Seven marketing trends MSPs should be watching for in 2022

If you haven’t started planning your marketing activities for 2022, it should be your number one priority. Stefanie Hammond sets out the top things you need to be focused on.

Stefanie Hammond, head sales and marketing nerd at N-able

If you haven’t started planning your marketing activities for 2022, it should be your number one priority this month. But what should you be doing and where do you start? To kick off 2022, I thought a post on the top marketing trends MSPs should watch for in 2022 would be a great springboard to get those creative juices flowing.

Here are my top marketing trends MSPs should watch for in 2022…

1. Building a social media and online digital presence will remain critical for lead generation

Businesses will continue to rely heavily on the internet to conduct preliminary research if they’re ever considering switching managed services providers. So it’s important to make sure make sure your MSP and brand are prominently displayed on the web.

It’s important to ensure your website is in top form, your SEO house is in order, and your LinkedIn and Google My Business profiles are 100% accurate and complete. If you need assistance with any of these, look into contracting a third-party company—you cannot generate leads if prospects don’t know your business exists. Alternatively, if they do happen to find you in their search but you have significant gaps in your profiles, or your website appears underwhelming, this might cause them to hit the back button and continue their search without considering your MSP.

2. Use peer reviews to build credibility and transparency

Businesses want to hear what other businesses have to say about a potential partner before making a move to engage and a commitment to purchase. So curating a collection of peer reviews, case studies, testimonials, and endorsements is an important function that all MSPs should be focusing on in 2022 because it helps build trust, credibility, and authority with their target audience and can help minimize the risk of a potential services provider switch.

3. The hybrid events platform isn’t going anywhere just yet

I know many of us are experiencing Zoom burnout, but I think we can mostly agree that having the option to participate in a meeting or event while sitting on our couch, dressed in our comfy clothes hasn’t been all that bad. Personally, it has allowed me to participate in a variety of events I likely wouldn’t have been able to attend in person, so I have greatly appreciated those events that included a virtual component.

If part of your 2022 marketing strategy is to include some educational events, consider offering a virtual option even if you have the luxury of holding them in person. By catering to both models and allowing prospects to select their preferred method of engagement, you will likely gain additional interest and improve attendance rates.

4. Stop the automation and get personal

Although implementing automation and creating efficiencies are important for certain aspects of your business, when it comes to marketing and lead generation, taking a more personal approach works better. This trend advice comes from Mark Copeman, founder of Wisecurve, “People are craving authenticity—the real stuff. Show personality and be REAL.”  Research who your desired target audience, then create a personalized outreach program to connect with them.

5. Leverage short-form video content to educate your target audience

There is an abundance of information you can convey to your prospects via quick, short videos you post to your social feeds. In today’s fast-paced world, people are looking to consume as much information as they can in the shortest amount of time possible, and video content provides that delivery vehicle. According to the latest Marketing Industry Trends Report from Hubspot, 30% of social media marketers plan to invest more in short-form video than any other marketing strategy in 2022, while 33% plan to leverage short-form video content for the first time in 2022.  

6. Make yourself known in your community

Social responsibility is another key marketing trend that will continue to gain prominence in 2022. For any business, think of this as starting local and striving to be a great advocate for your community. Focusing on your community and its people can do wonders in helping to build your brand and name recognition.

Here’s a great example. A little shop in my hometown curates and sells one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted pieces produced by local artisans. With their business, the owners have given local craftspeople a place to showcase their collections as well as providing a unique shopping experience for locals. The shop has only been open for a couple of years, but they have already created a fierce and loyal fan base—mainly through their social media platforms (Instagram and Facebook) and their love for and involvement with the community.

A few social responsibility marketing tactics they have leveraged to help grow their small business include: aligning themselves with a few local charities to raise awareness and funds, sponsoring several family festivals in the community, and promoting a variety of contests and giveaways via their social platforms. All of these have worked amazingly well to help build their brand and create awareness and interest in their shop.

7. Just start

Many MSP businesses are still very much behind the curve and are either not marketing consistently or have not implemented a marketing function at all. Use this to your advantage and just start doing something. For example, in my previous blogs from December, I outlined 15 marketing strategies that MSPs could implement, especially if they were strapped for time, money, or resources. So even if you choose just one or two of those tactics to implement in 2022—and remain committed and consistent in your approach—you will quickly gain new ground, increased visibility, and new leads for your MSP.

Stefanie Hammond is head sales and marketing nerd at N-able. Y