Content Marketing for MSPs

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Mindwhirl Marketing Podcast - Content Marketing for MSPs with Mike and Shelly Miller

LISTEN to the Mindwhirl Marketing Podcast Ep 33 – Content Marketing for MSPs

WATCH The Mindwhirl Marketing Podcast Ep 33 – Content Marketing for MSPs

Podcast Transcript

Mike Miller  00:26

Absolutely. Today, we want to talk about content marketing. Because we’ve noticed some issues. If we have haven’t, yeah, in the in the managed service provider space, there are some issues with content marketing. We want to point them out without pointing them out.

Shelly Miller  00:47

All right, yeah, it’s gonna be fun.

Mike Miller  00:49

We’re not gonna burn any bridges today. No.

Shelly Miller  00:53

The torches are put up. We’re gonna be doing that today.

Mike Miller  00:56

Exactly. But we’re gonna. We’re gonna do a little Socrates, I guess. Oh, yeah. You know how he just like? Alright, so anyway. Content Marketing? What is it? What’s it for? What do you do with it? And how does a managed service provider use it? effectively? All these questions and more so be answered after the break?

Shelly Miller  01:22

Right. Right. Sounds great.

Mike Miller  01:24

Okay. So I think the best place to start is with the history of content marketing.

Shelly Miller  01:33

I think that’s the perfect place to start.

Mike Miller  01:35

Yeah. Because you got to understand What’s it for? Right? What’s content marketing for? How did this all come about? And content marketers really want to talk to you about, we’ll see Sears and JC Penney’s, were doing it back in the 1940s. And this is this isn’t a new topic. It’s been around. And that’s great. But let’s try this. Yeah.

Shelly Miller  02:00

But they like, I mean, that’s what they talk about. And they also just like to say unique content, right? And everybody freaks out, like, what kind of content? How much content? How do I do this? How do I get it done? So the history of it is perfect. To start with? Yeah. So So we all know why you need it. Right? how it should be used?

Mike Miller  02:19

Exactly. So that’s what I think. I think so too, because it’s big, it’s gotten ridiculous. It’s like, well, you have to have a blog, because just like you have to have an about page. You know, you have to have a blog. And you do, but you’re doing it wrong. So how do you do it? Right? Well, the way to tell you how to do it right is to go back in time. Okay, so I’m back, you know, when content marketing started really getting being adopted by a lot of, you know, large fortune 500 companies. What happened is, when the internet came out, and you guys know, this, the internet came out. And there it was gophers and ferrets, there was no Google, right? Then Google came along. And, you know, search engines came along, and then Google came along. And at first, it was all about keywords. So like, our term is marketing, so we would put marketing in our, in our, you know, meta tags, and all over our website, right. And hidden in the footer. You know, just, if we put it 170 times, then we beat everyone else. Exactly. So that’s how search engine started. Then, Google came along and was like, we’re putting an end to that. And they did. And that’s what made them popular. And it was, but what happened is quickly, all the major keywords were taken up. And you couldn’t, basically, yeah, very quickly. And so you couldn’t get on the first page of Google, which you have to if you’re in business, you have to be on the first page of Google. So savvy marketers realize that what you could do is shoot for longtail keywords because people weren’t actually just searching, sales or marketing right there. We’re searching, you know, how do I create an email newsletter?

Shelly Miller  04:18

That’s exactly right.

Mike Miller  04:19

Yes. So long.

Shelly Miller  04:22

tail keywords,

Mike Miller  04:23

yeah longtail keyword phrases. So then if you want to be on the top of the SERP, the search engine results page you got to have you got to be targeting the right keywords because you can’t you know, tattoo isn’t a keyword that people search for when they’re wanting to buy. Right? There’s not intent on that search phrase, but there is people who want to look at pictures of tattoos.

Shelly Miller  04:49


Mike Miller  04:49

So how do we target these longtail keywords so that Google will rank us at the top of the search engine. We write content. That’s it. That was the reason that all this content and everything started. Right. So that you could be at the top of Google. It was an SEO play. But then, as time went on, you know, from 2008 2010, really, though 2014 to now, influencers started to come up?

Shelly Miller  05:24

Yes, they did.

Mike Miller  05:25

Because what happened is, as, as these companies put out content, they realized that there were people following it, like not just reading it, it wasn’t just getting people to Google, from Google to their website, so they could see what they had to offer. It was people coming back and constantly following them, and engaging with them and comment commenting on their posts, and they built a following

Shelly Miller  05:51


Mike Miller  05:51

So then what happened is, in smaller companies, some of these content writers, owners of the business stood out in front of this crowd. And then they started building a personal brand. Fortune 500 hired content managers, or some other content related title. And those people stood out in front of the crowd, and gained notoriety and really just took over the face of the company. So once the influencer started, well, they weren’t influencers at the time, they were just building a personal brand. But over time, they became influencers, which is extreme, which they have leveraged for, not only fame, and popularity, but wealth. And, you know, beyond and riches beyond imagination. Well, I can imagine a lot but anyway,

Shelly Miller  06:49

right. But it’s the truth. I mean, and they were writing quality content that can only be found from them.

