Many colocation providers attempt to win new business by commanding the attention of prospects. These approaches include:
- Telemarketing cold calls
- Direct-mail campaigns
- Unsolicited emails and text messages
- Pop up ads
Unfortunately, such tactics frequently have the opposite effect. Prospects today resist efforts that demand their attention and money. They purchase ad blockers, send unwanted emails directly to their junk folder, and refuse to answer their phones when they do not recognize the incoming number.
In fact, resistance to unsolicited marketing has resulted in regulatory efforts, such as establishing the National Do Not Call Registry.
Helping, Not Harassing
Colocation providers must consider clients' preferences, needs, and goals to avoid being intrusive. The key is to get a potential client’s attention without making them feel assaulted by marketing messages, and the best way to accomplish this is to understand how they seek out IT-related services.
How to Help: Be Visible
Prospects today are not a passive audience. Techniques such as commercials, advertisements, and direct mail can prove to be ineffective.
Prospective clients decide when they are interested in learning more about a product or service and then proceed to search online, making them a more proactive group than earlier generations.
- Search engines: Buyers evaluate their prospects ahead of time by doing online research. Colocation providers must invest in good SEO practices to ensure they appear prominently on the search engine results pages when the customer is looking for them.
- Social media: Peer reviews carry an enormous amount of weight. Buyers use Facebook, Twitter (X), and other social media outlets to see what other clients say about a data center and check out how well the center engages with them.
- Mobile devices: Searches carried out on mobile devices now exceed those performed on traditional desktop computers. Colo providers must ensure their websites are mobile-friendly to get their information from mobile users.
How to Help: Provide Expert Colocation Advice
The colo provider must present itself as a company with expert staff who can solve problems and help clients get the most value from their hosting package. From a marketing perspective, this means establishing the following:
- Internal content champion: Internal content champions have the position and influence to assemble a cross-departmental team to disseminate marketing content through various outlets.
- Inbound strategy: Inbound marketing consists of creating and publishing content that brings clients to the colo provider instead of vice versa. Leads cultivated in this manner have a much greater chance of becoming qualified and, later, sales-ready.
- Editorial process: Putting content through an editorial process ensures both accuracy and relevance to its intended audience.
If a business releases content that is not compelling and helpful to prospective clients, it does nothing for its place on the market. In fact, producing content for content’s sake is a guaranteed way to damage a business’s credibility.
Instead of bombarding prospects with irrelevant content, focus on creating helpful and easy-to-find content for when they need it. A carefully crafted information sheet, webinar, or blog post can win new colocation business long after it goes live.
What has your colocation business done to help prospects and win new business? Sound off in the comments below.