Many small business owners are shocked to learn that even a small amount of effort with regard to sales and marketing can make a huge difference. Believe it or not, most of your competitors are not paying any attention to their go-to-market strategy. They live (and sometimes die) on word-of-mouth and referrals, completely ignoring the impact that even the most basic marketing can have on their growth. Another little secret? Some of the highest leverage marketing activities for businesses of all sizes and in all sectors – including MSPs and IT providers – are simple and straightforward tasks that anyone can do in just a few minutes a month.
The difference between a good business and a great one is often the ability to capture and keep customers. But building customer relationships can be tough and keeping them takes even more work. Fortunately, there are many cost-effective ways to make an immediate impact on your company’s marketing activities that will have a profound effect on your bottom line – for just a few minutes each month of focused effort.
If you’re an MSP, you already know how hard it is to keep up with marketing. So what should you do? Unfortunately, there isn’t one silver bullet that will provide immediate results. It’s about consistency and adopting a diverse strategy that can actually work for your company.
Five easy ways to market your IT or Managed Service Provider
Marketing your MSP or IT provider on a budget does not have to be difficult. Here are five things you can do in just a few minutes or for just a few dollars each month to improve marketing for your small or midsized managed services or IT provider.
- Make contact information is easy to find on your website – One of the biggest mistakes we see when working with MSPs and IT providers looking to get serious about marketing is difficulty in simply getting in touch. A staggering number of websites make it hard to find a contact phone number or even a contact email address. Our advice is to show your phone number in the header of your website in a consistent place so that visitors can easily contact you at all times. What’s more, make sure on the mobile version of your website that the phone number has “click to call” functionality to make it even easier for interested potential customers to reach you.
- Ensure sure your website looks great on mobile – Did you know that more than half of all web traffic is now on mobile devices? Whether Apple’s iOS or Google Android, mobile operating systems and browsers account for the majority of online activity. If the mobile version of your website is simply a shrunk-down version of the full site, you are missing a golden opportunity. The good news is that making a website responsive to mobile browsers does not mean having to build an entirely new or second website. Most content management systems like WordPress or Drupal have built-in mobile responsiveness, helping websites look great regardless of the visitor’s device or browser.
- Claim Yelp and Google My Business Listings – For localized and small businesses, Yelp and Google My Business listings are a goldmine for potential marketing success. From reviews left by customers to improved search engine rankings, owning and updating your Yelp and Google My Business pages deliver a significant impact on your marketing success in just a few minutes a month. For Yelp, claim your business listing as the owner and make sure your address and contact information are updated. Even if you do not receive customers or have meetings at your office address, posting the information accurately is pleasing to search engines and gives customers yet another reason to trust you. Claiming and updating Google My Business has similar effects with one big, and beneficial, difference: Google owns Google My Business so participating and updating a Google My Business page has a positive effect on traditional Google search rankings, including the Google Map pack.
- Install an SSL to your website – When visiting a website, visitors expect to see a little lock icon in the address bar. If you are not familiar with what the lock icon means, allow us to share: an SSL, or secured-sockets layer, is indicated by a lock icon and an “S” at the end of “HTTPS” in the web address. Most hosting providers provide an SSL at no charge. An SSL tells customers and visitors that your site is secure and your business is trustworthy. Any contact information they enter into the website is protected in transit because of the SSL. Search engine crawlers also penalize websites that do not have an SSL, pushing them further down in organic search rankings. Finally, if you do not have an SSL for your website then many browsers like Chrome will warn visitors that it is unsafe to proceed to your website, directing them away from visiting your site at all.
- Regularly update your blog – Updating your company blog does not just tell site visitors that you know what you are talking about. Regular updates also help with search engine rankings so your company website can be found more easily. When readers and search engine crawlers come to your website, they both want to see evidence that your business is active and sharing useful information about the work that you do. Updating your blog no less than once a month – two or three times a month is ideal – is a great way to show your expertise and please readers and search engines alike.
It is not difficult to market your company as long as you are willing to spend some time and money. Whether it is visual marketing, social media marketing, or advertising, there are many different channels available for use. For many companies, however, the question becomes how much time and money they need to allocate to properly market their company. The answer is “it depends”. If the business has enough time and money that it does not have to worry about its budget, then there are unlimited possibilities for marketing efforts. On the other hand, if the business only has a few dollars in marketing funds available per year then they will need to be more selective with their efforts. The aforementioned five steps can be taken today to market a business even on the tightest budget.
Ready to level up your MSP marketing strategy?
If you are an IT provider or MSP, your reputation is everything. When it comes to marketing for small businesses on a budget, the most important thing you can do is focus on providing valuable content that resonates with potential customers and speaks to their needs. Whether that means simply writing blog posts about what you offer or taking advantage of one of these five inexpensive ways to market your company online, there’s no excuse not to pay attention to promoting your business. A little marketing can go a long way, particularly for IT and managed service providers. If you are ready to level up the marketing for your small or mid-sized technology business, our team at eBridge Marketing Solutions is here to help. We have decades of experience helping technology companies ignite growth and we would be happy to help you as well. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.