Leverage Third Party Engagement To Reach Business Decision Makers
One of the major hurdles of executing a content marketing strategy in the Managed Services industry is the “bore” factor. Let’s be honest, not everyone gets pumped up about business technology like we do. If you are expecting a flood of likes and shares on every piece of content you create, you will be sadly disappointed. Business Owners & Executives might find your content interesting, they may even read the whole thing, but there is really no logical benefit for them to engage.
After coming to this conclusion, we started to think a little differently about some of the content that we created. What if we created content that benefited someone else more than it benefited us? After all, platforms like LinkedIn have become an endless feed of people leveraging content to keep themselves relevant. What if we engineered content that could be handed over to the extroverts of various industries and have them use it to their advantage? So we did, and the results were fascinating.
Identify Other Industries That Sell To Your Target Audience
The first thing that we looked to do was to identify other industries that are looking to sell to the same companies that we are. If you are targeting run-of-the-mill small to medium businesses, then your list would look like this:
- Insurance Agencies
- Payroll / HR Companies
- Accountants / Bookkeepers
- Real Estate Agents
- Marketing Agencies
- Merchant Services
- Staffing / Recruiting
All of the companies in these industries have armies of Sales Reps that do nothing but cold call businesses and plaster their names on social media. It can hardly be argued that these industries are far more equipped for B2B sales than your average IT Provider and they probably have far more experience doing so. This is why we wanted to create content to leverage their hubris to our own benefit, while providing their audience value in the process.
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Create Content That Lends Credibility & Helps Them Sell
If you want your content to be shareable, there needs to be a legitimate benefit not only to the end reader, but also to the person leveraging your content by sharing. This means lending credibility to the service they offer or providing added value from a technical perspective. To further explain how this works, I will use the example of an Insurance Agent. Take a look at this graphic to see how you can leverage Insurance Agents to reach your audience.
As depicted, we are creating a piece of content titled Why Every Small to Medium Sized Business Needs Cyber Insurance. The intention is to show this content to Insurance Agents in hopes that they then share this to their audience to lend credibility to a service that they offer. The Business Decision Makers are getting valuable information, but they are also now entering into your marketing funnel, where you can retarget them with ads more specific to your technology services and security offerings.
Sponsor Your Content To Customer Facing Reps & Agents
Once you create a piece of content that can be leveraged, now you should look to boost it on social networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Both of these networks allow you to target by Industry and Job Title, making it fairly simple to find the exact audience you are looking for. In the example shown above, we would target our content to Insurance Agents, Reps, and Brokers in our geographic region.
What you will find is that engagement on these posts will be high. When an Insurance Agent sees a Technology Provider vouching for a product they offer, they will be more than eager to click, like, and share. For them it is almost as good as a testimonial and helps them get in front of their audience with more than just the same old sales pitch they usually post. They are also likely to follow your page and share more of your content if it is relevant to them.
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Benefits of Leveraging Third Parties To Reach Your Audience
You may be asking yourself, why go through all of this trouble when you can target your audience directly? Here is why. When you target your audience directly, the compounding social benefit is very low. If you sponsor your post for 1000 impressions to an audience of Business Decision Makers you will probably only get a few engagements. If you use the third party approach it will result in significantly more engagement, which will yield even more organic impressions. The 1000 impressions can now turn into 5000 impressions at no extra cost.
I relate this method to buying a fishing rod. If you have $50 and you spend it all on fish, you will eventually run out fish. If you instead spend your $50 on a fishing rod, you can fish forever, yielding more fish in the long term. Building an audience of fisherman (instead of fish), and then serving them an endless bucket of “bait” in the form of content is a great social hack that every Managed IT Provider should look to execute.