5 ways to upgrade your channel marketing services

Channel Marketing

5 ways to upgrade your channel marketing services

Two Rivers Marketing

Two Rivers Marketing
Aug 30, 2023

Graphic of different channels to market

Congratulations! You have a channel marketing program that allows third parties to do the hard work of selling your product or service while you focus on what you do best — developing your product or service.

Compared to traditional business expansion and growth models, channel marketing can be a faster and more efficient method B2B businesses can use to grow sales. It's typically more cost-effective to achieve the same reach by allowing local partners to amplify your brand. The truth is, your marketing department probably doesn't have the resources to test out all of the different marketing strategies that your channel partners can explore and activate.

However, there can be some challenges with growing and maintaining a successful channel marketing program. Whether you utilize retailers, dealers, distributors, sales representatives, resellers, or affiliates, your channel partners typically wear many hats and have many other priorities besides marketing your brand.

Therefore, we’ve put together five tips for upgrading your channel marketing program to maximize scale and minimize your partner’s marketing burden.


Let’s face it. The explosion of social media networks and sophisticated digital marketing platforms has rewritten many long-standing B2B channel marketing rules. Word-of-mouth and traditional advertising aren’t going to cut it anymore for successful lead generation. Check out what your competitors are doing online to know that hyper-targeted digital marketing isn’t going away anytime soon.

In today’s cluttered marketplace, standing out online and driving conversions* is more important than ever. The downside: The latest SEM (search engine marketing) strategies, competitive paid search, and paid/organic social media strategies can be complex and confusing to even well-versed marketers. Outsourcing your channel’s digital marketing to SEM experts is one integrated approach that can create strategic scale and take a massive burden off your channel partners. Your SEM/digital team should also develop an ongoing process of customizing channel partner information, monitoring success, and optimizing regularly.

In addition to building a network-wide digital marketing program, you can also provide scaled resources to your channel partners who want to do their own digital marketing. Creating digital marketing packages that can be personalized and customized with easy-to-follow instructions can drive efficiency and scale.

*Conversions are online actions that a potential consumer takes to contact your channel partners.


A channel partner’s landing page within your company’s website presents an opportunity to build the credibility of your business with third-party endorsements as well as help your own site’s SEO (search engine optimization). Partner page personalization is key. Be sure to feature your dealer's contact information, logo, and name and use straightforward calls to action (CTAs). Always list the hours of the partner’s operation. Provide a keyword-rich overview of your partner’s business and what products are carried or services are offered. Also, be sure to include a highly visible “Find a Dealer” button in your top navigation to let customers know where they can buy your products or services. You may want to consider supporting your channel partners in creating websites specifically for their business. This can be another opportunity to show your commitment to helping them grow and promote their business to local customers and prospects.


A great way to boost channel partner engagement and create more cross-promotional synergies is by developing a partner brand ambassador program. To get started, audit your channel partner’s personal social media accounts and see who has a strong following and is social media savvy. Invite these influencers to join your program, where they will be rewarded for posting and reporting on your brand’s products, services, events, etc. — in their own voice. Create a set of guidelines and recommended topics so it’s clear how and what to post. It’s recommended to offer them some sort of compensation for their time, but most importantly, be sure to let them know the program can also expand their own social media presence and potentially open up new business opportunities.


Using data is a great way to develop and defend your channel marketing strategy. What tactics are performing the best? What tactics are your channel partners utilizing the most? What tactics can be scaled most easily? The answers will help you determine the most effective channel marketing strategies. You’ll find the greatest return on investment by scaling high-performing tactics. Once a marketing strategy is in place, monitor the data for improvements or changes.

It’s also important to use data to show your channel partners the benefits of your marketing efforts. How are your channel marketing tactics converting into their leads? Let’s say you offer direct mail services and a paid search campaign for all dealers. Provide your partners with a regular customized report that includes metrics like website, paid search, local listing, and social performance along with industry benchmarks and data on their co-op marketing activity. These metrics will offer a tangible representation of how their loyalty to your brand is beneficial to them. It also provides a sense of ownership and a greater understanding of marketing — powerful tools for increasing engagement.


Finally, invest in a well-executed co-op budget program that increases your ROI while supporting channel partner growth and success. Co-op funds help subsidize the cost of partner marketing activities, reducing their expenses and incentivizing them to market your brand. 

Developing and communicating clear rules and policies for co-op reimbursement is an important first step. This can include what’s acceptable with respect to brand guideline compliance, vendor selection, marketing tactic type, competitor references, and deadlines for submitting claims. Second, it's key to have a resource dedicated to maintaining a seamless process for easy claim submission and timely approval. Requiring preapproval on tactics before they go live can save a lot of frustration. Last, it’s important to keep channel marketing partners updated on the status of their co-op budgets regularly so they are motivated to do better planning on marketing your brand throughout the year.


Interested in improving or implementing a channel marketing program for your products or services? Learn more about our agency's channel marketing expertise and experience or contact us.

Two Rivers Marketing

Two Rivers Marketing is a full-service business-to-business (B2B) marketing communications agency. Contact us with your thoughts or questions.