I’d always recommend blogging for people starting out with content marketing, because you don’t need any specialist equipment and you can get started quickly. However, lots of people don’t enjoy writing, and many prefer to consume information in other forms than written content. So, how can you offer different types of content for your MSP audience?
Creating Personal Content for Your MSP Business
The easiest way to start is by sharing your blog on social media. If you’re B2B, your potential clients are likely to be on LinkedIn, so you can create a status update and include a link to the full blog on your website, or publish it as an article. If you use Twitter, you can share the link to the blog there too.
‘Behind the scenes’ content is always popular and generates a lot of interactions. People love to see what your office or building looks like. Take photos or do a video walkaround of where you work. Obviously, don’t share anything confidential, but don’t be shy about sharing your office. It’s a good way to start conversations, as you can ask people to share images of their workspace, and it’s easy to do.
You can also tell people about your day – update social media when you’re out on client visits, especially if you’re going somewhere different or unusual. If your meetings are often in coffee shops (mine are!), people love seeing pictures of tea and cake and getting inspiration for venues for their own meetings.
Sharing these things makes you more human and relatable, so your audience builds up a picture of you. It’s easier for them to feel like they know you and can trust you. Don’t worry that you’ll look unprofessional, in the crowded digital world it’s important to be authentic and open.
Sharing Your Knowledge in Your Content
Another easy way to create content is to answer frequently asked questions (FAQ). While you can (and should) answer each question in its own blog, you may want to have an FAQ page and point people to definitions on the appropriate service page. You could also produce videos to answer them too.
Checklists and tip sheets are a good way of showcasing your knowledge. Put the information into a single sheet and offer it as a free download. You can have a checklist of the best tools for productivity of collaborative working, for instance, a list of questions people should ask prospective MSP/IT partners, or troubleshooting tips for the five most common technical problems in business.
You can also produce eguides or e-books. Compile several blogs and tipsheets on the same topic, add a cover and a contact page and make it a downloadable PDF on your website. This is a nice way to make more of your most popular or valuable blogs.
Depending on your target market, your audience may not be familiar with jargon and MSP-specific terms. As I mentioned in the previous post, I put together a glossary of the most-used words and acronyms to increase my understanding of the industry. You might do the same for your visitors, and they’ll appreciate that you’ve acknowledged that fact that even though they might not know what you mean, you’ve gone out of your way to help them.
All of these things can be shared with a wider audience by adding them to a newsletter, which can be emailed weekly, fortnightly or monthly. Include summaries of recent blogs, useful industry updates and top tips.
Testimonials and case studies are a brilliant way to both add content your website and show how helpful you are by getting someone else to talk about you. Ask clients for testimonials to show prospective customers about the difference working with you has made. You can even offer to help them write it to make things easier. Video testimonials are even better, but lots of people are camera-shy!
A case study allows you to give a real-life example of how you solved a problem. Talk through the situation the client was in when they approached you, what you did or gave them and how the situation has changed for the better. If you don’t think a client would consent to being named, or if there’s sensitive information involved, you can make it anonymous, or even compile two or three examples into one. Don’t forget to share these on social media too!
MSP Content That Lets You be Seen and Heard
Once you’re more confident with creating original content, you might start to feel more comfortable about increasing your visibility. Video has really taken off in the last few years, and it’s only going to get bigger.
To demonstrate your expertise, consider recording how-to videos. You might show people how to safely update software or upload documents to the cloud, or how to delete things without losing something else.
A walkthrough of a piece of specialist software or an app would be hugely helpful to your audience, particularly if they’re not ‘techy’ themselves. Make the videos into themed series, so people can follow them through and learn a new skill.
You might want to do video interviews with clients, team members or industry experts – this is good if you’re in a niche or deal with a complex subject that people don’t know much about.
If video still seems like a step too far, you might produce some explainer videos, where you share your screen and talk over the top to talk people through what they’re looking at. You may do audio-only videos that you upload to your site or publish as a podcast.
Repurposing for Your MSP Content
Repurposing is the term used for doing more with your existing content, rather than creating new stuff every time. You may have heard of ‘evergreen content’, which is information that’s always helpful and doesn’t go out of date (or just needs small tweaks to keep it relevant).
Repurposing allows you to take something and reshare it in a different medium and to reach a wider or a new audience. Often, these can be shared on social media as teasers to encourage people to visit your site. Make sure you’re creating things you know your audience will like and that you’re publishing them in places your audience visits.
Produce branded graphics with a tip or fact from your blog to share on social media, make an audio version of an article, turn a video into a downloadable transcript or present data and statistics in an infographic. Content repurposing is great for all businesses, but especially if you find it hard to create original MSP content.
Don’t feel that you have to do all (or any) of these things, or not straight away. Do the things that you feel comfortable with, and work up to repurposing or creating content in other formats as you get used to the process.
As we’ve seen, the key to content marketing is consistency, so it’s better to produce one type of content regularly rather than to keep putting it off because you don’t want to do it. In the next blog, we’ll be looking at how to make more time for content creation.