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Maria Baradell

As a channel-only VoIP provider, Cytracom strives to help our partners grow their business. That’s why we will be publishing articles to guide you on gaining more leads and closing more deals this year.

Is your MSP using the same old marketing and sales techniques from 10 years ago? Do you do advertise in newspapers or magazines? Are you cold calling or blasting emails?

The problem with these old, expensive marketing techniques is that they are interruptive. Print advertising and cold calls/emails get in the way of people’s productivity during the day. Potential prospects are growing increasingly tired of these techniques and using these old methods may  push potential customers away from your business.

Not only are people ignoring these old, expensive marketing techniques, the return on their investment is extremely hard to track and measure, and they have very little impact on the bottom line. There must be a better way, right?

Enter Inbound Marketing: a way to attract clients by delivering the right message, at the right time, in the right channels, so they find you relevant and helpful, rather than interruptive.

According to HubSpot, a marketing platform for businesses of all sizes, inbound marketing makes it easier to capture potential customers’ attention than the old techniques we discussed earlier. This is because inbound marketing focuses on the creation of content designed to address the problems and needs of your ideal customers. An inbound marketing strategy attracts qualified prospects and builds trust and credibility for your business.

Now, what actions should an MSP take to attract more highly qualified prospects? How can we get them to contact you? And how could you close more deals? Let’s take a look at the image below:

The Four Pillars of Inbound Marketing

1. Attract

Your potential clients are out there searching online for terms like “IT support in [city],” or perhaps “IT services in [city],” because they need urgent help solving their technology issues. They have this sense of urgency because they cannot get anything done until they have their network serviced or their computers fixed. They need help now, but can they find your MSP in their time of need?

If your answer is no, then your MSP probably needs to do the following:

  1. Generate helpful content that addresses the most common issues your potential clients might have.
  2. Make sure you include keywords or search terms your potential customers might use.
  3. Design a website that is modern, mobile responsive, fast, secure and optimized for search.
  4. Create text ads for those keywords you are targeting, so your website shows up first when people search for those terms.
  5. Advertise on social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, and even Instagram) by sponsoring posts with content your target audience might find helpful.

It's important that you know your audience inside and out—and understand the message that will resonate with them, the best placements for your ads and content, and the most compelling images or videos that will catch their attention. Buyer Persona Research, an exercise that will let you better understand your buyer, is an important first step to better understanding your target audience and the buying journey they go through before deciding on an IT provider.


2. Convert

Once these visitors land on your website, you have the opportunity to convert them into customers. To get this conversion, they must call you or contact you via a form. Your website must have the right message, and above all, be user-friendly. This means your website must be easy to use and navigate, have legible fonts, and a clear path to conversion - a series of calls-to-action (CTAs) that will drive these visitors to the click-to-call button or a form to get in touch with you.

Downloadable assets like eBooks, white papers, or interactive network health assessments also help capture web visitors’ information (name, phone number and email). The use of landing pages - web pages with no navigation or footer, usually hosted in a subdomain like info.yourdomain.com - help prospects stay distraction-free in order to increase the chances of conversion.

You can also run a remarketing campaign for those web visitors that abandoned your website before giving you a call. These campaigns target visitors with display ads when they surf other sites to keep your solution top of mind.

Also, make sure you offer different ways to get in touch. Have a contact page, a contact form at the bottom or side of each page, your phone number in both the header and the footer of your website, and offer live chat assistance.

Many IT providers stay away from live chat because they think they have to be online 24/7 to answer the chat. That used to be the case, but not anymore. With tools like Intercom.io, you can personalize the chat interface with your office hours and automated messages for when you are away from your desk. Intercom will ask visitors that initiate a conversation with you to leave their email and phone number to be contacted in case you cannot answer right away.


3. Close

When a prospect calls your office, it's incredibly important to handle the call cordially. It's crucial that the best answers to the most common questions are scripted, so that the messaging is consistent from that first online interaction to the first appointment-making call.

If a prospect fills out a form on your website, a thank-you page must be shown, a follow-up email must be sent letting them know you have gotten their request, and a call must happen as soon as humanly possible.

When a prospect downloads a content asset on your website, you can create email nurturing sequences to help them along their decision journey until they are ready to give you a call.


4. Delight

A client must feel delighted during their whole interaction with your business in order to leave a favorable review and recommend you to friends and family. Delight should start during their visit to your user-friendly website, continue during the calls and meetings, and be reinforced during any future interaction with your company. Here are some ideas on how to best delight your clients after they make an appointment:

  • Send a "thank you for your trust in our IT support" email
  • Enter them in a highly targeted email sequence with helpful content specifically crafted for people in their line of business
  • Politely ask them to review their experience on social networks
  • Send them a survey of their experience during their calls and meetings, so you can improve upon the results
  • Serve them content on your website that is personalized to their needs. This can be done with marketing platforms like HubSpot

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