Marketing is an ever-changing discipline. Just as IT professionals have to continue learning and adapting throughout their careers to keep up with technology, so must the marketing specialist adapt to changing trends and consumer behavior.
What does marketing look like in 2018? Aside from the real unknowns (such as the dozens of new social media platforms that will probably launch), we can only predict based on the trajectory of current trends. In that regard, all signs point to branding and content marketing.
Brand Building for MSPs
Studies have shown that nearly zero prospects will convert into customers on the first visit to your website. The same goes for most “first contact” situations. It takes time for marketing to work its magic, and multiple touches with a prospect before they’re ready to convert.
In most cases, the prospect will look in several different places for more information about you. (This is why it’s important to own your presence on sites like Yelp, Facebook, the BBB, and Google MyBusiness.) During this phase of relationship, it’s important to put things like positive reviews and vendor relationships in the limelight. Bringing attention to your partnerships with large companies like Microsoft, HP, and Cisco is an effective way to demonstrate your company’s value and to give prospects the impression of a larger operational scope.
This is also a critical time for content marketing, the second major trend we can expect to carry on through the coming year.
Content Marketing for MSPs
There’s quite a bit going on in the world of content marketing. MSP marketing professionals like us are constantly evaluating our methods to best leverage search engine algorithms and consumer behavior.
Needless to say, when it comes to blogging for business, it’s a lot more complicated than just throwing a few hundred words into your favorite blogging platform. There’s SEO to consider, as well as actual readability, perceived value, calls to action, and numerous other factors.
Most importantly — and most MSP marketing companies tend to ignore this fact — both search engines and humans prioritize content that provides the best user experience. Yes, there is value to understanding SEO and using best-practices for search traffic, but at the end of the day, it’s the human reader that turns into a client. Google is also known for changing their algorithm regularly, often to the dismay of so-called SEO experts. These changes don’t bother us that much, however, because we understand the reason why Google changes their algorithm: to improve the quality of the content that ranks. Google doesn’t want someone’s search results to be loaded with terrible, keyword-stuffed articles that are really only there to trick a search engine (can you blame them?).
As long as you publish useful, readable, valuable content, SEO is just icing on the cake. Search Engine Optimization becomes the “X factor” that puts your useful content ahead of others’, not the sole driving force behind your writing.
Of course, writing valuable content that’s SEO-friendly is no mean feat. Most business owners don’t have the time or the inclination to do it properly.
We created MarketStash for MSP owners who want to put the burden of content creation where it belongs: with trained professionals. If you want to leverage the marketing trends of 2018 to grow your business, but you don’t want to figure it out on your own, become a member! We’ll create the content and help build your brand, leaving you free to run your MSP and care for your clients.