Have you ever heard the saying two heads are better than one? Of course, you have. Well, now the same holds true in business. When it comes to marketing your brand, collaboration is often the big key to success. The good news is, there are multiple ways that businesses and brands can collaborate these days.
It is becoming increasingly popular for brands to collaborate on Instagram and social media to grow their following and promote their brands.
In contrast to influencer partnerships, brand collaborations are when two (or more!) brands join forces to create a product offering that appeals to their combined audiences.
But what does it all mean and how does it all work? Let’s talk about it!
How To Use Collaborations To Grow Your Online Business
Brand Collaborations: What Are They?
We hear the word ‘collaboration’ a lot – so brands and business owners get confused when a collaboration opportunity knocks.
Whether it’s internal team collaborations, influencer collaborations, or sales meetings disguised as ‘hey, wanna collaborate?’ – teaming up on projects has always been the norm. However, the new way to advertise your brand online is through collaborations with other brands.
In short, collaborations between brands are when two or more brands team up, create something unique and exclusive for a campaign, and support each other’s growth.
Collaboration marketing is a win-win value exchange. Since some collaborative efforts don’t cost anything, you have no reason not to look into them!
Brand-to-Brand Collaborations: What Are the Benefits?
As we dive into all of the benefits of brand collaboration, let’s first highlight the fact that they are up to 25x cheaper than digital advertising!
In addition, brand collaborations offer multichannel marketing, network growth, and alignment opportunities that make them one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies for brands!
If you’re still not convinced, here are a few more benefits of brand-to-brand collaborations:
- Using clever cross-promotions to reach new potential customers
- It’s a great way to increase revenue
- It’s an even better way to create content
- You will be frequently engaging with your audience
- AND you will grow your social media community and network
- You could even attract publicity & build buzz
The benefits are truly endless. However, it all depends on who you partner with and what campaign strategy you lead together.
About Social Media Brand x Brand Collaborations
Social media is the best place to promote brand-to-brand collaborations.
A lot of brands choose to make Instagram exclusive events or products part of their campaign because of their social media ripple effects.
You can also collaborate on social media through contests and giveaways, hashtag challenges, or content collaborations – all of which are fantastic ways to reach new audiences quickly and cost-effectively.
A Guide to Your First Social Media Brand x Brand Collaboration
So… are you ready to dive into the details? Let’s take a look at how to set up a brand x brand collaboration on social media step by step.
Tip #1: Identify Your Campaign’s Purpose
Getting clear about your goals for a brand collaboration is just as important as any marketing strategy.
It’s also a misconception that you should start a collaboration with a big, creative idea in order to get started. Collaboration for the sake of collaboration never works.
We recommend that you start by defining your business’ marketing objectives. This way, your collaboration will help you to achieve your marketing goals, such as growing your email list, growing your Instagram account, creating a successful product, or creating engaging content.
No matter what your goals are, they’ll help you decide which partner to work with, resulting in a smoother process for setting up your campaign from the start!
Tip #2: Collaborate with The Right Partner
We’ll keep this one short and sweet. If you’re going to do it the old-school way, then make sure that you both have similar target markets, are in complementary industries, and that your goals are aligned to add value to your communities. This way, any cross-promotion will be extremely valuable!
Tip #3: Know Your Value and What You Can Offer!
A successful collaboration is a win-win exchange of value, so knowing what you can contribute is important before reaching out.
All your business assets, including your products, services, time, skills, venue space, content creation, social media, and email, can be leveraged in a collaboration.
When it comes to branded collaborations, don’t underestimate your skillset and offerings!
Tip #4: Communicate Effectively
That means no ‘hey, want to collaborate?’’’ DMs or LinkedIn messages (*noooooooo*).
A great brand collaboration is built on relationships, so remember that the person on the other end is HUMAN when you reach out.
Hence, any cross-promotion you do will be highly valuable!).
For example, a nutritionist x personal trainer makes sense thematically, as well as having complementary audiences.
Be sure to research and personalize your intro note – NO copying and pasting!
Are you unsure where to begin? Stay friendly, but keep it short, sweet, personalized, and benefits-driven.
Tip #5: Be Open to Negotiation
It can be challenging to enter into a collaboration with a fully formed idea. To help you negotiate a fair deal, we recommend approaching collaboration with a clear goal and a flexible attitude when it comes to creative execution.
For smaller-scale collaborations, we recommend Joint Marketing Agreements or MOU documents.
Tip #6: Maximize Results by Leveraging Resources
If no one knows about your collaboration, then what’s the point of it, no matter how cool it is?
Building a marketing plan that utilizes all of the wonderful marketing channels you each have available to you is what leverage is all about.
Tip #7: Get A Little Flirty
Brand collaborations are often misunderstood as one-time, huge campaigns that are reserved for major brands. For optimal results, brands should collaborate at least five times per year.
What’s the trick? Change up the type of collaboration you engage in, so as not to exhaust your audience.
Tip #8: Plan, Post, Track, and Communicate!
At last, once your campaign has been locked in, you will be able to share your project with others!
If you have a product to sell, Instagram Stories countdown stickers and shopping tags can help you build buzz around your new co-branded campaign.
Keep track of your campaign’s performance once it has gone live and communicate with your collaborative partner constantly.
But wait, THERE’S more! Here are a few more pointers to keep in mind:
You Can Cross-Promote In Other Ways
Cross-promotion opportunities aren’t limited to social media. Together, you could host a webinar or podcast series, or write an eBook. Both companies would benefit from these efforts and your credibility would be bolstered while your reach would expand.
You could also create joint newsletters or joint ads for publications such as newspapers or local magazines. We all love a discount, so why not join forces for a special offer? If you sell both products, you can give your customers a discount in your email newsletter or offer free shipping if they buy from both companies at the same time.
Be a Guest Author on Their Website, Blog, or Podcast
The same benefits apply as if you were featured on others’ social media. A guest post is a great way to raise brand awareness and reach a wider audience. Hopefully, this will lead to more customers for you.
As a guest post will earn a backlink to your website, most blogs that allow guest posts will also help you rank higher in search engine results.
Collaboration is typically a two-way street. Let others contribute to your blog by inviting them to guest post. It’s also a free source of content for your site.
Get Personal & Run an Event Together
This is a great opportunity for companies in the B2B space. You get to meet new customers by hosting an event together and inviting existing customers from both businesses.
Naturally, you’ll need to partner with a company that has the right customers, and one that doesn’t compete directly with you. You might join forces with a plumbing company, for example, if you provide electrical services.
Who to collaborate with
You need to choose the right partner to make the most of collaboration opportunities. You should look for companies whose marketing efforts you respect. Pick a partner who shares your values and goals. As always, look for a business that compliments your own.
No matter what industry you’re in, collaboration is a great opportunity for small businesses. Collaboration can not only increase your revenue and grow your network, but it can also save you money and teach you something valuable at the same time.
Successful collaborations are those that bring together different skill sets and strengths, and when that happens, you will be surrounded by learning opportunities.
Although it might come to nothing at first, it could help you form connections with people with whom you could collaborate in the future. Additionally, you’ll be able to bounce ideas off of others and be inspired.