There is always a new type of marketing that gets attention. It is common for people to be attracted to shiny new things.

However, you can overlook some of the tried and tested approaches that have caught on over time.

Partnership marketing falls into the latter category.

What is partnership marketing?

Partnership marketing (also known as "co-marketing") is when you partner with companies with similar audiences and work together to promote your product or service.

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In 2019, Coors Light and National Geographic teamed up to reach 10 million people and increase the Coors brand's cheapness by nearly 7%.

Buffer and Social Chain jointly produced a report in 2019 that saw 17,000 download page visits in just one week – more than the average for either site.

Additionally, 77% of brands saw partnership marketing as a central part of their marketing strategy when asked in 2019.

That stuff works.

First steps with partnership marketing

Ideally, you want to find a company that is not a direct competitor but has a similar audience.

For example, our audience is small travel companies, so partnering with an accountant who specializes in the travel industry would make sense.

We develop marketing approaches together to increase awareness of our brands, but we don't compete to sell them the same.

Finding these types of partners should be as easy as paying more attention to people performing in the same places as you.

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What other companies write guest content on the industry websites you write on?

Or who is listed as a specialized service provider in your networks?

Once you become more aware of this, you are likely to see a multitude of potential partners staring you in the face!

The point then is to limit partners to those who share the same values ​​as you and see if they are open to working together.

When you have a partner or a selection of partners in mind, here are some things you can do together:

Mutual guest posts for partnership marketing

An easy way to get SEO benefit from the partnership is to write guest content for the blogs on each of your websites.

You will get relevant links that will improve your rankings and increase the visibility for the audience who follow your partner's content by either reading the blog directly or seeing the links when they share the content on their social media.

Make sure you do keyword research and write a post on your partner's website that can rank in search engines for your target phrases.

This "Barnacle SEO" approach is a great way to maximize the impact of your work. The search results will give you and your contribution on this website future visibility.

Combine this with similar content on your website and you can begin to dominate search results for that topic.

Partnership Marketing Tip: Mention Each Other On Different Websites

If you and your partner share co-marketing opportunities, you will likely be doing other marketing activities elsewhere as well.

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It does, if you involve each other in this endeavor, it is another great way to grow your footprint quickly.

When writing a blog post on a third party website (like this one 😉), mention your partners to get more links for SEO performance and to increase your rankings faster and higher.

Your partners will then do the same and you will exponentially increase how quickly you get all of the links from a greater number of websites.

Share content on social media as part of your partner marketing strategy.

So you create content for each other as well as for third party websites.

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Guess what?

Sharing all of this content on your respective social media profiles is another great way to increase your brand awareness.

It will draw more attention to the content itself, but tagging your partner in the updates will also directly lead to an increase in the followers of your profiles.

Integrate email marketing into your partnership strategy.

If you are two marketing companies savvy, you are probably into email marketing.

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You may already have email lists that you don't bother with, or you may be professionals who contact your list on a regular basis.

In either case, using this platform to introduce your partner can be extremely useful.

This can be as simple as sharing some of the content they produce. Or it could be more directly sales related when recommending your partner's services.

Whichever angle you choose, a dedicated email list can be one of the most effective places to promote one another.

If you don't already have a list, I highly recommend making a list in your arsenal when working with potential partners.

Together with partners, create an e-book that both brands can benefit from.

When you create an e-book together, you can pool both your knowledge and your audience.

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And when you can create something desirable enough, it can help both of you attract a much broader set of your target market.

It is important that the quality of the final product is exceptionally high and that it conveys a strong message for you and your partner. It's also important to have a good story about why you created it together in the first place.

Why is your combination of expertise so effective?

What added value does this joint effort bring?

Do well, and this can be a benefit long into the future.

Run a webinar with your partners to promote together.

A webinar is a fantastic way to draw attention to both companies in the partnership and allow you to bring a personality to the fore with a captive audience.

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In order for it to work well, it's important that your partner's offering matches your own and that you can come up with an engaging topic that you can present to your audience.

It is also important to have a call to action at the end of a webinar.

Ideally, you have an offering that attendees can purchase at the end of the event, or you channel them in a place where you can continue to get involved.

Many companies use this approach to give a taste of the possible results when you work with them. See the end of the pricing for details to work with them or any premium course they offer.

However, be careful how intrusive you are with your offering and make sure you add real value with your webinar so that you build trust with your audience.

Think of the long game rather than a few quick sales.

Run events with your marketing partners to put each other in front of an audience.

What's stopping you from taking the webinars offline and setting up a real-world event when your location allows it?

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Even if you're not from the same location, find a location that has a large proportion of your target market and host an event there.

This can be anything from a regular informal get-together to an industry event where everything is sung and danced and which draws people around the world.

Do the math. If the number of leads, conversions, and brand awareness you can get from it all adds up – why not?

Introduce customers to each other to build your partnership marketing network.

Here we are. The crème de la crème.

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What better reason to work with someone who has the same audience than receiving direct, trusted referrals from people your target market is already engaging with?

All marketing is meant to end up generating more leads and sales, but this is one reason why partnership marketing can be so effective.

Not only can partnership marketing help you with longer-term marketing efforts like SEO or building social contacts, but it can also land customers on your doorstep almost immediately.

Partnership marketing only works if you and your partner are really coordinated and you both offer top service that you are happy to recommend.

However, if you see this as right, it can change the way your business grows.

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Photo credit

Selected & In-Post Images: Created by the author, January 2021

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