In just a few short decades, the state of marketing business services has changed out of all recognition. Fundamentally, the same principles are in play, but how those principles are manifested and the platforms used to express those principles are pretty much completely different from just 30 or 40 years ago. This has huge implications when it comes to marketing MSP services.
In the old days, much of business marketing was handled largely via a couple of key platforms as the yellow pages and newspaper advertising. The cost of both was such that by simply having a noticeable presence in these two media, your business was expressing its size and strength as an organization and therefore, its authority. Consumers of your services in those days tended to look upon you as deigning to deal with them. After all, if you were handling some service for them, they too must be important, right?
Today, however, things are very different. Radio and television advertising first eclipsed print. Then next came the Internet! Pretty much anyone can establish a reasonable presence with advertising on the internet and besides, most people are now programmed to ignore those ‘pesky’ ads. At the same time, the weight of marketing success has been shifting from outbound to inbound. So, what should an MSP services company do in order to cultivate business through inbound marketing in this brave new world?
The key is to apply the same fundamental principles, but in a way, that is truly effective with today’s always-connected digital world.
The more authority you engender, the more confidence prospects will have about getting in touch. The internet provides a wide range of opportunities to develop that authority, but it does depend on investing in contributing to the overall value of the internet. Blog posts, guest articles, interviews, white papers, free training, reference tools, free downloads, and valuable trial products/services are all extremely powerful ways to give back on the internet while building your authority.
Do not Forget Offline
It can be too easy to focus all your efforts online and forget that ultimately, your business depends on a real live human being making that buying decision. Many of the same opportunities that you might take online can also be deployed offline. Free training, seminars, organization of exhibitions/expos, partnerships with academic and research institutions, TV and radio interviews, even publishing reference materials and white papers in print— all of these get your name out there while at the same time building your authority and your name as an organization that invests in both the community and the industry.
The day of the social media influencer may soon be drawing to an end. The public has grown all-too-aware of the manipulation to which they are subject to paid-for agents of slick marketing. However, that does not mean that social media is not important. It absolutely is! The two-way, often remarkably personal communication made possible by some social media networks is extremely powerful. It is a great way to give your organization a truly personal and human feel. It is also a great way to garner valuable feedback and, dare we say it, attract inbound marketing traffic.
In conjunction with the more formal social media channels, streaming media like YouTube is an incredible opportunity to attract a powerful following, build your authority, and foster innovation. Online video is also a fantastic way to educate both prospects and existing clients. Much of the investment in the production of online video content can be repurposed for use in other areas such as trade fairs, seminars, and offline training.
Taking just a few formative steps that combine your online and offline inbound marketing strategies can really transform the reach of those efforts. Do not be afraid to try new things. Innovation is another one of the key principles of successful inbound marketing. Seek new ways to apply the industry-standard tools and technologies in your business. Whether or not you find them successful, sharing your experience with the wider market helps to build your brand as that of a leading-edge MSP services provider.