Making Content Syndication Work For Your Channel Partners
Vendor organizations that sell through a network of channel partners (resellers, VARS, affiliates and agents) know that most of their partners do not have dedicated marketing resources to keep their respective websites updated with fresh content from their vendors. This is where content syndication can play a significant role, allowing vendors and their channel partners to significantly enhance brand presence, control and engagement with end prospects. To make this work, an organization will need to focus on seven core areas:
- Deciding what to syndicate– The objective of content syndication is not to replicate a vendor’s website. On the contrary, the goal is to do two just things right: provide a set of core content that is relevant to a specific partner’s customer base, and make sure the content stays fresh and up to date. This is not the easiest of tasks, since many vendors have hundreds or even thousands of pages of content that can potentially be syndicated. Prioritizing is key.
- Setting up showcases– Once you have determined what pages to use for your web content syndication program, the next step is to determine how many content syndication showcases to set up. Again, the goal here is not to push your entire web site through your partner’s site, but to select relevant groups of content, either by vertical market (healthcare, real estate, education, etc.) or by industry segment (small business, mid-market, enterprise, and so on).
- Allowing customization– If all of your partners do not sell all of your product lines, you will need to provide your partners with the means to customize your content syndication showcases. This customization capability is critical to ensure partners can show the specific set of products, pages, collateral and other content that is relevant to their business.
- Capturing leads– While protecting your brand message and getting the right content out to multiple end-users via your channel network are both critical, it is also important to make sure you and your partners can track leads. For this, you need to have in place a channel marketing automation platform that not only allows you to deliver dynamic content syndication, but also to track the leads that are being captured from different showcases.
- Promoting showcases – With relevant showcases being syndicated via the partner website, the next most important task is that the partner is provided with the ability to promote those showcases via digital networks such as social or search. To make this happen, you should pick a channel marketing automation platform that allows you to provide marketing elements such as web banners, buttons and connectors to promote the showcases. Also, the content syndication capability should include an integrated email marketing capability to drive outbound campaigns to a partner’s installed base of customers and prospect
- Running reports – No matter what content syndication platform you chose, you need to make sure the dynamic reporting engine gives you a complete sense of what is really going on with content marketing campaigns. The important thing is, once a partner is syndicating content, you need to be able to run analysis to see what showcases generate the most leads and what changes can make to render this investment even more effective. For this, you need powerful content syndication reporting capabilities.
- Refining your approach – As you begin tracking your partners content syndication activities, you will come up with your own ideas on how to improve the layout of your showcases, what product to include or exclude, which market segments to emphasize, and how best to align your content development strategy – beyond what‘s on your corporate website – with how you leverage a distributed content network to maximize partner success.
The main benefits for content syndication activity are threefold – control or expansion of your brand via a distributed network, extension of your reach to end-prospects and users via your channel, and improving your message based on dynamic analytics to achieve more ROI from your content. If you take a structured approach towards content syndication, you and your organization – including your channel partners – can greatly benefit from this investment in channel marketing automation.