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7 powerful steps to improve your partner co-marketing strategies

One of the core goals of any marketing strategy is to add more value and create more revenue in the most resourceful possible way. Co-marketing strategies are among the most popular and effective ways to achieve cost-effective and valuable marketing success. 

As the saying goes, ‘two heads are better than one’, and many companies find the value, expertise and resources of two companies can combine to create something greater than the sum of its parts.  

Co-marketing refers to when similar, but non-competing, companies share or collaborate on marketing material. Research by PwC and IAB shows that there has been significant growth in spending on these collaborative strategies over the past few years. According to the report, consumers spent £554 million in 2017 on affiliate marketing and lead generation activities.  

For other companies, however, co-marketing presents plenty of risk – particularly if the other partner doesn’t pull their weight. And there’s an understandable reluctancy to spend time and money collaborating with external partners with different goals, processes and priorities.  

So how effective is co-marketing – and how can businesses learn to tackle the complications and make the best of it? We’ve got some advice to get you on the right track.  

 

Is co-marketing actually effective?

If businesses choose their marketing partners carefully and navigate the complications, co-marketing strategies can be very effective. Some of the main benefits include:

  • Greater presence online
  • More backlinks
  • Better SEO impact
  • Ability to reach your partner's audience

Competition is fiercer than ever. Organisations are competing locally, nationally, internationally, online, etc. with each other. Digital transformation and cloud computing have allowed much smaller businesses to punch above their weight, business models are shifting, and so is marketing. Today, marketing is a combination of thought leadership, lead generation, measurable SEO, analytics and so to have a chance of making any sort of impact, partnering up is a way to combine all the above for greater results.

Today, marketing is a combination of thought leadership, lead generation, measurable SEO, analytics and much more. Partnering up with like minded companies is a great way to combine to get better results from your marketing strategy.  

So, how do you go about developing valuable co-marketing strategies that will enable you to reap the benefits of such a relationship? Let’s look at how to improve your co-marketing in seven simple but powerful steps.

 

Perfect your co-marketing strategies in 7 steps

  1. Make the most of events to connect with potential partners
  2. Decide if the partnership makes sense
  3. Define roles and expectations
  4. Develop an appropriate co-marketing idea with your partner
  5. Know your audience
  6. Run local targeted events
  7. Guest blogging and sharing production costs

 

1. Make the most of events to connect with potential partners

The first step to creating an effective co-marketing strategy is to get yourself out there and connect with like-minded businesses. The obvious way to do this is to get on social media sites like LinkedIn and connect with people across your industry or sector. While there’s certainly some benefit here, there’s nothing quite like networking in person to work out if you and your potential partners really click.  

Luckily for Microsoft Partners, there’s plenty of conferences and networking events throughout the year to facilitate this kind of networking. The main calendar date for Microsoft partners is the annual Inspire conference, but there are a range of other smaller conferences and meetings running throughout the year. These are a prime opportunity for partners to learn about the upcoming Microsoft roadmap, as well as building connections with similar businesses.

2. Decide if the partnership makes sense

Choosing the right partner for your business is perhaps the most sensitive part of the whole process. If this goes well, the other parts of your plan could slot seamlessly into place. If not, you’ll risk wasting time and money on a project that won’t get off the ground. So before you decide to go ahead with a co-marketing strategy, there’s some important questions you should ask yourself.  

The first and most obvious barrier is whether you get on with people in the other business enough to be able to effectively create content. That doesn’t mean being best friends, but it requires a certain rapport, as well as shared values and ideas that can ease the friction between two companies.   

You should also consider what the other company brings to the table from a more practical viewpoint. Is their reputation strong enough that your business will benefit from the association? Can they bring skills and expertise to the table that you will benefit from – or are they offering resources you already have in-house?  

After that you should consider whether the resultant content would benefit from collaboration with your potential. Do they have a similar enough audience that a combined effort would make sense? Would a collaborative marketing effort actually create more tangible leads for your business than your normal efforts? 

If your answer to all of these is positive, then there’s a good chance your co-marketing venture will be a success.  

3. Define roles and expectations

Once you’ve found a company to partner up with, you need to define clear roles and expectations for what you aim to achieve. 

This involves discussing timeframes, costs and responsibilities. It’s important to clearly define early on who’s responsible for what aspects of the project, to reduce any risk of complication further down the line. The last thing you want to have to do is have an argument halfway through the project about who was supposed to complete a particular task, or contribute certain funds.  

It’s also a good idea at this point to clearly define what the project is intended to achieve for both parties. All collaborations require a little give and take – and both sides should be fully aware of the other’s objectives when they’re working on the project.  

