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Tips & Guides — 28 Oct 2022

9 Successful Practiсes in B2B Partner Marketing

B2B Partner Marketing Best Practices

Wager, you’ve heard about brands collaborating with celebrities or encountered affiliate marketing ads in your favorite blogs. Such co-marketing partnerships are a perfect way to boost brand awareness, reach new audiences, and achieve multiple business objectives. No wonder companies in the B2C sector love partner marketing so much.

B2B companies may benefit from implementing partnerships into their marketing strategy as well. In this article, we’ll unpack nine best practices in B2B partner marketing, which can take your business to the next level. Let’s get started.

Choose Types of Partner Marketing to Start with

Partner marketing is a complex field, which encompasses a bundle of different strategies and types. To familiarize you with all of them we have all types of partner marketing explained in a separate article. Most of them can be used both in B2C and B2B partner marketing. 

As digital marketing and the share of online transactions grow, you may want to implement affiliate marketing into your strategy. Thanks to the popularity with eCommerce businesses, this type of marketing is believed to be more suitable for the B2C sector. Nonetheless, B2B companies willingly employ affiliate marketing, as it provides a high degree of control over their channel partners’ actions and ensures flexibility.

Begin with creating your affiliate marketing program — our tips will help you get off the ground. To make your program more enticing for B2B marketing partners, boost their motivation to drive better results with additional bonuses. Be sure to provide your affiliates with thorough marketing collateral, additional training, access to useful tools, etc.

Set Your B2B Partner Marketing Goals

To be effective and drive impressive results, your B2B partner marketing needs the right goals. Try to think them through thoroughly and align them with your business metrics.

When your B2B partner marketing goals are formed, you need to set easily measurable KPIs. To come up with them, you can lean on your own previous experience or benchmark your B2B partner marketing goals against the key performance indicators your adversaries use.

Depending on your business and current marketing strategy you goals can look like that:

  • Increase leads or sales from a specific partnership channel by X%;
  • Increase leads or sales in s specific GEO by X%;
  • Generate a minimum of X amount of revenue with the partner program in a given period of time;
  • Acquire at least X new customers/qualified leads through the partnership in a given period of time;
  • Increase website visitors by X%;
  • Increase social media engagement and amount of followers by X%.

Measure Your Marketing Partnerships Right

Thanks to various and ubiquitous tools, marketing teams can obtain any possible marketing performance information. And that’s where the trouble begins, as the majority of services show too many, sometimes unstructured metrics. Many of them tell you nothing about the real efficiency of your partner marketing efforts.

One of the ongoing B2B marketing trends is getting rid of the vanity metrics and focusing on the meaningful ones. Affise statistics design even allows users to customize layout, implement custom formula, and do the necessary calculations without leaving the platform.This strategy not only helps you avoid wasting tons of time on the data assessment but also protects you from drawing wrong conclusions. 

To employ this trend, concentrate on the metrics that correlate with your partner marketing objectives. Impressions can be good as long as your goal is to boost our brand awareness. However, if you wish to increase sales or revenue, stick to the metrics that correlate with your sales team performance and the company bottom line; they are conversions, order value, customer lifetime value, and so on.

Launch a Partner Portal

If your B2B partner marketing involves numerous partnerships and plays an important role in your marketing strategy, think about launching a partner portal. Such a partner ecosystem allows your partners to access the information about your products and services, download marketing materials and document templates, use CRM, get the support and training they need or learn about new offers.

A rule of thumb here is to build a partner portal as if it was for potential customers. You may stick to the principles below. 

  1. Provide seamless user experience. Support a connection with your partners across all touch points. 
  2. Make navigation on your partner portal easy. B2B partners should be able to find everything they need in a couple of clicks.
  3. Use a data-driven approach. You need to track your partner portal key performance indicators. It’s always a good idea to know what content and parts of the website perform best.
  4. Employ enticing design. Make your website good-looking without losing functionality. 

Some of the functions of a partner portal may be performed by your B2B partner management or marketing software solution. For instance, Affise lets its users keep marketing materials inside the platform, notify publishers about new offers instantly, and so on.

Read more about launching a partner portal in our guide

Create Quality Content for Your Partner Marketing

As the decision-making process in B2B relies on rational thinking and implies many people involved, content marketing becomes a crucial component of a partner marketing plan. Meanwhile, over 50% of partners find materials their vendors share to be mediocre or worse. Providing partners with poorly crafted content may result in low conversions and sales.

Though crafting quality content takes time and effort, it’s definitely worth it. Well-thought-through materials help keep your brand messaging consistent, educate new partners about your brand, drive  higher sales, and more. To achieve the possible results, remember to provide your partners with materials for each stage of the sales funnel.

How to Build a Powerful Affiliate Marketing Sales Funnel

When a prospect gets to know your brand at the top stages, your task is to convince them that you know how to tackle their issues. Offer educational content that proves your expertise and helps potential customers solve their problems. You can employ downloadable content to provoke lead generation. 

