Marketers work diligently each day to present their business and its services to the correct people. And that means – especially in competitive industries – fighting for clicks, opens, impressions, rankings, and more.
But marketers are also known for creative thinking and embracing new channels — hence the creation of the inbound marketing strategy of co-marketing. Learn how these strategic alliances with other brands can help you advance your efforts and give you a competitive edge.
What is Co-marketing?
Co-marketing is a partnership created when two organizations with similar audiences join forces to develop collaborative marketing content and strategies. One way to look at co-marketing is to imagine your team calling in reinforcements. This partnership can help you and your partner extend your reach, stretch your budget, and create long-term relationships with like-minded individuals.
While many of the benefits of co-marketing and co-branding are the same, the strategies have a few unique differentiators. Co-marketing involves two or more companies promoting a product or service, while co-branding involves the creation of a product or service with one or more brands. Both have great potential to expand your reach if done correctly.
Who Engages in Co-marketing?
While co-marketing isn’t a new idea, it’s becoming more common as the number of digital marketing platforms and strategies surface. Because of this, many businesses engage in co-marketing. Large and small companies alike can benefit from co-marketing. For a large company, they have the advantage of delivering a consistent brand experience across a large audience when working with another business – due to their larger resource pool. Smaller companies benefit from those extra resources a larger company may have that they don’t.
How Do You Find a Partner?
Most companies who engage in co-marketing find each other through good old-fashioned networking. But when you look closely at these relationships, you’ll notice similarities that you may want to follow should you pursue a co-marketing affiliation. They include:
- Non-competitors, in a similar industry or the same industry
- A company that complements your services or products
- A company with a sizable audience (i.e., good social following, large email lists, impressive video views)
- A company you already have a connection to
Examples of Co-marketing
You may be able to think of a co-marketing example without realizing it was a joint effort. For instance, in 2015 Taco Bell and Dorito’s worked together to create a taco with a Doritos tortilla and jointly worked on its marketing across social media. But not every company who engages in a co-marketing adventure has that large of a budget. When dealing with co-marketing on a smaller, more manageable scale, you’ll likely see companies coming together to work on pieces of content within their inbound marketing strategy. Here are some prime examples:
eBooks are premium content pieces that are great driving leads. They are also in-depth and take time and resources, which is why some companies look to like-minded businesses for help. When doing so, you can find a brand to coauthor your eBook, and share the work, whether it be in the copywriting, revising, or designing stages. After it’s completed, you both promote it across your appropriate channels, like email or social media.
A joint webinar can help both companies involved double the value of your average broadcast by reaching new markets or target audiences. It can also strengthen one, or both, of your brand’s credibility depending on whom you’re working with.
To be successful, the business you co-market a webinar with should have services that complement yours without directly competing with you. By joining forces, you can fill in any potential knowledge gaps and provide a substantial webinar experience for your audiences. When leading up to the webinar, you’ll both promote the event to your fan bases through inbound methods like email, which could drive new customers to each other. Even if you don’t gain any new leads from your co-host, your brand awareness will increase.
Combining efforts on a video series is another excellent example of a co-marketing effort. Often, many companies want to do video but don’t have the bandwidth. In a similar vein, some companies have the workforce and resources but may lack a great idea or personality to star in the videos. That’s where joining efforts comes in.
Then, when it comes to the promotional portion of this joint venture, you’ll both benefit again from new audiences and increased brand awareness. Video also performs well on social media so that both companies can expect a boost in engagement on these platforms.
You’ve probably seen an occasional guest post on a company’s blog. But, what if you saw regular guest posts across multiple companies blog, with backlinks and cross-promotional efforts? Then you’d be seeing yet another critical example of co-marketing.
Exchanging guest posts can help in various ways. If one company has better traffic, then your post will get more views. If another company has a better design team, you may have better graphical elements within your blog post that could help increase time on page. And like the other examples discussed, when it comes time to promote your blogs across email, social media, and more, both companies can benefit by dipping into each other’s audiences. But again, the most successful guest blogging happens between two similar brands.
Have you ever received an email sent by one company on behalf of another? Then you’ve experienced co-marketing in action. Most companies – yours included – spend time and effort building strong emails lists to send their campaigns to. These lists are assets another company can use to promote their messages, and likewise, you can use theirs for your purposes.
Co-marketing on email campaigns can help both parties build, segment, and broaden their email lists. You can begin by swapping newsletters, sending emails on behalf of one another, or asking to be featured within a specific email campaign. All of these methods get new eyes on each partner’s content. Just be sure not to duplicate content and send from both brands.
Should You Co-market?
If you’re looking for a way to increase your awareness, reach new potential contacts, and create partnerships with people in your industry, co-marketing may be for you. When done correctly, it benefits both parties and can encourage future alliances. For help coming up with more content ideas, or embellishing on the ones featured here, contact LyntonWeb today.