We talk about channel strategy a lot on the Allbound blog. And for good reason. When it comes to channel marketing, it’s essential to create a process that provides your partners with the right content and materials they need to easily sell your product. This requires you to align expectations, build relationships, and develop content around your customers.
However, even if you have the best channel marketing strategy, without software, effective execution is nearly impossible. Think about it. Making sure your partners have the most current content would be a job in itself, now tie in the inability to measure your results and relationships, and it seems your channel efforts are obsolete.
Without further ado, I’d like to make a quick introduction: Channel marketing strategy, meet channel marketing software. I think you’re going to be good friends.
The Importance of Content Marketing in the Channel
According to the 2017 B2B Content Marketing report, 88 percent of B2B marketers agree that content marketing is an important component of their organization’s marketing program. While direct sales teams have reaped the many benefits of content marketing over the years, there’s still one part of the sales ecosystem that’s been left in the dark: channel partners.
Don’t believe that content marketing delivers the same ROI in the channel? Think again.
Now, more than ever, content marketing belongs in your channel strategy.
For starters, content marketing drives engagement with your channel partners. To make the most of your channel relationships, however, you must first understand how content can help your partners. And to do that effectively, you need insight. Sales enablement software reveals which content your partners are engaging with—and which collateral your customers value.
An informed content marketing strategy—one that’s driven by the right tools—thrives on personalization, which keeps partners engaged. Customized, co-branded content not only keeps partners up to speed on products and services, but it helps them reach customers effectively and efficiently.
Companies must focus less on creating more content. Instead, they must learn how to serve the right content to the right audience at the right time. A content marketing strategy that’s augmented with technology does just this.
Aligning Your Efforts
Today’s increasingly complex sales landscape has effectively eliminated the sales and marketing barrier. From collaborating on marketing collateral to talking to clients and signing deals, these days, both marketing and sales are engaged in promotion and pushing conversions.
Sure, aligning the two departments prevents confusion and ensures that both parties are receiving relevant information. But the real positive behind this alignment is your newfound ability to create a steady flow of creative campaigns that are driven by results.
Your salespeople are in the field and have unequaled insight into the behaviors of your potential end users. Because they deal directly with leads, they’re in a unique position to inform marketing of what’s happening in the real world. When working together on campaigns, sales and marketing can create effective collateral that’s specifically designed to meet the needs of your ideal end users.
However, without the right tools, collaboration falls flat.
Partner sales tools are the nuts and bolts of your strategy. For marketing and sales teams to work together, everyone needs to be able to communicate effectively and in one place. Software is the glue that holds your channel program together—and that keeps sales and marketing aligned.
These tools improve content interactions with content that’s rankable, shareable, and usable. They empower partners to save and share articles and pin content to personalized dashboards. And they keep partners up to date in real time through content sharing and provide you with insight into your channel’s conversations, resources, and insights—anywhere and from any device.
Sales acceleration platforms are turning content marketing strategies into reality. And the best tools facilitate positive relationships and effective collaboration with built-in communication functionality. They don’t just manage your channel. They empower reps to succeed.