It goes without saying that content marketing is important when it comes to promoting the services you offer as a managed service provider (MSP). Managing a blog post is an effective way to do it, but everyone knows writing is easier said than done. It’s natural to get stumped every now and then because of the lack of fresh ideas.
So what kinds of MSP content should you publish and what’s the right way to write them? Most content marketing teams of MSP sites write about evergreen articles, newsjacking, reviews, Q&A, and “about the company” posts. But what makes a published blog post different from the rest is how it picks a mundane IT topic and transforms it into an easy-to-read informative piece.
Blogging is critical when it comes to content marketing – you probably hear this a lot, but that doesn’t make it less true. Depending on the topics to write, blogs can drive up the traffic on the site. Putting out information through blogging also helps establish a credible reputation in the industry.
But of course, blogging isn’t merely stringing long words together and mixing them with tech jargon to make the writing look smart. There are certain keywords to be included for the article to show up in the Google search results, but the way of writing shouldn’t make the audience snooze halfway through reading the piece.
The best way to maximize a blog for content marketing is by writing what the audience needs to see and learn about. After hooking them with a catchy title, reel them in with a well-written body, and catch them using an effective call-to-action ending.
5 Kinds of Content That Will Keep You at Google’s Top Suggestions
Whether you’re just starting out or not, it’s typical for everyone to space out and run out of topics to write every once in a while. Hopefully, these five types of blog posts can provide effective blueprints that will keep your MSP site at the top suggestions.
This type of blog post is much like its namesake – never loses its value at any point in the year. Most MSPs have them because this is the best article to showcase your knowledge about a topic. It needs to be packed with information that is relevant to both existing clients and prospects.
Evergreen articles should make up the majority of the written outputs because they allow wider topic coverage. Since they are not time-sensitive, it would be best to cover topics that people search for at any given time. Articles like listicles and how-to guides are kinds of evergreen articles.
When writing evergreen articles, keep in mind that what you are writing is for the audience made up of beginners. They are still learning the languages and terms used in managed services, so make sure to simplify the sentences and try to dumb down technical terms.
There’s no need to impress the readers with big words that only experts can understand with ease. If IT experts need to know more about something, they’d be checking out research papers and journals, not evergreen blogs in an MSP site.
The strongest point of evergreen articles is their timelessness and sustainability. But it might be challenging to keep it that way with MSP topics since most discussion points related to technology become obsolete almost as soon as they come out.
For example, an article about “Choosing the Right Computers for Your Small Business” is already a good evergreen article to start with: it’s something that readers might look for any time, it contains the right keywords, and it is phrased in a non-complicated way.
But you should be aware that computer specs are updated almost instantly. If you wrote that the memory of small office computers back then should have a minimum of 4GB, you should know that the current minimum now is 8GB for the computers to perform basic office functions without slowing down.
To keep the content fresh, update older evergreen articles; tweak them a bit so they are still useful in the right context. Take note of the statistics included in each article. They might be important now, but statistics change regularly.
Let’s face it – not everything we write is interesting for the readers. Most of it is full of educational information and statistics that are useless if the readers don’t deem it relevant to their lives. It’s the content marketing team’s responsibility to infuse these data with trending elements, just like this published article when the news of a data breach broke out.
Newsjacking is a content marketing method that utilizes current events and trending news stories to increase engagements and media mileage. News is breaking everywhere almost every second but it dies down pretty fast too. The goal of newsjacking is to find that one entry point to ride the news’ popularity and deliver the marketing message to the audience before a new trend arises.
So when is the right time for a newjacked content? Waiting for hours after the news breaks would mean that competition is already vicious – no one might even pay attention to what you are going to publish. If you’re not going to publish a newsjacking piece immediately, there are specific time windows when publishing late might be more beneficial:
Bare-bones stories are immediately published as soon as the news breaks. There isn’t much to add in a bare-bones story, as it usually just tells what the issue is and how it happened – no expert opinion and no guide.
As long as you are putting out accurate data, it’s okay to be the first one to break the news. It would even be an advantage for the brand if succeeding newsjacking articles publish their own writing with a link connected to your site.
The downside to writing a bare-bones story is that constant monitoring in the internet should be done. Finding the story before it breaks is the most crucial part of creating a bare-bones story.
