Co-marketing webinar playbook
In this post not only will we explain how to run a co-marketing webinar but we'll actually take you through how we put together our latest webinar together with SocialBee step-by-step.
You can watch the actual webinar here. Feel free to watch it before, after or while you read the playbook.
What is co-marketing, anyway?
Co marketing, or collaborative marketing (or cooperative marketing depending on who you ask), is a strategic partnership between two brands to promote each other's products and services.
This type of collaboration leverages the resources and relationships of both parties to create mutually beneficial opportunities. Co-marketing can be a powerful tool for generating more leads and increasing sales while also working together to build trust and loyalty with customers and prospects.
How does co-marketing work?
The overall concept is straight forward. It's the details and the execution where sometimes, things go wrong.
Co-marketing is about all using the skills and resources of each partner to promote the other partner. There are lots of ways to co-market with another brand. Here are some:
- You can start simply with each partner sending an offer from the other partner to their own email list.
- You can co-operate on content and provide backlinks for each other
- If you're a retailer you can utilize the store-in-a-store approach and have a small section of each others goods inside your store. We saw a lot of creativity with this during the pandemic
- You can run social media giveaways (sweepstakes) together
- You can run in-person events or digital events such as webinars
There are a lot of ways for businesses to run co-marketing campaigns together and we have a lot of examples throughout a lot of the articles on this blog.
Intro to Co-Marketing Webinars: Roles, Responsibilities and Benefits
Holding a co-marketing webinar is a great way for businesses to collaborate and promote their products and services. However, it's important to understand the roles, responsibilities, and benefits that come with hosting such an event. Here are some of the key elements to consider when planning a co-marketing webinar.
Roles – Who will be in charge of managing the webinar while it is underway? It’s important that each partner know exactly what they need to do leading up to and during the event. This includes making slides or other visuals, if necessary, as well as assigning tasks such as taking questions from viewers or moderating comments after the webinar is finished.
- Webinar host
- Is one person sharing the slides and screen or are you alternating between the speakers?
- How will you know when to change roles?
- Who will create the social media images
- Which partner will send the first summary email once the webinar is over?
Responsibilities – Each business should have a clear understanding of what they need to do. For example, one business may be responsible for creating content while both will handle promotion through their respective marketing channels. Make sure that everyone is on the same page and knows what’s expected of them in order for the webinar to run smoothly.
Create a timeline of who does what and when. It doesn't need to be a complicated project plan. A list of bullet points with names assigned and delivery dates will often suffice.
Benefits – The benefits are clear and almost endless.
Because there are multiple stages and marketing touch points in the leadup, during and after the webinar your brand gets exposed to the other brands audience many times over the space of a few weeks.
A good webinar provides value to the attendees and lifts your brand profile amongst the attendees. We find that even when a webinar is informational only and we haven't presented our software at all, we still usually get direct questions during the Q&A section about the solutions provided by the brands presenting.
Ultimately the greatest benefits of running co-marketing live events comes down to getting your brand in front of new audiences and generating more leads. Usually partnership events deliver these at a much lower cost than most other marketing campaigns.
For companies that want to grow faster co-marketing allows them to explore new markets without expanding there.
How to Find the Right Co-Marketing Partners to Work With
Finding partners that are a good fit can be challenging. The first thing I'd recommend is to treat it the way you would treat any relationship. You don't get married on the first date, so when it comes to your relationship with a potential co-marketing partner, date a little first, start small.
This is exactly what we did with SocialBee, as we'll explain later.
How to find a partner? There are three main ways.
- Partner with a company you already know, that's in your network.
- Make a list through search of brands targeting the same audience and do cold outreach
- Use a platform like intribe where you can find partners through fine grained search through brands that are there specifcally because they want to partner.
If you don't have a large network already, then using a platform like intribe is the fastest way to start partnering and grow your business.
How to figure out if they're the right partner? Have a couple of good conversations to understand each others goals before launching your campaign. Find out what their goals are. Ask if they've run any successful partnership campaigns before and query them on their resources.
Finally, start on something small like backlink exchange or a small content collaboration. Even on a small collab you'll get an insight to how they work. If it's a successful engagement, go bigger next time.
How do you evaluate the potential of a co-marketing opportunity?
If, on the other hand, another brand reaches out to you for a co-marketing campaign, how do you determine if you should do it?
Once you've done a few of these you'll likely have a process or short checklist in place to quickly qualify a potential co-marketing partner the opportunities they bring.
For those first timers or those relatively new to co-marketing, here's a checklist:
- Do you think their audience or target market might need what you have to offer?
- Are they direct competitors, or even indirect competitors?
- How big is their social reach?
- How big is their email list?
- Is their Domain Authority higher or lower than yours? How much?
- Do they have any co-marketing content on their website?
- Do they have any existing co-marketing partnerships?
- What were the other companies involved in their prior co-marketing campaigns like?
- What are their expectations? Can you, for example, meet their expectations on campaign promotion?
This isn't a definitive list but by thinking about these questions and the things that are important to your company, you'll get a fairly good idea if it's a reasonable bet.
How to Execute Your Co-Marketing Campaign
Now that you've found your partner and understand the goals of your co-marketing partner, it's time to start on outlining what your co-marketing campaign looks like.
You'll find some differences in the tasks you need to do if one or both partners is new to running webinars as co-marketing campaigns.
