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Marketing Strategy Uncategorized

Is Marketing for Your MSP a Waste of Time?

If you’re reading this now, chances are you’re asking yourself this same question, is marketing for my Managed Service Provider a waste of time? The answer is yes AND no. Confused yet? Don’t worry, by the end of all of this, you will understand what I mean. 

With remote work here to stay, MSPs are facing one of the biggest opportunities for growth in the history of the industry. So how can you be a part of this growth? Well first, it’s important that you not forget that growing your MSP takes time and effort, it’s not just going to happen overnight. 

No matter what industry you’re in, growth requires strategy, and a big part of that strategy is in how you interact with prospective clients. How you interact with your prospective clients all comes down to your marketing strategy. So going back to our question, the answer is no, marketing for your MSP is not a waste of time, but also yes, because it is a waste of time if not executed properly. 

If you’re feeling like you’re wasting your time marketing for your MSP, here are some of the most common marketing issues that our MSPs run into below – and some solutions. 

1. You don’t know who you’re marketing to. 

Something that we’ve noticed a lot of MSPs doing is market to the wrong person. If this is you, you may be thinking, “But marketing is marketing right? If I’m getting the word out, I’ll at least get some leads.” The truth is that if you put content out, not everyone is going to like it. We’re all different, and your prospective clients have different likes, needs, and ways of communicating. 

That is why, marketing must be personalized to your ideal client. So, who is your ideal client? Do they hang out on Instagram, do they like listening to the radio, etc.? What do they like to do? What do they need you to help them with? How would they ask you for help? 

Once you’ve done a bit of research and answered these questions, start building a marketing strategy that caters to each “persona” of your ideal client and watch the leads roll in.  

 

2. You’re not building brand awareness. 

Brand awareness can sometimes feel like a waste of time because awareness is not the same as having a client actually purchase your services. Although it is not likely that brand awareness will give you a direct ROI, it IS a key aspect to building trust with your ideal client. 

People will not purchase what they don’t trust. Your ideal client needs to first be aware of who you are. Without building awareness and letting your potential clients get to know who you are, it is not very likely that you will have many clients. 

Imagine your ideal client is doing a Google search for a new MSP and your name pops up, along with many others. Your ideal client will choose the MSP that they know and trust. Every. Single. Time. That is why it’s so important that you build brand awareness, even if a potential client is not thinking of attaining a new MSP at the moment. If the first time that your ideal client sees your name is the same moment that they do a Google search, you have already lost them.  

Brand awareness campaigns are a fundamental part of an overall marketing strategy. If no one has heard of you or seen your logo before, the chances of having them engage with you when you do end up using a direct marketing approach are slim to none. Even if your ideal client is not interacting with you right away, by building brand awareness, you will subconsciously grab their attention so that when they do look for an MSP, it will be more likely that they choose yours. 

 

3. Your message is confusing.  

Donald Miller says, “if you confuse, you’ll lose.” You only have a limited amount of time to captivate your audience, and if your content is full of jargon, you’re going to lose them.  

Likely, you spend so much time on your business that you end up eating, sleeping, breathing, and talking MSP. But those looking for you to solve their problems won’t have the same knowledge and familiarity with your MSP that you have. That’s why it’s important to market your MSP content without jargon, so that the people who are looking for help, will know that they are looking for YOUR help. 

Answering your potential clients’ questions with complex explanations will confuse and intimidate them. It’s important to simplify and translate your content so that anyone who sees it will be able to understand it. And keep in mind that even though you understand what you are saying, your ideal client may not. 

Before you send your next marketing piece, or your sales team rhymes off an answer to a problem your prospective client has, ask yourselves, “How much does this client know about my MSP?” Then review your materials with that question in mind. 

You might find you have to rewrite some things, but it will be well worth the time.

So, what’s next? 

If you’re not gaining leads, you’re wasting your time marketing your MSP and it’s time to start building a strategic marketing plan. Fixing your marketing is easier than you think, and you don’t have to do it alone.  

Don’t waste your time. Contact us if you need help building a strategy for marketing your MSP. 

