4 Steps to Involve Distributors in Marketing Campaigns

Marketing executives at direct selling organizations often find it hard to predict the outcome of marketing campaigns and prove their value to their boards.

Experience says that companies who get distributors involved in running promo campaigns on social media get higher sales results than before. The key to those results is using the right software to help distributors actively post to their pages in accordance with the campaign flow, develop their personal brand on social, and build relationships with their subscribers.

As effective as it is, involving distributors can be quite challenging, as 73 percent of marketers confessed. While HQ wants to quickly launch promotional campaigns and get predictable results, distributors struggle to access branded content and keep up with the posting schedule because they don’t have enough marketing knowledge.

These bottlenecks appear at different stages of a campaign launch depending on which campaign management workflow is applied. Direct selling companies use several processes of workflow management. Let’s take a look at how a couple of them work, what they lack, and find out what you, as a marketing executive, can do to simplify your workflow.

Workflow in Asset Management Solutions

Asset management is the most common workflow used by direct selling companies that have just started developing a social media marketing channel. They need to provide distributors with content and want it to be posted in time to meet the campaign time limits. Such tools as Bynder and Aprimo imply that HQ uploads content to an asset manager and gives distributors access to it. The most important job is left for distributors, which is by no means easy:

  1. First, they get notifications about content updates, whether by email or in-app.
  2. After that, distributors can go to the asset manager to download the content, then switch to another software to customize it if they need to.
  3. Once the post is ready, distributors have to manually post it to their social media pages or groups

Apart from this flow being convoluted, HQ can never be sure distributors actually find the content and carry out the desired posting since 90 percent of distributors simply don’t open their notifications. Moreover, even if they find the right templates, HQ has no way of knowing when the content will be posted.

Social Sharing Solutions

Social sharing solutions like Hootsuite, Amplify, Sociabble or Bambu by Sprout Social offer another workflow that gives direct selling companies a chance to store and post content in one place. Some marketing executives hope this will ensure posts will be published once distributors find the content. But let’s see how this works.

From HQ’s side, the process is pretty much the same as in the previous workflow: they upload content to an asset manager and hope the representatives will do the job. For distributors, it takes fewer steps to publish a post:

  1. Once they get notified of new content, they go to the interface and find the uploaded content.
  2. They can schedule content to their social media right from the interface, but only if they want to post the templates as they are. Customization would require going to another interface.

With this workflow, there’s still no predictability for the HQ concerning posting time. What’s more important, none of these workflows gets distributors used to regular social media posting.

Their social media activity is random, and they don’t see the true value of social media marketing. Therefore, when the time for a promotional campaign comes, they are not too enthusiastic about posting. And this isn’t even about the tools themselves; it’s all about their attitude. That’s what you should focus on when working with distributors. Choosing a holistic approach to their education and tech empowerment will help you develop a social-first habit in them. This will help them keep up with posting during promotional campaigns.

How To Develop a Social-First Habit in Distributors

This takes several steps, but the results are definitely worth it. Here’s what you at the HQ level can do for distributors to make them more marketing-savvy and get them involved in running promotions on social media:

1. Suggest promotional content for distributors

Choose software that will empower HQ to not only create promotional content and upload it to an asset manager but to also pre-schedule it to be posted on distributors’ social media pages at the right time.

Such software provides on-the-go mobile apps for distributors that make posting easy. Distributors can publish by clicking “Approve Post.” The content is automatically posted in the best slot to match the campaign goals: to get maximum possible reach, engage, and convert subscribers to users.

Also, such a flow allows HQ to stay on top of distributors’ social media activity and posting time.

2. Let Distributors Work On Content From Their Mobile Devices

Your distributors have a lot on their plates, and their social media activity is just a part of their routine. To help them find time for it, give them tools that will allow them to find a few minutes for social media wherever they are.

Customization tools are a must. Distributors appreciate being able to tweak content for their needs when they are on the street, in line, or just have a spare minute and a bit of inspiration.

On-the-go posting is another privilege. It’s not a good idea to hope that distributors will have time to sit at their laptops and manually post to their social media on a daily basis. Being able to schedule content a few weeks or even months ahead is what they really need. With the proper tools, that’s not a problem at all.

3. Activate Distributors To Use The Software You Provided

Your distributors look up to you as an example and will follow your lead once you prove yourself an expert. That’s why showing them the value of social media marketing should be your top priority. The best thing you can do is become a social-first role model yourself, make social a part of your corporate culture, and integrate it into your DNA.

Sharing the value of social media marketing with your distributors will spark their interest and inspire them to engage.

When they’re already interested, you need to show them how to do it right. Choose any convenient format: educational webinars, training sessions, or courses. The key goal is to provide the fundamental social media marketing knowledge: how to create content, master posting, manage inboxes and measure performance.

You can run Facebook Live videos, upload tutorials to your YouTube channel, or launch webinars on Zoom. The more channels you use, the more likely your distributors are to find them and get their piece of knowledge. Be sure you provide all the necessary materials to ensure your network members can develop and build their success.

4. Create a Framework For Peer Mentorship

Once your distributors are acquainted with social media marketing, it’s extremely important to keep the fire burning. You can achieve this by creating a community for them where they can share their successes, exchange tips, and ask for advice. The doTERRA Social Community is a great example of this, as it demonstrates how willing to help and ready to share distributors are. The community keeps them engaged and provides additional motivation.

All these steps can be easily implemented once you choose the right social media marketing solution that empowers both HQ and distributors to run promotional campaigns–a solution that ensures content consistency, on-time posting, and marketing knowledge.

Max Pecherskyi is a CEO & Co-founder of PromoRepublic, a distributed marketing platform for multi-location brands that launched a social selling solution for direct selling businesses. He is an experienced marketing & brand strategist, with the projects for Kimberly Clark, Danone, Philips, Ferrero, Johnson & Johnson, and Henkel in portfolio.