not doing anything and hoping for word-of-mouth referrals, (2) trying to do marketing in addition to their primary role and responsibilities, (3) identifying the opportunity and dedicating an internal resource to focus on marketing, or (4) outsourcing their marketing needs to get help from seasoned experts.
If you are reading this blog or you attended our recent lead generation webinar with Dan Kurns, a Digital Marketing Consultant we use at Collabrance, my assumption is that you hopefully see value and opportunity when it comes to marketing. To help you improve your lead generation efforts, in this blog we will share how MSPs can enhance their website: information and content, ability to capture leads and create a better experience for visitors to help you, your leads and existing customers.
Think of your website as the hub of all your digital marketing activities that can be the primary call-to-action for your distribution tactics like emails, advertising, social media, news releases, etc.
Most everything you promote and market can link to your website for a lead or customer to find more information about your managed services business.
Once you get a visitor on your website, you then can provide them the opportunity to self-educate and self-qualify themselves for your managed services offerings based on the information you provide. By the time a website visitor reaches out to you and you know they exist, you will have advanced your sales process by answering questions upfront and generated a warmer, more qualified lead who is engaged – resulting in a faster and higher close rate.
Your website is like your online showroom that’s open 24/7/365. It works for you while you’re off the clock. As new leads visit your website, this is your first introduction and digital handshake to customers… so take the time to make it a great experience and keep them on your website before they look for another competitive option.
The first thing a user sees on your webpage is usually your title header. Write a clear header that highlights what the user can expect to find on that web page. When aiming for a length of copy, Dan Kurns recommends to include 1,000 words per web page. Do users read that much? Some do, some don’t. Users will read what they want to. Common information and questions users research with your managed services offering can include (“The Big 5” by Marcus Sheridan, They Ask You Answer):
One of the benefits of being descriptive and using more content is for search engine optimization (SEO) opportunities, and the ability for your managed services business to be found online.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) helps users find you as a solution to the questions they are asking online. There are many things you can do to increase your rankings, but this is a process and start small. Think about keywords and phrases leads and customers search, and use them throughout your website where it makes sense. Here are some QUICK and simple SEO first steps recommended by Dan Kurns:
For more best practices on SEO, Google and Online Reviews, join our next marketing webinar on April 23rd!
Depending on the content and purpose, you can build a web page or a landing page. Typically, a web page is more informational and included as a core component of your sitemap. An example of a web page could include your Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) Offering. However landing pages include campaigns and short-term promotions to drive conversions (i.e. Form Completions). An example of a landing page could focus on something that provides value in exchange for information like a Marketing Toolkit. Something like this can be deleted after a campaign is complete, and doesn’t need a menu bar so it helps focus the user on one clear next step.
For those users who are interested in more information, include clear call-to-actions in multiple areas which helps them easily take that next step and advance themselves down your sales funnel. Change the language, and create a sense of urgency! You can get creative and find ways to make it about the lead, not you. For example instead of “Complete this form” maybe say something like, “Tell us about you” or replace “Contact Us” with “How can we help you?” Your website, just like your managed services business, should be customer-centric.
Have you ever gone to a website but it took too long to render, so you just left before it could load? Same, me too. Site speed is critical for online users who are eager to find information. Dan Kurns shared that for every second past three seconds, you can lose ~25% of visitors on your website. He recommended trying to prioritize a page load speed <2 seconds to retain more users.
Today, we take our phones almost everywhere and can use them for just about anything. Dan Kurns reminded us that buyers are increasingly on their phones and driving more than half of all web traffic from their mobile devices. As you build or enhance your website, keep it mobile-friendly! This can include being mindful of: How many columns do use (try to stick to 1)? How does your picture look on a vertical phone verses a horizontal desktop screen? How long is that title? Does anything run outside the screen? Can a user just scroll down, or do they have to move the window to the right to view everything? Does a user have to click numerous times to get the information they seek, or can they just keep scrolling down?
As an IT provider who promotes cybersecurity, please make sure your website is secure! A hacked website for an MSP could be detrimental to your reputation, image and business. Even more importantly, protecting your potential customer’s information is more vital than ever, and now Google rewards you for a secure website. Increasing your website’s protocol to HTTPs is an amazing first step, but soon HTTP2 will be a necessity.
Marketing continues to be identified as a top pain point by MSPs. To help you overcome these lead generation challenges, we built a free educational webinar series to share ideas on how you can scale your business faster with digital marketing tactics. Once you have a strong website, your next steps include optimization for search. Our next webinar featuring Dan Kurns will provide tips on ways you can get your website to be found by online search engines. Be sure to join us again if you're eager to increase your organic traffic to your managed services website.
UPCOMING MSP DIGITAL MARKETING INSIGHTS WEBINAR...
How to Build Your Reputation & Presence with SEO, Google & Online Reviews
April 23rd @ Noon CDT
Brittney Stepanek, Strategic Marketing Director for Collabrance, is responsible for helping build relationships and brand awareness through strategic marketing initiatives. Before working at Collabrance, Brittney joined GreatAmerica in 2012 doing marketing for the Office Equipment Group. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of Iowa.