One of the most common buzzwords in the marketing space is currently Content Marketing. But what is Content Marketing and how does it apply to your IT Solution Provider or Managed Service Provider (MSP) business?
Content Marketing is the creation and sharing of valuable free content which can be used to attract and turn prospects into customers of your IT business.
It should be noted that I emphasised the word valuable when talking about Content Marketing. The content you share must be of value to your target audience. It must help them, educate them or inspire them into action in some way.
So where can you get started using content marketing and how can it help you find a new audience for your business?
The most common example of Content Marketing is the humble blog post. The very fact that you are reading this blog post shows that blogs are still a popular form of content and one that readers find very valuable.
Blog posts are great way to help, educate and inspire prospective customers of your business. Blog posts can help position you as an expert and help raise your profile in a local area. What’s more, blog posts are free to create and distribute – in fact, your website hosting provider probably already provides you with a blogging platform. Most do. Bonus!
With this many great aspects to blogging, why aren’t more IT companies embracing the humble blog post as a way to attract new customers?
Some IT companies that I have spoken to who don’t have blog posts tell me they don’t blog because they “don’t have anything to write about”. To that I say, what a load of nonsense! As a former IT business owner myself, I can tell you that each and every day saw our business provided with opportunities for content we could share as blog posts.
What can you write about on your blog?
Think back to the past month within your own IT business. Here are three potential sources of new blog posts for you to consider.
Have your engineers helped clients with any peculiar or odd issues? If so, why not share that story on your blog – it will certainly be of value to visitors to your website who may be suffering with exactly the same issue, and think of the goodwill you will build by helping solve that problem for them.
Also consider repetitive issues that your Helpdesk deals with. Perhaps advising people of strong passwords to use on their accounts. Why not write a blog post about this topic? Not only will prospective customers read this post and find it valuable, but your Helpdesk can also direct existing customers to the blog post to help educate them. A blog post has just helped reduce your cost of supporting existing clients and attracted some potential new clients!
Finally, consider using blog posts to establish yourself as a thought leader. Somebody who others will seek out for opinion and advice from. Does Apple have a new device this month? Offer your thoughts on why it is (or why it isn’t) a good purchase for business users. Have your clients been asking you for advice on the best of the current bunch of laptops to buy? Why not write a list of your top five picks to share as a blog post, explaining the pro’s and con’s of each laptop. Again, this type of blog is not only of value to your existing clients – helping maintain your position as an expert in their eyes – but the blog also establishes you as a trusted source of valuable information in potential customers eyes too.
Content Marketing is a fantastic way to attract new customers to your business by providing free, valuable information that not only helps your customer but also helps position you as an expert, a thought leader and a “go to” name in your area.
Blogging is the most common form of content marketing that is both free and easy. If you don’t believe you have anything to write about on your blog, then consider the work you’ve undertaken for clients lately, the questions you’ve been asked by clients, prospects, friends and family, and even your thoughts on recent changes in the IT space. Every one of these thoughts is a potential blog post that can be valuable content to others.
And if you’re still not convinced of the merits of content marketing through blogging then I’d ask you one thing. If you had the choice of working with an IT company that provides valuable free content or an IT company that didn’t, which one would you work with? That’s the question your potential customers are asking when they visit your website.
Gain the competitive edge, embrace content marketing and get blogging!