Categories
Content Marketing Marketing Strategy SEO Website Design and Development

Your Website: The Key to Recruiting Top Talent?

When it comes to recruiting top talent, is your website working for you? Is it doing all it can? 

By now most companies know their website is key to attracting and connecting with their perfect clients. 

But this is 2021. 

Your website has the potential to proactively attract, create and keep clients, communicate your corporate culture, AND attract and recruit talent to your business. That’s right. In today’s global digital economy, qualified and enthusiastic talent are screening you through your website. 

So, how are you ranking in that area? Is your website attracting those brilliant minds of the future, or do they pass you over and keep looking?

Don’t worry, it’s not all doom and gloom. The best time to make a change is now and we’ve provided a few key steps you can take to start leveraging your website to attract the best talent and the best employees now!

Mobile-Friendly Website vs. Unique Mobile Experience

If your website is mobile-friendly, you’re on the right track. But the mobile experience is a different story. Your website must be optimized for the mobile experience to measure up and work for you in attracting great talent as well as great clients.

According to Google, there are 27.8 billion more search queries performed on mobile than on desktop. No, this isn’t an SEO-focused blog, but this one stat alone suggests that you as a business should be thinking about mobile-first.

When a visitor makes their way to your website on their mobile, think about these elements of the user experience: Does it load quickly? Are they able to find what they need quickly? If you’re inviting them to take some action, is it simple and fast enough to warrant their follow through?

If you’re thinking that your website should be more about your potential clients, sure, it could be. But in 2019 Glassdoor reported that 58% of job seekers use their mobile devices to search for jobs.  Convinced yet?

Your Careers Webpage and Hiring Process

If you have one, great! Now get that button onto the front page of your website in an easy to find location, and create a small primer section that will attract a click to learn more on your careers page.

This is where you make the case that working for your company is the right career move for them.  Like a perfect client, prospective employees are screening you for a sense of what it would be like to work with you and your team.

In addition to the basics (benefits, executive bios, corporate values and mission, company history), offer links to your blog and social media pages, and consider adding video. This could be anything from a virtual tour of the office, or interviews with existing employees about their experience working for the company to really give people a feel for your company culture.

Be as real and open as possible. You want to attract the right employees. Presenting a façade will only disappoint you and the candidates when they get to their interviews, wasting valuable time and energy for everyone.

Your Online Application

Don’t forget mobile friendly and mobile experience are key to this process. Your online application form should be simple, fast loading, and easy to fill out. There’s no need to sacrifice function for simplicity. Use a form that will allow your candidates to upload a cover letter and full resume. So many companies don’t and that’s a missed opportunity.

A cover letter invites your applicant to demonstrate who they are and their unique value to you, their prospective employer.

Not to mention, an online form can give valuable clues about their attention to detail, communication skills, and their overall passion for your industry, business, and product or service.

The Rest of Your Website and Digital Visibility

Your website provides a great first opportunity to gather interesting information from your candidates. But it also tells your candidates a lot about what you do, how you do it, and what separates you from other potential employers.

As you carefully craft your messaging throughout your website, newsletters, blogs, and social media profiles, be sure to include subscribe buttons and social links that bring candidates and your perfect clients to your content. Then, create thoughtful and relevant content regularly across every digital channel you can.

The message you’re sending should drive home the idea that you and your company will provide the most attractive and relevant career opportunity for your candidate. Even when the content you’re putting out on each channel is not directly aimed at your candidates, they will convey these messages when they are relevant to your perfect clients.

Just think about what motivates employees to seek a career change: negative work environments, need for growth, and an opportunity to realize one’s career aspirations. When your website and digital spaces are answering the true questions and needs of prospective clients and employees, you will undoubtedly attract more of the perfect applicants when you post your jobs on social media and job boards.

Of course, we’d love to help you get the most out of your website and digital spaces! It starts with a conversation. Call us today at 613.331.3252.

Categories
Content Marketing Digital Marketing Lead Generation Marketing Strategy

Digital Marketing Tactics vs. Strategy

Wishing your phone would ring?

