By Brenda Caine, Sr. Content Strategist
Just when you thought you had conquered content marketing, you are faced with how to apply all the skills you gained to channel marketing. Content marketing for partners is a big priority for brands with indirect sales models, and one of their biggest challenges. If it’s your job, it doesn’t have to keep you awake at night.
Here are three strategies and lots of tactics to help you create the content and campaigns that will make your partners sales and marketing superstars.
Strategy #1: Grow Your Partnerships
If your business sells through the channel, your first objective is to grow your strategic partnerships. Here are three proven tactics to help make it happen.
Influencer marketing. Influencer marketing is hot right now in content marketing for a reason: I works. People are looking for trustworthy content sources. According to the Demand Gen Report (DGR) 2018 Content Preferences Survey Report, 65% of content consumers prefer credible content from industry influencers.
Think about how to use your existing partners’ success selling your brand to drive new partners to sign on. Consider content such as partner case studies, e-books based on partner interviews with specific expertise, and partner influencer social campaigns that include their testimonials.
E-mail campaign. To recruit new partners, you need to stay in front of them with relevant content that presents the benefits of partnering with your brand and establishes you as a trusted thought leader. Consider a monthly email. Once a potential partner engages, move them into a fast-track campaign.
Fast-track campaign. When potential new partners show interest, you need to launch a campaign that capitalizes on that interest. You can do this by serving up a quick three-touch campaign, spacing each touch two to three days apart. Now’s the time to hit them hard with the benefits of working with you and to ask them to sign up.
Strategy #2: Set Your New Partners Up for Success
The beginning of a new partnership can have repercussions for the long term. Get partners off to a good start.
Onboarding toolkit. The goal here is to set your partners up for success. Your toolkit can include a slide presentation for your strategic partners and a second one for your relationship managers. You’ll also want to develop a co-brandable brochure.
Be sure to provide templates for email, landing pages, presentations, newsletters, web banner ads, and social images. Partners will also need sales enablement tools like battle cards, end-user case studies, calculators, and an assortment of cheat sheets with high-level talking points.
Monthly newsletter. Stay in touch with partners and keep your brand top of mind with a monthly newsletter. Give them the latest information on new or enhanced offerings, sales incentives and contests, upcoming events, and sales and marketing tips.
Quarterly webcasts. Webcasts are another great way to keep partners informed and engaged. Partners can attend live or watch them on demand. Use webcasts to deliver the same kind of information as in your newsletter. Use video during the webcast to bring it to life and make it more personal.
Podcast series. In the DGR Content Preferences Survey, a surprising 64% of B2B buyers preferred podcasts for early-stage content. You can use podcasts with your channel for product deep-dives and interviews with successful partners and thought leaders.
Partner resource hub. Finally, follow best practices and create a resource hub where partners can find training materials, past webcasts, product information, and more in a central location.
Strategy #3: Support Your Partners With Ready-to-Use Campaigns
Make sales and marketing easy for your partners by creating ready-to-use content.
Campaign in a box. For tier 2 and tier 3 partners who may have small marketing teams, give them everything they need to launch successful campaigns. You can include content assets, deployment instructions, emails and landing pages, banner ads, and social media posts.
Custom campaign. For your tier 1 partners, you can follow the campaign-in-a-box approach, but customize it for each partner’s specific needs. Create custom campaigns for email campaigns, live events, or other marketing tactics.
If you want to dive deeper into this topic, join Content4Demand VP of Strategy Dana Harder for her Channel Marketer Report webcast, “Tailoring New Content Models Specifically for the Channel,” on August 24. Dana will share even more ways to power up your partnerships.