Managed service providers (MSPs) often find themselves in this dilemma — a business prospect listens to your proposed plan of how to manage their system, and they seem to agree with it. However, when they heard how much it would cost them, they forgot all the problems and pains they’d mentioned earlier.
So poof! There goes your prospect! This scenario, however, is not uncommon because a lot of SMBs are still skeptical about managed services. They might have a myriad of reasons why they have difficulty investing in the solution you are presenting to them.
No matter what the reason is, MSPs need to understand that if they want to sell their services successfully, they have to educate their customers. To quote former Hubspot Academy Vice President, Mark Kilens :
The businesses that are the best educators will be the most successful.
Remember, though that leading your customers to a buying decision is a journey that requires steps. In other words, education takes time — a lot of time.
Hence, the million dollar question is — what types of content will help MSP leads transition smoothly from level to level until they arrive at the buying decision?
Creating Product/Brand Awareness Without Being Annoying
The buyer journey starts here, and there’s no better place to build and create awareness for your brand than on your website or blog.
Brand awareness is a tricky business, though. If you don’t do it right at this point, you can potentially hurt your business.
Most often than not, businesses have this impression that building your brand means talking about yourself and your achievement all the time. That’s a big mistake, of course. Have you ever tried talking to someone who only talks about himself all the time?
It’s annoying and tiresome. That’s because each of us has our problems, and our default is always to focus on ourselves rather than the other person. We don’t want another talker, especially if we are looking for a solution to our problem. All we need is someone listening to us.
Therefore, if you keep talking about the latest award you received or a new employee you hired, they might click, but they won’t stay. Your award or your new employee is not the answer to their pain. And you know for sure that clicks do not mean anything unless you are a news website. What you want is a conversion that leads to a sale.
What do your MSP leads want at this point? How do you introduce your brand while making them aware of who you are as a business?
Give them content in the form of how-tos and 101 articles. Through these types of content, you are giving them a step-by-step solution that makes life easier for them. Those solutions introduce the system and technology you have as well as showcase your expertise.
Nurturing MSP Leads at the Consideration Stage
At this point, your prospect already knows a thing or two about their needs and the types of solutions available. They are also beginning to compare solutions and usually choose the top three vendors before they finally decide.
To further strengthen your claim as an expert in the field and demonstrate your desire to help them, use demo videos and case studies on how you can solve the pain point they are experiencing at the moment through demo videos and case studies.
Remember: don’t make a sales pitch during this stage.
Although your prospect is looking for a solution, they are still gathering information. Making a sales pitch during this time can destroy your lead nurturing strategy.
Aside from demos and case studies, you can also present success stories that are both educational and entertaining. No matter what stage they are in their buyer’s journey, help them. If you can satisfy their needs, they will go with you onto the next level.
Getting More Personal at the Decision Stage
During this stage, your prospective customer has a thorough knowledge of your product and the solution you offer him. He might be “holding his wallet” at this point. If you convince him to make the purchase, a highly personalized content highlights your competitive advantage and unique value proposition.
The type of content at this stage should not only provide all the information your prospect would like to know before buying but also eliminate any objections they have that give them second thoughts.
The ideal content types you can use to accomplish this are FAQs, testimonials, case studies, product/service demos, and product comparisons. You can also offer a free trial or conduct an audit, so your MPS leads and prospects have a first-hand experience of your product.
Learn how we planned, executed, and refined this managed IT firm’s campaigns in this short video.
Wrapping It All Up
Content is indeed essential in attracting, nurturing, and converting customers; thus, MSPs need to consider the purpose of each content they put out there. They also need to understand that at the heart of every successful content marketing campaign is a solid buyer persona. When you, as a service provider, know who your ideal customer is, you’ll be able to create content that will inspire your MSP leads and make them take further action.
Once you have your buyer persona, you also need to consider each sales cycle stage. Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes and imagine what kind of content would you consume at each stage. More so, what type of content would lead them to a purchasing decision?