Sahail Ashraf posted on 3 November 2017
No brand is an island, and when creating and developing social media marketing for a brand, it is possible to get help. Collaborative marketing has been on the rise in recent times, and that is because, primarily, people have realised that influencers can offer a lot of value to a brand.
But putting influencer marketing to one side for a moment, it is worth noting that you can work with other people to make a brand’s presence even more powerful. Collaborating with people outside the brand is not only an exciting thing, it is also incredibly effective.
This is a collaborative approach that has been used by brands for a long time now, but it is surprising when brands do it for the first time. It is a way of working with another brand or partner to produce content that can last and be relevant for a long time.
On top of that, if research does become part of your content, your authority online is instantly maximised. Creating a collaborative research project puts a brand in a different place commercially.
It shows that the brand understands an industry, market or topic, and that it can produce high quality research. And the one thing that can be said about deep research is that it instills trust in an audience.
The key benefit to starting and completing a research project with another brand is that you can pool resources. This makes the work easier to complete, and you also gain insights and information to add to your own expertise.
It is also perfectly reasonable to use the skills of a research partner. Perhaps they have an in-house data handler who can manage a huge amount of work, and put it all together in a nice package for publishing.
Sharing ideas and manpower is a natural benefit here. It also means that you can confidently move forward on a sizeable research project that will make the brand an industry thought leader.
Social proof is a big part of online branding. Aside from testimonials and number of subscribers to a blog, an excellent way of collaborating is producing blog content together.
If this is done carefully and with the end goal in mind (of expanding your reach and engagement), then you will see the audience a collaboration has brought to your blog and your social presence. That is if you have chosen the right brand partner and the right approach.
Look for a brand that is either at the same level or just slightly above the level of success of the brand you work with. This means that the engagement will enhance yours. Reaching out to brands is the easy part, but working on a blog post with a brand will only work well if the brand has a strong presence online.
The best way to gain value from a collaboration is to work on a series of blog posts together. A ‘state of the industry’ piece, split up into one or two posts, is a great way to show authority and tap into the social proof of working with an established partner.
And of course, that blog post will benefit from the combined sharing that your brand will undertake, as well as the sharing that your partner brand will tap into. Add more value by previewing the content through both brands and you have a powerful piece of collaboration.
Linking to the earlier point about tapping into expertise in a collaboration, working with a partner means that you can use their skills, especially if the brand you represent doesn’t have the skills or history.
What we are talking about here is a situation where you have a team of content creators that absolutely rule when it comes to long form blog posts. However, if you mention the need for an infographic, they run and hide.
Working with a brand partner means that you can take their skills on board too. Therefore, you can have a beautiful infographic (for example) alongside the blog content that your team produces so expertly.
It stands to reason that brands and the people who work or represent them have different skill sets and experience. Use this and truly collaborate. Skills are there, you just need to find them and offer to work together.
The next time you see a video or infographic (or blog post) that you find awesome, start thinking about working with that brand. You will be surprised how easy it is to boost your impact just through collaborating with other experts. And it allows your budgeting to be a little less stressful.
There are a number of ways to do this, but one of the easiest is to approach the influencers that you already have on board. If you are able to email brands that you would like to be involved in a Q and A, that makes things even better.
Basically, this forms the basis of a long form, high quality blog post. Ask for feedback on an issue or topic that your audience would like to gain insight on. So, for example, if your clients are regularly asking what virtual reality will mean for their business, ask the experts.
Gathering input from a number of experts in the industry (including your clients) means that you are able to immediately shore up the trust you enjoy. You’ve gone out, gained an answer to a question, and then represented that collaborative work in a high quality post that shows that you ‘talk to the industry’.
This is perhaps one of the most effective ways to use collaboration and it will produce results. If you pick the right influencers, and the right question or problem, you have a piece of content that will continue to provide engagement for months to come, if not years.
Another not entirely new thing, the modern case study (as in online) has enjoyed a bit of a renaissance recently. The perfect way to show combined expertise, the case study also allows you (and your partner brand) to show how you provide solutions to different problems in the buying cycle.
The best case studies use different mediums (as in video, text and so on), which neatly ties in with our earlier concept of sharing the work through differing skills. The case study could be entirely delivered through video as well which is perfect for social media and highly effective.
A good case study touches on the prospect’s pain points, first and foremost. When you collaborate on a study it can bring huge benefits to both brand partners. It shows authority, expertise and creates trust all in one attractive package.
However you collaborate, know that each piece can be shared and focused on through your social media channels. This is the best way to approach promotion. Collaboration is effective, and is perfect for brands that want to improve reach and engagement in a powerful, authoritative way.
If you represent a brand on social media, you need to provide data. Try Locowise for free, for seven days. It will create beautiful, informative data that will help you add value to a client’s work, as well as find new clients.