Is integration marketing a priority for your company? If not, you’re not alone.
There are a few reasons this could be the case:
- Integrations are not thought of as a core feature of your product
- Your product team is completely in charge of your integration strategy
- Integrations are build in response to customer requests, with little thought to a marketing plan
- You don’t have a good structure in place for marketing your integrations
- Marketing is brought into the decision making process too late
If marketing your integrations has taken a back seat, it’s time to prioritize them: Why? Because integrations are the #3 most important consideration for buyers these days.
That means, your integrations can actually drive more qualified leads and sales. So it’s time to bring them front and center into your marketing.
Are you in partnerships or marketing and thinking, gah I’m already so busy. I hear ya – I’m a marketer too.
But fear not. In this post we’ll cover everything you can do to market your integrations – from big campaigns for high-profile partners to small launches for integrations you want to highlight quickly, and easily.
First, we’ll explore why marketing is often overlooked when launching integrations, and explore what benefits businesses can derive from making marketing a core component of their integration strategy.
Stay tuned for integration marketing best practices you can add to your go to market calendar today.
Why marketing is overlooked when building integrations
Let me know if this sounds like a familiar scenario. Many of your customers ask for an integration with another product they regularly use.
Technical resources are pulled in to scope the work needed to build the integration. Product and development works on it, and the integration is delivered to the customers that have requested it. End of story.
In many companies (maybe yours) integrations are viewed as a technical project primarily, with the impression that customers will find them on their own, and install them.
Organizations also often fail to allocate enough budget to each integration, focusing solely on technical resourcing and not understanding the need to market the integration more broadly.
The resources assigned coupled with the impression that integrations are purely a technical project result in marketing being a low priority in the integration strategy.
As a result, customers may not even be aware that your integration exists, or how it can benefit them. This lack of awareness can lead to missed sales opportunities.
How to prevent this from happening
In order to stop this oversight, it’s important for marketers to be part of the integration process from day one.
As a partner marketer, make it your job to be involved in the early scoping of the integration process through launch.
Being an active participant in the entire process allows you to understand what the integration does and why it was built – long before you need to promote it. Plus, you stay current on launch dates and can build your promotion around them.
Many organizations detail a step-by-step process for each integration. From decision making to build to release, they have a process that looks something like this:
As a marketer, insert yourself into the process. Ask for a seat at the table starting with the demand research phase and make sure marketing is involved in every stage through launch.
The most successful integration go-to-market plans are a combined effort: Both you and your tech partner should create a promotion schedule together. Communicate early and often with their marketing team to plan the design, content, and release schedule.
Also, make sure you educate them on your product. At the very least, provide a one-pager on your offering so their sales and support teams can comfortably recommend your services. Plus, they should have a unique CTA (get a promo code on X web address, for example).
Both teams need to know how the integration works. As marketers, it may not be your job to create support documentation, but make sure it’s spread wide among both companies’ support teams.
With full transparency into when launch is supposed to occur, you can coordinate effectively, and ensure a robust marketing strategy is rolled out to bring awareness to the integration.
7 ways to market your integrations
Okay, let’s get down to your integration marketing checklist. With the launch of each integration, think about each of these seven promotion options and what makes sense for you and your partner:
A note on content
Even though we’ve been warned, everyone falls into the trap of “if we build it, they will come.” It’s hard not to. You’ve spent weeks or months discussing the ins and outs of the integration and how it’s going to help 1 million customers and bring in 1 million more.
But don’t forget – your customers are starting at step one.
Whatever content you create needs to be educational, interesting, and targeted to your audience. Err on the side of providing free content, and include your integration in the story you tell.
1. Joint webinars
A co-marketing webinar is the best way to market your integration with your tech partner.
This is true for four main reasons:
- The attendees that join your joint webinar are likely to be customers looking to adopt the integration or highly qualified leads
- You capture their data – you can easily see and follow up with registrants and attendees to generate demand
- You get to inform, educate, and provide a personalized brand impression in less than an hour
But, and this may be obvious, make the webinar… good. Interesting. Compelling. Worth the attendees’ time.
