‘The more the merrier.’
As per the old saying, more hands working toward a common goal mindfully gives better results.
Co-marketing is a case when two companies with different products, and possibly different niches, come together to work on a joint promotional effort to achieve a certain goal.
This method of marketing strategy is also called Partnership Marketing.
Co-marketing really helps you to enter into a new market with the help of a partner brand. Hence you have to put less efforts into gaining new customers.
Co-marketing: Is that same as Co-branding?
Co-branding is when two complementary companies come together, use their individual brand value, and create a much bigger impact on their audiences. This not necessarily means creating a product or a service.
But any activity that contributes to their brand image.
Co-marketing is a step ahead.
In co-marketing, two companies come together to work on a common project, product, or campaign that benefits both brands.
Co-marketing can be for a new product to a new feature – anything!
This marketing technique can help you achieve one or more of the following things:
- Help you enter into new markets
- Increase awareness in a specific niche
- Explore new communication channels
- Spread a word about a specific new feature/service
- Introducing partnership/integrations
Benefits of Co-marketing
Here are some exceptional benefits of co-marketing. I’m sure one of these reasons would attract you to try this marketing method out:
1. Expand your audience with fewer efforts
Co-marketing can literally double your traffic and that’s one of the best benefits of this strategy. Similarly, your fellow brand partner can also have the same benefit.
As I mentioned earlier, you have to put in fewer efforts if you’re expanding into a new market.
You can gain access to the audience of your fellow brand, and the good news is, this audience already trusts your partner brand. Hence you will not have to start from zero.
2. Save your money
Co-marketing can really save you some money, depending on the marketing strategy you’re choosing.
Guest posting, webinars, or starting a podcast hardly cost anything for a brand. But marketing is not limited to that. There are TV ads, newspaper ads, hoardings, packaging, there are even interactive ad banners.
These things cost a fortune!
Let’s say, you are co-marketing with the Lead Distributor of your product. You also want to tweak your product packaging. All the expenses will be divided between two partners.
The same things can be done when two brands decide to create an ad, a content copy, guide, or podcast.
The medium can be anything, but the cost associated can be divided.
3. Fewer efforts, low risk, and better results
Both brands will share their expertise, so a scope of fruitful discussions, and a master strategy at the end.
Both partners can have leverage over different social media networks. That means, you are not only gaining a new niche audience but a new medium as well.
You will learn different tactics from your partner brand. More importantly, you’ll have a whole new team as a helping hand.
You will not have to put effort to learn their field in order to attract the audience, your partner brand will provide that exposure to you.
With low risk, you can achieve amazing results.
5 steps to develop a co-marketing strategy
Co-marketing starts when one brand reaches out to another brand pitching ideas of what they want to achieve. So there’s always one brand that is the opportunity creator and another one is the opportunity grabber.
However, you can only execute co-marketing with the agreement of both brands. Hence, it is a joint promotional activity.
Let me explain the steps of co-marketing that can be helpful for hassle-free execution.
1. Define the goals of your co-marketing strategy
Every marketing strategy is being executed with an aim to get something fruitful out of it. First, you need to decide what do you want to achieve. And then you to figure out how collaborating with the other brands will be fruitful.
The important thing most brands forget is – collaboration is a tool used to achieve a goal. Collaboration is not the goal!
You want to achieve a certain target, and a brand collaboration would fit into it. Rather than fighting a battle single-handedly, you are asking your friend to fight with you.
But, in the business world, nobody would simply help. That’s why in this process you have to figure out how your partner can also benefit. So it would a win-win for all!
There can be many motives of a brand before executing co-marketing with the other brand as below:
- Increasing audience: As it is the basic benefit of co-marketing, your brand will get exposure to the audience of the partner brand.
- Entering into a new market: When your brand is entering into a new market, it will be easier if you plan a co-marketing strategy with a brand that is already winning in that area.
- Exploring new marketing channel: Let’s say, your brand is starting a new podcast or YouTube channel, it will be beneficial to invite a guest or a brand that is already gaining traffic from that channel.
