As a Microsoft Partner, you offer a non-unique product. Currently, some Partners have to do it with just one Unique Selling Point (USP): they’re the exclusive supplier of their product within their region. But even if that’s the case, there’s a (geographical) limit to the clientele you’ll be able to attract, no matter how thoroughly you commit to sales. Consequently, there’s an ever-greater pressure to distinguish yourself as a Microsoft Partner. And that’s where online marketing comes into play.

Want to grow? Leave your comfort zone!

Traditionally, many Microsoft Partners focus on sales. Do you spread an occasional
brochure among your target group to communicate product features and benefits? Do you
have a nice website that explains your products? Is ‘old-school’ word-of-mouth advertising
your main way of attracting new customers on a somewhat regular basis?
Then it’s about time that you step out of your comfort zone. Because that’s where you’ll find
numerous potential customers that don’t know you just yet (and whom you’ve probably
never met, either). Online marketing provides you with useful tools to connect with all these
potential customers. That’s great, but beware of the comfort-zone pitfall: you’re used to
talking about your product, preferably in technical language. Our advice: don’t do it! Start by
writing inspiring blogs, sharing your tips, vision, or story. This is paramount for Microsoft
Partners. There are countless other Partners that offer the same product, but the way in
which you do it is unique. So publish relevant content to show who you are and how you go
about it. As potential customers like to read such articles, it’s safe to share them – first,
within your own network, and then, beyond it. But how does that work?

Expand your reach

First, keep in mind that people within your network like to share valuable content. You might
benefit from the snowball effect, meaning (if we put it in LinkedIn terms) you’ll reach first-,
second-, and third-degree contacts relatively quickly.
Additionally, you can deploy several online marketing tools. Sponsored content, for example,
can be very effective if you want to expand your reach. If you pay a certain amount, social
networks such as LinkedIn or Facebook post your inspiring blog to your target group’s
timeline. The great thing is, you can specify this target group in detail – by age, gender,
region, employer, and job, among other things.

Online marketing: 3 tips to get you started

What exactly do you need to get off to a flying online marketing start? We’ve listed three
concrete steps:

1. Come up with blog topics that are relevant to your potential customer. We’ll say it
once more: don’t blog about your product! This is particularly important when you’re
a Microsoft Partner. Try and Google the term ‘Office 365,’ and you’ll discover that the
first dozens of pages are dominated by the big players, including Microsoft. You
won’t be able to acquire a spot there. Besides, you can’t distinguish yourself by
focusing on Office 365.

2. Define your target group. By specifying your potential customer, you’ll get to know
them. This allows you to build a connection as well as a relationship of trust. The
(lasting) result: they’ll choose you over another supplier of the same product.

3. Track whether your content has reached the target group, and check the responses
to your blogs. Only this approach will ultimately lead to conversion. But that’s a topic
we’ll discuss in future blogs!

 

Do you want to read more about our adventures abroad? Read the blog onboarding experience 

Or do you want to learn how to sell a competitive Microsoft product? Read the blog How to sell a competitive Microsoft product