As a business owner myself, I am often (almost daily) informed about some new way to advertise my business or some new online tool that is going to revolutionize my business. These tools could be super useful, and the advertising method may attract attention and maybe even clients. 

However, the reality is often that the new advertising method or tool doesn’t result in new clients, and business owners like us are left feeling like we threw our money away.  

Here are a few questions every business owner should be asking themselves when it comes to their advertising and marketing opportunities: 

  1. If I’m attracting attention, what do I have in place to make sure its the right kind of attention? 
  2. Do I have tools working for me that ensure I achieve the maximum benefit of the attention I get? 
  3. The buying cycle is about the clients decision-making process, so how am helping the clients inform their process and move them closer towards trusting my business? 
  4. If Im getting attention, and maybe even phone calls and opportunities to create clients from the attention, am I properly positioned to do so? Can I handle the work? 

This is where the advertisers and marketers calling you with a new way to market run into trouble. They tell you about all the reach you are going to get because you bought into the advertising opportunity. What they don’t do is help you make sure you are set up to create and receive clients from your advertising and marketing efforts. 

Back to Basics 

Before developing a marketing strategy complete with tactics, a business must consider some basic business and marketing plan essentials. Think about these elements of your business: 

  • Who or what is my business? 
  • What do we do? Why or how are we better than the competition? 
  • Who are my clients? 
  • What problem do we solve for clients? 
  • Where do my clients come from? How do I find them?
  • Who is my favourite client? Where did I find them?
  • Who are my competitors? Who do my favourite clients think are my competitors? Who does google say my competitors are?
  • If I receive more phone calls or sell more products, can I handle that? Do I have a growth strategy?
  • What’s the true lifetime value of a client? How do I know if my marketing dollars made a return?
  • Does my pricing structure support the cost of growth? 

It’s only after we back up a little and ensure that these essentials have been considered that we can write a marketing plan that includes a social media and digital marketing strategy for your business. 

The Magic Potion of Digital Marketing 

Anyone can post an ad on Google or Facebook; the tools are relatively easy to use. You can push out the message easily, just like running a radio ad. Yes, people will hear about you for sure. They may even mention the ad if they become a client. But what they don’t share is the journey they took to decide to become your client and that it wasn’t the ad itself that led them to their decision.  Just like the radio.

An ad without a strategy does not create a client. It may help people know your business name. But that’s about all it does.

Your digital strategy itself must include a plan for nurturing your perfect client along through the buying cycle of your business, whether the buying cycle is a 15 minute, an 8 week, or even a 1-year cycle. This part of the strategy is the magic potion of a digital marketing and simply running an ad or putting up a website will not help you with this. 

At Stone City Digital Inc., this magic potion is our differentiator. Our unique 4 stage marketing process, takes our clients back to the essentials, creates clarity around your brand and your product and builds a wholistic strategy to connect you with your perfect clients at every stage of the buying decision.  This magic potion recipe is different for every business, and we are committed to discovering yours with you. 

The Client Journey 

When you’ve got the ingredients right, a great nurture sequence, and you are reaching people who are exactly like your perfect clients, the client journey goes a little like this:

Stage 1: Initial contact 

The potential client heard the radio ad, received a piece of direct mail, saw an ad online while reading their morning news, or even saw a billboard ad they pass by every day.  Soon after, they looked up your business on Google, by name. Maybe they even went to your website to check out your brand and your pricing. Perhaps they noticed your Google reviews. Two were 5star reviews but there was a 2-star review there too. Finally, they also checked out your competitors, by searching for your keywords on google and decided to hold off a bit, they couldn’t decide on following through. 

Stage 2: Reminder but no need and no follow through 

A few weeks later an ad popped up on Facebook and caught their attention. They took no action, it wasn’t the right time. A few days later, while on YouTube, a quick 6 second commercial popped up while they were watching a funny video AND their favourite vlog. They hit “skip ad” and kept watching their video. Still naction. 

