A Guide to Content Marketing for Your MSP Business
Content marketing can be an excellent way for your MSPs to connect with potential clients and build thought leadership around the subjects your clients care about. However, success requires a lot of hard work and planning. Unless you plan to publish high-quality, relevant content, please don’t waste your time. If your MSP publishes low-quality blog posts or videos, you will not get traction with this strategy.
This guide will help you create a content marketing strategy that works for your business. We’ll cover everything from what content marketing is, how to get started, and choosing the suitable topics to create high-quality content that gets results.
Content is Still King
A Word of Caution
Good content is still King, but your content marketing strategy will start off as a baby prince.
Before you start, it’s important to recognize that your MSP content marketing will take time and effort to grow in effectiveness. It won’t bring overnight success, and it is not a good place to put your efforts if you need leads today. You must be ready to dedicate a lot of time to creating and promoting your content if you want results.
After you publish your content, you have to wait for it to produce results. Content reaches people that may be at the top of the marketing funnel and not in the market for your services today. Be prepared to nurture those people with content at different points in the funnel.
Content marketing may not be effective for small MSPs because it does not generate marketing leads quickly, like paid advertising, word-of-mouth, and networking. However, when done correctly, you should see results that will show up over time as increased website traffic, leads, and customers.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing, in relation to your MSP, is a form of digital marketing that involves creating and publishing valuable content to attract your target audience to your website with the objective of moving the reader into your marketing funnel.
MSP content marketing aims to provide valuable information to targeted users to build trust and credibility and to establish your MSP as a thought leader in your geographic area and or technical specialty.
Some examples of MSP content marketing include:
- Blog posts and articles
- Ebooks and whitepapers
- Case studies
- Videos and webinars
- Social media posts
- Email newsletters
Content marketing is an effective way to attract customers because it provides value to end users and helps you to establish trust and credibility with them. It is also an important part of an SEO strategy because it can help to attract traffic to a website and increase the chances that a website will rank well in search results for the topic covered in the content.
At Seota Digital Marketing, we look at content marketing in relation to your marketing funnel.
In the context of a marketing funnel, content marketing is a way to attract and engage potential customers at the top of the funnel. The marketing funnel is a model that represents the journey a customer goes through as they move from awareness of your MSP services to the final step of signing up with your MSP.
At the top of the funnel, a customer becomes aware of your MSPs service through content designed to educate and inform them about relevant topics like IT Security, managing risk, or recovering from malware. The purpose is to build trust and credibility with them.
As prospects move further down the funnel, you should present them with more targeted, sales-oriented content, such as case studies and white papers relevant to their industry. This content is designed to persuade the customer to take the next step in the purchasing process, such as requesting more information or signing up for an audit.
Ultimately, the goal of content marketing in the context of an MSP marketing funnel is to move potential customers through the funnel and convert them into paying clients.
To Outsource or Not To Outsource
Should You Do Your MSP Content Marketing Yourself or Outsource?
Content marketing can be a big undertaking, so you may wonder if it’s better to do it yourself or outsource your content creation and promotion. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as it will depend on your specific situation and resources. Here are some factors to consider when deciding whether to do your MSP content marketing yourself or outsource:
Time: Do you have the time to devote to content marketing? If you are already stretched thin with your MSP business, it may be more efficient to outsource your content marketing to free up your time for other tasks.
Expertise: Do you have the knowledge and expertise to create effective content marketing campaigns? If not, outsourcing to a professional may be a good idea.
Budget: Do you have the budget to hire a professional to handle your content marketing? Remember that investing in content marketing can pay off in the long run, but it may not be feasible if you are on a tight budget.
Goals: What are your goals for your MSP business? If you are trying to reach a wider audience or grow your business, outsourcing your content marketing to a professional may help you achieve those goals more effectively.
Ultimately, the decision to do your MSP content marketing yourself or outsource will depend on your specific needs and resources. It may be helpful to consider the pros and cons of each option and determine which one is the best fit for your MSP business.
Pros of Outsourcing
Outsourcing your content marketing has the following benefits:
- It saves time, and most MSPs are not equipped to write marketing content
- It keeps you focused on working on your business
- Working with professional writers and marketers will help your content stand out
- Content written by SEO professionals is more likely to rank and be found by your audience
- It is budget-friendly, vs. having a full-time marketing person that can write great content may be expensive.
Cons of Outsourcing
It also comes with a few drawbacks. These include:
- You may end up with content that isn’t completely aligned with your goals or brand voice
- The quality may not be up to your standards
- You may not have control over the delivery and timing
Getting Started with MSP Content Marketing
Now that you have a good grasp on MSP content marketing and have decided whether or not you should outsource it let’s look at how to get started.