A delayed recap is usually published a few hours after the news has trended. With these articles, it’s important to provide an overview of the issue, along with a takeaway or two for the reader. If you’re not there when the news explodes and thousands of bare-bones stories have already been published, the content can stand out by slightly differentiating it for the audience.
Before writing this piece, closely monitor the situation first. Check for any new updates every few hours, then start the newsjacking once something useful shows up.
Similar to the delayed recap, a delayed surface analysis is also written a few hours after the news breaks. The only difference is that instead of providing a recap of what transpired, you immediately dive into discussing the analysis of the issue.
The best way to use this strategy is to find two opposing sides of a news and show an interesting stance that will inspire readers to look at the issue from a new perspective. Anyone loves to read about a passionate argument, especially if it’s paired with a unique take.
You missed writing the story as soon as it started spreading, then you also missed the first few hours when it’s best to put out a recap or surface analysis. Now what? Just because the issue has already passed doesn’t mean creating a newsjacking content from it is out of the question. Putting out a late deep analysis can be the best course of action.
Late deep analyses are ideal for ongoing trends and changes. What’s different about creating a late deep analysis of the news is that time isn’t really the issue – finding the best angle is. If close monitoring isn’t your strongest suit, it’s alright to sit some news out to see how it pans out. Write something about it once a new and groundbreaking perspective that people should still hear about has been developed.
Speaking of perspectives, insights, and analyses, another great addition to a blog are reviews. When it comes to technology, people are always asking: “should I upgrade to this kind of technology?” or “is this new piece of technology a good investment?”
As an MSP, it’s your job to answer these queries with detailed reviews on why they should buy a product and how they can use it best. Publishing reviews is another way of educating your audience about product specifications. This kind of article is also the perfect opportunity to introduce some of the services or products the company offers.
Reviews are also powerful persuasive pieces that show the readers how much of an expert you are in MSP. They can be written as a:
When writing a review of a product, service, or new technology, try to keep everything simple. Since the topic involves detailing specifications, it’s understandable that tech jargon will be mentioned every now and then. But whenever an explanation in layman’s term is possible, use it. Remember that a review is practically useless if a buyer with little to no tech background can’t understand it.
Testing out the products yourself can also help produce a more authentic review. If resources are available, take the product for a spin and provide the readers with personal opinion. Just ensure that these opinions are also backed by logic. Create a logical standpoint instead of projecting emotions into the review.
Take inspiration from this article about the Best Remote Access Software.
Q&A posts are exactly what they sound like: answering questions from customers as an authority in MSP. They typically come in different forms – interview styles, testimonials, infographics, and case studies. Along with product reviews in the blog, Q&A posts also establish your status as an expert when it comes to IT-related issues and solutions. These kinds of posts are also shareable, which means more engagements for the MSP site.
However, creating Q&A posts is not as easy as they sound. It’s not about gathering a bunch of questions and answering them the way you know – that’s just making a compilation of queries, not an actual content marketing piece.
The problem with most FAQ pages is that they are not really directed to an audience. They provide answers, but not to the questions most readers need a response to. Most of them either offer outdated data or answers so basic, they practically provide nothing.
When writing a Q&A post, the first step is to research what the customers are asking. A feedback form comes useful in this situation because they can provide both the questions you should discuss and the answers customers are expecting to find. By going through the queries, find questions that are repeated by multiple buyers, and build an article to answer that.
As you provide the answers for the customers, remember that they should also be written in a clear and concise way to avoid confusion. Remove the fluff and keep the content valuable.
Most brands, MSP or not, overlook writing about the company’s culture and activities. A lot of them write a short “about us” page and call it a day. But writing pieces about the brand itself is a great way to set it apart from the many MSP sites found online. What’s even better is that you’re free to personalize it however you want.
This is where you can talk about company activities such as charity or volunteer work. You can also feature projects in collaboration with local authorities or organizations. Unlike the other blog types to post, this one does not need to follow strict rules or formulas. Just make sure it features enough of the company culture that will entice potential clients to engage with the brand.
MSP content marketing is more than just finding the right topics to write about. It takes creativity to get the audience to spare a single glance on the title, and a full grasp of their needs and interests to embed your brand into their minds.