You have a great opportunity for co-marketing within your sales channel. Your channel partners are marketing your product successfully, and you can push the relationship further by exploring a co-marketing scenario. But the tricky part comes into how to make sure that it will produce viable results. Not every channel partner is going to be ideal when creating co-marketed content.
The Ideal Channel Partner
For the most part, you want to find channel partners whose values are very similar to yours before beginning any collaborative marketing initiative. That means that the current channel relationship is already established and that you’ve been able to ascertain that your partners’ strategies and objectives are aligned with yours.
Consider all of your channel partners for a moment. While they are great in the sales channel, some may have strategic directions for their marketing content as a whole that are different from yours. Those who share your same objectives and values are ideal.
Because you’re both aiming for the same goals, that helps avoid any conflicts in audience or strategic direction.
Determine Mutual Benefit
When you enter into a co-marketing arrangement, be sure that everyone can gain a strategic advantage from it. When you leverage an existing channel partner to help you spread your marketing content further, that partner will probably want something in return.
So be prepared to have an idea of how the co-marketing content will reflect a symbiotic relationship. Your channel partner wants to see a benefit in the same way that you do; otherwise, you may receive resistance to starting any co-marketing. The mutual benefit can be small, but having something to bring to the table can help persuade hesitant channel partners that co-marketing is worth pursuing. This could be exposure to a new niche or the creation of high quality content to use with existing leads.
Keep Rights to Review Any Co-marketing Materials
Make sure that your strategic alliance involves specific language that requires both parties to be in agreement over all co-marketed content. Your channel partner will appreciate this as well, because you cannot produce co-marketing content without their permission. If you’re vetting your channel partners correctly before beginning the relationship, this probably won’t be a concern. But it’s better to be safe than sorry in this situation.
While your channel partner will most likely keep the best interests of both of you in mind, reviewing all content before it's released is still an important step in the process. Be sure that the co-marketed content reflects your company’s brand well and is content you’re proud to share with your own leads and customers.
Decide on the Direction and Take It!
The final piece of the puzzle is to actually put the co-marketing relationship to work. You’ll need to establish a set of guidelines for how the relationship will progress, but as long as everyone can approve of the materials, the rest is just making sure to properly leverage the relationship when the opportunity arises.
There are a lot of details to hammer out. These include what your specific goals are for co-marketing and how you will handle the co-marketing content creation. That is, you might want to use ebooks and webinars for co-marketing or stick to simpler tasks, such as social media posts and blogs. Remember that you’ll need to have time built in for your channel partner to review the co-marketing content, so add an extra week or two to the timeline for any content creation.