Video Above: Jake Wagner, Strategic Business Advisor at Collabrance, shares sales and marketing questions he’s heard amongst the MSP community. He invites Dan Kurns, Digital Marketing Consultant, to provide his insights and best practices, as well as including Brittney Stepanek, Marketing Director at Collabrance, to contribute what we’ve tried and the resulting activity. Together we discussed this new digital landscape and the massive shift in how we’ve been engaging with potential prospects and customers.
2020 is unprecedented a situation. The global pandemic has changed the very face of how the majority of companies do business. While I have been in the marketing industry for over 12 years, nothing has prepared me for 2020. During these times, we are all more a like than we are different.
As the managed services industry moves to the new normal of supporting companies of remote workers and providing brand new pieces of technology, security and collaboration services to their clients, it has never been more important to take control of your digital marketing efforts.
Our hearts go out to everyone doing their part to slow the spread and diminish this virus’s impact on the world. While you may get a sense of “optimism and opportunity” from the MSP digital marketing tips shared, we want to make it clear that we are responding to the changes in the market, and dealing with the hand we’ve been dealt the best we can given today’s situation. After an hour of great questions and discussion, what were our biggest takeaways?
Users are spending an increasing amount of time online these days working from home or remotely. They are doing more and more research, and being more connected, at least digitally, than ever before. When we try and quantify the change in how users are engaging online, we’ve noticed three major shifts in their online behavior:
Over the last three months, we’ve seen close to a 12% increase in digital marketing engagement with email. While users are getting more emails than ever, they are still engaging with relevant emails that provide value. Make sure you are careful about the frequency of your emails, and the message you include is relevant, new and helpful (Free MSP Email Templates).
Social media has seen a significant increase as well. With more users connected to their personal Wi-Fi and cell phones, social media has seen close to a 40% increase in traffic since January. Your audience is on social media, and you should be too. Be sure to include relevant hashtags or tag others as appropriate to expand your reach.
Organic traffic has seen close to a 10% increase for the majority of websites across the net. Constant updates on business operations and openings, plus an increase in users being connected, have provided this increase of the last three months. Now is a good time to evaluate if users are able to find you online as a solution to their needs.
So with these big changes, how have you adapted your marketing strategy? We spent the hour going through each of the following areas in greater detail (Download the slide deck in the form below for our notes), but I wanted to pull out some of the hardest-hitting reasons you should be shifting your digital strategy today.
One thing that I want to say outright: People, companies, small businesses are all still buying today. Deals are still being closed, and companies are still looking for new customers who can help them get accustomed to the new normal. One fear we’ve heard from many marketing managers is, “I’m afraid I have to shelve this content that we have already worked so hard on.” I’m here to tell you it’s perfectly okay to shelve content, as the information that needs to be released today needs to have a different tone and context. Content that is shelved always has an opportunity to see the blog later.
One of the big things we’ve done and encouraged our clients to do, is to refocus their marketing time and dollars toward a much more narrow and targeted group of their target customer profiles.
Generally, you could segment your contacts by: existing customers, unconverted leads, cold prospects and your internal team. You could also visit your local state government website to identify what businesses are deemed “essential” and open right now to prioritize and target your efforts by verticals.
Providing resources, information and answering questions are all impactful ways to provide value to your users. Depending on how you segment your audiences should tailor different messages. (Download our slide deck in the form below for ideas of what information you could include to different targeted audiences).
Distributing your content has never been easier whether you leverage the free platforms available to you or embrace the paid world. There is something here for everyone, but two big distribution tactics proven effective today include:
Face-to-face meetings have taken a bit of a backseat right now, but that’s no excuse to not let your potential clients to see you in person. It’s never been a better time to leverage video chats, one-to-one videos on your website and Facebook live video has never been more within reach.
Video is a great way to further engagement and stand out whether you incorporate them on your website, social media posts or email messages.
One tool to utilize for quick, one-to-one video is Soapbox. This video capture software is free and is easily utilized by any marketing or salesperson to send quick, edited videos to their leads providing a great, pseudo face-to-face meeting with the same one-to-one messaging.
While we only named two platforms here, remember that there’s also video opportunities on YouTube, as well as live streaming on Facebook or LinkedIn.
Google has seen a revolution in the last three months. A hyper-focused approach on local information has made Google MyBusiness and even bigger focus. The ability to utilize local posts and information changes to speak directly with those searching for you is so invaluable, so if you haven’t claimed, and optimized, your Google MyBusiness you may be leaving searches on the table.
Digital marketing is at a pivot point, and it can be up to you to make the move. Don’t be afraid to change up your content, swap out your email sends, and shelve some now untimely content. Things are changing quickly and frequently in 2020, and so might your marketing efforts. Re-evaluate your strategies as appropriate to provide your potential clients and customers with valuable messages. If you need help with your marketing efforts, connect with Dan via email or LinkedIn.
Have you created a resources webpage today’s relevant content? What keywords are trending today? What are some common end-user questions? How do I position my message? What kinds of videos should I make? Get answers to these questions and more by downloading our Digital Marketing Insights notes.
Dan Kurns, President of Dan Kurns Consulting, is a full-service digital marketing agency focused on SEO and Digital Advertising efforts for clients. Dan has had the privilege to work with a variety of clients within the MSP and MSSP industries (including Collabrance) for 3 years yielding some great results. In addition to being the subject matter expert of the Collabrance Digital Marketing Insights quarterly webinars, Dan was a keynote presenter at the Collabrance MSSP Sales & Marketing Summit for MSPs in September 2019 where he spent the day speaking with technology provider professionals and sharing his digital knowledge.