Co-branding is a marketing arrangement that has worked time and time again even before the Internet, and there’s no reason why it should not be just as successful in an online marketing endeavor. In the simplest sense, co-branding is when two companies agree to work together for the purpose of combining brand strengths. While this sounds like it can entail a whole lot, the end result can be as minimal as having the two brands appear on one product.
Recognizing that co-branding and working with other established companies to gain new customers is a old time marketing method as seen in this cute video.
Here’s an example of a co-branded infographic we did for PishposhBaby.com, an online vendor of products for kids and babies.
We managed to score a lot of wins for our clients with co-branded infographics like this, but not without running into a few obstacles along the way.
Sometimes getting a particular website or company to co-brand with your client is half the battle, especially if it is a big brand, but ideally you should also look into getting a partner who is willing to put in as much as you.
Here are some important things we have learned that can help increase your odds of getting a good partner:
- Approach the target site as the client, a PR or a content marketer and not an SEO. Unfortunate as it is, there are lots of companies who don’t want to get involved with SEO agencies, and you don’t want to come across as someone who’s only after a link.
- Make sure the infographic is relevant to both sites.
- Pitch several topics based on research from their site, preferably something that has already done well.
- Show the target site examples of a co-branded infographic so they can see what is involved. Explain the viral potential of an infographic if they aren’t familiar with it, along with a detailed plan on how to promote it.
- You can also produce a infographic targeted towards a particular type of site and then try to find a partner.
- The more assistance you put in the research and creative side, the more they will help on the PR side.
- Offering a giveaway tied with the infographic not only boosts the success of the infographic, but increases odds of getting a partner as well.
Securing a partner however, doesn’t guarantee success. Beware of partners that don’t do any of the work, as they are more likely to:
- Not end up publishing.
- Do cheap skimpy posts.
- Miss launch dates.
- Not promote it as well.
It’s not uncommon to find partners like these, which is why you should look to your partner as someone who can boost your effort, rather than someone who should complete it. This said, you should make sure your infographic, or any asset that you’d like to promote satisfies the following so that it can move on its own without any help:
- is well-researched
- is visually appealing (for infographics and other visual assets)
- provides genuine value to the reader
To sum up, I highly recommend pursuing co-branding, not only for infographics, but for your other marketing efforts as well since you can potentially reap huge gains in exchange for minimal effort. Not only that, a sucessful co-branding venture can also secure contacts and partnerships that you can tap into in the future for bigger opportunities.