Squeeze the Day Webinar: 5 Steps to Create a 2022 Marketing Plan for the Real World

2022 MSP Marketing Plan

Join Us for Our Next Webinar: 2022 Marketing Plans Made Simple for MSPs

It can feel daunting to create an MSP marketing plan for 2022. There are so many marketing tactics to choose from and what should you budget anyway? 

At BigOrange Marketing, we work with MSPs like yours to take marketing off your plate and help support your goals. From your SEO strategy to social media, we will review the steps to put a clear 2022 marketing plan into place. We will also make budget recommendations and provide a few downloads to help you along the way. That way you can relax and enjoy your holidays!

Are you ready for 2022? Do you have big goals for your MSP? Do you have a clear MSP marketing plan to support achieving those goals? Join us on December 9 at 12 p.m. EST for a webinar on Crowdcast. You’ll come away from the session with the steps you need to implement a clear marketing plan in 2022.

You’re invited

Webinar: 2022 Marketing Plans Made Simple for MSPs

When: Thursday, December 9, 2021 at 12 p.m. EST

The webinar will be approximately 20 minutes long. Watch and collaborate with our team and more MSP marketing professionals in real-time or later at your convenience.


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Webinar Transcript

Hello there. Thank you for joining us today, I’m going to share my screen. We’re going to go over 5 steps to creating a 2022 MSP marketing plan for the real world. Here’s what we’re going to cover in our agenda today. We’re going to tell you a little bit about your speakers today and why we’re here talking to you. We’re going to tell you why you should spend time on a marketing plan and why it’s worth your investment of time and money. 5 steps to follow to create a marketing plan, and then we will review those steps again in an action list and I have several resources to share. I hope to do this in 20 minutes to keep it moving. Today’s webinar is presented by me, Margee Moore, with BigOrange Marketing. Here is the image of our leadership team. We individually all have 15 years + of marketing experience. We’ve helped dozens of clients win millions of dollars in business. We’re a HubSpot partner and we are Storybrand Certified. But enough about us and why we are here, I’m talking about you today. Why invest time in a marketing plan? Really 5 reasons. Focus, it’s going to force you to think and put things down on paper. It then gives you a focused plan that you can check back against regularly, what progress you’re making and are you fulfilling the things you put down on your plan. It helps you align resources and spend money and time more wisely and provides clarity and alignment for your team and your actions that helps you decide what you need to do first, second and third. Proactive, it also helps you be proactive and plan out your year. A marketing plan should also include measurable goals and it will help you achieve your financial goals for your firm, for your team, for your clients. We like to say if you don’t know where you’re going you won’t know when you get there, or if you don’t know where you’re going you won’t get anywhere you will just be running in circles.


All right. Items that we include in a marketing plan we want to keep our marketing plan simple. We want to include goals or in other words a sales forecast and goals, really both. Strategy, one to two sentences about your marketing strategy. You want to talk about your target market, a budget, calendar and controls to implement things that are in your plan. Tactics then measurements should be part of your marketing plan. One of the things to consider when you start is to look around in the managed service provider industry and general marketing trends. HubSpot always puts out their annual marketing report at this time (end of the year) with the top twelve key points to take away from that report. I highlighted some of the ones that make the most difference for what we’re talking about today. Video is going to continue to be part of the plan, and short video content is a very important part of the plan. Notice it doesn’t say ad-video, it’s really assuming video is now tablesteaks. So think about that. Global optimization I didn’t even highlight that because I think that’s also tablesteaks. Moving into the other highlighted points here, companies are gonna continue to prioritize social responsibility. They’re thinking about things like nonprofits that you support. This would be the year to go ahead and put some of that into action. Experiential marketing making a comeback. Where that applies to MSPs is events such as chamber meetings and things like that, start to put that back into your plans for 2022. SEO is very important for getting that search traffic to be found in the first place. That’s really gotta continue. Virtual events are gonna continue but brands are gonna invest less in virtual events because the live events are coming back but virtual events are going to continue to be a component of everything. Also important for MSPs, inbound marketing is gonna remain a best practice for growing brands, being found for what you’re selling, converting those inbound leads and inbound visitors to leads. Continue inbound marketing. Another last point I highlighted, ABM, account based marketing, that’s going to help align sales and marketing teams. So that’s just a recap of the trends, I chose this image because I think the furry red coat is a trend we could perhaps all ignore.


