By Amanda Johnson, TBI
As a VAR, your greatest asset is customer service. Of course, you’re marketing the best of breed products within your portfolio but, if that’s all your doing, you’re missing the boat. Utilizing partner tools and resources to supplement product marketing by spotlighting your added value — be it professional services, training, or implementation — has the potential to substantially grow your reach and sales.
Historically speaking, many VARs’ marketing budgets have been spent on more traditional marketing methods, such as brochures and corporate materials. However, 28 percent of marketers have decreased their promotions budget to invest more in digital marketing tactics.
As your 2019 marketing strategy gets into full swing, focus on areas where you can win. Have limited internal resources? What are areas and budget where you can outsource to specialists? Better yet, where are the areas you lack or need assistance that you could utilize partner resources?
On average, content marketing costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing (and generates 3 times the number of leads). By posting relevant content to your company’s blog (you do have one of those, right?), you not only have a basis by which to base numerous marketing initiatives on — from email campaigns, linking content to social media, expounding on topics with charts and infographics — but it’s another way to boost your Google rankings by improving your site’s SEO.
Easy ways to implement a content marketing strategy include leveraging a partner’s content, or simply sharing a relevant industry article and your thoughts. Craft a calendar outline around topics related to your business and each month try to post and put out content following your calendar.
Utilize Social Media
Social media for your business is free marketing and a selling tool. For B2B, your best bet is to focus primarily on LinkedIn and Twitter, though you could certainly use Facebook as well. Keep in mind though, if your bandwidth is limited, rather than stretching yourself too thin, Facebook would be the bottom of the totem pole as far as priorities go.
It’s important to leverage publications, people, and companies in your social media posts to get more eyes on your content and message by utilizing the (@) symbol. Hashtags are signified by a word or phrase preceded by a hash mark (#), used within a message to identify a keyword or topic of interest and facilitate a search for it. Whenever a user adds a hashtag to their post, it's indexed by the social network and becomes searchable/discoverable by other users. Hashtags give your posts even more visibility and engagement.
Get A Drip Email Solution
When it comes to reaching out to your database of past and current customers — along with prospecting — there are several email automation tools to use. But pending the size and skill of your marketing resources, you’ll want to look for certain features that takes email marketing and integrates it with your blog, social media, and website. Additionally, you might look for easy to use functionality for design. There are numerous blog posts and guides to give you tips and tricks about how to compose a simple marketing email or the best day to send an email (Hint: it’s Tuesday). Using email as a prospecting tool can be a way to support your sales reps when they’re out in the field by getting prospects used to seeing your name and providing them with useful information to boot.
Deploy An Easy CRM
Customer Relationship Management tools help you effectively market to your customer lists with segmentation. For example, you wouldn’t and shouldn’t send the same email to customers vs. prospects, and messaging differs for an SMB campaign compared to enterprise account targets. CRMs help with database management by allowing sales executives the ability to input and track anything and everything about a customer and/or prospect. From there, the drip email solution should pull different lists and you can send relevant messaging to the indicated audience.
Download TBI’s Marketing Guide
Lean on partnerships. Download TBI’s Marketing 101 Guide to get vendor recommendations along with basic marketing principles to improve sales. It’s an easy-to-reference (and printable) guide to boost marketing efforts and better understand strategy as well as best practices, from when to send an email to how to interact with prospects on social media.
Understanding the best ways to market to your customers and prospects is half the battle when it comes to implementing a marketing plan for your organization. Utilize low cost and easy to use tools to supplement your sales efforts and grow your business with effective marketing practices.
About The Author
Amanda Johnson is the Marketing Communications Manager at TBI where she is responsible for creating compelling, relevant content and carrying out internal and external communications programs. Amanda also develops educational materials to enable TBI’s partners to sell emerging solutions and contributes to ensuring consistency with branding. You can reach Amanda at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with her on LinkedIn.