For example, I'm about to launch a webinar with another brand that has only run webinars by themselves. For intribe it will be the first time we're the lead partner on a co-hosted webinar.
For starters, neither of us has a webinar tool suitable for co-hosting. Morningscore, the company I'm partnering with, likes to use youtube live. Unfortunately youtube live doesn't allow for co-hosting. I don't have a tool because so far I've been lucky enough to partner with companies that already have a subscription to one.
So, the first thing we need to do is evaluate a range of tools and agree on which one to use.
Define your goals and objectives
In our case our goals and objectives are pretty simple. We want to show people how partnerships are a powerful way to build backlinks to your website. Morningscore are the SEO/backlink specialists and at intribe, we bring the partnerships expertise.
Our goals for this event are:
- Educate our user bases on how to accelerate your SEO results by tapping into co-marketing
- Expose each of our brands to the others audience
- Generate leads to add to our marketing funnel
- Generate co-marketing content that can be repurposed after the event
Layout tasks, ownership and timeline
For our next webinar these are the tasks that need to executed:
- Choose webinar platform like Flutin, Zoom or Sessions
- Exchange bullet points on what each presenter will cover
- Build a template. In our next case the slide template will be shorter as our partner will be doing a lot of live demonstrations
- First email blast by each co-marketing partner
- Follow up email to those that didn't open
- Social media schedule - different by brand depending on which channels they're strong in
- Second registration email
- Final registration email
- Reminder email sequence to those who registered
- Webinar event
- Follow up email with link to webinar and special offers
- Second follow up
- Content repurposing eg. this blog post
Follow up with your co-marketing partner
You should follow up with your co-host whether you think you'll partner with them again or not.
Things you can ask during your follow up call:
- How do you think it went?
- What could we have done better?
- Is there anything else you learned from this?
- Are there any additional ways we can leverage this content?
- Can you refer me to any other brands that might like to partner with us?
Take your co-marketing event to the next level
There are a number of ways you can lift your webinars but these are the most impactful way we can think of:
- Partner selection. Choosing interesting partners makes a big difference.
- Have more than one co-marketing partner. Having 3 or 4 partners on one webinar can really make things interesting, particularly during Q&A
- Engage with your audience, make the Q&A fun.
- Include real life demonstrations if you can. A plain old slide show is fun for no one.
- Prizes and or give aways. They can really drive engagement during the event.
- High quality content. The more effort you put into making the content fresh and interesting the better.
How we found our co-marketing partner, SocialBee
At intribe, as a co-marketing platform, we're heavily committed to co-marketing and partnerships as our primary marketing channel. As such, we're always keeping an eye out for new opportunities for co-marketing campaigns and co-marketing partners.
In the case of SocialBee, we found them from a referral from another brand we were planning some campaigns with.
Whilst we usually start with brands that are on the platform, we also never let the opportunity to ask for a referral go by.
How we wound up doing a webinar together
When we started talking about developing some partnership activities together I was very conscious that intribe was a much smaller company than SocialBee. In this scenario I usually like to prove myself first and that's exactly what we did.
The first call we had was to understand each other's expertise, audiences and goals. We started off with some simple content collaborations and made some introductions of brands we new, helping to grow each others networks.
We also established that we had a mutual goal of growing our business in the US.
Over the course of a few weeks we established that we had the foundation for a good co-marketing relationship and were keen to explore a number of opportunities together with the goal to generate new leads as the primary focus. Cross-promotion by each of the companies to their audience would also drive traffic for both brands.
The next logical step was the webinar. SocialBee had a lot of success running events like this before so partnering with them on a webinar campaign was a no-brainer.
The steps we took from start to finish
- We had an first call to brainstorm ideas for the webinar to identify the best example of how to combine social media and partnerships. We also discussed which of the parties would handle the different parts of the campaign.
- After the call we exchanged a few emails and settle on the top of social media sweepstakes as a partnership campaign.
- Once we had the topic settled, we confirmed a date and each of the teams went away and started working on their respective tasks. SocialBee with the larger resources and team were generous enough to create the graphics for the invite and provided a prior slide deck we could use as a template.
- Two weeks before the event we sent out our first email blast and kicked off our socials.
- intribe was more active with the social media promotion - as the smaller partner we needed to work harder to bring more value to the partnership.
- We also got creative and posted the registration link in a number of startup and marketing slack communities.
- Leading up the event we continued to promote the webinar with opportunities for last minute registration.
- The event turned out great. We had 310 registrations and of those about 70 turned up in total but with the usual experience of some dropping off or joining late. We had about 50 that stayed right up until the last question was finished.
- The next day we had a quick debrief to discuss any insights from the campaign and confirm our follow up. SocialBee as the primary partner would send an email with a link to the recording to everyone who had registered. I agreed to wait a while before adding the emails to the intribe funnel so that they wouldn't be overwhelmed.
- Overall I think the campaign was a great success. We both got a bunch of great leads, expanded our audiences and both of us gained some new describers
When two or more companies come together to host an online event there are so many ways to benefit the company, the customer and engage a new audience.
Co-marketing can benefit all different sized companies no matter what industry. If you're interested in generating leads you don't need to wait to have a formal partner program in place.
You can see all of our co-marketing webinars here.
What is Intribe?
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