According to a recent report by MarketsandMarkets, the global cloud services market size is expected to grow to USD 1,240.9 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 17.9% during the forecast period.
The major driving factors for the market include the increasing adoption of cloud computing in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), increased automation and agility, the need to deliver enhanced customer experience, increased cost savings and ROI, the rise in remote work, and the growing demand for cloud-based services such as SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS.
These results present an incredible opportunity for businesses to leverage cloud services to increase their market share and grow their revenue. To capitalize on this trend, cloud service organizations need to create effective marketing and selling strategies that focus on the features and benefits of cloud services and the value they can add to customers.
Make sure to check out these 10 Valuation Parameters if you're interested in growing your company for acquisition.
But Selling Cloud Services is Tough
The cloud market is growing at a rapid pace, with more and more businesses jumping on board to take advantage of the many benefits it offers. However, selling cloud services can be a challenging task for companies in this lucrative industry.
Selling cloud services is no easy feat, as the market share of cloud providers is incredibly competitive and constantly evolving. With a wide range of options to choose from – both established players and emerging startups – customers have their pick of the litter when it comes to solutions.
There are several reasons why it can be challenging for cloud services companies to sell their services:
Competition: The cloud services market is highly competitive, with many established companies and new entrants vying for market share.
Lack of understanding: Many potential customers may not fully understand the benefits of cloud services or how they can be used to improve their business.
Complexity: Cloud services can be complex, and it can be difficult for companies to explain the technical details in a way that non-technical decision-makers can understand.
Security concerns: Some potential customers may have concerns about the security of their data in the cloud and may be hesitant to adopt cloud services.
Pricing and contract terms: Many customers may be looking for flexible pricing and contract terms, which can be difficult for some cloud services companies to offer.
Resistance to change: Some organizations may be resistant to change and may be hesitant to adopt new technologies like cloud services.
Lack of trust: Some customers may not trust new cloud services providers and may prefer to stick with established providers.
Market saturation: The market of cloud services is already saturated and the customer may not see the need of adopting a new service.
Overall, selling cloud services requires a deep understanding of the customer's needs and the ability to communicate the value of the services in a way that is easy to understand. It also requires the ability to address security and compliance concerns, and to offer flexible pricing and contract terms.
How to Overcome these Cloud Selling Challenges
Companies must go above and beyond to differentiate themselves from the competition and provide a compelling value proposition to prospects. In this section, we will look at some of the key strategies that can help any business succeed when trying to sell cloud services.
Getting the most out of cloud selling requires a comprehensive, multifaceted approach that leverages every available channel and tool at your disposal. Your team should use tactics such as email campaigns, online advertising, referral programs, content marketing and more to drive awareness of your services and engage potential customers. Additionally, an experienced sales team with strong industry knowledge is critical in order to effectively engage customers and close deals.
Researching your target market, understanding their needs and delivering value-based solutions are all critical pieces of the puzzle when trying to maximize cloud selling success. It’s also important to stay informed about the latest trends in cloud technology, as well as any potential disruptors that could shake up the landscape. With a thoughtful and comprehensive approach, companies can position themselves to capture more cloud market share and unlock lasting success.
Let's now focus on the marketing aspects needed.
A 3 step approach to Marketing Cloud Services
By leveraging the right strategies, cloud providers can not only increase sales but also build trust with their customers by delivering on their promises of value-added services.
To succeed in selling your cloud services, you need to approach it with focused strategy. Here are some tips on how to maximize your potential for success when marketing cloud services:
1. Understand Your Audience - It's essential to understand who will be using your cloud services and what their needs are. Knowing who your target audience is will help you create effective messaging that resonates with them and encourages them to purchase your cloud services.
2. Hone your Messaging and Offers - Target the needs of specific customer segments and what they're looking for from cloud solutions. Focus on value by making sure you clearly communicate the value of your cloud services and demonstrate why customers should choose your offering over competitors. Be sure to highlight features that set your service apart from the competition. But also focus on customer needs and use this to create compelling content that clearly communicates the value of your cloud services. We recommend the FBBS method.. or outlining your Features, the Benefits of those Features, the Business/Life Benefits of those Feature Benefits, and then Stories related to those Benefits.
3. Utilize Multiple Channels - Use multiple channels to reach your target audience, including email, social media, expanded content (ie whitepapers, checklists, calculators etc), advertising, and more. This will help you cast a wider net and maximize the potential for success when marketing cloud services.
We put together this video on "Why 95% of IT Service Companies Fail at Content Marketing" to help you overcome challenges with spinning up multiple channels.
