One of my absolute favorite things to do in marketing is working with partners. When it comes to spreading the word about your company or your product, I can't see why you wouldn't take advantage of working together towards this greater purpose. Partner marketing can really complement and help amplify your thought leadership pograms
What are the Benefits of Partner Marketing?
I see it as a win-win: let's say it starts with a piece of collaborative content you have come together to create. When it comes to promote that content, you have access to each other’s networks - their social media following (both personal and of the company), email subscriber lists, employees, and more. So you are effectively each doubling the reach of your content.
1 - Make it Easy.
While I was at Affectiva, and even continuing at the Smart Eye group, the Human Centric AI podcast that I started is a great example of this. It was designed as a vehicle to build that relationship and then promote each other on our networks. We also packaged it up so that the speaker received a sample social post to copy & paste on LinkedIn to promote their episode, a pretty graphic featuring their headshot that they can easily share and tag to point back to my source content,
2 - Brainstorm Collaborative Offer Ideas.
You can come together via partner marketing to collaborate on new, innovative thought leadership content - podcasts are one example, but you can also consider livestreams, blog posts, eBooks, webinar presentations, or joint speaking gigs to name a few.
3 - Map out Your Ecosystem
So, take a minute to map out who the key players are in your ecosystem. They can be partners, clients, customers, or influential people in your network.
By aligning yourself and your company with thought leaders in your industry or in companies adjacent with your own lends credibility. This also ultimately builds trust with your target audience - it's nice to talk about yourself, but even more powerful when you can team up and talk about each other.
Learn more about thought leadership and partner marketing strategies in this recent podcast I did!
Early in your career, especially if you are in marketing, it can be difficult to quantify ROI. However, if you have a marketing budget, chances are you will be asked to report on spend. Here's a super simple framework on how to approach measuring something like this:
1. Make a Plan. Do not expend energy on a project without developing some way of tracking the performance of it. HubSpot is a great tool to do this, as it gives you detailed analytics on web pages, email campaigns, blogs, and even social media messages. That's just one tool, though: for hosting events, measure registrations and attendees. If you publish a blog, measure page views or leads generated. Launch a podcast? Look at number of downloads. Figure out how you want to measure your initiative, and bonus points if you can put a number to attribute to success. (i.e., I am going to aim for 10k podcast downloads before the end of the year)
2. Execute. This may sound obvious, but sometimes you can spend all your time planning and talking about what you COULD do without actually...doing anything. Even if it's something small to get started or to run a test, make sure you actually make something happen. It shows initiative, and regardless of success or failure, I guarantee you will learn something from it.
3. Report on Results. Whatever you planned to measure, create a report of results. Did it perform how you expected? Why or why not? What did you learn to apply for next time? This will give you guidance for your next campaign, where you'll tweak your plan and start over again. Reporting on everything also is a good practice to get into as it will be easy to reference when needed (and you will need to report on performance eventually, whether at the end of the quarter or the year), but serve as a helpful way to update your resumé
The Bottom Line
Draft a plan, execute the campaign, then record your results. Share them with your boss (or the broader team, like colleagues or even the CEO). Not only does this quantify the value you bring to the organization, but can serve as valuable fodder for building up your LinkedIn profile or resumé.
For more tips, checkout this LinkedIn article I wrote a while back on how to be a rockstar at work based on a lecture I gave at Tufts University.
It's not the most glamorous of things to focus on for your local business, but SEO is critical to your online presence and can be key to new customers finding you.
While SEO is a complex web of ever-changing technicalities and strategy, here's a quick breakdown of a few essentials so you have a broader understanding of what's important to focus on for your business:
1) Your Website
It needs to be good. It needs to be optimized for mobile, easy to navigate, fast to load, and have all the SEO data that Google's heart desires. Test it out on your phone, or have one of those dang millenials pull it up for you: how does it look? Are you frustrated with the experience? If so, imagine how your customers feel.
Your website is the ultimate storefront for your business: it sets the tone on how you want to be perceived and acts as a tool for customers to access your services. Make sure you are clearly directing them to the most critical information about your business and get to the point - fast. Let's not forget all those critical SEO nuggets like header tags, page URLs, inbound links, and other website details that you'll need to make sure is targeted towards your intended customer - there are plenty of online tools available to you to help sort through the madness, if you so desire.
1) Your Profiles: Think Social, and Google Listings
While social media has slowed down in the world of marketing "new shiny things", it's still important to have a complete presence on key social channels for your audience. That means knowing if your audience is primarily on LinkedIn or Facebook, and making sure all of the essential data on your company page is accurate and filled out.
Google listings are also one of the absolute first things to pop up when users search a local business or service. Make sure to claim your Google Listing page, add important information like your website, store hours, your phone number / email, and accurate business description.
Then if you are really on your marketing game and are blogging on a regular basis (which you are totally doing because of all the SEO goodness, right?) than you should link your social accounts to your blog so your latest content gets pushed out to social channels once published automatically. P.S., Let me know if you need help with this.
1) Your Reviews
We all have the customer trolls, but soliciting the good ones to write a review on your behalf will significantly increase your likelihood of showing up on local Google search results. This can be as simple as asking a happy customer, or offering a discount in exchange for a review. It's important to be proactive here, and some automation may help. The more (hopefully positive) reviews your prospects see, the more likely they will be to engage with you. And remember, if you ignore building this aspect of your online presence, an online presence will be created for you. Which end of that spectrum would you like to be on?
Does all of the above make you sad to think about? Contact me for some budget-friendly local SEO options (so you can actually focus on, you know, your business).
I'm a motivated, self-starting marketer and working mom looking to make a difference in the world - one story at a time.
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