Collaborations have been a part of digital marketing since forever, and are especially effective on social media, as all the mega influencers will attest to! However, co-marketing partnerships can also be incredibly productive between businesses too.
Business-to-business (B2B) collaborations have seen a rise in popularity on social media. This is mostly due to businesses being able to discover and engage with other like-minded businesses.
If you’ve been curious about co-marketing and collaborating with other brands on social media, we’ve got you covered! In this post, you’ll discover the benefits of B2B collaborations on social media, and figure out how exactly you can make it work for you.
Words: Adriana Thani
The benefits of co-marketing on social media
Social media is a really competitive space, particularly if your industry is really saturated with brands that are similar to yours. You’ve got to find a way to stand out and make audiences take notice, which is exactly what co-marketing can do!
Here are some other benefits of B2B collaborations on social media:
- It exposes your brand to a new audience
There are several different ways you can help new audiences discover your business, including hashtags, user-generated content, engagement, and paid advertising. Co-marketing is just another strategy to have in your marketing tool belt!
By partnering with the right brands, their audiences will be exposed to your branding where they might have not known about you before. This can mean reaching an audience from another location, or a customer segment or demographic that you’ve had trouble connecting with.
Imagine this partnership: an organic makeup brand that wants to promote their latest line of lip gloss, and a sustainable fashion label that wants to promote their latest naturally dyed dress collection. They come together for a photoshoot that highlights both!
Both brands are appealing to female-presenting audiences in the 18-35 age range, so there will be some overlap in their audience demographics. However, there may be followers on each brand’s accounts that just hadn’t yet discovered the other brand. This collaboration is a chance to spark that awareness.
- It leverages on your talents and fills gaps in your expertise
Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, so this is a chance for you to collaborate with brands that can cancel out your weaknesses and allow you to highlight your strengths.
For example, if your skill is in public speaking but can’t edit videos to save your life, while your brand partner is a whiz at video production but gets nervous on camera, then you can come together to create a video series.
Here’s another example: Imagine two homeware brands – one is a bedding company, the other is an indoor plant nursery – coming together for a spectacular homewares photoshoot. They’re highlighting what they do best, while also creating a lifestyle surrounding both their brands that push a specific aesthetic.
- It helps you create a stronger brand story
Social media is all about telling a cohesive and compelling story about your brand. Just like any other story, having various characters helps spice things up and make the story that much more appealing.
Brand partnerships are a chance for you to really crystalise what your brand is all about, and put it against other brands to define it in a way that is really clear to your audience.
This is especially true when you collaborate with brands that are driven by the same goals and share the same values. When you have that much in common, it’s easier to see exactly what sets you apart and the features that are unique to each brand.
The examples from the previous points are great case studies showcasing this. The makeup and apparel brand are clear on their commitment to sustainability and eco-friendliness. The indoor plant nursery and bedding company are both making a statement about what they consider an aesthetically pleasing home. However, each brand brings their own special quality to the collaboration.
- You can develop future partnerships with other like-minded brands
Once you’ve crafted a successful co-marketing collaboration campaign, other brands will know that you’ve got what it takes to be a great brand partner for them too! This is a fantastic way to have partnerships in the pipeline for future product releases or service offerings.
It also works the other way around – there’s every chance that working with other brands will get your creative juices flowing, and help you formulate new ideas of your own that you wouldn’t have thought of before!
Collaborations are a fantastic way to cultivate conversations and discover inspiration from other brands, so it’s time you reach out and spark these relationships. You never know what the future may bring.
How to find the right brand partners
Just like any other partnership, it’s imperative that you find the right people to work with. Your specific criteria will be unique to your business, but there are a few general questions you can ask yourself to make sure a brand is the right fit for your B2B marketing partnership.
1. Is your brand appealing to their audience, and vice versa?
It’s important to take a good look at their audience and figure out if they’d actually enjoy what you bring to the table. There’s no point collaborating with someone if your audiences aren’t engaging with the content!
2. What are your objectives for this partnership?
Brand awareness should be the bare minimum goal, but what else would you like? More followers? More people signing up to your email list? Figure out a couple of clear objectives and make sure your brand partner is on board with this too. It’s important that your goals and approaches are aligned.
3. Do they have a talent or expertise that you’re lacking?
Are there areas that you’re weak at, which your potential brand partner can help cancel out? This is a great way to strategically utilise each other’s talents and also learn some new skills in the process.
4. Does it fit within your overall marketing strategy?
Your partnership should be a natural fit for your brand’s marketing strategy. There are so many different approaches to digital marketing, especially on social media. If a partnership doesn’t feel right for your brand, then it’s best to move on and find something that’s better suited.
5. Are they a credible and reputable brand?
Remember, your choice of brand partner will reflect heavily on your brand. You have to do your due diligence and make sure your potential brand partner has no past scandals or problematic issues that could reflect badly on you.
6. Do you have an existing relationship with them?
It’s far easier to communicate and collaborate with a brand that you already have a connection with! Most of the time, this is a moot point, as your brand partnership probably grew from an existing friendship. However, just in case you’re cold-pitching (or are being cold-pitched to), it’s important to have a few conversations with them first, to suss out if it’s the right fit.
