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3 Ways to nail collaboration marketing

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Move over pricey traditional advertising, overlooked Facebook ads and unread blog posts — collaboration marketing is the new kid on the block and it’s here to stay. While there’s no doubt that your marketing strategy will benefit from the standard content plays, collaboration marketing gives you exposure to new audiences and has the ability to create some major buzz around your brand, at an incredibly low price point.

In its essence, collaboration marketing is when two brands come together and create something to help each other grow. Think GoPro x Redbull, Spotify x Uber, Gelato Messina x TimTam. They’re not competing brands, but they play in complementary spaces, share a similar target market and own a host of different assets that each brand can leverage. So how do you nail a collab you ask? Simple!

Emma Green and Jess Ruhfus from Collabosaurus share their top three tips.

  1. Do the prep

Before you get caught up thinking about your #breaktheinternet collaboration idea, you need to know three things; who is your market, what are your goals and what do you have to offer a collaboration partner.

WHO ARE YOUR PEOPLE?

Knowing your market is critical, as it will help you partner up with the right complementary brand. You need to know the simple things like age, location, gender and what they’re interested in, as well as the more complex elements such as how they like to consume content and what will get them excited. Knowing all this before you reach out to potential partners will help you easily communicate your target market to ensure it’s a going to be a good fit.

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS?

Your goals for each collaboration should be pinned down as early as possible. While it might be tempting to go broad, the clearer you are on your ideal output, the more likely you are of hitting that goal and benefitting from the collaboration. Consider different ways you could grow, maybe it’s through your email list or your social media following, it could be making your event really awesome for attendees, launching a unique new product or even getting media coverage. Knowing what you want to get out of a partnership is powerful in negotiations and can really help you stay on track, enabling you to shape an idea around the goal.

WHAT CAN YOU OFFER?

When you’re asked to write down all your strengths and assets, it can make you feel a little vulnerable. Push those fraudy feelings aside and make a list of everything you have in your arsenal — maybe you’re a gun writer or take incredible photos, perhaps you have a super engaged email list, or a blog that gets heaps of traffic. You might have an under-utilised warehouse space that could be used for events, or maybe you’ve got a seriously cool product that you could do a limited edition version of.

Regardless of how small you see your assets being, they could be huge for a potential collaborator, so make sure you’re not underselling yourself! Look at this list, look at your goals and work out what it is you need vs. what you currently have.

  1. Find the right collaboration partner

Now you know what you want, but how do you go about getting it?

FINDING YOUR FIT

Collaboration marketing platform Collabosaurus was built specifically to help complementary brands find each other quickly and easily, matching them together based on assets and goals which saves a LOT of time and cold pitching. If a brand is on the platform, they’re already looking for a marketing collaboration and are in the same mindset as you, so creating a campaign is a no brainer to see what magic you can make with other like-minded brands!

If you’re still doing your research however, there are several other ways to find collab partners:

  • Use Instagram to search specific brands or hashtags and contact people directly
  • Leverage your existing networks, look at who you’re already connected to and think about how you can offer and receive value in a partnership sense
  • Go to industry specific or complementary industry events to meet other people/brands who target a similar audience to you

Keeping your branding safe

Even though you’re partnering with another brand, you don’t need to compromise on the quality, look, feel or tone of your brand to get the collaboration across the line. Your brand and audience deserves protection, so ensure that the brand values, aesthetic and personality are similar to yours, so that you don’t turn your customers off or give them a jarring experience.

  1. Make It #Legit

It can be easy to get caught up in a new relationship and overlook the possibility of anything going wrong in the beginning!

As all successful collaborations are mutually beneficial, win/win deals, it’s important to gain clarity and protect both parties with an agreement (in writing!). The more detailed you are the better, so make sure you set metrics and dates wherever possible. This will keep you both on the same page, and will reduce the risk of either party getting emotionally caught up, not following through, or compromising on elements of the deal.

The types of contracts to consider can include a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ or M.O.U, or a ‘Joint Marketing Agreement.’ These don’t have to be scary, 100 page documents, they serve the purpose of clearly outlining each parties’ responsibilities and ensure smooth sailing when it comes to follow through. If you immediately think of your bank account when anything ‘legal’ is mentioned, don’t worry! Templates such as an MOU can be found online and on resource hubs like Collabosaurus’ CollaboHub.

Follow these three key collaboration marketing tips and you will be able to create a wildly successful brand collab for a fraction of the cost of other digital advertising, authentically and organically growing your brand!To gain exposure to over 4,000 collaboration opportunities for free, head to collabosaurus.com to get started.

About Jessica Ruhfus

Jessica Ruhfus was working in fashion and lifestyle public relations when she identified a gap in the market for connecting likeminded, complementary brands for mutually beneficial collaborations. After experiencing how complicated and long-winded it can sometimes be to form these strategic collaborations, Jessica decided with Emma Green to found Collabosaurus, a matchmaking tool for brands to come together and work together easily.

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