I’d be beating a dead horse if I told you that you need content for your marketing. You already know it — if not from hearing it a million times, from personal experience.
The million-dollar question for most MSPs is not “do I need content?”, but “where can I get MSP marketing materials?”
Along those lines, you most likely want to know:
- Where do I get materials that I know will work?
- Where do I get marketing content that I can customize?
- Where can I get done-for-you MSP marketing materials at a reasonable cost?
All good questions, especially since there are scores of companies out there who are willing to sell you the content you’re looking for. It’s not always easy to make comparisons about the efficacy of the content they’re selling (without actually seeing it) but I would like to share some insight into the costs.
For those who don’t know, I’ve been in marketing ever since I left the Marines about 20 years ago. I started out as a copywriter, and I’ve written tens of thousands of press releases, blog posts, white papers, ebooks, and ads. I went back to school for marketing after getting the itch to learn more about it, and while doing so earned certificates in web design, graphic design for business, SEO, lead generation, digital photography, video editing, and nearly anything else I could think of that would make me better at managing a marketing team. Long story short, I’ve produced a ton of content in the last 20 years.
Now, as the co-founder and developer of the MSP Growth Club, I’m managing the team that’s producing all of the free MSP marketing materials for our portal.
That being said, I’ve got a pretty good notion what pricing should look like.
There’s a lot of weird notions about content pricing out there. I was just reading through something on the MindMatrix website regarding the average cost of MSP marketing content. Their breakdown is as follows:
Yeah, it’s pretty clear they’re trying to sell you something because I can’t imagine an SMB paying $600 for a postcard design. Through services like Design Pickle, you could get 30 postcard designs for half that price. Graphic design students on Fiverr would probably make you one for $20 (that’s how I paid for my Caramel Macchiatos while I was in school).
Writing is generally more expensive than graphic design, simply because good writers are in much shorter supply. And writing for marketing is pretty tedious most of the time, whereas graphic design tends to be more stimulating regardless of the subject matter. (That’s my opinion of it at least.
Still, $1000 for two emails is pretty steep. There are a few very high-profile marketing gurus out there who probably fetch prices like that, but it’s not entirely based on the quality of their writing. You pay for the name, like anything else.
You aren’t supposed to call yourself a full-on professional copywriter until you’ve been doing it for 15 years. I have been, so I do call myself one. And with all of that experience and a pretty stellar reputation among IT vendors as a writer, I tend to land around $300-$350 per 1500 words. These are vendors though, and they have much larger marketing budgets than most MSPs. That’s not saying they should — MSPs are usually budgeting waaaaaay less for marketing than they should be — but hey, that’s just how things are right now.
All told, I can say that it’s hard to get quality writing for less than $50 per 500 words or so. And yes, there is a noticeable difference between good writing and poor writing in terms of readability, creativity, and Google-friendliness. I do not count syndicated blog posts because they’re pretty much worthless. Those blog feeds do nothing for SEO unless you do some very specific regional tweaking — and most MSPs aren’t doing that. The articles themselves are usually pretty bad, too. If someone has found a syndicated blog feed that doesn’t suck out loud, I would be thrilled to learn more about it.
Landing page costs can go a few different ways. They’re super easy to create in WordPress, in which your site is probably built, but you need someone on hand to do the building. In most cases, whoever is hosting your website probably lets you order new pages at a cost of around $50 per page, not $500.
You can also go the DIY route and use a landing page builder like LeadPages. These are subscription based, but I can’t think of a single one that would put you near the $500-per-page mark.
Getting Free MSP Marketing Materials
Hopefully this article will help you avoid overpaying for marketing content — but there are other options out there that can save you even more money. I’m talking about free marketing materials, and there definitely are places to get them.
Marketing Content from Vendors
Most channel vendors offer sales slicks and ebooks for their partners to use in their promotions. We’ve helped many MSPs make use of these materials over the years, and in doing so picked up a few best-practices:
- These materials are usually branded for the vendor, not your MSP. If you can spend a little extra time tweaking the documents to fit your tone and design guidelines, all the better.
- Vendor marketing materials are rarely written for end users (even when they should be). Because the vendor has to make the content generalized enough for thousands of MSPs to use, they’re usually more technical than anything. If nothing else, make sure the content is relevant and meaningful to your audience.
Marketing Content from MSP Digital Marketing Agencies
Marketing agencies will often give away free content as a means of lead generation. If you cherry-pick enough of these, you’ll probably have enough content to get you through a few months of advertising.
Check out the following websites for possible freebies:
MSP Growth Hacks: https://mspgrowthhacks.com/
Kevin Clune sometimes gives away funnel-related marketing content to his followers, especially after webinars.
IT Rock Stars: https://www.itrockstars.net/msp-marketing-material/
There are free marketing downloads available here from time to time.
MSP Ignition!: https://axcient.com/msp-ignition/
At the time of this writing, MSP Ignition! is in a state of transition, but there have been some content and marketing tool giveaways that should still be archived. We even did a few webinars with MSP Ignition! wherein we gave away some very useful templates.
The MSP Growth Club
We launched the ultimate resource for free MSP marketing tools and materials late in 2020. You’ll need to sign up to access the content library, but it’s totally free to get a membership.
The long-term plan for this portal is to be the go-to resource for free MSP marketing content. We’ve already uploaded several pages of ebooks, sales slicks, infographics, social media posts, and other useful stuff — and we’re producing a ton more.
We’ve also put some handy tools and guides on the portal. Right now, we’re working on a full sales enablement hub with everything you’ll need to build a complete sales organization from scratch (or hone your existing sales team into a well-oiled machine).