Creating Content that Works for Your Channel

Creating Content that Works for Your Channel
September 21, 2010

According to a leading network manufacturer I spoke with recently, less than 10% of their channel marketing materials are ever used. With all the dollars being applied to helping resellers sell your products and in the face of shrinking budgets and maxxed-out resources, it's no wonder there's escalating pressure to show a viable return on channel marketing investments. Something's not working!

Last week, I joined Martha Stuart, Director North America Marketing at Sophos, for a webinar on new content strategies that do work in today’s channel. View the webinar replay. Leveraging these strategies, Sophos has become one of CRN’s top channel success stories over the past two years.

There are many reasons why so much channel content doesn’t get used, and I’ll discuss those in a future blog post. The key thing to recognize in creating content that works in the channel is this: trends in technology and communications are changing the way that end customers want to receive information.

End customers are increasingly turning to social media and online content – including discussion groups, blogs and websites – to educate themselves on solution alternatives that can solve their business problems. And when they do, how do you think they tend to access that information? You guessed it: on the go, on the mobile device of their choice, especially smartphones.

This resonates with a recent Brainshark study where we found that over 65% of people prefer to access information on-demand, at their convenience; and that they prefer multimedia content that includes both audio and visual elements.

Helping partners stand out

For your partners to stand out in the social media sphere, and also differentiate themselves from their competitors, they need content that helps them establish relationships with buyers. They want to position themselves as a trusted advisor, not just another seller.

And their challenge is your opportunity. Most of your partners have limited to no resources to create compelling and relevant content on their own. Hence they will use content from you that meets their needs – especially if it’s easy to customize with their brand and messages. Even better if using it generates statistics that let them track its impact and enables insightful follow-up and informed conversations with prospects.

Content is king

Kingly content is relevant, accessible and usable by your partners and their customers. Vendors who empower their partners with content that positions them as experts and differentiates them from competitors will get a much higher return on their content investments, in the form of stronger adoption by partners and stronger demand generation. Isn’t that why we do what we do?

Brainshark is an online hosted content creation and distribution solution to create, manage, track and syndicate on-demand multimedia content to your channel community. Brainsharks can easily be personalized by partners and provide tracking so you know exactly how content is being used.

Take a look at the webinar replay.  Let me know what you think.