Sales and marketing

How MSPs Can Create Contagious Sales and Marketing Content

Most of the Channel Partners we work with are struggling to develop content that gains traction for demand or lead generation. We get it. They are overtaxed with day-to-day fire drills and juggling a stack of Vendors and an even larger stack of incoming emails.

Author: Heather Margolis
Author: Channel Maven Consulting's Heather K. Margolis

Who has time to write and publish blogs or follow a communications strategy - especially if they don’t have a marketing department and content creation is left up to their salespeople?

As their Vendor partner, you can help!

The content conundrum we face today

By mid-2015 a whopping two million blogs were being published online - each day. Two-plus years later it’s jumped to well over five million blogs published daily. Also in mid-2015, MarketingProfs pointed out the obvious - if you were creating “me-too” copycat posts, you were wasting precious time.

Nothing has changed there. And as the glut of content grows, the challenge of developing content that stands out also grows. But don’t worry, it’s still possible for your Partners to gain attention and SEO value from content despite the odds.

Standout content

The trick is to stand out. Easier said than done? Not necessarily, said content guru Marcus Sheridan when the Channel Maven team saw him live this fall at Hubspot Inbound 2018. Difficult, yes. But impossible, no. The key lies in… building trust.

You might have guessed that trust would be the game-changer. It makes sense and it’s also why developing thought leadership is immensely important and influencer marketing is so valuable. But the question for most Partners remains…how can they create standout content with a small and/or overtaxed team?

Five Keys to Contagious Marketing and Sales Content:

  1. Don’t hide your flaws. People trust honest, transparent people; the companies they work for and the companies they work with. Partners should strive to be transparent about any challenges. If something goes awry own it, don’t hide it. As Sheridan explained, “the smartest companies in the world take the elephant in the room and exploit it” and added, “you can choose to address your customers’ most difficult questions - or not. But if you don’t, someone else will so, it might as well be you.”
  2. Get Personal. Partners' sales teams should be personalizing every contact they make. Research shows, even in mass marketing e-mailings, that adding someone’s first name to subject lines increases open rates. Same is true for sales emails. Partners should address the person by name and deliver something relevant and unique to them or their situation. Doing so highlights that they're paying attention and listening which goes a long way in building trust.
  3. Be a trendsetter. There is a trend in voice search whereby people are asking more “me-related” questions such as “should I…?” and also questions that end with “...for me?” Partners can use this strategy to develop content that answers burning “me-related” questions their audience has.
  4. Show them the money. Going back to transparency but specifically related to price, it's important for MSPs who have standard pricing, to share it online. Why? Because most prospects feel it's a waste of time to call (or email), wait for a demo, and only then find out the solutions is too expensive. The age-old reason most companies don’t publish pricing is due to competitors. The reality is that competitors likely already know how much an MSP charges.
  5. Appeal to human nature. As a whole, humans are inherently curious. When looking for a company to do business with, we want to know more about them; what it’s like to work with the organization and what we can expect - before we buy. This is especially true in major, career-impacting decisions such as partnering on digital transformation or security solutions.

Partners also need to be aware that different types of content appeals to different roles, genders, and generational demographics all of which are likely on the team of decision makers. Partners shouldn’t underestimate the power of video in conjunction with written content. Podcasts work well too with some audiences.

When you help your Partners understand their audience, you’ll make it easier for them to develop relevant content, build trust, and drive sales. At Channel Maven we work with a diverse group of Vendors across all types of technologies and a wide variety of Channel Partners. If you need help enabling your Partners to develop content that drives sales, generates more leads, or better communicates to their audience, we’re here for you.

Heather K. Margolis is CEO of Channel Maven Consulting. Read more Channel Maven Consulting blogs here.