Technology has changed the way that consumers shop for everything, colocation services included. However, those responsible for marketing these services are slow to part with the old ‘tried and true’ marketing playbook, which includes persuasion tools like the following:
- Direct mail
- Email campaigns
- Cold calling
Although this playbook succeeded in reaching broad audiences not too long ago, it’s fundamentally broken when it comes to attracting buyers today. The result is overall disruption as server colocation providers are forced to rethink their marketing and sales strategies.
Meet the New Client
Any company wanting to attract new business has to accept that consumers have changed the way that they shop for goods and services. They have become quite adept at blocking out unwanted solicitations: spam protection has minimized the effectiveness of unsolicited email marketing, ad blockers have reduced the value of online advertising, and caller ID is a stern gatekeeper when it comes to annoying cold calls. The message is clear: don't contact me, I’ll contact you.
Therefore, colocation companies must change their marketing approach. Instead of interrupting consumers with emails, calls, and web ads, these businesses must use social media sites, Google, and educational blogs to attract people and generate leads. This new phenomenon even has a name: inbound marketing.
Inbound Marketing Explained
Instead of demanding attention, inbound marketing uses persuasive techniques that make potential clients seek the business out. Its cornerstones include:
- Goal setting
- Buyer personas
- Blog articles
- Email nurturing
- Closed loop reporting
People looking for server colocation choices (for example) will go online, Google their requirements, and review the top results. If one company’s website offers enlightening mixed-media and free downloads that present them as a credible expert, clients will add them to the shortlist.
Another thing to remember is that unlike marketing emails and online ads, an excellent webinar or informative blog post can remain a growth asset for a long time. Like a 401k account, it has the potential to reap benefits long after it is set up.
Colocation service providers need to make a concerted effort to put out valuable content. Creating random posts for the sake of content generation may score points with search engines that love active websites, but the effect on sales will not be comparable.
Develop Server Colocation Buyer Personas
A buyer persona is a hypothetical profile of a company’s target client or influencer. When correctly compiled, a buyer persona delivers the following sales benefits:
- Helps the company personalize their sales approach and increase its chances of success
- Improves lead generation by addressing the ideal client’s concerns and values
- Makes product positioning more accurate and useful
- Helps a company deliver marketing content in the format clients prefer
The buyer persona is arguably the foundation on which a colocation provider’s content marketing rests upon, because all webinars, tweets, and blog posts need to be relevant to that hypothetical client.
A Disruptive Force with a Silver Lining
The demise of the old marketing playbook has been a disruptive force for server colocation providers. The new methodology states that clients research online and find a company they trust before they sign on the dotted line. A combination of expert content, a well-optimized website and accurate understanding of what clients want will ensure that they find you quickly and stay with you afterward.
Has your server colocation business been disrupted by the decline of the traditional marketing playbook? If so, did you proactively investigate inbound marketing strategies? Sound off in the Comments below.
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