Cloud Service Marketing Tactical Tips
Here are some tactical tips that you can get started with today to help move the needle at your cloud service company.
Align your marketing with Frequently Asked Questions
As one of the main challenges to overcome is the lack of understanding, it's important to simplify your content.
Here's a list of the top questions asked about cloud services from your target audience, which should serve to spark some ideas:
What are cloud services, and how do they work?
How do cloud services differ from on-premises solutions?
What are the benefits of using cloud services for my business?
How secure are cloud services?
How much do cloud services cost, and what pricing models are available?
How can I ensure that my business has the necessary bandwidth to support the use of cloud services?
How do I migrate my data and applications to the cloud?
How do I choose the right cloud service provider for my business?
Can I customize cloud services to meet the specific needs of my business?
How can I ensure that my business gets the most value from its investment in cloud services?
Use these questions as some of the basis (as there are numerous other ways to generate content topics) for content that aligns with the needs of the people you want engaging with your content.
Differentiating your Services
Differentiating cloud services from traditional on-premises solutions is key to capturing more cloud market share and unlocking success. By offering customers the right combination of value, cost, and usability, cloud providers can differentiate their offerings in a competitive landscape.
Here are some tips for standing out in the crowd:
1. Security & Reliability - Security and reliability are essential aspects of every cloud service offering. By promoting the security measures employed and offering assurance that data will be safe, providers can set themselves apart from competitors.
2. User Experience - The user experience should also be considered when differentiating services. Providers can offer custom solutions tailored to customer needs, which helps foster a sense of trust and loyalty.
3. Support & Maintenance - Providing support and maintenance services alongside cloud solutions can further differentiate a provider's offerings from the competition. This helps to show customers that they're in safe hands when it comes to keeping their cloud data secure, reliable, and up-to-date.
4. Pricing Model - Having a flexible pricing model is also important for cloud service providers. By offering different tiers and packages to customers, providers can ensure that they are able to attract and retain the customers who will get the most value from their services.
Ultimately, by integrating these techniques into your cloud marketing strategy, you can help to differentiate your cloud services and capture a larger portion of the cloud market share.
Here's an article on "The Importance of Thought Leadership Content for IT Services Companies" that will help you differentiate.
Stories are Powerful
One of the most effective ways to help your customers understand what cloud services can do for them is by sharing stories from real customers who have achieved success with cloud solutions. These stories should be tailored to specific use cases and illustrate how a particular customer’s needs were met by using your cloud services.
Not only are stories a powerful way to showcase the benefits of using cloud services, but they can also be used to differentiate your offering from competitors. By demonstrating how your solution uniquely solves customer challenges, you can help customers understand why your cloud service is the best choice for their business needs.
Engage with Your Target Audience
In today's digital world, engaging with your target audience is essential for success. You can't just push out content, but also need to start conversations with your target audience. It’s important to create conversations that will draw customers in and help them understand the value of your cloud services.
Social media platforms are a great place to start when it comes to engagement. Not only can you use these platforms to share stories and content about your cloud solutions, but you can also use them to interact directly with customers. This type of dialogue not only provides an opportunity to showcase your services, but it also helps to foster relationships and trust with potential customers.
Cloud Case Studies
Case studies are an invaluable tool for marketing cloud services. They provide potential customers with a real-world example of how the service works, and the value it can bring to their organization. Case studies also allow companies to showcase their expertise in solving complex problems and demonstrate the success they have achieved for other clients. By reading case studies, prospective customers can get a better understanding of what your service is capable of, which makes them more likely to choose your company over competitors.
Here's a quick step by step guideline for you:
Develop a list of your top customers with great stories about using your cloud services
Build out the questions you should ask in order to garner the best information and stories about your services
Schedule the customer calls
After the calls, do initial developing of a story that ties together each customer's business problem, solution and results
Prepare visuals (photos, screenshots, charts etc.) that clearly illustrate the case study content
Write up a compelling narrative summarizing the key points of your case study
Get input from your internal stakeholders who were a part of the process to make sure you include all important facts/details in your case study
Ensure accurate information is included in your case study with an internal review process
Publish and promote your finished work on various channels – website, blog posts, social media etc
Measure effectiveness of marketing efforts post-release
Cloud services are an invaluable tool for businesses, and marketing them effectively is essential to success. By having a defined strategy for your marketing, and using proven tactical elements you can differentiate your offering, help your customers understand the value of your cloud services and get the most out of their investment. With these strategies & tactics in place, you’ll be well-positioned to capture a larger portion of the cloud market share and drive more sales.