IT Vendors dedicate considerable resources to writing, publishing, and maintaining Channel Partner blog platforms. The topics range from solution updates, to portal asset additions, to news and launches, to upcoming events (on and offline), and more. All of which is valuable information to help Partners grow their businesses alongside your solutions… when and if they actually engage with and read the content. Sadly, there are over two million blog posts published online every day and of the published B2B blogs, anywhere from 60 – 90 percent go unread.
If your Partner-facing blog isn’t gaining reach, there are three important factors to consider:
The topic is the most important part of your blog. Are your posts relevant to Partners and targeted to their level of expertise? Partners' time is scarce; they’re busy experts operating a business, serving their customers, and focused on demand generation and ROI; but first and foremost they’re technologically astute. Therefore, dumbed-down or otherwise irrelevant content can be a turn-off and too many posts that don’t serve their objectives will ensure they tune out - permanently.
- Are your posts addressing your Partners’ top concerns?
- What's in it for them?
- Will they glean useful info? (Remember: it all ties back to ROI)
Format for readability
Have you ever “read” a blog and just skimmed most of the article? Of course, you have and you’re not alone; most of us skim-read. (Surprise!) One of the best ways to engage your audience is to make the blog easy to read. Here’s how:
- The intro should be packed full of information that outlines why your Partners should consume the content. Make your point quickly. Most readers only have an 8-second attention span, slightly shorter than a goldfish, so get to the point fast.
- Use subheads, bullets, images, lists, click to tweets, and other visual interrupters to break up content blocks and stop the eye from gaining speed while skimming.
- Titles (and subheads) should attract and grab attention immediately. The catchier and more relevant, the better. Partners are busy. What’s in it for them shouldn’t be a mystery. If they have to stop and think about whether it’s worth it to click the link – you’ve probably already lost them
Shout it from the rooftops
Before we get started talking about social media and amplification, if you haven’t heard about the new Twitter algorithm changes, you should become informed. The changes are important and affect your Partners’ ability to see, interact with, and amplify your content. The changes also impact the use of social media syndication services which most Vendors offer. We recently addressed this topic in The ROI on Social Media Syndication Just Got Worse. Go ahead; read those articles, we’ll be right here waiting when you get back!
Great! Now that you know a little bit more about the recent Twitter changes, it’s time to start socializing your content:
Engage with your Partners
The algorithmic changes are new to Twitter but they’re been true for LinkedIn and Facebook for a while. The posts you see most often come from the accounts you engage with most frequently. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. Your posts will be seen most by the accounts that engage with you, which means your posts won’t be seen on a Partners’ social feed until you build a social media relationship with them. @Mention Partners, promote their content, and start conversations to build rapport.
Relevant and varied content
Many social profiles only post their own content. That’s a mistake. Vary your sources and post industry-relevant content that helps your Partners build their business, think about different perspectives, and learn about their industry. We all love to get a tidbit of information from a new perspective and doing so helps your Partners see you as a thought leader and gravitate toward your content.
After you’ve spent time ensuring your Partner audience is engaged, be sure to post several times a day on Twitter and ideally daily on the other social platforms. That way, your Partners will see more of your content no matter which platform they're on.
What used to be called the “pound sign” can be your best friend on social media. Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook all use #’s for simplified keyword searches.
Caution: when applying hashtags, it’s important to think from your Partner’s point of view. What are they searching for? What interests them? Steer away from generic or too widely used hashtags. For example, it might seem obvious to use #Marketing in a post, but think about how many posts use that # every day – will yours be seen or lost?
Wouldn’t it be nice if the majority of your Partners consumed every single blog post? Stop wasting time and resources posting into the void. Instead, use these strategies to increase engagement and create more content that’s appealing to your Partners!
P.S. If you need help with content strategy, hit up Brad (on the west coast) or Debbie (on the east coast and internationally) they’ll be happy to create a custom Channel Partner blog strategy that for your Channel Partners.
Learn more about social media best practices and Download our ebook to increase Partner engagement.