Mike Miller  06:58

Right. And it attracted a following, because it was answering questions that they had that the following had. It was solving problems that the following had. And it was entertaining.

Shelly Miller  07:12

Yes. Exactly.

Mike Miller  07:14

That group of people, you know, yes. So that’s what it’s all about. It’s about two things. First, Google second, building a personal brand, building a face and an influencer? For the business, right?

Shelly Miller  07:38


Mike Miller  07:39

And if you don’t believe me, look at your industry. Man. It’s service providers, look at your industry, and go, Oh, there’s that guy. And there’s that lady and there’s that guy.

Shelly Miller  07:50


Mike Miller  07:51

 Right there the figureheads of their business, and they’re also very successful.

Shelly Miller  07:55

Right. And they are creating quality content. Right. And that’s why, exactly that’s, that’s a major reason why they are where they are today. Right.

Mike Miller  08:07

Exactly. Right. Yeah. So So now let’s let’s look at what’s going on out there, all this foolishness going on in the marketplace. So people think that they have to have a blog. People as in, you know, managed service providers.

Shelly Miller  08:26


Mike Miller  08:26

technology service provider, right, you know, managed security services provider, because they do it industry as a whole.

Shelly Miller  08:33

Yeah, they’re just they look at, okay, so these people are successful, and they have content. So what do I need content?

Mike Miller  08:37


Shelly Miller  08:38

something else just okay. So I got to slam some content out there.

Mike Miller  08:41

Right. So how can I get some content? Right? Yes. Well, we got Joe over here. He’s selling content. And it’s, and it’s real cheap.

Shelly Miller  08:51

Yeah. Right. articles

Mike Miller  08:52

from Joe. Yeah, yeah. Articles really show. And so come to find out. Joe’s selling that same article to like 700 different people. And so now that you know, the history of content marketing, tell me, how does that work?

Shelly Miller  09:12

And how and how well, is it going to work?

Mike Miller  09:16

No, it won’t.

Shelly Miller  09:17

Because remember, so we’re going to back up. What we just said was that these influencers became influencers because of their quality, unique,yes. Special, different

Mike Miller  09:28

content focused on specific market,

Shelly Miller  09:30

educational and extremely useful to their users. Yeah. So how does buying an article that 700 other people not not just across the world or in all industries in your industry, just just just to an MSP? Yeah. They just give them all that same article?

Mike Miller  09:52

Yeah. How so? It doesn’t

Shelly Miller  09:55

it doesn’t work, doesn’t it? Yeah. I mean, I, I know how smarter listeners are too. So

Mike Miller  10:00

Yes, that they they know that doesn’t make any sense. It doesn’t make any sense. None. And and you can tell by just taking the the headline, you know, dare you take the headline of what you know someone posts or other article you bought you bought? Yep, post it and paste it in google it search and see if you don’t get at least three pages of the exact same article? Yes, because that’s what I’m seeing. I’m seeing people buying that stuff and posting it on their website. And then some people are like, well, we’re doing it right, because Google won’t call it duplicate content, and you won’t get penalized because it’s not duplicate content, because we cite the original source. Or you could post it on LinkedIn.

Shelly Miller  10:47


Mike Miller  10:47

What good does it do to basically you’re not going to build a following of people using someone else’s content?

Shelly Miller  10:56

No, and let’s back up just for real quick for a minute. So you mentioned the history of content marketing. So if we go back in time, and the problems, so so a lot of the problem with a lot of marketing is that people want to be number one, and they’ll do anything to do it. Yeah. So they found tricks and ways to get their content out or to get their their articles ranked higher. Right. And Google smart. And I think we all know that by now. So they just keep knocking those people away. So the more that you try to

Mike Miller  11:33

make investments and hackish ways to influence

Shelly Miller  11:36

Yes. So So basically, every time someone tells us that they they got knocked off of Google, we basically we know immediately that it’s because they were doing something Yeah, not not, not above board. Let’s put it that way. Right. So if you just start now writing these great articles, and you and you do things because you have a passion for what you do, right? So I’m not just talking a blog post, I mean, so you post this in social, you have something that, you know, just comes out of your heart today, and you just need to post this, right? If you do that, that’s the way this is the way if you if you do that, you’ll never get knocked off of Google, you will get better and better every day about talking to your audience and writing.

