How Microsoft collaborates with sales partners to engage B2B customers
Amplifying your content marketing through your channel
purechannelapps was launched three years ago, and works with a vast portfolio of companies from across a range of verticals, including Microsoft, Adobe, McAfee, Symantec and Mountain Hardwear, providing web-based social media amplification, and targeted e-communications software products. At the recent B2B Marketing Summit, I highlighted in my presentation that 73% of IT executives are influenced by social networks in decision making (Socialcast), with 60% of business decision makers saying branded content helps them make better business decisions. In addition, B2B organisations are struggling to involve their brand advocates in this ‘influence’ cycle, often due to lack of time, resources, or even marketing expertise.
Our solution lies in enabling brands to share content across social networks to their own teams, employees, business partners and retail networks. Users are sent a notification by email, where from there they can directly access their socialondemand® platform and review the content. This allows them to decide what content they publish to their followers and on which social networks.
The key the success of this process is that content appears as the partner’s own rather than as a re-tweet, or share, to allow them to expand their own social profile.
Steve Woodgate, the SMB Social Media Community Manager from our customer Microsoft, also shared how they utilised the application to expand reach for their content and assets, as previously content had limited reach to the end user, the customer. Microsoft has a partner marketing programme of over 36,000 partners, however wanted to enable them with a means to amplify their channel network to create leads. As part of a trial, Microsoft sent through 20 partners 66 posts which were reposted 2,435 times by partners (37x per post) generating 19,900 short URL clicks, retweets, and likes. The full roll-out included 324 full adopters to participate, and generated 4,448 likes, 186,214 clicks, and 28,791 re-posts, through 4,750,000 followers, with a CPC of just £0.20. When compared against typical search engine marketing results, the power of social media amplification is clearly demonstrated.
The content strategy as part of the initial trial included a mix of Microsoft product content with industry news, with 10-20 posts per week, focused on topics such as devices, services, consumers, SMBs and enterprises. For example, ‘Building the Business Case for Your Social Business’ created over 6500 clicks alone. Channel marketing partners have provided great feedback on the programme, as well as internal stakeholders, and overall the initiative has greatly expanded the reach from Microsoft’s efforts to share thought-leadership and content with their target market for SMB’s through their channel partners.