Data centers play an increasingly vital role in the IT and technology management processes for organizations across industries. The ability to securely store your important business data in the cloud remotely, without the need to maintain your own servers, is undoubtedly appealing and has led to the rise of an industry that now surpassed $20 billion in global annual revenue.
But that growing market also means increased competition. Even a robust growth rate within in the industry is not keeping pace with the growing need for these services among organizations of all sizes.
The result: if you are looking to sell data center services to prospective clients, simply outlining the basic benefits of storing information remotely is no longer enough. In an increasingly competitive industry, differentiation becomes the key to building a sustainable, growing client base and securing high occupancy rates for your facility and servers.
That, in turn, means building a comprehensive marketing strategy for your data center, tailored to your exact target audience. While that plan should contain all the typical elements of a best-practice marketing strategy, one area deserves specific focus due to the unique nature of this industry: the tactics you use to show off your facility and services. Let’s dive into 7 of the best ways you can show off not just your data center, but the core benefits you can provide to potential clients.
1. Educate Clients On Your Website
For many clients, data centers tend to seem like a black box. They know their information needs to be protected, but are not sure how a server facility somewhere other than their business will help in that process.
That tends to be a challenge, but the right content strategy can turn it into an opportunity. Your website is the perfect place to educate potential clients not just about your own facility, but data centers in general:
- Share basic information about your facility, and what your clients can expect.
- Correct misconceptions many businesses hold about data centers, including security or reliability concerns.
- Reinforce the business case for working with a data center, including security, access speed, and flexibility.
All of this information can easily be shared on your website, and it doesn’t hurt to implement additional communications channels such as a blog with regular updates. A transparent communications plan focused around your website can become your promotional baseline and go a long way towards reassuring potential clients.
Here is a great example from one of our customers’ website, CyrusOne.
2. Build a Whitepaper or Industry Trend Report
Especially in the B2B realm, whitepapers can be vital means of promotion for marketers looking to build thought leadership and credibility; the latter of which being vital to any data center’s promotional efforts. According to one study, 71% of B2B buyers have used a whitepaper in the past 12 months to inform a purchasing decision.
The basic concept is simple: you create an in-depth report about the industry (in this case data management and storage) and place it behind a sign-up form. The report itself is free, but anyone reading it will need to provide their contact information and basic information about their business that you can use for further, more targeted promotional follow-ups.
That process, of course, only indirectly relates to showing off your data center. At the same time, it can be immensely successful in doing just that, because you are connecting your own expertise in your industry with your own facility. While whitepapers and trend reports on their own are not heavy on sales pitches, their transferred credibility to your own operations can be vital in building the trust of potential clients.
Here is a very interesting report from AFCOM.
3. Run an Educational Webinar
Webinars play a similar role as whitepapers in B2B marketing strategy for your data center. They are designed to build credibility and attract potential leads, as free industry resources that only have a slight promotional tilt. And yet, between 5% and 20% of webinar attendees turn into buyers, thanks in large part to the credibility and familiarity gained in the course of a typical presentation.
Running a webinar is complex, but the potential payoff can make those efforts worth it. A few considerations for data centers include:
- Hosting a data security expert that can speak to benefits and current trends of data centers independently.
- Interviewing a current or past client on their data management practices related to using a data center.
- Creating a more interactive Q&A session in which potential clients can ask about anything they need to know related to partnering with a data center.
4. Create Case Studies of Current Clients
Of course, indirect ways to show off your data center, like creating a whitepaper or hosting a webinar, are not enough to succeed on their own. At their best, they need to be accompanied by more direct promotional means designed to draw your audience in and convince them of your core value proposition.
Case studies can play a central role in that effort. The concept is simple: find a current client who has worked with you for a while, and has tangible data management efforts to show for it. That might include any number of KPIs:
- Scalable data services to support growth
- Reliable uptime to reduce data management issues.
- Data redundancies to account for disaster recovery plans
- Interconnectivity between individual sites
- And more.
Interview the client for specific quotes on how your data center has been able to accomplish these goals. Then, write a case study in a simple challenge>process>solution approach that you can present on your website, showing off the business case for working with you in a real-world scenario.
5. Produce Videos of the Facility
It’s time to get visual. While case studies can show the numbers behind the benefits of working with you, many clients will want (and need) to see your facility with their own eyes. One way to accommodate that need is through professionally produced videos that showcase the various parts of your data center.
These videos can come in a wide range of formats:
- Short tours of the facility’s core areas
- Interviews with facility personnel and supervisors
- Animated visualizations of the data center’s security measure
Video tour example from CyrusOne, Chandler Campus.
The mere visualization of these basic concepts can go a long way towards marketing your data center. Creating them in a video format also means that you can share them on various other promotional channels, from your website to social media and even via email with current leads.
6. Organize a Guided Site Visit
Of course, not everything about marketing your data center has to be virtual. In fact, even in the age of COVID-19, a physical visit can still go a long way towards convincing potential clients that storing their data with you makes the most sense for their business needs.
The visit should be well-organized, of course. That includes showing off not just the storage facilities, but additional amenities such as conference rooms, security features, and other areas potential clients might be interested in. It also helps to arrange meetings with technicians and security personnel to reassure visitors of the safety of your data center.
This visit, of course, needs to be guided by strict security principles on its own. But, when organized the right way, and promoted through the right channels, a physical tour can help especially high-profile clients find the reassurance they need to work with you and your data center.
7. Create a Virtual Tour of Your Data Center
Of course, even as business travel is beginning to recover from the early impacts of the global pandemic, most clients will still be wary of physical visits – and, just as importantly, may not travel across the country to visit a data center. How can you still convey the same information you would in a physical visit in this environment?
The answer: virtual tours. When built the right way, they’re a perfect combination of all of the above marketing tactics designed to show off your data center. They:
- Offer an education component of how data is handled and managed in the facility.
- Allow space for case studies of current clients and how you manage their data.
- Can be a more dynamic alternative to videos, and even house these videos as part of the larger experience.
In other words, virtual tours are, in many ways, the most comprehensive, visual, and engaging way to showcase your data center. See our case study with INAP and learn why they produced virtual tours for their data centers. Once built, you can promote them across all of your channels, from your website to email, social media, and more.
Ready to Build a Virtual Tour to Showcase Your Data Center?
You might have noticed the caveat in the above point. That’s because not all virtual tours are created equal. Some are optimized for specific industries, while others are just glorified and longer linear videos. To get it right, you need the right partner to build that tour.
That’s where Concept3D comes in. Our platform is well-equipped to handle immersive, engaging, and interactive virtual tours across industries, including data centers. Consider the tour we built in partnership with CyrusOne Chicago, showing off the 415,000-square foot space on almost 50 acres of land.
Here is an example of the 360° Tour we build for CyrusOne.
Your data center can benefit from a similar build. Ready to learn more? Contact us today to start the conversation.