How Do I Advertise My MSP? A Short Guide

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    Marketing is one thing but advertising is another. You may have your logo and branding in order, a polished website, pamphlets, brochures, t-shirts, stickers, and other swag, but at a certain point, that stuff doesn’t move the needle anymore. If you want to start expanding the reach of your MSP and finding new clients you’ve got to start advertising. How do I advertise my MSP though? It’s a common question and although you may have some sense on how to answer that question there’s a lot more to it than just cash in revenue out.

    Here at Tortoise and Hare Software, we’ve helped numerous MSPs generate more revenue and expand their client base through digital advertising. There are lots of different ways to advertise your MSP and many of them are outside of our wheelhouse. There’s direct mail, radio, TV, and a whole host of other media, however, digital advertising is now eclipsing more than 50% of advertising budgets and is projected to rise to nearly 70% of ad spend in the coming decade. Digital advertising growth has been steady and the big reason for that is because it’s effective. In a B2B sense, we are almost always on our computers while we are working and that’s just the best way to reach potential MSP buyers, via digital advertising.

    Most Effective Methods To Advertise Your MSP

    Enough of the build-up, if you’re wondering how do I advertise my MSP, the answer we’ve found is that the two most effective channels for digital advertising for your MSP are Google Ads and LinkedIn Ads. Google Ads is a multi-medium channel that can distribute advertising through search, the display network, YouTube, Gmail, and more. It’s the largest available platform to advertise on and is a critical part of MSP advertising strategies. LinkedIn Ads can also be very effective, but they are also quite costly relative to other social media platforms. LinkedIn has the largest collection of B2B buyers aggregated in one place and they know it and charge a premium for it. If you are just toeing the waters of digital advertising I recommend coming back to LinkedIn ads once you have a bit more mastery of a higher intent channel like paid search.

    How Do I Advertise My MSP: Paid Search

    Running paid search campaigns on Google Ads and Bing Ads is going to be the most intent-driven and effective channel to generate new leads and find new clients for your MSP. Google Ads is very competitive, but if you can’t convert visitors off of Google Ad campaigns then you are unlikely to be able to find success in other channels.

    Data privacy regulations have put a major dent in the effectiveness of social media advertising channels. The laser targeting precision of yesteryear is pretty much gone and you missed out on the golden age of social media advertising. New innovations may bring it back into favor, but for now, Google Ads has the most accurate targeting because keyword intent is easier to determine. When someone searches “managed it services company” you can be pretty sure that they are researching managed service providers for their business. It doesn’t get much higher intent than that and if you can’t put together a landing page and marketing messaging that resonates with people searching for terms like that, then you’ve got upstream problems with your marketing collateral, core messaging, or brand positioning.

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    How Do I Advertise My MSP: Paid Social

    Once you’ve mastered paid search, I generally recommend MSPs move into advertising on paid social. Paid social advertising is a bit lower intent channel though so you need to approach it differently than paid search. People aren’t necessarily shopping for a service provider when browsing around on LinkedIn and Facebook, but they are open to reading interesting content and industry insights. Paid social is a great content distribution mechanism. Promote your blog content and content downloads on paid social with the goal of collecting email addresses for further education and follow-up.

    Finding the right content download offer can be a challenge and it will take experimentation with the right offer, the right messaging, and the right format to promote it. Paid social platforms offer many ways to advertise such as in-feed ads, messaging ads, right-hand column ads, video ads, carousels, and more.

    When taking this approach you’ll also need to have an email marketing plan for follow-up in place. You can produce a monthly newsletter or enroll people into personalized sequences that are contextual to the offer, or generic for your business. Again, the right follow-up and usage of the email address is a key ingredient, but this is how you put together the middle funnel of your pipeline, by engaging potential shoppers when they are in the preliminary research phase.

    How Do I Advertise My MSP: Brand Advertising With Display And YouTube

    Moving up to the top of the funnel the last stage of advertising your MSP is to move into brand advertising. This is a later-stage tactic that is usually more applicable to the regional and national providers but can be used by MSPs of any size. I recommend moving into brand spend after you feel you’ve got some form of nurture mechanism in place. Brand spend is going to be more visually oriented. Google Display Ads, YouTube Ads, and Brand-oriented ads on social media are great ways to get your logo in front of people to help build up that top of the funnel and keep the prospecting portion of your funnel full.

    Wrap Up

    Advertising your MSP is an exciting venture that can really kick your managed service provider’s growth into overdrive. Building an advertising funnel takes time, experimentation, and investment, however, so make sure you’ve pooled some capital to give an adequate push for growth. Prepare to have 3-6 months of a regular advertising budget available to control for factors like seasonality and natural fluctuations in demand. Need help getting started? Reach out today to learn more about how we can help you build your advertising pipeline. Be sure to check out this MSP marketing case study as well!

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    Hunter Nelson

    Hunter is the founder and president of Tortoise and Hare Software, a digital marketing agency for B2B technology companies. Hunter has more than 10 years’ experience building web applications and crafting digital strategies for companies ranging from scrappy startups to Fortune 50 household names. When not on the clock, you'll find him spending time with his family and pups, relaxing on the beach, or playing competitive online video games. See LinkedIn for more.

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