Demand generation is a general term for the slew of sales and marketing efforts that go into driving long-term customer engagement.
If you’re into quick fixes, demand gen isn’t one of them.
It’s a long-term, gradual approach that includes marketing campaigns for relevant, meaty, inbound content that helps solve customer problems and move them through the buying channels until they purchase. When done well, demand gen is challenging but effective.
Partner Demand Generation Is Not Easy, but It Is Important
Demand gen is challenging; partner demand gen is straight-up hard.
Because through-channel partner demand generation isn’t a quick win, and because it involves a number of different marketing tactics, it is often misunderstood and undervalued—or even avoided altogether. Which is a shame, because it can be a valuable B2B channel marketing weapon.
Solid, successful demand gen is needs-based and creates awareness about what’s most relevant to customers. This means you get actual qualified leads that turn into actual sales because all of your marketing efforts are tied to what is hyper-important to customers.
Using the right tactics and tools, partner demand generation creates revenue, not a cost center. Though there’s no one magic “key” for a vendor to succeed with partner demand generation marketing, there are some practices that work much better than others.
Start with these four crucial elements that can work together as one giant key to turn the ignition on partner demand generation efforts:
1. Use a Demand Generation Automation Platform That Serves Snackable, Decision-Driving Content
Provide your partners with easy-to-consume, relevant content that targets customer pain points and needs. It sounds easy enough, but creating the right content to educate prospects about solutions can get overwhelming without the right platform and tools.
The right platform helps vendors provide their partners with hyper-relevant, customizable content. Vendors can choose that valuable content from the Spark platform so their partners always have fresh, relevant content to get buyers to the finish line.
Tip: Use video content. All the time.
2. Help Partners Infuse Video into Demand Generation
Buyers really love video. According to Wyzowl:
- 94% of people report recently watching explainer videos to learn more about a product
- 84% said video swayed them to make a purchase
- 90% of consumers claim a video helps them make purchasing decisions
So … why aren’t more people in partner demand gen using more video marketing?
Many channel marketing professionals think video is just too complicated for their partners and that partners don’t want to use videos if they can’t make them their own.
Here’s a secret: Video doesn’t have to be hard. It can actually be pretty easy and still get killer results. Using the right partner demand generation platform, you can offer your partners the digital content their audiences are craving, along with the ability to add personal messages endorsing the content and strengthening their brand.
Vendors should choose a platform that offers metrics so they can see how the content they’re giving their partners is performing. Your partners can make spot-on content choices for their audiences, warm it up with a little personalization, and drive results to new levels.
Make it as easy as possible for your partners. Choose a platform that goes even further, providing partners with how-to videos on new options and best practices so they can take the delicious digital content you give them and drive more sales.
What really sets digital and video content apart? Personalized intro and outro videos. But maybe not personalized the way you think. Let’s talk about how partners can personalize the content you give them.
3. Get Partners to Give Your Content a Warm Introduction
Your partners won’t get anywhere with generic mass email blasts sending static, text-heavy, boring content to an entire email list—you know this.
For your partners to connect with their customers and get more out of their content, they should introduce themselves and tell their audience how they will benefit from the content. They’re giving a testimonial up front, letting their customers know that they approve of this message.
These sort of “personalized” video intros and outros let your partners showcase solutions and business outcomes easily and inexpensively. Your partners will soon see that these short video intros and outros don’t just serve as a testimonial, but they also help make them more memorable, bringing customers back for more.
The stage doesn’t matter—awareness, consideration, or decision. This type of warm-up video marketing works.
If you’re thinking, “Forget this! My partners aren’t Meryl Streep,” don’t worry—they don’t have to be. That’s the best part! It’s actually easy. These video intros and outros can be made with equipment as simple as a phone camera, and they should be short and sweet. Customers appreciate authentic human interaction more than they do a sleek, Hollywood-level video.
All of this is a snap if you have the right platform. Using our solution, your partners can easily create their own intros and outros, or they can upload ones they’ve already recorded. Once uploaded, partners can sync their intros and outros with hundreds of pieces of digital content and schedule them to be sent to a segmented audience in a matter of seconds.
This brings us to the last-but-certainly-not-least tip: audience segmentation.
4. Empower Partners to Segment Their Partner Demand Gen Audiences
Sending one big audience tons of content all the time won’t help your partners get sales. It will just muddy up inboxes and teach recipients to ignore your partners’ emails because they tend to not be relevant.
When your partners can segment audiences by buyer stage and need and choose relevant, curated content for each audience, everyone wins. This is how partners get the right content in front of the right people at the right time.
It also helps build trust—the one who isn’t overloading the customer with irrelevant content is going to earn their trust by providing them with information they actually need and want.
Lastly, if your partners are uploading email lists to a vendor-provided platform, they’re probably not compliant. Partners work with many vendors, who often ask them to load contact lists to a variety of third-party through-channel marketing automation platforms (TCMAs). Aside from being cumbersome and time-consuming, loading these contact lists can conflict with internal data sharing policies and data privacy regulations such as CAN-SPAM, GDPR, and CCPA.
Ready to Kick-Start Partner Demand Generation?
Through-channel demand generation is hard—but we can make it easier for you and your partners. These are just four steps to kick-start your partner demand generation. We have so much more up our sleeve to help both vendors and partners get the results they’ve been yearning for.
It’s time to take your demand generation to the next level. Grab a demo with us and see how we can ignite your partner program.