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Partners make everything better, and marketing is no exception. Co-marketing is an impactful strategy used by organizations to reach a broader audience or break into a new market. Together with partners, you can drive incredible results that would otherwise be challenging and costly, if not impossible.
Read on to understand co-marketing basics and best practices for getting started.
What is Co-Marketing?
Co-marketing is about collaborating with another organization on promotional activities. This can include anything from sending out an email newsletter together to developing an entirely new product. Co-marketing should benefit both parties by helping each other reach a broader audience than they would alone by combining your resources.
How is Co-Marketing Different from Co-Branding?
Co-branding typically involves two companies collaborating to develop a new service, product or content piece. Meanwhile, co-marketing refers to joint promotional efforts of either the co-branded item or separate but related brand offerings. For example, if a company’s podcast hosts another organization’s CEO as a guest and both teams promote the episode to their followers, they are demonstrating co-marketing.
In both scenarios, organizations typically already have some sort of audience overlap that makes partnering ideal. While both are effective strategies for collaborating with a partner to increase sales and expand your reach, they have different applications.
What are the Benefits of Co-Marketing?
When implemented correctly, co-marketing can have many benefits for the participating organizations. Notably, when you’re splitting the work and expense of a campaign, you’re able to get more out of your investment. Additionally, partnering with another organization can drive increased reach by helping you get exposure to a new audience. You’ll also be able to improve brand awareness and increase loyalty through co-marketing.
Ideas for Effective Co-Marketing Activities
There are many different co-marketing activities you can implement, though not all will be equally suited for your particular audience and goals. Examples of ideas to consider include:
Partnered Content & Guest Blogging
Examples of partnered content include ebooks, blogs, and infographics. You jointly create a valuable resource designed to benefit your shared audience. Typically, it’s a good idea to identify a topic about which you can each share differing insights in order to provide a fresh perspective for your readers. After all, the goal is to create a co-marketed piece that is greater than the sum of its parts.
Original research is a powerful tool that can be enormously beneficial for authority and SEO. Collaborating with a partner, you can conduct a survey and compile research for an industry study. While this is a demanding effort, it can also be one of the most rewarding. When done correctly, your original research will be an authority in the industry that people link back to for years to come.
Webinar or Video Series
Similar to partnered content, webinars and video series are great ways to share your expertise with a partner. Collaborate to highlight a unique perspective or educate on something specific. Lean on some big names at your organization to drive additional attendance and engagement.
In-person or Digital Events
Since organizing events can be so costly and time-consuming, they’re an ideal co-marketing activity. Your partner will ideally help out with the required costs and labor, as well as enrich the overall experience for attendees. Additionally, like with other co-marketing ideas, you’re able to reach a broader audience than you would alone.
Joint Promotion Efforts to Ensure Visibility
Even the best content or product will have minimal impact without the proper activities to build awareness. No co-marketing strategy would be complete without detailed plans for joint promotion. While the preferred channels and methodology depend greatly on your unique situation, options include Google PPC ads, social media ads and organic social media campaigns, email blasts, sponsored posts, press releases, and more.
It’s a good idea to connect with your partner to determine the best-fit promotion vehicle for your partnership. Your collaborators’ past strategies may have differing success levels than your own, and their marketing team structure could potentially supplement your weaknesses. Co-marketing presents the unique opportunity for organizations to bounce around ideas, learn from one another, and leverage resources otherwise unavailable, so make sure to maximize such rewards!
Best Practices for Effective Co-Marketing
Once you’ve decided you’d like to move forward with co-marketing activities, there are best practices you should keep in mind to ensure your campaigns are successful.
Look for Appropriate Audience Overlap
Your goal should be to co-market to an audience that is likely to purchase from you, which means that their audience should match your target customer profile. However, most of these individuals should not be existing customers.
It’s a good idea to also consider your own audience when selecting a partner. Is there something they could learn from your partner that you’re unable to teach them alone?
Discuss Shared Goals
Co-marketing shouldn’t be one-sided. Both partners should stand to benefit from the campaign, so discuss your goals ahead of time. If you look to collect email addresses and your partner just wants to generate new backlinks, you might not be able to achieve both objectives.
Establish a Timeline
If you thought it was challenging to coordinate internal campaigns, wait until you start developing co-marketing campaigns. With so many stakeholders and contributors involved, it’s imperative that you outline a timeline for your activities and define ownership early.
Build a Co-Marketing Agreement
It’s important to define who’s responsible for what when it comes to co-marketing. Develop an agreement that details the timeline and expectations for each team. This includes the allocated budget, level of participation, targeted audiences, asset ownership and trademarks, customer support, confidentiality, and other elements your legal team may deem necessary. Remember, the more points, the better; at no point should there be ambiguity about who should handle an unforeseen scenario (and how).
If it’s a long-term project, consider implementing regular check-in meetings to maintain progress and pivot strategies when necessary.
Co-marketing can be an incredibly effective tool when implemented well. In order to drive the best results, you need to identify a great-fit partner, who has a little bit of audience overlap and a common goal. Share ideas, historical insights, and resources to jointly determine the optimal co-marketing ideas for your brands and customer bases.
Allbound PRM is the platform for successful partnerships. Simplify your entire partner lifecycle — including partner marketing efforts with Allbound PRM. Our Content Library and Content Management tools make it easy to store and organize your marketing materials where you already keep your customer data. Learn more about partner marketing and co-branding capabilities within the Allbound portal.
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