Stage 3: The need arises 

The need for your product or service truly arises, and the potential client realizes they shouldn’t delay the purchase anymore, so they return to your website either searching your business name or typing in your keyword. You’re #3 on a list of 10 or 11, but they know your brand so they click yours first.  

When they land on your website they notice an article titled “10 Questions you don’t know you should ask us before you buy from us.”  They have to add their email address to read the whole thing but you’ve peaked their interest, they give you their email address and go ahead and read. They visit your competitors sites too, but they don’t have an article and your prospective client is out of time today… they’ll finish this later.

In the meanwhile they get an email thanking them for being well informed customers and provides a few details that weren’t in the article or listed on the website. The email also asks them a few questions about what they might be most interested in or if they have any more questions… From here they are treated to a scheduled group of emails based on their answers to the questions in their first e-mail Every contact with them being meaningful and helpful, never pushy. From time to time a coupon for extreme savings is included but mostly it’s great information.

Stage 4: It’s time to buy

Finally, the time has come.  The prospective client awakes in the morning and knows they must finally buy your product or service and they remember that they have a coupon in their e-mail in box, they didn’t delete it. They decide they’ll reach out to you to complete the purchase with you today.  Your phone rings and your sales team does everything right.  When your team asks “how did you find out about us?” they answer, “from Google”.  

Stage 5: After the sale

The sale is finalized and in true professional form, your new client gets a welcome message and enters into an email sequence written to ensure that your client feels welcome and confident in the quality of their purchase.  What’s more, your post sale e-mails confirm that once they buy they are still important to you. So, when they need to buy again, they’ll buy with you.

Connecting with your perfect client 

Great marketing is more than running an ad or posting on social media. It’s a process of meeting your perfect client before they need you and then being available to them at every stage of the journey. The results are indisputable. You know your marketing works, when your perfect clients are coming to you first because they already trust you before they’re ready to buy.  

There’s no silver bullet to any marketing. Yes, we use tactics and some commonly used tools that anyone else can use. However, Stone City Digital Inc. critically addresses the essential questions listed above by ensuring that you have a marketing and digital marketing strategy that includes a plan for nurturing your perfect client through the entire buying cycle of your business.  

The next time you consider an advertising opportunity, ask yourself, “Is this tactic going to bring me my perfect client and get them into my buying cycle so I can nurture my relationship with them? “

If your answer is no or even I don’t know,” call us. We can help.

Categories
Digital Marketing Marketing Strategy

Know Your Business, Know Your Value

Your Business, Your Value

Youre an expert in your business.  

You know your business or product better than anyone and you know the value you bring to your clients. 

But have you written that information down and used it consistently? Have you clearly stated your value proposition in digital spaces such as your website and your Facebook page?  

Why Should They Choose You?

Your value proposition is ultimately a brief explanation to clients and customers as to why they should purchase from you or hire you instead of someone else. Essentially, your value proposition is an outline of what makes you unique. 

For example, our unique value proposition at Stone City Digital Inc. is that, “We build and implement digital marketing strategies while educating, engaging and empowering our clients to participate fully in their digital marketing strategy through their entire business lifecycle.” Our purpose at Stone City Digital Inc. is to teach businesses to fish rather than to sell them fish.  

Analyze Yourself

Now, consider your own business and ask yourself these questions: 

  • What is it that your business does? 
  • How does it make your clients lives better? 
  • How do you do it? 
  • How does your competition do it? 
  • Why are you the best choice above all other competitors? 

Spend a little time with these questions if you haven’t already, and write down your answers. Writing this information down is key to focusing your business’ purpose and offeringsAttempt to combine your answers into a nice and tidy little statement in one or two sentences (or even less).   

Need help?

If you’re finding that you are having a little trouble composing your unique value proposition, check out Strategyzer’s explanation here: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=D254suPMpwY&feature=emb_logo 

Categories
Digital Marketing

Is Going Digital Driving You Crazy?

Are you struggling to get your business online? 

You know you need to be online because all the experts say so!

Figuring out which digital route to go with your business can be overwhelming—but it doesn’t have to be. 

Stay tuned as we outline various marketing strategies to get your business online and reach your ideal customers and clients.