Engagement marketing (and how to use it for your MSP business)
The concept of engagement marketing is so broad that it’s difficult to describe simply. In the most basic terms possible, however, engagement marketing is the practice of encouraging an ongoing, 2-way marketing dialogue with your customers.
Engagement Marketing differs significantly from traditional marketing methods, which essentially rely on the constant bombardment of customers with unsolicited approaches and marketing materials. For many modern consumers, this approach is something of a turn-off.
To give you an idea of some of the myriad ways that businesses can move into engagement marketing, here are some examples of activities that currently work for three very different businesses:
- A software company that markets a VPN product allowing consumers to watch TV-on-demand services in foreign countries encourages users to post Twitter tweets if they like the product, and rewards them with additional bandwidth on their own account. The same company also encourages users to engage directly via social networking channels when they have technical issues.
- A New York hotel uses Twitter to open up dialogue with people planning to stay at the hotel. Those who book a room and get in touch via Twitter are rewarded with treats such as room upgrades and free meals, and feel part of the hotel’s atmosphere before they even arrive.
- A small firm providing server migration solutions has staff spending extensive time on technical forums, assisting professionals free of charge. The goodwill generated by doing this encourages many IT professionals to use the company’s migration products.
Engagement Marketing for MSPs
As you can see, these methods are a world apart from traditional sales-oriented marketing, but there is nothing to say they are any less successful.
Engagement marketing involves customers in a completely different way. Specifically, it involves customers when they actually want to be involved.
So, how could you use engagement marketing within your MSP business? Here are some ideas:
- Encourage customers to interact with your business via social networking channels.
- Use a blog to share technical solutions publically. Encourage a two-way dialogue.
- Consider offering incentives to encourage customers to interact: prizes, competitions and discounts.
- Host free webcasts that allow you to showcase products and services whilst helping customers in a low-pressure environment. Customers who can gain something from the experience with no pressure to buy may well turn into sales at a later date.
The best thing about engagement marketing is its cost – which can, sometimes, be literally zero! Regardless of your MSP’s size and marketing budget, you can begin to implement engagement marketing by investing time alone. It is no harder for you to make a success of this style of marketing that it is for a huge, long established business – so make a start right now.