5 Inbound Marketing Best Practices for IT Value-Added Resellers

Defining a value proposition for IT service companies — The Why’s.

The Value-Added Reseller (VAR) drives business value through software, hardware or networking products. Yet communicating that value is essential for the VAR to capture leads and sales opportunities. Amp up the next marketing campaign with these five inbound best practices for IT Value-Added Reseller companies.

Inbound Marketing Best Practices for IT Value-Added Resellers–Tips For Better Results and ROI

Clearly define your target personas

B2B buyer persona iconSpecifically identify target audiences. Focusing on “retail” as a target market is too broad. Instead, the VAR needs to take the time to research and understand several distinct niche audiences. Whether the retail product addresses Customer Experience, Mobile POS, Payment Processing/EMV, and POS-as-as-Service, the marketing needs to be tailored to best address the particular pain points and benefits of prospects from each target audience.

Look at past sales trends to highlight key attributes of your best sales leads. Identify the specific role of the lead and their buying authority, plus examine attributes of their businesses–size, pain points, goals, industry, end-user issues, existing infrastructure/network, etc. This information can be used for content creation, lead scoring, form questions, vetting, etc.

Leverage content marketing

Developing case studies, white papers, eBooks, surveys, videos and more will help position the VAR as a subject matter expert or thought leader. IT marketing and brand differentiation is largely influenced by content in multiple forms. Fresh content, too, can help with search engine optimization (SEO) and drive more traffic to the website — the foundation of the VAR’s marketing campaign. IT sales leads require content throughout the sales funnel to keep their interest in the VAR.

A smart, budget-friendly approach to this strategy is to find ways to repurpose existing content instead of investing in a high volume of original content. For instance, take the time to write a white paper but then use the same research/content to develop a few blog posts, a related infographic and drive a webinar.

Which pieces of content are most valuable to B2B technology buyers and at which stage of the customer journey?

Additionally, promote what content you have. Use email and social media to promote the white paper’s release and all of the spin-offs too.

65% of IT buyers require at least four pieces of content to make a vendor shortlist — TechTarget

 

VAR content types

Source: Eccolo

Implement lead scoring

Scoring prospects based on demographics and their behavior on the site can help marketing send better quality leads to the sales team. Streamline relationships between sales, business development and marketers  by working in conjunction to determine target audiences and share goals and metrics. This adds efficiency, is cost effective, and helps foster greater alignment around common objectives.

What is lead scoring? A lead scoring dashboard.

Analyze the data to drive marketing actions — often

Marketing automation tools make it increasingly easy to track new prospects as they are converted (or not) to a customer. With consistent and effective analysis of website data and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) data about every marketing campaign and every sale, the VAR can determine what marketing is working, when and where and tweak the rest.

Key metrics to define and track:

  • Number of leads per month
  • Number of sales leads per month
  • Dollar value of sales opportunities and closing value, including close rate
  • Conversion rate (from prospect to lead)
  • Conversion rate by marketing channel
  • Conversion of cold leads to MQLs or SQLs

Embrace social media

LinkedIn is the social network of choice for many VARs. Yet the best social media approach will consider where the prospects’ audience is, too. Social media can be embraced both organically and through paid campaigns, using persona-driven targeting.

Social selling is also a useful practice, as long as the team doesn’t act in a spammy way. Join the conversation with influencers in the target industry and engage a social media audience through sharing pertinent information and responding quickly to questions or requests.

 86% of IT buyers use social networks and content in their purchase decisions — IDG

Content IT Use

Source: Spiceworks

These 5 inbound best practices for IT Value-Added Reseller companies address improvements to the overall marketing approach. Keep an eye out next for our round-up of Best Practices for VAR company websites.

Improve lead generation efforts. B2B lead generation agency.

Sources:
Content essentials for technology buying teams worldwide: How buyers are dictating content marketing and sales strategies globally. (2013/2014). https://www.techtarget.com/downloads/research/2013_Media_Consumption_Report_Intro.pdf
Eccolo Media. (2014). B2B Technology Content Survey Report. https://eccolomedia.com/eccolo-media-2014-b2b-technology-content-survey-report.pdf
How B2B Buyers are Engaging With Your Content. (n.d). https://copywritertoronto.com/how-b2b-buyers-use-content-data/



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Ironpaper is a B2B marketing agency and lead generation agency. Ironpaper integrates design, technology and marketing for the web to drive meaningful results for clients. We are based in New York City and Charlotte, NC.