Creating partner content can be hard work. We all wish there was a magical “Content Fairy”. Just create your partner program, implement your portal, go to sleep and voila! The portal is magically populated with all the right partner content when you wake up. Right!?Wrong! Unfortunately, there is no magical fairy to create your partner content. I know it is hard to accept when you have believed for all these years, but she isn’t going to show up.

Years and years of working with channel companies has made it clear that creating partner content can become the number one hurdle when trying to launch a partner program. It takes work, not magic, to get the RIGHT content for partners. Your partners need content that is created to cater to their specific needs. When building out your partner content strategy, keep the following 5 tips in mind to create the best content for your partner – fairy free.

Tip #1 Start with a Strategy

The right partner content starts with a strategy. This strategy should start with a focus on what partners need to sell, service, and support your offerings. Do partners need training, product information, marketing materials, technical specifications, support documents? Does the content for partners exist or does it need to be created?

When building out a content strategy start by identifying the partner audience. Some programs may have one type of partners while others may have multiple partner types. Identifying the partner audience will help you create and segment partner content. Make sure that each piece of partner content has a purpose; do not simply add content for the sake of adding content.

Tip #2 Determine Content Owners

To keep your partner content relevant, it must be managed which means content must have an owner. Your content strategy will come to life once you have identified your content owners. These owners might sit in various areas of the organization: marketing, product, programs, or support. Make sure that each owner understands their role and the key deliverables. Content owners must also manage the take down of old content along with the posting of new content. Consider creating a content calendar so that content is continually refreshed. Keeping content fresh and relevant will keep your partners engaged.If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Tip #3 Don’t Duplicate Content

When gathering partner content be careful not to duplicate public facing content. This can create a content management nightmare. Content management is hard enough; don’t create more work than needed. Remember that partner content should be specific to partners. While public facing product content may be relevant to partners you can point to the public pages without recreating that content. If the bulk of your portal content is pointing to public pages you probably need to refer to Tip #1 and create a better content strategy.

Tip #4 Be Specific

The one size fits all approach will not work for your partners. Partner content should add value to partners whether it teaches them something new, solves a customer problem or it answers a question. Content should be segmented to the right partner type, tier or even user role. Text can get boring and is often over used so consider using a mix of videos, images, and infographics in your strategy to keep partners engaged. Less is more so drive the point home by cutting to the chase with your partner content. Focus on creating content that has a purpose and is centered on what partners actually need.

Tip #5 Measure Usage

Do not make assumptions. Usage reporting should become a key component of your content strategy. Measure the usage of your content regularly and use that data to drive strategy and the creation of future content. If partners are not using the content provided there is likely a reason. It might be too hard to find, irrelevant to your partners or facing the wrong audience. Know what is performing and what is not and adjust as needed.

If I could wave a magic wand and create you all the partner content you need, I would! Hopefully, these 5 tips will be all the magic you need to successfully create and manage the content your partners need to thrive.