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Content that Works: Great Examples from the Partner Community

Content is the name of the game in marketing today. You want to build relationships with prospects and customers by delivering information that they can use to make decisions about their business. When you supply that information, you help prospects gain confidence in your knowledge as the expert.

While many partners look to Microsoft to build content for them, there are partners making the commitment to create their own. We found just a few examples that may inspire you to take a more active approach.

A 'Fun' Whitepaper
The historic standard for the IT industry, whitepapers are a very effective call to action but they should be written for the modern reader.  Your whitepaper should be scanable and engaging -- not a 30-page technical document that only a CIO could love.

The CRM Software Blog, a group blog for Dynamics partners, recently released a whitepaper with a different approach. "24 Wildly Creative Ways Companies Use Microsoft Dynamics CRM" offers real-life examples of how Dynamics CRM can improve their business. Using an infographic to promote the whitepaper combined the power of multiple forms of content to build results. 

"The response to the "24 Wildly Creative Ways" whitepaper has been overwhelming, with over 800 downloads in 60 days," said Anya Ciecierski, ERP/CRM Software Blog co-founder. "I think the fun, engaging, easy-to-read style with real-life examples made it very appealing to prospects. I am confident we will continue to receive leads from this content for a long time."

The Infographic Explosion
An infographic is the graphical depiction of information, taking the form of everything from top-10 lists to complex statistical information.  Partners (and Microsoft) are just starting to use infographics, which are a great way to give a high-level introduction to any subject.

Loryan Strant, a Microsoft MVP and founder of Australia-based Paradyne, posted an infographic explaining the value of a Microsoft partner for an Office 365 implementation. "Why Customers need Office 365 Partners" is a great example of content that helps deliver a valuable message creatively.

Screencasts with Context
Partners have been posting screencasts, which show solution functionality in action, for some time. Long and rambling screencasts are tough to endure, but with some editing a screencast can tell a very compelling story.  

An excellent example of a meaningful screencast is "5 Ways to Improve Your Sales Process" produced by Zero2Ten, an Atlanta-based CRM partner. A short, simple presentation at the beginning of the screencast puts the demo in context for the prospect. The fast-moving demonstration is engaging and educational.

Variety in Videos
While all screencasts are videos, not all videos are screencasts. The variety of business videos is expanding -- they are becoming easier to make and more effective in search rankings. From customer testimonials to motion graphics, videos give partners an easy way to provide compelling content.

One partner using several types of videos to appeal to a wide range of prospects is Austin-based Catapult Systems. They have created a clever Office 365 graphic video but also use customer testimonials to validate their expertise. Short, to-the-point and professionally done, these videos are an excellent model for partners to follow.

Have you created great content that is delivering leads? Add a comment below or send me a note and let's share the knowledge.

Posted by Barb Levisay on August 02, 2012