Today’s field marketers know the power of partnerships as a surefire way to bolster brand awareness and strengthen your pipeline—all at the same time. 👌🏾
And with a whopping 77% of companies reporting partnership development as central to their sales and marketing strategies, there’s no doubt partner marketing is here to stay.
“Partner events provide a great way to expand your reach, bring in new leads, and co-sell into accounts,” explains Darcy Dobis, Field Marketing and Community Manager at Teampay.
But more cooks in the kitchen means more complicated workflows. All too often, hazy goals and patchy processes make working with partners way more painful than it needs to be, even leaving some partners to wonder: Was it worth it?
From figuring out who creates what content, to tracking your leads and outcomes after the event—this ultimate guide to partner marketing for virtual B2B events breaks down exactly how a solid event partnership should look, and what you need in order to make working together actually work.
If you’re here, you probably already know all about partner marketing. But here’s a quick refresher, just in case.
Here’s why virtual event partnerships work so well:
As a busy field marketer, unnecessary email ping-pong is definitely a pet peeve—and often, more partners mean more back-and-forth.
But what if there was another way?
With some solid pre-event organization, you can minimize the endless email threads and get everyone on the same page, faster.
As an event pro, you know that—no matter how hard you try—some partnerships just aren’t the right fit.
“Your goals may not always align with the potential partners’. When this happens, one side will do more work and the results will speak for themselves,” explains Adrian Cohn, Head of Marketing at Smartling.
Remember those group projects back in college, where one person ended up doing all the work but everyone got an A?
As a field marketing ace with over a decade of experience, Adrian has a solution that will make sure you offer enough value to secure the partners you want, while ensuring everyone deserves the A.
“Identify a smaller number of partners and go deeper on building a relationship with companies that have shared goals and are ready to do the work,” says Adrian.
Look for partners who have:
As Adrian points out, having the “right partners” does NOT mean having the most partners. Remember, the more partners you have, the more channels and workflows you bring in.
Casting the widest possible net with your partner marketing might make sense for certain brand awareness or top-of-the funnel campaigns. But if you really want to move the needle on the pipeline, you’ll likely be better off taking Adrian’s advice and focusing your energy into deeper relationships with a small number of quality partners.
Rome wasn’t built in a day—and your highest quality partnerships take time to develop too.
The secret is to set up key touchpoints that make it easy for your partners to pull their weight.
Here’s how Teampay’s marketing pro Darcy Dobis does it:
You’ve already done the hard work of finding and securing exactly the right partners to support your revenue goals. Don’t make them regret their decision to work with you.
Make sure you’re ready to support your partners with a clear plan for how to set up and track your UTM links, landing page traffic, and more.
And if you really want to make them love (and keep working with) you, connect with your content team to create compelling, customized marketing collateral to help them drive registrations across the funnel.
To show your partners you’re a worthy ally, your partnership approach needs to exude authority.
And authority comes from knowing what you want and exactly how you’ll get it.
From the way you manage partner roles, to how you delegate follow-up, it’s time to ditch the ad hoc systems and build a streamlined channel partner strategy.
Here are some of the key questions to think about as you set your goals (and expectations):
But lead sharing isn’t the only nut to crack. Here are some of the other event marketing tasks you’ll have to agree on early with your channel partners:
How you connect with partners shows them the quality of your brand values. By being firm but fair, they’ll know you care about your business (and theirs).
Plus, by agreeing on partner actions and follow-up straight from the get-go, you make it super easy to track leads, chat with partners, and attract attendees. Less time spent chasing your (and your partner’s) tail, means more time focusing on the tasks that matter.
So if all this seems like a lot of work, remember, planning who does what ahead of time can reduce the headache, make tracking leads easier, and make sure you never miss a closed-won opportunity from your virtual event.
To make sure your virtual event packs maximum punch, you need to focus on centralizing your message and branding from day one.
Every event marketer worth their weight knows the strength of powerful data.
Gather crucial data around your core event KPIs, as well as deep account level insights, at every stage of the event marketing journey to track where you and your partners have gone right (and where you might’ve made a misstep).
Here are a few key metrics to track:
Once you’ve gathered some solid data, it’s time to share it with your partners for a super efficient follow-up. You should already know who’s going to follow-up with who based on the agreements you set in your first meeting (remember Step 3? 😉).
Psst! With Goldcast you can now integrate Google Analytics to track leads from UTM links to your fully customizable Goldcast registration page.
With 75% of sponsors constantly looking for new partnerships, it’s likely they’ll make up a large portion of the partners you work with.
To get the most out of these connections, make sure you treat them like the partners they are and work with them to boost attendance from the get-go:
The workflow for sponsors looks very much like your other partner and channel marketing workflows, but you’ll probably want to focus on slightly different metrics.
Marketing ace Ashesh Satvedi, Head of Global Digital Events at Box, explains which metrics to track:
According to Ashesh, when sponsored partners are involved in your event, you need to measure:
Virtual booths may not be the most attention-grabbing of your sessions, but there’s still a time and a place for them.
Try using a virtual event tool that allows you to organically (and automatically) push attendees to sponsor booths after a session, to guarantee your sponsors some footfall, and make it feel like a natural, integrated part of the event. (Psst! We can think of one event platform that does this for you 😉).
It goes without saying that a streamlined partner marketing workflow will make your (and your partner’s) life easier.
From gathering lead data in one place to unifying your event branding, there are a million ways to strengthen your event partnerships for the better and make co-marketing feel easier than ever.
When you’re ready for a virtual event platform that brings it all together, give Goldcast a try. Our customizable event branding features will help you and your partners come as close to an in-person event as possible, while giving you all the rich data only a digital platform can offer. Learn more about who we are and what we do, or schedule your personalized demo today.