Marketing is undergoing an industry wide major transformation around the use of Social Media and Search Engine Optimization. This is certainly not a brand new phenomenon and the transformation is far from over, but one area that is still running behind the overall industry trend is inclusion of Social Media and SEO in the development and execution of Channel Marketing plans. While this can become a complex topic, if you are responsible for implementing Channel Marketing plans for your company, there are some straight forward steps you can take. Here is an approach you can take that will help you to get started:
You need to start with the basics, many of your partners may not find spending time on Social Media is personally valueable and SEO may not seem relevant. Many technology solution providers have minimal marketing staff, so helping them understand the landscape and what it means to leverage Social Media and SEO in a marketing plan needs to be the first step. Helping them with some simple webinars or education material will go a long way, you need to lay out a roadmap that they can follow.
As your partners begin to develop an "inbound" marketing plan, they will need enablement help to make this transition. First, it is critical to understand that to be effective with this type of marketing model, content is king! Your partners will need help with content in several areas: blog content, social media content, and content for offers off their websites. Many technology vendors have significant volumes of content that they make available to their partners through their partner portals. That is good, but not sufficient to really enable your partners to make this transition. Technology providers need to think about how to provide aggregated content for blog creation and social media. In particular, blogging can be very time consuming; there is opportunity to make this easier for your partners. The other area partners need additional enablement support is in providing customizable content that they can easily repurpose and make availbable to their prospects, this content should be mapped to the buying cycle.
By actively interacting with your partners through social media, you facilitate their efforts to raise awareness of their unique capabilities. Use your sales and marketing teams to link with your partners through social media, subscribe to your partners blogs, and link to your partners websites. It should start with your channel marketing and coverage teams, but shouldn't stop there. You can proactively help your partners as they embrace social media and SEO, gaining critical mass will help them expand their audience and move to lead creation and revenue generation faster.
Many MDF and marketing coop programs still have not embraced inbound marketing approaches. Specifically earmarking dollars for social media and SEO will help shift your channel marketing plans and make them more effective in lead creation for you and your partners. There are specific items where comarketing dollars can help, such as: content development, blogging resources, offers and events linked to inbound marketing tactics, and inbound marketing agency support. Is your channel marketing plan explicit in what funding support is available?
There is not a single answer on how to best support your channel partners and exactily what elements you should include in your channel marketing mix. That said, if you think through these simple steps and begin to address these elements, you will begin the journey of helping your partners make this transition. Most importantly, you can evolve your channel marketing plan to make you and your partners more effective marketers creating more leads and generating more revenue.
We welcome the opportunity to speak with you regarding your specific Channel Marketing plan and how to incorporate Social Media and SEO. Please click on the link below to request an Inbound Channel Marketing consult. Also, please subscribe to the Pereion Solutions blog by providing your email to the left. Thank you.