One way to grow your business is to reach out to other brands for collaboration opportunities. Collaborations are a great opportunity to not only grow your social following but to also help brand build awareness for both parties.
In this WOI 101, we will look at 3 simple ways to get started with brand and influencer collaborations.
1.Do your research (and be realistic about which brands will be a good fit!)
Collaborations should represent a “win-win” outcome for everyone involved. The brands you hope to work with do not need to be similar but you should have alignment on values and audience demographics. For example, consider McDonalds and Disney collaborations, two very different products but with similar brand values and target audiences.
When reaching out to brands, tailor and personalise your message and never copy and paste or mass-send. Although you may be targeting multiple brands, each and every company deserves to be treated as a well-thought through priority and a relationship that matters.
Be sure to include quantitative and qualitative data and reasons why the brand should consider to collaborating with you. Point out your shared values and possibly comment on some of the brand’s recent campaigns that you enjoyed (everyone loves a compliment).
Whilst your tone and narrative is important, you also need the data to back it up. Content is king, and so be sure to include the number of followers and monthly views on your own accounts along with your digital strategy and campaign details. Don’t worry if your follower numbers are small. The digital marketing landscape has evolved dramatically over the past 5 years and smaller brands have a powerful voice. Be bold, confident, clear about your objectives, and go for it!
Be prepared that many brands may never reply, may reject your suggestion, or may not be ready yet. Like dating, this is just part of the journey. To increase your chances of a successful match, evidence that your company is genuinely passionate about their products and services. Additionally, be clear about what niche you are in and what your brand represents. Remember that your collaborations should delight your customers and represent something of real value.
2. Giveaway tips, knowledge, or something special
There was a time when companies did not want to share a single piece of free expertise. In the information era, that time has passed and most companies openly share tips on their company blog and social media pages. Whatever the size of your company, we encourage you to share some guidance and free information with your customers. A collaboration is no exception to this rule! How can you and your collaborator join forces to give something special to your audiences? Get creative here, break the rules, and include something in your collaboration that your followers will love.
Propose some creative ideas to the brand you plan to work with, for example, a KOL or influencer event, giveaways, joint product launches, and joint press releases. Working as a team reduces risk, shares cost, and provides something new and exciting to your customers. A collaboration can also be something as simple as an Instagram live together in which both parties share their expertise.
Remember that consumers including your customers are overwhelmed with choice and they will be looking for something special from you. When collaborating, provide discounts, special gifts, offers, or free shipping. The exception is luxury brands, who should never offer promotions but instead should delight their customers with outstanding, personalised experiences. We will come back to this in a separate blog.
3.Interact with both audiences and be active on social media
One of the main benefits of collaborations is that both brands will gain access to each other’s social media audience. Make use of this by hopping on an Instagram Live together and openly exploring each other’s brand. If you are not sure how to structure the Live, get in touch, White Orchid Insights provides a full Instagram management service and media training.
One of the most popular formats on social media is a co-branded giveaway. These are one of the most ubiquitous and approachable ways to be successful with collaborations. Giveaways are a great way to gain followers and email subscribers, but they can also increase your social currency if you choose the right partner(s). One of the most common mistakes we see brands make is “helicoptering” in for giveaways or promotions but being noticeably absent the rest of the time. We recommend that you are consistently active on Instagram for example, make an IGTV video weekly to interact with your audience and hold regular Q & A sessions. If you do not have capacity to handle this, consider outsourcing to your agency.
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