top of page

Digital Marketing for MSPs, VARs, and SIs: A Primer for SMB Partners

Part I: Introduction to Digital Marketing

As I am out and about in the channel, I often fall into a discussion about digital marketing with partners. The most common discussion with smaller partners tends to center on what digital marketing is, how it works for their business, and how to get a positive ROI from partner marketing efforts. Based on that, I thought I would try to break down some of the most basic elements

1. SEO (Search Engine Optimization):

How It Works:

Keyword Research: Identifying the exact terms and phrases your target audience is searching for; being precise is critical.

On-Page Optimization: Including keywords in titles, meta descriptions, and throughout the content.

Localized: Local SEO targets similar keywords and phrases to a national campaign but with the intention of being searchable in a local area where the business has a location and a phone number. This is the highest ROI for smaller local partners.

Backlinking: Gaining links from other reputable sites to increase authority.

Importance: Enhancing visibility by ensuring you show up when and where potential customers are looking online is critical. Discover what potential ideal customers search on and optimize your site to be found.

2. Content Marketing:

How It Works:

Content Creation: Crafting articles, videos, and infographics that resonate with your ideal prospect and customer audience is key. Create real-world insights, break down complex issues, and provide content that helps customers’ day-to-day business. Add value with your content to win!

Content Distribution: Utilizing channels like social media and email to share content; after all, developing never seen content is worthless.

Engagement Tracking: Monitoring how users engage with your content to refine strategies. Is your content hitting the mark? You will know if you measure the engagement. One partner took to having a simple QRG code e-flyer their techs used when out in the field to ask customers what content they were consuming and what else they needed.  

Importance: Educating and engaging your audience while positioning your company as an industry leader is what matters in our new digital world.

Part II: Social Media and Email Marketing

1. Social Media Marketing:

How It Works:

Profile Optimization: Creating consistent, branded profiles across all platforms is key. Do not just update your existing profile; completely redo it. This counts for your firm’s pages as well as your top executive’s pages. Remember, people follow people, so invest in optimizing your leaders’ pages on LinkedIn to start.

Content Planning: Developing a schedule for regular posts and engagement is critical. We recommend on LinkedIn that you post 3-5 times a week and engage daily with your key connections’ posts/comments/pages.

Analytics Monitoring: Using tools to track performance and adjust strategies is critical. What you don’t measure, you can’t improve, so make sure you set goals (followers, connections, engagement) and stick to them to win.

Importance: Building brand loyalty and community by meeting customers where they spend time online.

2. Email Marketing:

How It Works:

Segmentation: Dividing your audience into targeted groups.

Personalized Content: Crafting tailored messages for different segments.

Performance Analysis: Regularly reviewing open rates, click-throughs, and conversion metrics.

Importance: Maintaining an ongoing dialogue with customers and leading them through the sales funnel.

Part III: PPC Advertising and Influencer Collaboration

1. PPC (Pay-Per-Click) Advertising:

How It Works:

Keyword Selection: Choosing relevant search terms for your ads is the most critical step; make sure you know the exact search terms and how relevant they are to your offers. You don’t want to pay for clicks that don’t convert.

Ad Creation: Designing compelling ads that encourage clicks is important. This is not an area to save money – work with an agency or team member who knows how to create clickable ads.

Bid Management: Setting and adjusting bids for ad placement; this matters for budgets. You can set daily limits and click limits, and there are many ways to manage your budget to work for your business.

Performance Tracking: Using analytics to measure success and optimize campaigns

Importance: Gaining immediate visibility and driving targeted traffic to specific landing pages.

2. Influencer Collaboration:

How It Works:

Influencer Identification: Find influencers who align with your brand and audience. For local partners, this could be other local business owners, and you may be able to barter to support each other on social media platforms.

Collaboration Terms: Negotiating deliverables, compensation, and guidelines. If you are going to pay an influencer (a very valid strategy), be certain to lay out the specific deliverables, brand guidelines, and how the influencer will be paid (by post, by click, by sale)

Content Co-Creation: Working together to create engaging content that promotes your products/services is a best practice. While you want the influencer to use their voice, you don’t want that voice to overwhelm your key message. 

Importance: Amplifying your brand’s reach and credibility by leveraging trusted voices in the industry.

Part IV: Risks of Neglecting Digital Marketing

Falling Behind Competition: Digital marketing is the present and future. Ignoring it is like using Morse code in a world of instant messaging.

Invisibility: Without an active online presence, you might as well be a secret society.


Digital marketing is akin to constructing a technological skyscraper, and each strategy is a vital floor. From SEO foundations to the penthouse of influencer collaboration, every element must be meticulously crafted.

Whether you’re orchestrating a new campaign or fine-tuning an existing one, remember: In the world of technology, there’s no room for floppy disks. Embrace digital marketing, or risk being left in the dial-up dust.



Single Post: Blog_Single_Post_Widget
bottom of page