Offering Free Whitepapers to Boost your MSP Business

Scott Calonico

white paper Most individuals are suckers for a freebie. While this may sound like a highly cynical sentiment, attracting the attention of customers with giveaways and free offers has long been a legitimate and effective marketing technique.

Offering free whitepapers is a great way of grabbing customer attention in an engaging way that’s far removed from the “hard sell” approach that many people despise. If you’re running an MSP business, there are plenty of technical subjects on which you can focus, and provide valuable information to customers at the same time as gently pitching your services.

Here are just a few examples of interesting whitepapers you could produce and offer free to customers, both current and prospective:

1. Are your employees’ iPhones putting your company data at risk?

2. Could you save money by moving to the cloud?

3. Is it time to move your business from Windows to Mac?

All of these topics could interest customers, and it’s really not a mammoth task to put a whitepaper together and begin to distribute it.

If you agree that producing one or more whitepapers could boost your business, here’s a five-step guide to getting started:

1. Decide your subject matter, keeping in mind the fact that your ideal end result is the generation of new business. For example, if you are going to produce a paper on the security risks associated with data on employee’s mobile devices, you should have a Mobile Device Management service ready to offer as a solution.

2. Consider employing a copywriter to produce the whitepaper(s). Producing sales copy that converts is quite a specialized skill, and it’s worth investing a small amount in well-written content.

3. If you plan to provide access to the whitepaper via your website, ensure that you collect email addresses as part of the process and that you gain permission to make future contact with the customer. This helps you to build up a valuable mailing list for future promotional efforts.

4. Ensure you build in a clear “call to action” as part of the whitepaper, which encourages customers to contact you for assistance in solving the potential problem that the whitepaper describes.

5. Make sure the whitepaper is sufficiently detailed and neutral that it provides genuinely useful information to those that read it. Even if a client doesn’t act on the first whitepaper they read, ensuring the effort they expend in reading it is worthwhile increases the likelihood that they will download future whitepapers or respond to other marketing approaches from your company further down the line.

If you feel you need proof of just how effective marketing via whitepapers can be, all you need to do is browse the websites of some IT firms you recognize as widely successful. You will find a great many of them provide content of this nature. Doing the same is inexpensive and could pay for itself with just one client conversion – so go and get started now.