If you are a small or medium sized managed service provider (MSP), marketing is probably not on the top of your priority list. This is likely because you don’t have the time or money to invest in marketing campaigns that may have little return on investment, or you don’t have a dedicated in-house marketing person to help continually generate leads. You need to focus servicing your clients, and converting leads that come either from your website or the occasional trade show. This is understandable, however continually generating new leads is crucial to converting sales and growing a business.
Even if you run and manage a MSP by yourself or with just a small team, there are still many ways you can market your company’s services with a small amount of time and money. Below I have listed three cost effective advertising methods that are easy to use and take only a few hours to set up.
One of the most effective and underutilized advertising platforms is Facebook. The main advantage of using Facebook to market to business owners is it allows you to very specifically target and identify your audience, so your not wasting money. For instance, I can set the parameters to target business owners within 50 miles of Norwalk, Conn. and it shows me that 2,400 users fit this profile. I can then tailor a message to this audience and know that anyone who sees the ad fits the profile I specified. Facebook is a particularly advantageous medium for MSPs to reach business owners because many small and medium business owners are active on Facebook promoting their own brand. Just make sure you direct the viewer to an appropriate page on your website or a landing page where you know they will see the value of your services, and convert.
Google AdWords offers many of the same targeting features as Facebook, though I find it more difficult to narrowly target business owners because of its vast audience. However, if you are working with a tight budget, AdWords offers some unique features that set it apart from other online advertising platforms.
Have you ever visited a website, and then had an advertisement for that website follow you for the next week on almost any other website you go to? That is Google AdWords remarketing. All you have to do is place a snippet of code in the header or footer of your website and AdWords will generate a list comprised of every user who visits your site. You can then use this list to craft simple text or image ads that bring those already interested users back to your site with a promotion or landing page to submit their information. The ads will appear on any website that enables AdWords but they will only be visible to the users who were previously on your website, so again, you are not wasting money on random clicks.
You can also utilize Google AdWords for a quick SEO fix. Typically, optimizing your website for search engines is a long and tedious process that doesn’t always have guaranteed results. AdWords allows you to bypass this process by bidding on a top ranked search spot when certain terms that you specify are entered into the search engine. This is beneficial because it allows you target users who are searching for something specifically related to your business. For instance, if your company provides data backup services in Pittsburgh, you want your company’s website to show up first when a user searches “data backup services in Pittsburgh”.
There are a handful of other great online advertising tools, but these are two of the easiest ones to use with the highest ROI.
If you don’t have the time to use these tools or you are looking for additional cost effective marketing strategies, look to your backup and disaster recovery solutions partner for assistance. Some BDR providers including Datto Inc. assist partners with marketing efforts. Datto’s campaign-in-a-box provides customizable marketing materials that you can re-brand and tailor to meet your specific marketing needs.
Have any other suggestions about marketing to SMBs on a budget? Leave them in the comments below.
Nicholas Lemieux is a Digital Marketing and Web Manager with Datto.