Top 5 co-marketing tactics for the IT channel in 2018

Co-marketing is central to the relationship between IT vendors and their channel of reseller partners. The partner receives the benefit of the association from the nationally-recognized IT brand, while the vendor benefits from having the partners serve as on-the-ground spokesmen for the brand.

There are a variety of co-marketing tactics, some of which have been mainstays of channel marketing and others that have gained ground as niche tactics. Here are a number of important tools that should be included in the arsenal of any channel marketer.

1. Through Channel Marketing Automation (TCMA)

TCMA is one of the most efficient ways for vendors and partners to present a coherent message that drives sales. In TCMA, vendors fund an automated marketing campaign that creates regular material partners can attach their brand to. It’s far more effective for the vendors to seize the marketing initiative, providing content that their partners can easily customize to the extent they feel is appropriate for their needs.

Prepackaged Marketing Plays are one TCMA strategy, in which a marketing agency such as OneAffiniti will create a campaign on behalf of the vendor that can easily be customized to include a partner’s own branding. The partner provides their logo and any other relevant information and it is automatically added to the vendor’s collateral through mass customization.

2. Gamify social media marketing with partners

Social networks have become an even more critical part of channel marketing over the last few years. Vendors, with their robust marketing expertise, can provide critical guidance to partners on how to more effectively communicate with leads on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Some vendors tie incentives to social media marketing, paying partners based on the amount of vendor-related social media content they produce or based on the number of clicks, impressions or other types of interaction that the content generates.

3. Mobile marketing: Lasting impression

A majority of web browsing now takes places on mobile devices, meaning that marketing that isn’t mobile-friendly is almost as bad as no marketing at all. It’s absolutely key for vendors to ensure not only that their campaigns translate well to mobile devices, but that the mobile version of the campaign does not marginalize either the vendor or partner logo. It’s important that whoever is looking at the campaign on their phone be able to easily identify both brands.

4. Video

Co-branded video, including clips that delve into technical details to thought leadership clips that focus on major trends or new ideas in the industry, are a worthy marketing strategy for any vendor and partner hoping to gain online traction. Videos can take more time and money to create, but they attract a lot of clicks. A recent study by HubSpot projected that video will account for 80 percent of web traffic by 2019 and that adding video to marketing emails boosts click-through rate by as much as 300 percent. when shared on social media and are more engaging than static content. A short video also allows ample opportunity to highlight both the vendor and partner brand on the screen by themselves and side-by-side. As a result, the viewer is left with a positive experience that he/she attributes to both the partner and the vendor.

5. Guest Blogging: A true vendor | reseller partnership

If you’re a vendor seeking to establish a stronger relationship with a partner in the hopes of fostering greater partner loyalty, you should consider highlighting different partners on your own website or social media platforms. Perhaps feature a guest blog post from the perspective of one of your resellers. Similarly, providing interesting guest blog posts to resellers that discuss topics relevant to end-buyers is a great way to help your partner boost its search engine rankings while driving traffic to their website and establishing themselves as a hub for credible information about tech.

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