Don’t focus only on the integration.
Instead include the integration in a webinar that covers a topic that people are likely to be interested in.
For example, our recent integration with Chilli Piper could be paired with a webinar entitle “How to generate more leads with your partners.” Instead of calling it something bland like “Check out the Chili Piper + Partner Fleet integration” it instead leads with a topic that focuses on the benefit that the integration is likely to bring customers.
Worried about webinar fatigue? Don’t be. You can still capture the attention an engaged audience of your ideal customers with the right strategy.
The name of the game with integration webinars is educating leads, not getting a massive number of signups (although that’s always nice).
2. Integration marketplaces
Adding the integration to both of your integration marketplaces (or app marketplaces) is one of the most essential steps in the process. And it should be quick and easy too.
Your marketplace listings make the integration easy to find in searches. The customer gets essential information on what the integration does, exactly when they need it. And this is an evergreen resource that is up-to-date and prominent (especially if it’s both online and in-app).
The marketplace listing also gives you a great location to link all other promotions to. And, ideally it has a CTA to help you capture contact information for interested leads.
Bring attention to the new integration you just built with a “new” tag or section. Check out how G2 does this in their Partner Hub marketplace:
By clicking into each integration you are able to see exactly what it does, the value it provides and instructions on how to set it up and use it.
Adding your partners into this marketplace gives you an easy way to drive demand and adoption. Better yet when you get added to theirs.
Need a dynamic, searchable app marketplace available in-app and online? That’s what we do. Book a demo to learn more.
3. In-app messaging
Most customers don’t leave your platform to go back to your website. For them, the best way to highlight new integrations is through your in-app messaging (just like you would do with any new feature).
If you can target specific customers or segments with your in-app messaging you can personalize the way you announce the integration – helping those who might be interested without irritating those who wouldn’t.
Instead of blasting an in-app notification to every single one of your customers, select just the customers that are in the real estate sector and notify them.
Not only does this method work because it's delivered directly to somebody that is active inside of your software, improving the chances of it actually being seen, but it is also targeted at customers that are likely to get value from the solution.
4. Email campaigns
Other than in the product itself, email is where your customers are most engaged. So send strategic emails to announce new integrations.
There are a couple of ways to do this to get the best engagement. If this integration is exciting for your customers, you may want to send several emails about it. For smaller integrations, you could focus on a certain segment of your audience that would be most interested. Or, if you’re pushing out tons of integrations per month, you could do a round-up.
Here are the most common email campaigns run alongside an integration launch.
Build hype and get early opt-ins involved with your integration launch.
Do you have a list of customers who requested the integration? Offer them beta access to help you refine the process and test messaging. Or, send an email to everyone offering beta access to capture early adopters.
You can even put a listing in your marketplace with a “Coming Soon” tag and a CTA to sign up for the beta or to be notified when it's launched.
Dedicated launch email
Send a simple email announcing the integration and nothing else. Include a graphic of you and your partner’s logos, give a couple of benefits, and a clear CTA to sign up.
Provided you’re not sending these emails too frequently, and your entire audience is likely to be interested, go ahead and send this to everybody.
If your customer base is varied in their interests and needs, group them into segments and only send the integration to the segments most likely to set it up.
Product updates email
Many companies send monthly or bi-monthly product update emails. This is a great option if you release features fairly frequently, and don’t want to bog down your subscribers’ inboxes with launch emails.
Add your integration(s) in your updates email, explaining the benefits, set up, and giving a CTA to get started. You may want to include an image, depending on the design of your emails.
One great benefit of this is your product updates emails are likely opened by early adopters – the types of people who will try integrations early and give you great feedback.
Don’t have a product updates email? Think about including a section about what’s new from your company in your regular newsletter. And, of course, add those integrations in.