6 co-marketing ideas for social media
There are so many ways you can collaborate with another brand on social media. You just need to get creative and identify your common goals! We’ve prepared a few ideas for you below, but it’s worth saying that the best collabs contain a mixture of a few of these.
Here are a few ways you can create a memorable and engaging B2B collaborative campaign together!
1. Video collaborations
You should know by now that video is the most high-performing content on Instagram, so why not use it as a platform for your collaboration? Video content marketing is a powerful way to reach both your brands’ objectives, as well as incorporate clear branding into the campaign.
On Instagram, you can create videos for IGTV, Reels, or even Live. You should also consider sharing your video collabs on Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. The key thing is looking at which platforms your audience is engaging with your brand or your brand partner the most, and leverage on the platform!
Some popular video collaboration content include:
- Q&A sessions
- Roundtable discussions
2. Social media takeovers
Influencers have been doing this for years, but we’re noticing more brands doing social media takeovers between themselves too! The great thing about this is that it allows your brand partner’s audience to have an insight on your brand while still being in their comfort zone, i.e., your brand partner’s social media page.
The key to success with this approach is to feature both your brand and your brand partner in a natural way, and highlight both brands equally. You should also make sure to use your collaborator’s branding – including colours, fonts, and general aesthetics – because you don’t want your content to be too jarringly different and off-putting to the audience.
Here are several ideas for a mutual social media takeover:
- 24-hour Instagram and Facebook Story takeover
- One-week Instagram grid takeover
- 24-hour Twitter takeover
3. Visual content creation
Can you and/or your brand partners team up to create digital graphics that are beautiful and shareable? Then consider creating graphics that feature both your brand! Think about the content that you’ve both already produced, and find what they have in common.
Is there content that serves a common purpose? Perhaps there was an illustration that your audience really enjoyed? Creating visuals based on things that have already proven successful will make it more likely that your audiences will enjoy them.
For example, imagine you’re a wellness coach and you’d like to partner up with a company that produces yoga mats. Why not create a series of instructional graphics featuring a series of yoga poses that are good for clearing the mind?
Here are other types of visual content that you can co-create:
- Statistical infographics
4. Branding photoshoot collaboration
We love when brands come together to create photography magic! If your audience responds to visuals (and honestly, who doesn’t?), then consider collaborating with other brands to create branding collaterals and visual content that you can share on your socials.
A good example of this approach is the one we shared earlier on in this post, where the two homewares brands come together for a branding photoshoot. Here’s another example: A wooden toy company can collaborate with a baby changing pad company to create photos surrounding babies and toddlers. How cute would that be?!
If you’re planning a co-marketing photoshoot, it’s so important to be clear about the style and aesthetics you’re going for, and also choose a photographer that can really capture what you’re after.
Here are different ways your brand can do a collaborative photoshoot with another brand:
- Create flat-lays that feature products from both brands
- Have models interact with products from both brands
- Highlight what both brands have in common – it could be the materials of your products, or even the similar colours
- If you’re a service-based biz, consider shooting a “day in the life” featuring your brand partner’s products being featured heavily throughout
5. Guest posting
Similar to takeovers, this is where you and your brand partner produce posts for each other, but not in the stringently exclusive way that takeovers usually are. The timelines of this can be much longer too, and should consist of valuable and often longer form content, like guest blogs, articles, and videos.
Creating content to cross-post across each other’s social media channels is the whole point of collaboration, so we definitely encourage that you discuss the parameters around this. You should probably discuss who is publishing what, and when! This can help you avoid posting the same content at the same time, which means you’ll be competing for engagement and interaction – which completely renders a collaboration useless.
Here are some ideas for guest posting across each other’s socials:
- Guest blogging has been around for decades, and is a great way to boost SEO for both your brands’ websites
- Repost an Instagram or Facebook photo from each other’s account on a specific day each week
- Share each other’s content on Instagram Stories – make sure it’s content that your audience actually cares about, of course!
Social media users love a good challenge, so why not give them something fun to do that also features your brands? With this approach, you’ll need to get your heads together to create a challenge that can benefit your audience in some way. If there’s no real benefit to it, your followers just won’t be compelled to engage!
An example of a challenge could be a one-week daily smoothie challenge by a fruit delivery business and an artisan yoghurt producer. Oh, here’s another one: A daily rainbow challenge where people have to wear a specific colour on their face or outfit each day for a week, featuring a makeup brand and fashion label.
Here are a few other challenge ideas you can use for your collaboration:
- Challenge them to keep moving – A dance challenge is always fun, as evidenced by the success of TikTok
- Create a challenge around the use of your products
- Create a challenge that highlights the issue that you and your brand partner are trying to solve
- Create a challenge that gives back in some way, like random acts of kindness or making someone laugh
It’s All About Collaboration And Community
We’ve said this a thousand times, but really, social media is all about community! When you collaborate with the right brand partners, you’re helping build a strong, resilient community around your businesses. That is priceless in today’s business climate!
If you’ve got the perfect collaboration in mind, but need help writing the pitch or even creating the content, we can help. We specialise in creating copy and content that resonates with audiences while showcasing your brand in the best light. Contact us today to learn how we can make your co-marketing B2B collaboration really shine!