Content will always be king – which is why it’s hard to execute different marketing strategies for MSPs without well-constructed blog posts, web copies, and other content. About 82% of marketers understand the importance of content marketing, but this doesn’t make the process any easier – a winning content marketing strategy takes a ton of research, time, and effort to accomplish.
No customer wakes up one day and decides that they need to hire an MSP. They go through a journey of research and evaluation before commissioning a service. Consumers are more empowered and informed than ever, so businesses need to produce content that helps them along their purchasing process.
So what kind of content should MSPs publish throughout the buyer’s journey? Here are some ideas, tips, and examples to guide you through content production at each stage of the buyer’s purchasing process:
The awareness or top of the funnel (TOFU) stage is where patients recognize that they have a problem. They’re not aware of the right solution yet nor an MSP that offers it. Their goal is to understand or learn something new about their problem, so they’re looking for informational sources related to it.
In this stage, the goal for the brand is to show up in search engines, generate brand awareness, gain the trust of prospects, and establish the company as an MSP authority.
Prospects in the awareness stage are looking for the best educational content that directs them to a solution. Their value as leads is still low because there’s no guarantee that they’ll contact you for your services yet.
But note that readers who find content interesting and helpful may move forward to the next buying process. Even if they don’t, they’re still likely to remember the company because of the helpful content or the pleasant user experience they had during the interaction. The best content types for the TOFU stage are:
Blog posts are the best pieces of content for target audiences in the awareness stage. This type of content is usually written with the topic or problem that readers want to discover. When posted on the website, blog posts become a brand asset that’s picked up by Google and discovered by search engine users.
Blog posts can also be repurposed into other types of content and promoted across different marketing channels. Here’s a good example of a blog post for an MSP we have at Writrly.
The company’s social media accounts are a great avenue for promoting other content, but the brand can also create content that’s specifically for a social media site. Almost everyone uses some form of social media nowadays, so most of your target audiences are likely native to this marketing channel.
Unlike blog posts that are at least 300 words long, social media posts are much shorter. Depending on the specific social media site, you can choose between short texts, infographics, short videos, and others.
Whitepapers are the company’s guides or reports about specific topics. They’re usually downloadable offers for readers who want to dive deeper into the subject they want. Whitepapers need to provide information that audiences can’t find elsewhere so they’re more likely to get it from you.
For example, HubSpot publishes a survey every year that highlights different marketing data to help marketers, businesses, and sales professionals readjust their priorities. Aside from the important figures, their downloadable whitepaper also includes opinions by industry experts.
The next stage of the buyer’s journey is the consideration stage or middle of the funnel (MOFU). In this phase, the prospect is already aware and informed about their problem so they try to find the best solution. Readers also trust the brand enough in the consideration stage, so they tend to make slightly bigger commitments like signing up and engaging with longer content.
In this stage, the brand’s focus should be on providing content that helps nurture a lead and build stronger customer relationships while still establishing the audience's trust.
Buyers at the MOFU stage want to learn more about the solution that the MSP company provides, in general as well as the specific one that the business offers. For this reason, the goal of brands should be to teach them about their service, as well as what sets them apart from other competitors. The best content types for prospects in the MOFU are:
Even in the consideration stage, consumers still consider different solutions to their problems so having a product comparisons guide can help them come up with an answer. A good example is the HIIT and steady state cardio comparison posted by Verywell Fit. It even includes a pros and cons table, as well as sample workout routines to highlight the differences between the 2 exercises.
Publishing a case study can be helpful for prospects in the consideration and decision stages. A case study convinces readers that the solution offered by your brand works because there are previous clients who experienced good results. A good case study appeals to the logic and emotions of the buyer persona by providing quantitative data and detailed information. Read some good examples of MSP case studies by Atera here.
As buyers reach the decision stage or bottom of the funnel (BOFU), it’s likely that they have already decided on the best solution, approach, method, or strategy for their problem. At this point, they’re pretty sure that they want the solution from your brand specifically, but they still need a bit more guidance or convincing.
In this stage, brands should make their customers feel confident about choosing them. Aside from converting them from leads to sales, it’s also the company’s responsibility to address any hesitations on the customer’s part.
As prospects reach the end of their purchasing journey, they carefully consider the special offers of the brand they want to buy from. Marketers should go above and beyond their customer’s expectations to smoothly win them over others. To remove consumer hesitations and stay ahead of the competition, the best BOFU content types to offer are:
Live demos and free trials are the best way for buyers to finally decide whether they need the service or not. Test drives have been a tactic for car dealerships for some time now because it’s effective in convincing buyers to close the deal. If your product or service checks all the boxes that the customer had, then all the sales team has to do is answer their remaining questions.
Hellosign allows prospects to take their product for a spin using a free plan. They put this option in the same section as their pricing page so customers are still aware of the company’s full list of offers. MSPs can also do the same thing by offering free trials for the software or services they offer.
Consultation offers should reduce the anxiety that customers have when they’re entering a sales conversation because it promises them a piece of actionable advice in exchange for their time. MSPs often provide small pieces of advice for the prospects they interact with to give them a glimpse of what it’s like to hire the company’s services.
Coupons work by appealing to the customer’s fear of missing out on irresistible deals. A coupon reduces the price of a product or service by a certain amount to convince prospects that they’re leaving money on their table if they don’t spend the coupon.
Fragrant Jewels make earning coupons more fun by letting customers spin a wheel when they enter the site. They may use whatever discount coupon they receive in their email when they checkout the products.
Many businesses make the mistake of only considering 3 stages of the buyer’s journey, but closing a sale doesn’t mean the work is done. Brands can still nurture satisfied customers so they keep coming back or recommending the company to their friends and family. This stage is known as the beyond the funnel or retention stage.
In this phase, companies should help customers how to best use the product or service and make the most out of their investment.
The best content for the retention stage should continuously provide customers with helpful tips and keep them engaged with your brand. To achieve this, businesses should offer content like:
Updates and announcements posted on the site can alert customers about a sale, promo, or new offer they can snag. If a consumer is satisfied with their purchase and experience with your business, they’ll appreciate updates and even hire your services again.
As a business owner, you shouldn’t rely too much on your own ideas and opinions. Polls and surveys at the end of a deal give companies an insight into the buyer’s mind during the interaction. This allows them to continuously improve their product or service and give other customers a better buying experience moving forward.
Email personalization is one of the most effective marketing tools that businesses can use to build good relationships with their buyers. It involves using customer data and putting it into the email content to make it seem like the message is tailor-made for them. Using personalized emails significantly increases revenue for businesses because it helps them cut through the clutter and directly tell subscribers why their offer matters.
Every MSP creates a different buyer’s journey that can’t be easily replicated by others. One of the most important parts of developing the buyer’s journey for your brand involves understanding your audiences and planning a content marketing strategy every step of the way.
Writrly is the content team that helped numerous MSP brands and businesses around the world with all their content needs. We’re here to help you grow your MSP business by coming up with high-quality, on-brand content – no contracts or extra fees involved.