Webinar announcement email
The absolute best way to get signups for a webinar is through email. But this is also a great way to announce your integration.
If you’ve already planned a webinar, you can offer it for free to your (and your tech partner’s) subscribers. It will provide education as well as awareness about your integration. Sometimes saying “learn how you benefit from our integration” is more compelling than “we built an integration.”
Make sure you include at least one email mention in the launch plan for every integration. You’ll drive awareness, adoption, and be able to gauge interest.
5. Case studies
Once a few of your customers have implemented and started using the integration, it’s time for a case study. Case studies are so powerful because they show potential integration users a specific use case.
Users will see the case study and think “I can do that with my company.” It’s a more relatable way to learn about the integration. And it provides valuable social proof. Someone else did this with success, you should too!
6. Blog Exchange
A blog exchange is truly win-win for you and your tech partner. You both get a valuable backlink from their domain, brand exposure to their audience, and a new piece of content for your blog. Plus, all your co-marketing content can be added to your marketplace as a resource so it’s constantly discovered by your audience.
Plus, your blog can turn into an evergreen piece of content, bringing in new leads on an ongoing basis.
This blog post should include thought leadership, not just a sales pitch for your company. Share some key insight from your expertise that might particularly resonate with their audience.
For example, if you’re a CRM and you integrated with a project management tool for home service providers, talk about the ways plumbers and HVAC professionals can improve their productivity with a CRM. Of course, make the point that the integration is what powers true efficiency.
Don’t forget, when pitching the blog exchange bring a few topic ideas to your integration partner’s team.
7. Social Media
The final way in which to market a new integration to the masses is via social media.
One of the most effective social media platforms to use is LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is now used by over 900 million people worldwide, and is effective for B2B promotion because people on LinkedIn are in a “work” mindset.
Here’s what you do: have both partner teams and senior leadership write a LinkedIn post around the integration, linking back to the marketplace. Tell the rest of your company to go engage with the post to boost it in algorithms (so it shows to more people).
A good example of this can be seen from our founder Kenny, announcing Partner Fleet’s integration with Walnut.
As you can see, there is a clear mention of the expected benefit that customers can get from downloading this integration.
Benefits of marketing integrations
When done well, the benefits of a good marketing strategy surrounding new integrations can be numerous.
Let’s take a look at the key benefits of a good marketing strategy, so you have a roadmap on KPIs to track when you launch.
If you and your partner are both promoting the new integration effectively, it means that a whole database of new customers will suddenly become aware of your tool.
The byproduct of the increase in this awareness should be net new leads sent your way.
Track your lead sources and bring data when you advocate for resources to plan the next launch.
Reduced customer churn
New business is great, but it’s just as important to retain current customers. And integrations are proven to cause stickiness, which in turn causes retention. In fact, Integration users are 58% less likely to churn on average.
That just makes sense: A standalone solution is far easier to rip and replace than a solution that is connected into three or four different software products. Plus, the customer is likely getting more value with improved workflows across systems.
When you spend the time and energy marketing your integrations, they’ll see far more adoption from key customers. The associated reduction in churn alone should make your marketing efforts worth it.
Track the lifetime value of customers who use integrations versus those who don’t. Use that data to help your integration strategy going forward.
Improve customer satisfaction
A lot of your customers want integrations with their current tech stack. So many that they likely frequently ask for them (especially if you give them the option to request them).
Even more of your customers can benefit from integrations with their tech stack – but they may not know it.
By building these integrations out, and marketing them properly, customers can have a seamless experience inside of your software.
Happier customers are less likely to churn, and so this is another important benefit of marketing integrations effectively.
Ramp up your integrations marketing strategy now
Whether you have an integration launching soon, you, as a marketer, can start to take action to get involved now.
Ask for a seat at the table when integration decisions are being made. Start building relationships with the other software platforms you’re integrating with. Create a go-to-market template for all future launches.
Get involved and get your integration seen, implemented, and used!
Need an integration marketplace? Learn more about how Partner Fleet can help!