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How to Collaborate!

If you are looking to grow your business, then learning how to collaborate can be a huge help!  There are so many different marketing strategies and avenues to take, but collaboration is becoming a very popular and successful way to improve your reach and increase engagement.

What is Collaboration?

Collaborative marketing is when you work together with another brand that aligns with your own on a joint marketing initiative.  This can be as simple as a social media post, or as big as launching a co-branded product.  This technique allows you to leverage a new audience that overlaps your target market. The two brands are typically in different industries but share a similar brand personality. A well executed collaboration will increase your brand’s awareness, attract new leads, and increase engagement with your brand.  All of this will seriously help your bottom line!

Choosing a Partner to Collaborate

When considering partnering with a brand, there are 4 factors that you should consider:

1. Alignment

It is important to choose a brand that closely aligns with your own. Think about a company that has similar messaging, attitude, or vibe. Pairing your brand with another speaks volumes to your customers, and the match-up should make sense to them.  

2. Complementary products

When looking to collaborate, find a company with a product that complements yours.  A photographer may collaborate with a makeup artist.  If you make hand-made greeting cards, perhaps you can work with a local soap-maker, or chocolatier.  If your greeting cards are known for their unique messaging, perhaps you could work with a company that makes custom t-shirts!

3. Audience overlap

Another important aspect of choosing the right partner is having an overlap in audience.  You want to have at least 10-15% of your audience that overlaps with your partner’s audience.  If you don’t have an overlap in your target market, then your messaging and efforts will go to waste.

4. Mutual marketing goals

Before you enter into a partnership, be sure to clearly outline your marketing goals.  There needs to be a clear benefit to both brands!

How to Find a Collaborator

There are so many options far and wide, but start with your network.  Being familiar with their audience will help you see the overlap and create a campaign that is in alignment.  Even if nobody in your immediate network is a good fit, they may connect you with someone in their network.  You can also search for potential collaborators on Google, Facebook, and your local small business directory.   Be sure to do your research and follow or like their pages on social media before you send a personalized message.   Keep the 4  factors in mind when you are searching for a potential collaboration partner, and keep track of who you have reached out to.  Consider creating a simple spreadsheet with their info, the date you reached out, and if you received a response.

Steps for a Successful Collaborative Marketing Campaign

1. Define your marketing goals

Each party needs to clearly outline their marketing objectives in order to find their mutual goals.  This will provide direction and context for the project.

2. Decide on type of collaboration

Decide if this is a short-term or long-term campaign.  Some examples of types of collaboration are:  A mutual marketing message (promoting your brands together), selling your products together as a package, co-sponsoring an event, providing coupons for each other’s customers, running give-away campaigns, and co-creating a product.  These are just a few examples; there is lots of room to get creative!

3. Project Management

To avoid problems, it is important to clearly outline your expectations early in the project. Discuss who is going to provide which resources. Decide who is going to fill the role of project manager and how tasks and deadlines are going to be managed.

Collaboration can breathe new life into your brand!  If you want to jump in with both feet, the team at Simple Desk is ready to make your marketing collaboration a success! Reach out to Theresa for assistance creating your collaboration strategy, or to Amanda if you want help with the leg work of generating leads!  

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