Marketing tactics. Just high-level tactics. Tactics are these types of things. Inbound marketing tactics include things like your website, your organic SEO content, video content, email marketing, social media, paid social, Google Ads, I’m categorizing all of that as inbound. You also want to consider outbound marketing: sales targeting lists, email automation and then marketing supporting that all work as part of your plan. We’re gonna talk a little bit less about outbound marketing, we’re gonna talk a lot about inbound. Off-page things include conferences, talks, chambers, print, pieces like brochures and stuff, radio perhaps, PR definitely for those link-back strategies. Technology should also be part of your considerations; a CRM system for marketing automation, and then support. If you’re considering hiring a marketing firm or a web developer firm, make sure to put that in your plans and your budget. And now for the 5 steps to help you create your 2022 marketing plan.


Step 1: goals. Start with defining the 2022 goals based on looking at the 2021 results. So as a business, your leadership team has overall business goals. Understand the overall business goals. Then, financial forecasting should really start with the sales team’s review of their current year results, things like closed deals, number of seats that was per month, the average deal size, what types of firms those were that closed,. Sales then should look at forecasting, what they expect to happen in 2022. Numerically you know with talking details things like closed deals, which then backs into we’re hoping to have this many closed sales, this backs into this many first time appoints, discovery calls, this many leads. Marketing then backs that into this much traffic. When we’re talking about goals, marketing as it gets to this time of the year should start reviewing the analytics that supported those 2021 results. Things like how much traffic was there, how much did the traffic convert into leads, where did those leads come from, what % were organic vs paid search campaigns, which campaigns did those really come from. What terms from the search perspective are you winning for? Little example here, based on the composite of talking to a lot of different clients this week, perhaps up at the top there is a desire to increase top-line revenue 15%, this translates into a goal of adding 90 new seats per month, we average 30 average seats per customer. Historically in 2021, we added 70 seats per month which was maybe an average of 2.5 net new customers per month. We want to close three clients per month in 2022, that means we need X number of FTAs to get so many closed deals, etc. So that’s the type of conversations that we should be having to come up with those goals and to write them down.


Step two in coming up with a marketing plan: target. Understand your target market and your ideal customers. Review your best customers, what are those parameters of those ideal customers; is it revenue size based, is it number of employees, is it when they have internal IT or co-managed IT. What was the need they had when they came to you originally? Was it being unhappy with their current IT service provider, was it being hard to reach, did someone leave the company? Then look at industries. What industries do you work well with? In 2022, segmenting and targeting industries, with such a busy and competitive field, is going to start to be important. Do look at what segment you work well with, and think about that for planning out quarterly thoughts. If you haven’t already developed personas to help you clarify your messaging of how you help to solve their problems. Then, using the EOS type of language, the entrepreneur operating system, write your target market and make plans for what they call “building your list”. Those conversations should look something like “Our target first are 50-500 employee firms in our region, in the financial services (healthcare, manufacturing) industry with greater than $20 million in manual revenue. Our target revenues are small to midsize Business Owner Bob, IT Director Derek, and Accidental IT CFO Amy.” These are just examples of what those conversations could be like when you start to define your target for 2022. 