At Seota, we normally start a new piece of content with a content brief. A content brief is a document that outlines the specific details and goals of your MSP content marketing project. It is a way for the content creator and the client or marketing team to communicate and align on purpose, target audience, message, tone, and other important aspects of what is being created. A content brief serves as a roadmap for the content creation process, helping to ensure that the final product meets the intended objectives and aligns with the overall MSP marketing strategy.
Here are some common elements that may be included in a content brief:
Project overview: A project summary, including the purpose, target audience, and overall goals of what is being created.
Message and tone: The key message or messages that the content should convey, as well as the tone or style in which it should be communicated.
Format: The type of content that will be created (e.g. blog post, video, infographic, etc.) and any specific formatting requirements.
Target audience: A description of the target audience for the content, including demographics and interests.
Keywords: The specific keywords or phrases the content should focus on, if applicable.
Distribution channels: The platforms or channels through which the content will be distributed (e.g. website, social media, email, etc.).
Schedule: A timeline for the content creation process, including deadlines for drafts, revisions, and final approval.
A content brief can be a valuable tool for ensuring that the content marketing project is focused, aligned with the overall MSP marketing strategy, and effectively achieving its goals.
Step 1: Top Idea Generation
Create a list of topics you want to cover in your content. To get started, think about the following:
- What are common questions your customers ask?
- What problems do they have that your MSP could help solve?
- What trends or news stories concern them? (recent ransomware issues in your local market, regulations, audits, compliance and so forth)
Step 2: Know What You’re Saying
Before writing, plan out what you want to say. Decide what points you need to make and the key messages your content will convey. Doing this will help ensure that your content is consistent and on message.
If you don’t know about a certain topic, it would be better to research it completely before writing or to outsource it.
Step 3: Know Your Audience
This step is critical for content success. You need to know your audience and what kind of content will appeal to them.
Think about the following:
- What vernacular do they use? (formal, legal terminology, medical terminology, and so on)
- What topics are important to them?
- Where can you find them online?
Once you know this information, creating content that resonates with them will be easier.
Step 4: Focus on the Consumer Journey
Content should be tailored to each stage of the consumer journey. That way, you can ensure that your audience gets everything they need throughout their experience with your business.
For example, top-of-funnel content will introduce potential customers to your brand, while mid-funnel content offers more in-depth information on why they should choose your services. Bottom-of-funnel content should focus on showing them why they should purchase from you.
Step 5: Differentiate Content Types
Different content types will be better suited for different stages of the buyer’s journey. For example, blog posts are great for top-of-funnel content, while white papers and ebooks work well at the bottom of the funnel.
When creating content, mix up the types to keep readers engaged and ensure that you’re reaching your audience in the best way possible.
Step 6: Review, Measure, and Adjust
Content marketing isn’t a “set it and forget it” type of strategy. To get the most out of your content, you need to review the results and make adjustments if needed.
Look at things like engagement levels, website traffic, leads generated, and conversions to see how well your content is performing. If it’s not meeting your expectations, try different content types or topics to see if you can get better results.
Types of Content to Create
As an MSP or IT support company, your content marketing strategy should focus on demonstrating your expertise and value in providing IT support and management services to small and medium-sized businesses. Here are some ideas for content to create for your MSP marketing strategy:
Blog posts: The most common way to share your knowledge and expertise on IT-related topics that would be relevant to your target audience. Regular, thoughtful blogs can help establish you as a thought leader in the industry.
Case studies: Share success stories of how you helped a client solve a specific IT challenge or improve their overall IT infrastructure. If you can focus these case studies on a specific niche, they will be more impactful. This can help potential clients understand the value you can bring to their business.
Ebooks: Create a longer-form piece of content, such as an ebook, that covers a specific topic in depth. This could be a great lead generation tool if you offer it in exchange for an email address. As an example, these lessons on MSP marketing could be combined into an ebook.
Videos: Create videos that showcase your services or explain complex IT concepts in an easy-to-understand way.
Infographics: Use infographics to break down complex information or data in a visually appealing way.
Social media posts: Use social media to share updates, industry news, and helpful tips with your followers.
Email newsletters: Send regular newsletters to subscribers with updates on your business, industry news, helpful tips, and small business resources.
Content marketing is an effective way to reach and engage your target audience. To get the most out of it, you must create content tailored to each stage of the customer journey (or marketing funnel). You should also review, measure, and adjust your content to refine your strategy and maximize its effectiveness continually.
Overall, your content marketing strategy should focus on creating valuable and informative content that helps potential clients understand the benefits of working with an MSP and how you can specifically help their business.
Hopefully, this article has given you the insight and knowledge you need to get started with content marketing for your MSP.