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6 Steps to Building Brand Partnerships
Building a successful brand partnership can be incredibly useful for your small business or brand because it will allow you to reach a primed audience that you haven’t engaged with before. It is also an opportunity to learn from peers in the same arena and contribute to a growing community. These partnerships are a win-win for all parties involved, as both are exposed to new audiences and are deemed credible. While it can be extremely useful, there are a few things you should consider before launching your next brand partnership.
The first step in creating a successful relationship with another brand or influencer is determining what you hope to gain from the partnership. There are many different options that you can pick depending on how it integrates with your marketing strategy. Sometimes your goal might be to get more engagement and visibility from an audience that has not seen your content before, other times it may be to increase sales or leads for a certain product or service. Determining this ahead of time will help you determine the best partner as well as allow you to structure your content and deliverables according to your goals.
Being clear about the goals ahead of time will also help add structure to your branding relationships, ensuring that both of you are focused on the goal instead of debating what to work on. This structure, especially when working with larger and more established brand partners, will be key to building a campaign that converts and opens up the possibility for more partnerships in the future.
Finding Your Partner
Like any important relationship in your life, it is essential that you spend time nurturing and ensuring you and your partner are a good fit. There are hundreds of different brands and influencers that you might be able to work with, but it's vital that you find the brands that align perfectly with yours. The benefits you can get out of these relationships can range from access to their customers to a better value proposition for potential customers.
Despite these potential gains however, the first step in picking a quality partner is understanding their personal values and audience, then seeing if it fits well with yours. Pick someone who you can form an authentic and genuine relationship with, based on a strong foundation, because it makes working together more productive and fun for the both of you.
It’s also important not to focus too intensely on big brands with huge audiences! Niche brands are becoming more popular as they have a deeper connection with their followers and therefore are able to have a greater influence on their audiences' purchasing decisions. It will also make it significantly less expensive for you, while nearly as valuable, to work with someone who is not as established. One-to-one brand partnerships with niche brands are the cheapest and most valuable way to build quickly.
Understanding Influencer Gains
Working with influencers can be useful too. However it is essential that you take steps early on to assess the financial value each influencer brings. Just because someone has a large audience of engaged followers does not mean that their audience would be a good fit for you. In order to understand how much value an influencer would bring to your brand we recommend setting up a test promotion that the influencer can promote. This allows you to track how much traffic he/she is bringing to their page, and how engaged that traffic truly is. If there is direct financial value from this test, or potential for growth, it makes sense to develop the relationship.
Avoid a False-Fail
Like with all marketing efforts, it’s important to give each partnership and new idea a full try before giving it up as ineffective. Although one strategy might not give you the results you were hoping for, there could be many reasons the effort failed. It may be that your offer was not convincing to your audience, or that your strategy focused on creating interesting content instead of focusing on community engagement, which would likely have been more effective. This is why its important to develop multiple approaches to see what works best. Doing this process ahead of time will help you realize if a partnership has actual value, and is worth maintaining.
This is an essential part of the process to perform immediately after any joint campaign or strategy. Pick some metrics in the beginning, such as % of viewers who watch at least 10 seconds of a video, or new website traffic from a promotion. These metrics will allow you to measure how much value a partnership is actually bringing to your brand. Tracking these numbers will help you determine how much quantitative potential there is for growth in terms of profitability, and which partnerships and creatives need more of your time and effort.
The nature of Facebook and Instagram allows you to reach people you would never have been able to before, and to build a following with highly specific targeting based on interests and lifestyles. Working with brands that are effective at engaging with their niche and demographic gives you enormous potential for growth by connecting you to interested customers. Long-term success is the goal then, especially with brands that do help you grow. It’s important to be generous with your partners, and set realistic expectations ahead of time. Remember you are playing the long game so go above and beyond to make sure your partner is happy. It will undoubtedly pay off in the future.
Brand partnerships are an essential key to success, and if you haven’t been able to make use of them before, we highly recommend you start now. A win-win situation for you and your partner, they will allow you to grow quickly and effectively.