Step 3 is to assess. Sales and marketing should get together and asses what worked, and align on those goals that we have talked about in the first two steps. Also it’s time to start talking about the budget. Meet as a sales and marketing team to review those industry trends and those marketing trends together. Review the marketing tactics that led to the best return on investment in 2021. Marketing should be able to look at that and analyze it especially when you’re using a good robust CRM system. Keep in mind you will need multiple marketing tactics to work together from the search optimized website to a content plan, to paid social, Google Ads, and being active in social for example. To reach those growth goals. It’s not gonna be just one that you continue. Review the 2021 budget and spending that led to those 2021 results. If your 2022 goals are 20% higher, does the budget match that 20% increase? Because it should! This is roughly just noodling on what a conversation might sound like: our best performing search pages are our home pages, our cloud services page for small businesses. Strong posts included the article series we had on ransomware attacks. thESE PAGEs had a 1% conversion rate of visitors to leads. Maybe something like paid campaigns led to that conversation rate. With a robust CRM, we could see that was a return on investment of 2x that paid campaign spend. We decided financial services firms are something we’re gonna target in the first quarter, so we want to develop an inbound strategy around a compliance checklist for financial services firms. Looking at 2021 marketing qualified leads that marketing delivered for such and such number year to date; if those were converted to closed deals at a rate of 25%, and our average lifetime value is 150000 or so, then you start to do the math in your spreadsheets and have those conversations of where you should spend your time and money in 2022, which leads us to the next part of setting a marketing plan for 2022.


Look at the tactics, tactic by tactic, that helped you get found and that converted those visitors to leads. We’re going to talk about each tactic so I think this is hopefully going to be very valuable. Always remember that your website is your hub. Does it reflect your authentic nature so that people want to engage with you? Is your website built to convert? I mention the website first and foremost because it has to be in place before you start other tactics. Are you being found for the terms that people search for when they look for what you’re selling? Are you active in those places where your target market is online? Are you active in the places where your target market is in the real world? For example, financial service firms, they have regularly scheduled trade association meetings throughout your city. For marketing, the American Marketing Association has monthly meetings, the same is true for the types of firms you’re targeting. We’re going to review our top tactics in order of importance. First of all, the website. If you haven’t already, investing in a website that clearly shows how you solve your customers problems and is built to convert, the inbound methodology and capturing those leads efficiently is important. It should show authentic images of what it’s like to work with you, plus aspirational images of happy, smiling customers. Your website should be optimized for search, key terms for your region. conversion paths should be there to capture those leads so you can nurture those leads. The next most important tactic to consider is SEO. In content marketing, content plans. If your website’s in place, you need a content plan to continue to build on those key search terms. Sales needs content to nurture this leads to becoming customers. Leaders need new ideas and new content to share to stay relevant.Commit to a content plan of nurtured thought leader content, something that you can sustain. Start with maybe one blog post or video (or both together) once a month and then really ideally we tell a lot of people once per week is really a great cadence. Twice per week, but I realize that sounds a little scary. All content should chip away at your keyword plan and also consider a long-tail location based strategy. If you’re in growth mode, or if you’re a company where you’re really not achieving like “Cincinnati IT Support”, those main core terms we’re all looking to achieve, do consider a longer tail strategy like “Cincinnati office 365 provider”, “Cincinnati azure consultant”. Those types of additional content pages should be part of your strategy.


Email marketing, I’m talking about both an email newsletter and email nurture campaigns and sales sequences (email in general). These things help you engage your prospects and they also help keep your clients informed and engaged. An email newsletter is an easy way to share that content you’re creating; if it doesn’t get red every time it still keeps you top of line because your name is in their inbox. Email nurture campaigns are essential to managing those leads and bring them to become a customer. Sales teams need pre-written sequences or email marketing automation to reach out to the prospects that they are targeting through their outbound work.

Social media. Social media 75% of B2B buyers use social media when making a purchase; 75%! so you know what you think about this and we’re talking about business leader. Business Leaders and business owners are checking out your social media, and then they’re asking their peers “who did you use” so you have to be present and relevant to build that confidence and ability in your services. And then also keep in mind that your Google ranking is based on many factors of which your social media and your link-backs matter.