Mike Miller  12:25


Shelly Miller  12:26

And you would that’s actually although that track seems like it’s long, it’s actually the fast track

Mike Miller  12:34

to be successful. the hard way is the easy way,

Shelly Miller  12:36

the hard way is the easy way. And then you also don’t have to worry about all this bs stuff. You know, that could happen because you’re you bought this but you forgot to put it you’d bought this article, but you forgot to put nofollow. And now Google doesn’t like you. So now you’ve dropped on the search engine results. I mean, it’s just don’t do it. Don’t do it. And and if somebody you know, comes to you and says, You need some content,

Mike Miller  12:59

it’s better to do nothing. But

Shelly Miller  13:01

it is I mean, you need to identify what kind of content you’re buying. And think about you as the influencer, the owner of your business and decide is this what I want this article that everybody else has, or this article that really it touches on what I want to do, but it’s not really who I am, it doesn’t have my personality in it. So then, why why why use it? Right? You know, Robert Herjavec doesn’t doesn’t buy articles like that. Oh, yeah, I’m gonna go ahead and put on my website, this article that 700 other msps? I mean, do you think that’s why he is where he is today? No,

Mike Miller  13:40

no, no, you got to invest. You have to invest in yourself, create the resource. Exactly.

Shelly Miller  13:46

And create the tools and the content for your business because of who you are. Right?

Mike Miller  13:52

Build your personal brand,

Shelly Miller  13:54

build your personal brand.

Mike Miller  13:55

And here’s why this is important. You know, because I said, you don’t have to do content and you don’t you could build a great business just like some people do it off. jayvees you know, JV joint ventures, right?

Shelly Miller  14:06

They do.

Mike Miller  14:08

And it’s possible? It is it’s possible, you could do that. You could build a great business just off cold calling as well. So you wouldn’t need content. But here’s why you really do. So I think it was 2018 McKinsey, which is one of the best consultants in the world. You know, there’s Bain, there’s McKinsey, right. management consultants, right. So like, when all state wants to do something they call in McKinsey. McKinsey tells them Yes, that’s a good idea. We’ve done the research, right? Anyway, they did research and they predicted now this is before COVID. But they predicted that 40% of the US workforce would be consultants by 2021.

Shelly Miller  14:57

Yeah. Amazing.

Mike Miller  14:59

So, then COVID happened. So now you’ve got all these consultants, right? consultants running around. And they’re either doing Uber Eats, or they’re, you know, they’re trying to make a living. So then there’s you and your business, right? And you already know that you have competition. And the competition could be global, not necessarily globalized in the industry yet fully, but it could be. And now you have all these consultants coming up, that want to get in front of your audience and take your business away from you. But you’re trying to grow and you want business?

Shelly Miller  15:43


Mike Miller  15:44

So how are you going to separate yourself? How are you going to stand out stand apart? What’s your unique selling proposition? In a world of sameness?

Shelly Miller  15:55


Mike Miller  15:55

right? That’s

Shelly Miller  15:56

a very good way to put it.

Mike Miller  15:58

So isn’t is this sinking in? I hope so. So let’s say a consultant comes along and they start pumping videos out and they’re talking to your audience, and they’re getting attention in a space, and they’re becoming a big fish in a small pond, they’re going to, they’re going to dominate that, that niche that segment. And if you’re not prepared, if you don’t have anything, to at least combat that. Your toast eventually, you know, depends on how big you are. So the goal is, then build a personal brand, build, put yourself as the face of your company, and show everyone how passionate you are about what you do. And create your own content. Right.

Shelly Miller  16:51

Right. So just do the first three, and you’ll know what to create. So a lot of people also are like, what should I create? Well, you know, we like to say, Well, first of all, what are your goals? Yeah. And where is your ICP? Yeah. And then also factor in what you know, that you can do consistently. So, you know, I’ve had, we just had somebody tell us that they were told we have to write six blog posts a month? Well, the person couldn’t, he couldn’t, he couldn’t keep up with that. He couldn’t write the six articles a month, right? So you need to think about, you know, letting you shine through. And in doing that, where can you consistently put that content out? Where you know, is it LinkedIn? You know, and how and what formats that will grab people’s attention. Some people don’t have video equipment, but they like to do videos, and your phone is completely acceptable. Yeah, do little videos. People love that. Yes. You start there. Yes. Just start somewhere, that you you feel you just whatever your gut says, Yeah, you know, where is that place? And then do it consistently.

Mike Miller  18:01

That’s the end that so two rules start and be consistently? Yes. Yeah, be consistent. Exactly. You have to do that. And, you know, so So, you know, how do you do it? What, like, what’s the best way? Well, you got to realize that you can publish content, and then re purpose. They call it repurpose, right. But really what it is, is like be smart about how you create content, right? We’re creating a video right now. And we do this with our vlog as well. We create the video, then we transcribe the video. Now it’s text, we put that text and the video on our blog. Now we have a blog post. Right? Right, right, we’ve got a podcast. So which you’re watching or listening to thank you. And we transcribe it, and we put it on our on our blog, and then we put it on all the podcast channels, then we put the video on YouTube, then we promote it on Facebook and Instagram, then we promoted on LinkedIn, but we don’t promote it on LinkedIn, we put it as an article on LinkedIn.

