In an era of marketing where “Content is King,” businesses who sell through indirect channels need to have the right tools and technological capabilities to enable execution of an effective content strategy through channel partners. TPMA platforms are like toolboxes containing channel marketing tools, so its imperative for businesses to invest in a platform equipped with the right technology tools to support their channels- both efficiently and effectively. Below are some “Tools of the Trade” that every business needs in their TPMA platform to leverage an effective content strategy in channel marketing:
1. CMS Functionality A great content strategy in the context of channel marketing starts with the ability to manage content deployed to partners.
Overtime brands acquire a wealth of assets in their content library, but not all content is meant for all partners. The more a channel grows, the more important content management functionality becomes. TPMA platforms should have solid CMS functionality, including the ability to tag assets with custom attributes as they are uploaded to a platform (think languages, campaign names, industry verticals, product lines, persona types, etc.) which enables advanced search and filter functions, the ability to set start and end dates for assets (keeping content fresh and relevant), and asset quick-share capability. With a built in CMS, channel partners can quickly locate relevant content, improving user experience and streamlining marketing execution processes for quicker time to market. The increased ability to manage content also makes it easier to provide the right content to different partner types, enabling an ability to create personalized partner portals.
2. Personalized Partner Portals Partners are diverse, so it’s critical for businesses to have a technology platform which enables them to manage and support different partner types, simultaneously. The capacity to create personalized portal experiences for different partners by providing the content, tools and resources relevant to their marketing needs is crucial to partner engagement and executing effective marketing through partners. If businesses employ a one size fits all approach to partner portals, or only cater to top-tier partners, negative effects are two-fold: not only can this kill partner engagement among other partner types (where there is major revenue potential), but in addition, making the same content available to all partners diminishes content effectiveness and potentially brand value when content is used in unintended ways. Both outcomes negatively impact ROI, hence the need for a technology platform which supports all partner types through manageable partner portals.
3. Co-branding and Content Customization Co-branding is critical in channel since it often serves as the foundation for collaborative partnerships. If content can’t be co-branded, partners see no value in it. But content customization should go beyond basic co-branding; it should be easy for partners to customize content with their contact information, value propositions and custom images to resonate with local markets. It’s essential that a the tools available in a channel marketing platform not only support content co-branding and customization, but that these tasks are easy for partners to accomplish across many assets. If they can’t be done easily, partners are much less likely to engage and execution fails. Editable point and click templates for assets are a great tool to accomplish these tasks easily, and something to look for in a channel marketing platform.
4. Content Translation Tools: For global channel organizations, this should be a non-negotiable. Content must adapt to the native language of a partners’ local buyer markets or it will render ineffective. Translation capability ensures that vendor provided content can be leveraged to effectively communicate with end customers around the world, keeping channel partners engaged and increasing marketing execution rates. In the past, brands had to outsource content translation services, wait sometimes weeks for content to be translated and then reload all of the translated assets to their system, or separately provide each partner with the correct translated content to match their local market. New translation technology provided in advanced TPMA platforms, like StructuredWeb, streamlines this process, making content translation available to channel partners right in their portal. This capability streamlines content management processes and significantly reduces translation costs for brands. Partners can easily select assets they want translated, choose the desired language and translated assets are made quickly available for execution.
So there you have the first 4 “Tools of the Trade” for effective content marketing in channel. These tools and technology focused heavily on content management capabilities and creating content that partners see value in which is easily executable.
In Tools of the Trade: Part 2, we’ll discuss what tools are needed to effectively leverage content throughout a channel network and help partners move buyers through the sales funnel.
StructuredWeb supports all of these capabilities on our automated channel marketing and management platform. Have a question about any of these capabilities or want to learn more about the comprehensive channel marketing solutions StructuredWeb provides?
Click here to request a free demo and see how our solutions come to life to simplify channel marketing for global brands around the world.