The next marketing strategy to really consider is sales funnels. customers do the majority of learning about you online before they reach out to you, I think it’s 57% of the buyer’s journey is complete before they reach out. People aren’t always ready to reach out so they want to learn more. Sales funnels allow you to capture leads and are an essential part in the inbound methodology. People want to be educated, they don’t want to be sold to, so you can provide them with some great educational information and then a beautifully-designed sales funnel or e-book that can provide a great real-world printable leave behind that you can mail out to your hot lead follow up prospects – something that we do and find very effective.


Video. 60% of marketers, from the HubSpot study, 60% of marketers found video to be their most effective strategy in 2021. It’s a given that in 2022 your marketing plan needs to include video. Amateur is the new professional don’t worry about taking videos on your phone; a high-quality phone is all you need. You have knowledge to share that people want to know. The tools you need are just that good phone, basically a tripod and then potentially like a Zoom meeting, someone to coach you through a series of questions. This is the way that we can do that really simply. and another idea for making video manageable is bundle up 3 topics at once or use a resource like big orange marketing or Freelancers to clean up and bundle those for you. then you want to share those on your YouTube channel and then from your YouTube channel (which is a big search engine) then share it to your own website 

Another important tactic for you to consider for your 2022 marketing plan is paid social. You’re gonna add juice to your marketing plans with paid social. A lot of agency peers are requiring paid campaigns as part of all social plans in 2022. It is needed to get you the reach that you are looking for. Organic social needs paid campaigns to reach new audiences. Content of paid sales funnels should center around campaigns, so think about how I talked about you possibly wanting to target financial services firms in the first quarter. Focus your efforts all together on the sort of quarterly campaigns if you’re going after financial services in first-quarter. Your paid campaigns should relate to that, your sales funnel should relate to that, keep it all working together and less is better. If you could do two campaigns in 2022 that’s great, if you could do four, even better, if you can do one, just choose. For MSPs, keep in mind LinkedIn is your primary choice for social and paid social. Be prepared that paid social on LinkedIn is a lot more of an awareness than a lead play, and then when you are doing paid social boosting you should be remembering to boost things that are like sales funnel that will lead to lead capture so that you’re buying an audience from LinkedIn, rather than renting an audience from LinkedIn.

Google Ads should also be part of your plan. I actually might reverse the order on these and put Google Ads before paid LinkedIn ads. Let me say that these slides in order, I would reverse that thought. Highly targeted Google Ads boost your overall strategy. For MSPs, competition and pricing is very fierce in Google Ads for some of these high value terms like $40 per click for things like “cloud services solutions” and “IT service provider”. You can use tools like SpyFu and see what your competitors are paying for various terms. After your website is in place, built for conversions and optimized to provide high-quality scores (meaning the terms you’re going to put in your search ads match the terms that are on your page when they get there and Google gives you a high quality score and Google keeps your prices a little), then that’s a good time to invest. In 2022, plan to spend $2,000 to $3,000 a month to see results. So then also include in your plan those longer tail terms, especially if you’re doing that longer tail strategy because you’ll have some pages to drive to. Realize some of those terms, if they don’t have sufficient search volume, might not be viable options for paid campaigns.


Last tactic to consider is technology. A robust CRM will pay for itself. You need to remember when you’re planning your 2022 budget to budget for that CRM. It’s just HubSpot to support your goals. Roughly budget in the mid-level of contacts (like 1000-10000) budget like $900-$1600 to support that sales outreach plus marketing automation. Just remember to budget for your technology. Things like HubSpot training are readily available. You probably want to put certifications and achieve some certifications, like sales software software certification, as part of an individual’s goals for the year to make sure you get the most out of that technology investment. 

