Contrary to what you may have heard, newsletters are not dead. While blogs are a great way to drive traffic to Web sites, most partners don't have the resources to post meaningful content several times a week. A monthly e-mail newsletter, on the other hand, is an achievable goal for time-strapped service providers.
To make the most of your newsletter, take a methodical approach to the content. Your goal is to educate, but you should educate with your endgame in mind. You want to initiate conversations with your readers.
Posted by Barb Levisay on April 16, 2014 at 1:27 PM0 comments
In the Microsoft Dynamics community, Jon Rivers has built his position as an industry influencer through a consistent presence in social media.
As the channel partner manager for Data Masons, a Dynamics-certified ISV, Rivers believes the key to using social media effectively is to focus on the interests of the community that your business serves.
Posted by Barb Levisay on April 02, 2014 at 12:19 PM0 comments
Now that we're in the full swing of spring event season -- conferences, trade shows and prospecting events -- do you have your follow-up plans in place? Memorable follow-through with the connections that you initiate during events can make the difference between long-term impact and wasted effort.
Once your customers or potential partners get back to work, with a million issues fighting for their attention, keeping your message top-of-mind requires a systematic approach. Work with your sales team to review the contact list and determine the most appropriate follow-up for each one. Your next steps should match their stage in the buying process.
Posted by Barb Levisay on March 19, 2014 at 11:23 AM0 comments
It's not surprising that some partners are especially confused about marketing right now. There are marketing experts telling you to build content and make your Web site a prospect magnet. And there are marketing gurus telling you to automate your marketing to run e-mail and ad campaigns flawlessly (what a marketing word). So, which should you do?
Both. To make the most of you marketing content, you should deliver it through your Web site and through regular marketing campaigns.
Posted by Barb Levisay on February 26, 2014 at 3:41 PM0 comments
A check of your Web site analytics is likely to reveal that your "About Us" page is one of the top three or four pages that your prospects visit. But even though it receives all this attention from visitors, the About Us page is usually the weakest on content -- cut-and-paste mission and vision statements, a few photos of the leadership team, and done.
The title of the About Us page may suggest that it's all about your company, but that's not really the case. The About Us page should be all about serving your visitor.
Posted by Barb Levisay on February 12, 2014 at 3:48 PM0 comments
Are your corporate colors navy blue and gray, with maybe a little maroon thrown in to spark things up? When most partners were choosing corporate colors more than a decade ago, they wanted to evoke security and stability. Think pinstripes. Those were good decisions at the time.
Now, it's time to update. An ever-increasing number of your buyers are digital natives. Security and stability are still important to them, but when they hit your blue-and-gray Web site, they see stodgy, out-of-date.
Posted by Barb Levisay on January 30, 2014 at 11:51 AM0 comments
If you are marketing Office 365 and not using the features to simplify and improve your own marketing efforts, we have some recommendations from a true evangelist.
As the marketing manager for Pittsburgh-based MSP/Dynamics partner Vertical Solutions, Tina Featheringham makes full use of the Office 365 features to connect with prospects. She shared her most valuable tip for each Office application to get you started.
Posted by Barb Levisay on January 16, 2014 at 10:46 AM0 comments
Do you feel like you made progress in your marketing efforts in 2013? For the most part, channel partners have made the adjustment to the new worlds of content and inbound marketing. Web sites are getting refreshed with content focused on education instead of product descriptions.
This is great progress, but there are still plenty of challenges that partners have to overcome to keep marketing going. Customers and service delivery are your primary concerns, as they should be, but keeping the pipeline full is a constant worry.
Posted by Barb Levisay on December 18, 2013 at 9:56 AM0 comments
Every marketer today is faced with the challenge of creating good content day in and day out. Coming up with new ideas and interesting ways to present information can feel pretty overwhelming on some of those days. That's when it's time to start mining Microsoft's Ready-to-Go (RtG) marketing site.
Through steady improvement over the past several years, RtG has become a marketing content goldmine for partners. Some of the nuggets take a little more digging than others, but we've collected a few worth sharing:
Posted by Barb Levisay on December 05, 2013 at 9:49 AM0 comments
When Microsoft launches new services and devices, partners get the opportunity to build on the national marketing push and increased public awareness.
Yes, Microsoft used to involve partners more, hosting big launch events across the country. Now, partners have two choices: Wish for the past to return or take matters into their own hands. Cyber Advisors, a managed infrastructure partner based in Minneapolis, Minn., chooses the later, with great success.
Posted by Barb Levisay on November 14, 2013 at 11:07 AM0 comments