While your leads are going through the middle part of the sales funnel, boost their interest in your products and services with marketing materials. Here is when detailed product information, white papers, and webinars will come in handy. 

At the bottom of the funnel, you need to nudge your leads towards a purchase. So, opt for special offers, data-heavy case studies, B2B customer testimonials, and other types of content that make you stand out from competitors.  

As your marketers know your product and potential buyers’ needs best, it’s crucial to provide your partners with marketing resources for each of the stages above. This move lets them market your products more effectively and drive higher conversion rates.

Be Creative with your B2B Partner Marketing Activitie

When talking about B2B marketing, we often imagine something reserved. The campaigns most B2B companies create are so serious that you can die of boredom. However, behind businesses stand people who long for fun and entertainment. Try to hook them with creative marketing initiatives.

To get a dose of inspiration, look at Magento’s digital marketing campaign named “Who killed Mr. Profits?”. Instead of simply listing the features that ruin eCommerce businesses’ profits, the company created a well-designed enthralling whodunit with a victim, detective, and suspects.

This B2B content marketing campaign came in numerous formats, including social media posts, landing pages, white papers, infographics, and webinars. To embrace all segments of its target audience, Magento crafted two versions of “Who killed Mr. Profits?” in different backgrounds. One of them concentrates on the challenges enterprises face, and the other focuses on growing businesses’ needs.

best practiсes in b2b partner marketing

Employ Various Traffic Sources for Your Partner Marketing

A modern B2B company needs strong online presence and multiple traffic sources for its partner marketing campaigns. To get the most out of your marketing strategy, you may employ the following tactics:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO) to improve your SERP rankings organically;
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, or paid promotion in SERP to get results faster;
  • Content marketing and blogging to educate potential customers about your products or services;
  • Social media marketing to built a tight-knit community around your brand;
  • Email marketing to nurture leads and retain customers.

All of these marketing channels combined work magic for your partner marketing traffic, customer acquisition, conversion rates, and ROI. To achieve the best results and learn more, read our article about top partner marketing traffic sources for 2021.

Partner with Other Tech Solutions to Provide the Best User Experience

The following B2B partner marketing practice is perfect for SaaS businesses. Whatever market niche you work in, your customers probably use several software solutions at a time. Thanks to integrations with other tools, you can kill two birds with one stone. 

First, you can make your SaaS product more convenient for clients, which leads to an increased customer lifetime value and a spike of word-of-mouth recommendations. Second, you can create hype around the integration, increase brand awareness, and reach a broader audience. 

Affise employs this partner marketing practice constantly. We support integrations with numerous fraud-preventing, analytics, marketing, and other tools. Recently, we’ve launched the integration with AppsFlyer, so now our customers can access their AppsFlyer data inside Affise dashboard.

Find a Perfect B2B Partner Marketing Software

Whatever type of partner marketing you stick to, it requires meticulous management. The right software solution will help you find partners, track your B2B marketing results, analyze campaigns’ performance and maintain partner relationships effectively. To find the best option for you, pay attention to the following features of your partner marketing software. 

    • Routine tasks automation and partnership management. Marketing teams often have a lack of resources on expanding networks and handling partner relationships. The B2B partner marketing software should allow them to automate repetitive tasks, such as partner communication, opening offers to publishers, invoice generation and so on. 
    • Data collection and robust analytics. Monitoring your partner marketing program’s performance is crucial, so your software must be able to collect all the necessary data and provide you with robust and comprehensive analytics. 
    • Billing and accounting opportunities. Look for a partner marketing software solution that can generate invoices automatically, simplify payouts to your partners, and take care of other financial aspects of partnerships. 
    • Fraud prevention component. Fraud is a serious problem in partner marketing. Your software should protect your partnerships and offer click-level fraud prevention, traffic quality regulation, and other features.
    • Customization options. B2B partner marketing often requires multiple integrations and interactions between various types of software. So, a solution for partnerships should support integrations with various services and have a feature-rich API. 

You can find all the features listed above in Affise. If you’re looking for a reliable and effective software solution to manage your partnerships, give our partner marketing platform a try.

Wrapping Up

It’s just a tiny part of partnership marketing best practices you can adopt for your B2B company. However, with these tactics at hand, you can take a jumpstart in partner marketing and get great results. 

To reinforce your B2B partner marketing strategy, follow our guide on how to get the most out of your partner program. It will lead you through four simple steps to improve your partner marketing outcomes.

Your company is looking for a full technology stack to manage partner marketing? Try Affise today!

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Anna Averianova

Written by

Content Manager

Anna is a Content Marketer with a background in B2B, creative approach, and eagerness for professional improvement. She aspires to produce content that helps achieve business objectives and benefit readers. When she’s not delved into writing another exciting article for you, she’s probably fooling around with her cat.

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