One of the break-out sessions I attended at last week’s Cloud Summit event that I thought deserved its own blog was a marketing presentation hosted by Ingram VP of Marketing, Jennifer Anaya, and managed services provider Platte River Networks’ VP of Sales and Marketing, David DeCamillis.
As an MSP, DeCamillis understands the fact that small IT service provider companies don’t the budgets or internal resources to run expensive billboard and media advertising campaigns. But, that doesn’t mean they need to relegate themselves to adopting a marketing strategy that uses only “word of mouth.” Both DeCamillis and Anaya challenged attendees to use their marketing budgets better. Here are a few highlights from the session.
“A survey of CMOs found that 78% believe that content marketing is the future of advertising,” said DeCamillis. Furthermore, the average cost to generate leads from content marketing is $143 – or half – the cost of traditional marketing.”
So, is he suggesting you need to hire a profession writer, photographer, and videographer to invest in a content marketing campaign? No. Here are three tips for creating good content and improving your marketing effectiveness on a tight budget:
- Befriend an Editor. “The easiest way to get your VAR/MSP practice covered is to introduce yourself to a B2B editor,” said Anaya. “These guys work on tight deadlines, and if they know you’re available and reliable you’ll greatly increase your chances to be quoted – or perhaps featured – in their magazine or online publication.”
- Video Your Employees and Customers. To a prospect all VARs and MSPs look alike. Where do they get that impression? Your website. Nearly every IT service provider’s website has the same vendors’ logos and uses the same high-tech jargon, some of which is important but what a prospect really wants to know about is you. Platte River distinguishes itself by using short video clips that illustrate its employees performing important job functions and/or interacting with clients. “The video doesn’t need to be long – one minute is sufficient,” he says. “What’s important is that a prospect gets an opportunity to see what your team looks like and how you interact with customers – without having to decipher that information from a bulleted list of certifications and credentials.”
- Use LinkedIn. Platte River ran a marketing campaign that combined IT services with craft beer tasting. To attract prospects to the event, the MSP hired an outsourced marketing firm and it also used its own social media resources like LinkedIn. “We got a better ROI from LinkedIn than from the outsourced marketing firm,” says DeCamillis.