2. What kind of partners do you want & identify the right brands
Whether you’re the one who is initiating or being approached for co-marketing, you have to put a lot of thoughts before taking an action. Choosing the right partner for your marketing campaign is a crucial part of co-marketing.
An Ayurveda brand will never collaborate with a chemical-based cosmetics brand. Why? Because there’s a chance of losing the trust of current customers.
The idea is to gain customers through loyal audiences. So you want to collaborate with brands that have a similar audience and the same kind of values as your brand.
Your partner brand also has to have a good reputation in their niche. Otherwise, it would be a waste of time for you.
Ask yourself the following questions before choosing a brand for co-marketing:
- Does the brand has the right kind of traffic that we want?
- What is the social engagement of customers with this brand?
- What is the overall review of this brand i.e. customer testimonials?
- Do we share the same type of traffic and audience?
- What benefit can the partner brand get from our brand?
Ask yourself these questions and create a list of brands that can be a good match.
Now, the next step is outreach.
3. Reach out to the brands & make agreements
When you finally pick brands you want to partner with, start approaching them via e-mails. Make sure you are pitching to the authoritative person as a marketing manager or social media manager.
Keep your mail friendly, clear, and lucrative. You can mention mutual benefits or ideas for the co-marketing campaign in that mail.
I’m going to be honest here. There’s a lot of struggle involved. You may face a lot of rejections. Just like you evaluated a brand, they are going to do the same with you!
This is the process of two brands thinking they found the right partners. It’s a love story in its own little way.
Now, once your partner brand agrees to the co-marketing campaign, now’s the time for legal action.
This doesn’t mean every co-marketing campaign goes through a series of paperwork. But there are some agreements advisable:
A typical co-marketing agreement should contain the below things:
- Clear motive
- The topic of the co-marketing
- Mode of Marketing
- Ownership of the content
- Promotional methods
- Reporting channel
4. Create content mutually
Here’s a crucial part.
Both of the brands have to choose a common ground. Brainstorm the ideas and how they will be beneficial to everyone.
Co-marketing takes place in many ways. For example eBooks, Webinars, podcasts, guest posts, Twitter chats, and in bigger ways – events.
Once to decide which content mode suits you well, the next step is to create a plan of action.
Here the following things would appear:
- The topic of the content
- Length of the content
- Work allotment
- Responsibility division
At this point, I’d seriously suggest workflow software where both the teams can visualize the progress and plan of the project.
5. Let everyone know
The last step is to let everyone know about your co-marketing. The simplest form is social media. Make sure to create multiple posts on your campaign at least 15 days ago.
Schedule posts on every social channel so your audience can get the highest visibility. A tool like Crowdfire would be just perfect!
Take this for an example.
A customer experience company Acquire co-marketed with United Airlines through a shared webinar. Both the companies spread the word about this webinar multiple times to get the highest registered audience:
3 examples of co-marketing
Now, we’re going to look at some excellent examples of co-marketing.
Get some inspiration!
1. Uber & Spotify
A few years back, Uber and Spotify joined hands for a beautiful co-marketing.
Whenever an Uber subscriber enters in their ride, a pre-made Spotify playlist would start. This co-marketing resulted in providing a beautiful customer experience.
And both the brands achieved the highest CX standards and made their shared customers happy.
2. Burger King & Sony PS5
This is a kick-ass example of co-marketing. Burger King partnered with Sony PS5 and launched a contest together.
You can enter the contest by simply uploading the receipt of the Burger King meal. Isn’t it cool!
Many gamers would have eaten a lot of burgers to get that dreamy PS5 for gaming.
3. HubSpot & LinkedIn
HubSpot and LinkedIn joined hands to create an eBook on social selling on LinkedIn. Sales is a core part of what HubSpot is and how you can achieve selling on LinkedIn combines the two companies very well.
At last, I would like to add one thing that choosing the right partner for co-marketing or co-branding is the key to gain more success out of these campaigns.
You can surprise your audience and keep them engaged with this marketing strategy.
If you haven’t tried this marketing style, I’d highly recommend it.
With Crowdfire, you can find curated content, schedule your posts, engage with your audience, deep-dive into analytics and create custom reports. Try it for free.