“Focus on the existing messages made for your ideal customer, then vary it toward the audience of your partners.”
Your channel marketing strategy has a big job. Not only will it market your product, but it’s also responsible for marketing to the audience of your partners. The good news is that even though the audience of your partners and your end customer may differ, they don’t require two completely separate marketing strategies.
To create a channel marketing strategy, focus on creating pillar content geared toward your ideal end customer. Create a customer persona and touch on their specific pain points in your marketing copy. For channel marketing, there’s no need to recreate the wheel. Since you market to audiences with some similarities, the content will only need to be slightly varied from your pillar material.
Here are the four keys to creating a channel content strategy:
1. Have a shared content platform
Having a technology platform where you can share and store marketing collateral should be a priority. You can have the best content in the world, but if it’s not effectively shared and managed, it won’t get utilized to its full potential.
While there’s a ton of content management software on the market, it may not be right for the vendor and partner relationship. The right content platform should be chosen explicitly for partner relationships to avoid issues of access and privacy.
Partner portal software will allow you to collaborate, share, update, co-brand, grant approvals, and store everything in one place. Being organized is the best way to make your joint marketing efforts cohesive.
2. Create great content as a model
Build content that is engaging, shareable, and can easily be co-branded by partners. While managing partner relationships virtually, it’s imperative to maintain your brand integrity. Using a PRM arms you with the ability to control what content has co-branding permissions and which partners have access to that functionality. By taking this approach, you set the standard for how you want your product to be marketed and the expected content quality.
Keeping marketing aligned and consistent is a challenge for most partner relationships. When creating content for your product, be sure to write down rules and guidelines along the way that can be shared with partners via a PRM.
3. Find where your audience intersects
Take time to understand what content is valuable to your partner’s prospects. While full collaboration between your marketing departments may not be feasible, understanding the similarities between you and your partner’s audience s is crucial for your content creation process. This is true whether you’re creating content for your partners or guiding them on how to create their own.
Focus on the existing messages made for your ideal customer, then vary it toward the audience of your partners. This is an efficient way to expand your content because it repurposes existing copy and enables your content to branch out to a different audience.
4. Plan joint promotions
If you have many partners, prioritize in-depth collaboration with your top-performers. Choose three partners to do joint promotions with, such as webinars, blog posts, and email blasts. One goal of joint content marketing is to raise awareness in one another’s audiences.
Buffer x Social Chain are a great example of two companies that partner with each other while also creating great joint content. They created a “State of Social” report that showcased the collaboration of both companies.
When creating a channel marketing content strategy, think efficiency. Content creation is the most labor-intensive part of creating marketing campaigns, so it is imperative to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. You can streamline a cohesive partner content strategy by focusing on creating core content for your prospects and amending it to meet the needs of different partners.
Using a PRM to share content and collaborate with your partners creates organization and streamlines your channel management. Invest time in creating a content strategy before working with your partners. This allows you to set the stage and standard for how all marketing initiatives should look and feel. Knowing where you and your partners’ audiences intersect allows you to double down on the most potent marketing copy that can be reused or reworked. Finally, the more you and your partner can work on joint marketing efforts as a united front, the more effective your overall brand recognition will be.
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