Following a rapid digital transformation, a tight-knit content strategy is vital for businesses. In an ever-changing landscape, employing content partnerships can ensure you stay ahead of the game.
Research shows that 82% of consumers purchase directly from content marketing. Now, what if you could reach a larger audience through an already trusted voice with that content? Just as an introduction from a friend can build trust with a new acquaintance, content collaborations can have the same impact on your brand.
Let’s take a closer look at content marketing partnerships and how they can help businesses take their content strategy to the next level in 2023.
What is Content Marketing?
You’ve probably heard the phrase content is king in the past, and this still reigns true in 2023. Content continues to be the foundation of almost every online consumer interaction before any conversation can happen through your virtual business phone. But what is it, and how can we use it?
Content marketing is the process of creating and distributing content via relevant channels to attract an audience and drive action. Possible types of content include:
- Blog posts/articles
Providing value should be at the forefront of every piece of content produced by any brand. Value needn’t always be educational; it can be entertainment, an escape from reality, or solving a problem a consumer didn’t know they had.
Image via visme.co
What is a Content Marketing Partnership?
It’s no secret that small business management is more competitive than ever. Modern marketers are already wearing many hats, and creating a consistent cycle of valuable content at scale can be exhausting, especially without a team at your disposal. Thankfully, there is a simple way to expand resources, reach, and awareness: collaboration.
Content may be king, but content partnerships are the future.
Put simply, a content marketing partnership is the act of combining resources, assets, and experience with another company or individual to achieve a common goal. Think, you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours. Let’s say you have content on the legal use of digital signatures. You can build a partnership with other electronic signature companies. Any content collaboration will be more impactful by leveraging your collaborators’ resources and audience.
What a partnership looks like will depend on many factors, but ultimately it will be mutually beneficial. The most popular forms in recent times are blog content, podcasts, video, and interviews.
Benefits of Content Collaboration
We know that a content marketing partnership can be mutually beneficial from a resources perspective. Those involved will contribute to the success, whether that be creating the content or bringing an existing audience to the table. More than just a logistical move, a content partnership can also be game-changing in other ways:
1. Provide More Valuable Content
With consumers being more overwhelmed than ever before, you need amazing content to stand out from the noise. However, keeping readers engaged with content can be expensive and time-consuming. By collaborating with another individual or business, you’re combining your resources to create better content assets that will be more engaging.
Also, by combining with another brand or business, you’re opening the floodgates to a wealth of possible content opportunities that may not have otherwise been possible. A great example of this is podcasts, a content medium that grew exponentially in 2021.
According to SXM Media’s report, revenue from brand awareness campaigns showed a 16% increase. With more and more new listeners coming in proven a great tool for engaging new potential customers. Of course, podcasts can be created without the need for a content partnership. However, the addition of another voice vastly improves them. A second voice can bring an additional personality and an added perspective that can offer a more rounded view. It’s also a medium projected for incredible growth in the coming years.
Image via buzzsprout.com
2. To Drive Traffic
While a content marketing partnership can allow for better content, it can also drive significantly more traffic to it. You’ll no longer rely solely on your own business network for content promotion. Instead, you can reach significantly more potential customers as you also tap into your collaborators’ audience.
It’s vital you’ve done your homework before choosing a content partner. Among others, this includes scoping out their targeted demographics, the platforms they use, and their brand values. If the profile of the audience is a good fit for your business, and your brands align with a sea of branding proposal examples, you’ll have access to a new base of target customers.
3. Increase Trust, Brand Authenticity, and Innovation
The damaging effects of shopping cart abandonment are well-documented, and it’s rife. Almost 80% of online shopping orders are abandoned, as consumers are falling just short of converting. Lack of trust is often one of the main reasons for this abandonment. Content collaborations can often serve as an opportunity to increase trust, build brand recognition, and authenticity. There’s a reason influencer marketing works, and it’s because we are more likely to trust people with whom we are already familiar.
A known name in an industry may do wonders for brand legitimacy, much like having reviews on the best video conferencing setup. Fatherly and Airbnb’s content relationship proved this. Airbnb is a well-known travel service, yet it has a little family-travel market share. By partnering with Fatherly, a parent-focused online platform, they reached a new market. Fatherly had a heartwarming and engaging story to share.
Partnerships also provide the opportunity for your business to take a more innovative approach to content. Modern approaches to business, such as artificial intelligence for sales and automated chatbots, now look to take a front seat, and content marketing will also change. Content collaboration fosters creativity that brings a fresh approach to content.
How To Successfully Collaborate on Content
So we know what content marketing partnerships are, and we know what we’re looking for in one – but how do we do it? There are some key actionable steps you should be looking to take to ensure that a content partnership is possible and successful.
1. Find the Right Collaboration Partners
The best content partnerships emerge from a foundation of audience awareness, data insights, complementary expertise, and a willingness to collaborate in a mutually beneficial way. 65% of marketers say finding partners with adequate expertise is challenging, but it doesn’t have to be.
Image via contentmarketinginstitute.com
To identify potential partners, you need to understand why you want a partnership. Are you looking to attract a new audience, drive sales, or assert yourself as an expert by creating authoritative content?
It’s important to note that both partners’ needs don’t have to be the same, but they do have to be aligned. A perfect example is The Telegraph and Visit USA’s collaboration on America’s Music Revolution.
Served as a digital pop-up book, it’s an interactive journey throughout the evolution of music genres in the USA from the early 1900s. It was an innovative way of promoting travel in America while serving as entertaining content for The Telegraph’s readers. Both brands benefited, but both had different goals.
Image via telegraph.co.uk
Once you know what you want, it’s time to figure out the audience. Different customers will respond differently to different mediums, platforms, and content. Tools like Google Analytics, social media analytics, and various features of Shopify should be used. These platforms will allow you to paint a clear picture of your target audience, in the form of targeted personas. You can then create content with these specific personas in mind.
Data insights should be at the heart of any content partnership, with both parties, transparent about analytics. By revisiting your previous performance metrics for content marketing, you can understand the opportunities for both parties.
2. Write a Comprehensive Brief
While it may seem obvious, it’s worth stating: always write a comprehensive creative brief. This document should help outline the project’s scope, what both parties are looking for, objectives, and target audiences. Having this documented makes it easier to ensure that content marketing mishaps are avoided.
It’s important to note that a content partnership is a collaboration. In a mutually beneficial content partnership, it’s vital that both parties work to establish a brief that fits both of the businesses’ needs.
This brief should detail the content medium, creative approach, and how to promote your content once completed. These will differ from business to business. Where can you find your audience? What do they respond to? In a rapidly changing world and with various generations immersed in the digital world at varying levels, follow your analytics when looking at what type of content to create.
3. Set Deadlines and Review Periodically
Once your content collaboration is briefed and mapped out, you’ll be better placed to assign tasks and set deadlines. You may want to use a one-stop-shop tool, signing software, or any digital workplace solutions if you have multiple stakeholders involved in your content collaboration. By using tried and tested customer service techniques such as automated processes and strong communication, you can ensure a streamlined collaboration.
Collaboration tools can easily coordinate work across teams. For instance, DivvyHQ’s content workflow features streamline the review and approval process with the right members. This process ensures content meets objectives and offers consumers a consistent and valuable experience.
It’s clear to see that in an ever-changing business landscape, employing content marketing partnerships is a surefire way to stay ahead of the game. By finding a partner that aligns with both your business goals and your values, you’ll have access not only to their resources but to their audience. It’s a win-win.
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