Audience growth can be one of the most challenging aspects of starting a business. It’s difficult, costly and time consuming. No matter how much effort you put into this, there’s no guarantee of a return.
Partnership marketing could be the answer to your problems. By teaming up with another likeminded brand, your company could have instant access to thousands of relevant consumers. Here’s how to boost your audience growth efforts with this strategy.
Target Established Businesses
“Look outside your industry for examples of successful partnerships you can replicate” – Ryan Leighton, CEO of Leightons Group.
Ideally, your partnership should see your brand teaming up with businesses which are already established in your industry. If you can work alongside a company that has direct access to your target audience, you’re more likely to see a boost in audience growth. Your best option would be to seek out a company that offers a complimentary (but not competitive) product or service.
For example, if you manufacture and sell headphones, partnering with a brand that sells gig tickets would be a great idea.
Why do companies opt to pair up? Here are a few benefits of partnership marketing:
- Brands can reach a wider pool of target consumers
- It adds value to your proposition
- It boosts brand perception
- It builds trust
- It allows you to achieve more ambitious projects with less expenditure
Research Your Target Audience
“If you are operating on a limited budget, partnerships should be the first thing on your marketing to-do list” – Xaver Matt, Managing Director of Netleadz & Angel Investor.
There’s no point investing into a partnership marketing strategy if you choose the wrong brand to work with. To do this effectively, it’s worth looking towards your audience. What are their buying habits? What other products/services do they consume?
Keep an open mind, the answers to these questions could surprise you. When you’ve got a brand in mind, ask yourself a few questions first:
- Do they offer a product/service relevant to your customers?
- Do their values and ethics align with your own?
- What can your brand offer them?
- What can their brand offer you?
Now it’s the time to approach. Before you send any communication, court the company on social media. Follow their account, like their posts and share their content. Comment on relevant topics and get your name on their notification feed.
When you’ve done this enough for them to be familiar with your brand, it’s time to open lines of communication. A direct message on social media is a great place to start.
Start with Simple Initiatives
“Simple APIs are a great way to hook new partners and gain instant access to their audiences” – Nick Lyons, CEO of Kaptur Software.
Before you jump into bed with a brand, you want to test out the relationship and ROI of any initiative. To do this, start small and simple. Don’t invest lots of money into ambitious ideas (yet). Try joint social media campaigns or content collaborations. Twitter competitions or referral discounts are great options too.
When discussing the strategy, be honest and open about what it is you’re looking to get out of any collaboration. If both companies are transparent about this, you can work hard to ensure both goals are achieved.
Analyse the Data
“Partnering with Zoopla increased our audiences tenfold overnight, gaining us vital user data to refine our proposition” – Barry Bridges, CEO of Property Detective.
The data is at your fingertips – so use it. The more you understand about a campaign’s performance, the easier it is to highlight and rectify any issues. You need to agree which metrics are most important to the partnership. What are you both looking to get out of this? It could be any number of measurable factors such as site traffic, social media engagement or even conversions. Alternatively, seek out ways of measuring abstract metrics like trust or reputation.
Once you’ve settled on specific metrics, you can analyse the return on investment from your partnership. You can also evaluate performance in comparison to other solo ventures. If you’re not seeing the return you’d hoped for, an analysis of the data will allow you to question why.
If you follow all these tips, your partnership marketing campaign is sure to be a success. If you’re interested in finding more business tips like this, you can subscribe to Innovate UK’s YouTube channel.