Shelly Miller  19:23

Right. So that’s a good point to lay out how we do it. Because it’s also another point of contention for people who are, you know, scared or don’t feel like they have enough time to create content? Yeah. It’s true. It’s time consuming. It’s it’s very important, however, they’re smart. Yeah, exactly. There’s smart ways to do it. So you, you know, you create a piece of content, make sure that you take that content and put it out there as many places that you feel your ICP is so you know, a lot of people are like, I’ve had to All this work in this video took me 12 hours. And I put it up on YouTube and no one watched it. He didn’t put it anywhere else. So no wonder why people are like, Oh my god, I can’t, you know, this is just awful. I, you know, it takes too much time, right, you have to be smart about how you promote it. So, you know, promote it in many ways, take use that one piece of content and syndicated in as many places as you can and promote it.

Mike Miller  20:26

Yes, that’s true, but and also realize that the first video you do, you’re not going to get anything. It’s the 300th video, and then all of a sudden, you’re, you know, very popular,

Shelly Miller  20:40

right. That’s the consistency. And I think to as business owners, owners and entrepreneurs, you know, that, that’s, there’s times, most of the time you have to continually do something before you see results. Right? You know, it’s just like, everything is that way, but people you know, they think I’ve done this five times, though, you know, it’s just like, you know, weight loss journey I’ve, I’ve exercised great. And I’ve eaten right for two weeks, why? And I see nothing, you know, it’s the same thing. So remember, it’s the consistency comes in on that part as well. So create it, promote it, and all the ways it that you’ve, you know, you feel your ICP sees you in and be consistent. You’ll you’ll notice growth. And you’ll also get better at doing it, the more you do.

Mike Miller  21:31

Exactly, exactly. And so, once you know how to be smart about creating it, you also need to what am I trying to say? You have to once you’re once you understand how to create it, you need to know how often you need to do it. That’s what I’m trying to say. Okay?

Shelly Miller  21:54


Mike Miller  21:54

that’s the word. So you need a schedule. So but think about it, what’s the purpose of it, to build that authority to build that influence? Right? So you want to be in front of your audience as much as possible. Both on social and on your blog, you want reasons for them to come back. But who’s who also is your audience, your leads, and your clients? So that’s what email marketing is all about? Great staying in front of your clients staying in front of your leads, nurturing your leads? And are you going to send them offers every day? Right. So what would be something great, something that they would want to see in their email inbox? Really great content that answers their questions by that person? They like? Yes. Right. Yes.

Shelly Miller  23:00

That’s how it’s done.

Mike Miller  23:00

That’s how it’s done. It’s

Shelly Miller  23:01

no secret. It’s really it’s, it’s you just it’s you just need to think about it.

Mike Miller  23:05

Exactly. It’s very simple. You just have to do it. Now, there are little complexities. And so so why would you hire someone like us? Right? Well, think about it, you may only have time to do one or two, a month of you. Yes. And you need that. So you need some fill in, right? You need someone who can create really good quality articles to fill in. But another part of SEO is links and backlinks. Right? The best way to get those is guest posts. So are you going to write so this is why you buy articles, if you’re going to buy articles, but you do it by someone who’s a professional, who is a copywriter who knows your industry and knows how to write for SEO. Okay, don’t buy an article that everyone’s already posted. Because you’re not going to get that on someone else’s website. And you want to get good websites, good quality websites to post your articles and link back to you.

Shelly Miller  24:17

Great point.

Mike Miller  24:18

That’s, that’s content marketing. There you go. That’s what this is all about. So I hope you have a good idea of what you’re trying to accomplish with content marketing. And I hope you also understand why your if it’s $50 a month, you’re wasting it.

Shelly Miller  24:37

Yeah, it is. You’re wasting you’re buying content articles.

Mike Miller  24:41

Yeah. And we didn’t talk about curating but we’ll leave that for another discussion.

Shelly Miller  24:50

Okay. I think we’ve given an I think we’ve given them a lot to think about because you know, it’s content is king. Yeah. You just have to do it right. And you’ll and you’ll reap the rewards of it, then you’ll then you’ll start to love the content and understand why it’s important to create it, right?

Mike Miller  25:09

It’s not an instant on, but nothing is. It’s like working out. It’s like losing 20 pounds. It’s gonna take a little bit. Gonna take a little bit. Yeah, yeah, you gotta be consistent. And stop eating the snacks of cheap content.

Shelly Miller  25:26

There you go. All right.

Shelly Miller

Shelly Miller

Entrepreneur, marketer and social psychologist - I help you make the most of your business with marketing, online and offline.

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