This is the last tactic. Non-digital things. Consider sharing your expertise and participating in your community. Like I mentioned, industry trade groups like CPA associations, manufacturing associations, your area chambers, they want to hear from you and you have a lot of knowledge to share. Take time to bundle up a talk or two which means writing a one or two paragraph respectus of what the key takeaways will be. That’s probably all you really need to submit your talk to these organizations and then you can worry about writing the talk when you gett accepted. Hopefully there’s enough time to do that. Also consider webinars. Keep in mind you really just have to come up with ten webinar topics pretty much and you recycle them annually and then when you do those webinars, those are the starters of your talks, then you can recycle them into those talks. Also remember to do off-page things like participating in local awards which are great for link backs. Things like c-suite awards in our area. Then every city has a business journal, those types of events are very important as well and they are looking for speakers. 

Step five of this plan and this is a big one. Commit. Now’s the time to corral your ideas into a cadence and commit. Start to describe your strategy in one to two sentences. Start with a one-page marketing plan . We’re going to put an example of that as a resource on our website. There’s always the entrepreneur operations system (EOS VTO) ; it has a section to also document your marketing. Highly recommend it. A calendar style project plan of what you’re going to do in the first quarter, what your campaign is in the second quarter, and to plan a year using a calendar. Determine a cadence of content you can support. if it’s that one post a month, determine the cadence of socials per month, two pots per week. What kind of video cadence can you maintain? Create those social and content calendars. Align on what those quarterly campaigns would be as a team. Then set aside a budget to support those items that you’ve put in that project plan. Budget money and time to support those goals, so put that down. We will share some resources to templates to start drafting some of those things. 

So here’s your action plan of putting these items back together again. To recap. Step number one, determine your goals, review your current year numbers and determine goals for 2022. Step number two , define your target, clearly define the parameters that make your best customers. Select a few industries to focus on in 2022, highly recommend this. Assess what worked, assess your 2021 marketing strategies that drove the most return on investment. This is also a time to assess your SEO rankings for key terms and identify some gaps where you can add more content to hit some gaps. Consider all tactics, so think of tactic by tactic. We’ll put that in the spreadsheet and definitely start with your website. Is that in good order? Is it optimized for search? Do I need to make that my first quarter, second quarter goal? Then start adding things like the content, the social, the video, the paid campaigns. Then put all those tactics down. Then write down your plan and commit the resources. Fill out a template like this, keep it simple, use that template from EOS (the EOS VTO), which I’ll put in the resources page at the end. Do plan out your year as a project plan, and then budget amounts of the tactics you choose. 

Okay, so. Here’s a little plug. Not sure what to do next? Confused? We can always help with a marketing planning strategy session and help you move forward most efficiently. We also offer free website assessments and consultations on our website. If we can be of service, here is the resources I mentioned for clarifying your message, Building a StoryBrand, highly recommend that. The EOS resources I’ve mentioned. The VTO is available right there. The VTO has in it a section on writing down your marketing strategy, writing down that ideal target market, writing down your three uniques, or your value proposition (what makes you different), writing down your prj oven process, writing down your guarantee pledge. Those are some things the VTO would help you put down. We’ll share, here was  a  visual of a one-page marketing plan that had a lot of components of what we’re looking for. We’ll adapt that and put it on our blog as well. It was adapted from the Business Model Canvas which became common property and so anyone can adapt that as well. HubSpot’s 2022 marketing report is under “marketing trends”, so that is there as well. Also ending with our plug of our key differences is working with BigOrange Marketing you get a team of experts, you get small firm attention. Complete management of your marketing off your plate, following our proven blueprint. You get seasoned pros, some firms you get sold in by the A-team and you have only junior people delivering. Here we’re all pros and we’re affordable. We’re headquartered in the midwest and we keep our prices affordable. And we deliver what others promise: we’re honest and know what needs to get done and do it, period. So that’s the end of my presentation, and hopefully you’re still here. I will navigate back and end the recording.

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I'm the CEO + Digital Marketing Strategist at BigOrange Marketing. I’m passionate about helping companies to clarify their messaging to get leads and grow.

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