WordStream reported that when consumers see a partnership campaign, 68% of them make a decision on whether they’ll buy something or not. Sometimes you just need someone local, or a trusted third party, to help you validate a product or service. Many companies understand this and have established various sales channels to drive sales growth. But how can you support those channels with content?
Through distributed marketing, you can collaborate with partners such as retailers, agents, and dealers who operate in different markets. These partners can help you tailor your content marketing campaigns to different niches and broaden your audience.
Growing your network can ultimately increase your reach and improve your bottom line. However, working with partners in marketing requires a slightly different approach. Let’s explore strategies that can help you create successful distributed marketing partnerships.
What Is Distributed Marketing?
Instead of marketing to consumers directly, it may be better to do it through local partners. You can move your marketing initiatives from the top down, driving sales in different regions.
Image Source: Brandgility
There are many benefits to creating and leveraging a distributed sales and marketing approach, including increased brand awareness, greater reach, and localized sales representation. For example, if you’re a tourism board and want to target people who like to hike, it might be easier to partner with hiking clubs in different areas than trying to create a marketing campaign from your headquarters. You can then take advantage of each club’s existing members and their networks.
But how you build and support those channel partners takes quite a bit of thought and strategic communications. And in today’s digital world, content is likely going to play a major role in the programs you ultimately deploy.
The first step in building out a distributed content marketing strategy is to identify and categorize the different types of non-direct channels to which you either currently market and sell through, or wish to establish. Different types of channel partners need to be supported in different ways, so a one-marketing-strategy-fits-all approach is likely not going to be as fruitful as a tailored approach.
Next, you’ll likely need to prioritize the different channel categories based on market and revenue potential. For example, marketing agencies and analyst firms (ex: Gartner) are often used as channel partners for martech platforms, since both agencies and analysts regularly work with corporations who need marketing tech. But marketing agencies and analyst firms are very different. One may have a much bigger market and revenue potential than the other; thus you would likely prioritize your content marketing efforts to tackle the larger market potential first.
Then, when you’ve identified individual channel categories, you’ll need to put your strategy hat on and start thinking about what partnerships would look like for each category. Part of this process entails initiating conversations with individual companies or agents within each channel to understand how you can best support them and create a symbiotic relationship.
Working With Your Partners
You and your partner should outline the goals of the partnership, the target audience, and potential outcomes. You should also agree on the role each company will play, how you’ll publicize the partnership, and how you’ll measure success. Clearly defining your relationship will help prevent any misunderstandings and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Additionally, you should set goals and expectations for the distributed marketing program itself. For example, you can aim to provide content marketing education to all new and existing local partners within a certain timeframe to ensure all partners get the resources they need as quickly as possible.
Creating a Program
Ultimately, you’d try to nail down a program of activities and content assets that can be replicated and delivered consistently across partners. Common tactics would be things like:
- Product/Service Informational Content: Providing detailed information about the product or service being offered, including features, benefits, pricing, and support options. This can be delivered through written content such as brochures, datasheets, and whitepapers, as well as through videos and webinars.
- Case Studies: Demonstrating the value of the product or service through real-life success stories of customers who have used it. This can include case studies, customer testimonials, and success stories shared through social media, email marketing, or other channels.
- Sales Enablement Tools: Providing sales partners with tools and resources to help them sell the product or service effectively. This can include sales scripts, presentation decks, product demos, and training materials to ensure that the partners have a deep understanding of the product and can communicate its value to potential customers.
- Content Syndication: Sharing content with sales partners for use on their own websites, social media channels, and other marketing materials. This can include blog posts, infographics, and other content that can be easily shared and repurposed by sales partners to help them generate leads and promote the product or service.
- Co-Marketing Campaigns: Collaborating with sales partners on joint marketing campaigns to promote the product or service. This can include joint webinars, events, and other initiatives that help to generate leads and build awareness of the product or service among potential customers.
Obviously, many potential partners may already be creating and distributing content, but they might not have the skills or knowledge to do so effectively. They also might not know how to keep their content consistent with your brand. Content inconsistencies can lead to low engagement and poor results, which can negatively impact your distributed marketing efforts.
Give Them the Education & Tools They Need
By providing effective content marketing education to your partners, you can equip them with the tools they need to develop and execute successful campaigns. This can lead to more website traffic, higher conversion rates, and better engagement.
Your partners can then take on more responsibilities, reducing the workload for employees at your headquarters. Freeing up your staff for other tasks can have a positive impact on your bottom line.
Provide Shortcuts To Success
Developing a distributed marketing program can help get your partners on board. Training can include materials that provide tips and strategies for creating different types of content, such as blog posts, videos, and social media posts.
You can also provide examples of successful campaigns, such as a marketing plan for an upcoming trade show. These examples can serve as inspiration for your partners, helping them come up with relevant and engaging content ideas for their customers.
Tailor the Material
It’s important to tailor the program to the specific needs of each partner. You may need to create variations of your materials to reflect different content formats, platforms, and target audiences.
Provide Ongoing Support
Inevitably, as partners get started with the execution of your program, questions will come up and they’ll likely hit some bumps in the road. You may want to assign someone from your team to answer questions, give feedback on ideas and content, provide more insight into your brand, and highlight successful campaigns.
Additionally, you can offer resources to help local partners execute their campaigns, including marketing materials and templates — such as logos and images — that partners can use in their content. Providing resources can streamline the marketing process and save time and money for both parties.
Targeting Local Audiences
According to Hubspot, 72% of consumers visit a local business after searching for it online. You and your partners can take advantage of organic local traffic by creating specific content for each region.
Start by doing research on the local audience. Who are they? What do they care about? What are their interests? Once you have a better idea of who you want to reach, it should be easier to create content that resonates with them.
Your partners might not know as much about your brand as you do, but they know the local area better. Also, your partners will see first-hand whether a marketing plan resonates with their target audience. You’ll want to follow up with your partners regularly to get an idea of what’s working and what’s not, so you can make any necessary adjustments.
Make Distributed Marketing Easier
As with any marketing strategy, building and executing distributed marketing programs requires a lot of time, energy, and resources. Please know that DivvyHQ can take some of the weight off your shoulders. Our platform helps you streamline the process of creating and supporting partnerships that can move the growth needle in a big way. To find out more, request a demo today!