Content Marketing And The Channel: Risk Versus Reward

Earlier this week Channel Marketer Report published a great feature looking at the impact of content on the B2B channel. It’s not surprising that channel marketers are embracing content marketing; they face the same challenges, and the same opportunities, as other B2B marketers.

Risk vs Reward

Or do they? In fact, there are some real risks here for channel marketers. Then again, there’s also a major upside.

The risks lie in the additional complexity that might accompany a content-driven channel marketing strategy. Vendors can’t just consider their own content creation process; they also have to take a very careful look at what their downstream partners are doing.

The CMR article addresses this by, for example, encouraging the use of portals or partner relationship management systems to share content with channel partners. It’s even more important to ensure that channel partner marketing teams are on the same page about how to use this content — how it maps to their buyers’ needs, how to mesh new and existing content assets, and how to measure the effectiveness of their content marketing efforts.

That’s a tall order – and channel marketers that fail might have a mess on their hands.

But consider the upside to succeeding. Here’s how channel marketing expert Scott Gillum puts it: “Despite the fact that there is more content available in the public domain than ever before, relevant content that is specific to buyers and industries is still elusive.”

In other words, buyers still aren’t getting what they need to make good decisions. That puts you and your partners in a great position to step up, step in and deliver content that educates and empowers them.

It’s the goal of any successful B2B content marketing campaign. And the benefits – in terms of branding, demand generation and stronger customer relationships – far outweigh the risks.

-Matthew McKenzie

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