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5 Content Ideas for Partners To Differentiate Services

Partner Web sites are chock full of whitepapers, e-books and blog posts devoted to the value of implementing technology solutions.

But as technology solutions become a commodity, it is more important for partners to develop content that will differentiate their services. Taglines and Web pages claiming industry expertise aren't enough to convince prospects that you truly are an expert in the services they need.

Traditionally, case studies have been the vehicle to validate expertise. While there is still a place for case studies, they are time-consuming and slow, requiring interviews and approval cycles that can take forever. There are other, easier ways you can shine the spotlight on your skills instead of the technology.

The first step in developing services-focused content is to stand in your customers' shoes to come up with specific topics that will be of interest. Get the consulting team together to brainstorm, developing a list of common questions customers ask. Focus on the business benefits and outcomes -- what are the changes that customers want you to help them with? What are the problems that your customers have in common?

Service-Focused Topic Ideas
Making the switch to service-focused topics means writing about the outcomes that you help customers achieve. Instead of "Build the Multichannel Experience with Dynamics CRM," use "Create Experiences that Customers Share." In place of "Connect Employees with SharePoint," use "Foster Innovation for Remote Teams." Rather than "Mobile Solutions for Teams on the Go," use "Stop Wasting 50 Percent of Your Employees' Time."

If you are focused on an industry, the titles of blog posts on the industry's association Web sites are likely to give you some good ideas. For horizontal topics, the articles in general-interest business magazines, like Inc and Forbes are a great source of inspiration.

Planning-Focused Topics
Want to be viewed as a resource to help your customers align their strategic plans with technology? Write or create videos about the value of strategic planning. Topics could include:

  • "Five Steps To Prepare for New HIPPA Regulations"
  • "The Risk of Business Failure: How Poor Planning Opens the Door for Ransomware"
  • "A Strategic Approach to Customer Service: Adapt to Changing Expectations"

What better way to demonstrate your expertise than to have someone else talk about it? Include your customers in an event about strategic planning for business, asking them to talk about the value you add to their annual planning sessions. An event titled "Becoming a Digital Business" could include multiple customers sharing how you have helped one aspect of their business. For a topic like "Supporting the Next-Generation Worker," you could invite other businesses or partners to cover multiple aspects of dealing with millennials in the workplace.

Partner Profile Infographic
Quantifiable attributes are another way to demonstrate your expertise, which is the perfect fodder for an infographic. Data points could include:

  • Percent of customers by industry
  • Years and type of employee experience
  • Number of users you support
  • Number and types of awards earned over the years
  • Customer satisfaction statistics
  • Average call-back or ticket-resolution times

Employee Profiles
Profile your employees to feature them on the Web site or through a series in your newsletter. Put a human face to the services that you offer, including the educational background, professional experience and hobbies of your employees. You never know when one of those details will connect with a reader.

Nothing is more powerful than real people honestly telling their story. Your employees, on the front lines working with customers, can be your most valuable marketing resource. With a simple video camera and a little editing, you can post a compelling "How We Turn Customers into Raving Fans" video on your Web site.

It is becoming harder and harder to differentiate your services, especially in the cloud world. Whether it's industry knowledge, functional expertise or strategic business consulting, prospects today expect you to do more to prove your skills than just taglines and Web pages. Get creative and turn your content upside down to focus on services first and technology second.

How are you differentiating your services? Add a comment below or send me an e-mail and let's share the knowledge.

Posted by Barb Levisay on December 15, 2016


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