4. Develop an appropriate co-marketing idea with your partner

Once you’ve defined your goals, roles and expectations, it’s time to flesh out the plan in more detail and create a more tangible content strategy. At this point, you should consider the shared objectives and choose the type of marketing that best suits the compromise. This could include any of the following: 

  • eBooks 
  • Blog posts 
  • Co-sponsored whitepapers 
  • Videos 
  • Webinars 
  • Research projects 

Each of these different types of content will achieve a slightly different thing, and it’s important to tailor the content to the combination of skills and objectives between the two partners.

Grab yourself a free copy of our “A fool-proof guide to content marketing” eBook!

 5. Know your audience

Knowing yours and your partner’s audience is a key part of creating content that ticks both your boxes. Two businesses’ audiences are rarely exactly the same, and it’s important that a compromise is found. 

Writing for one audience can be difficult enough without having to negotiate the requirements of another entirely – so it’s important that you think carefully about how the two fit together. One of the most effective ways of doing this is to create and share marketing personas 

A persona creates a fictional character that’s the personification of your average potential lead or client. It runs through their company, situation and job role, considering why they’re interested in your product and what the reasons they may or may not be convinced to purchase. If you share your personas with each other, then you can make sure your marketing material is properly aimed towards both characters.

6. Run local targeted events

With two companies, you have twice the resources. That means twice as much money you can put into pushing your content out there and twice the number of clients and partners that would be interested in it. In short, with co-marketing projects, there’s more scope for you to generate some noise and excitement about the project.  

Depending on the size of the task, it could be a good idea to organize an event or launch to get people together and promote your work. That could involve bringing together speakers from around the country or even internationally and inviting your partners, clients and potential customers. This gives you the opportunity to split the planning, logistics and cost of the event with your partner and stir some real interest amongst people within your respective networks.

7. Guest blogging and sharing production costs

Guest blogging refers to when a blog writer develops content for a blog that is not their own. This can expose your brand to a different audience, increase your traffic to both parties’ blogs, boost your brand’s authority, build relationships in the field, and provide your own blog with fresh content from guest bloggers.  

The other value of this is it allows you to generate backlinks, which provide valuable SEO benefits for both sides. If you and your partner agree to guest blog on each other’s websites, you both get a free backlink and a free post – which sounds like a pretty good deal for both parties.

 

Going in the right direction with co-marketing

In the current, competitive business landscape, taking advantage of partnerships across a range of business functions can help your organisation reach important new heights and milestones. And partner co-marketing is a great way of boosting your resources in a way that delivers excellent value. So, whatever the nature of your business, make sure you take maximum advantage of the potential and opportunities available from other business across your networks. 

As a specialist B2B marketing agency, Fifty Five and Five are experts on marketing for B2B technology companies. We’ve got the knowledge and expertise to help you pull off a successful digital marketing campaign – whether that’s a solo mission or a co-marketing venture. Get in touch with us to find out more.

how to build a landing page

How to build a landing page: your step-by-step guide for product trial sign ups

  • Your complete guide to creating a landing page that will encourage visitors to sign up for a trial of your product
  • What to include and what it should look like

Free software trials are a great way of converting a lead into a customer. Your product is sure to impress, but you need the user to download your software first to see it in action. This is a guide on how to build a landing page that will maximise sign ups for a free trial of your product. In it, we explore the copy and design elements that you should include to engage visitors and increase the likelihood of them trying your product.

Why do I need a landing page?

Your landing page is a form-enabled web page where prospective customers can sign up for your product (or whatever it is you're promoting). For them to make this decision, they need to be well-informed on what your product can offer and how it will benefit them.

When it comes to designing your landing page, the goal is to make it as easy as possible for the visitor to digest this information, take action and sign up.

how to build a landing page

Not only is your landing page useful for generating leads but added analytics can tell you how well it is performing. Analysing this information can help you improve your landing page in the future.

Why are they so hard to get right?

While it can be tempting to squeeze as much information as possible regarding your company and your product, the notion that less is more certainly rings true for landing pages. The more information you have on your page, the longer it will take the visitor to get to the bottom, which is where your sign up form will be. Instead, keep it short and sweet. Leave company information for the rest of your website.

how to build a landing page

Slack makes use of contrasting type to create a hierarchy and a flow for the visitor, leading them to the Get started button.

With brevity being so important, it can be difficult to know what to include in your landing page. Let’s detail what you should include.

How to build a landing page: what to include

You need to consider the hierarchy of content on your landing page. The most important bits of information should be the most visible: either by being placed further up the page or by contrasting against the rest of the content (or both).

Copy

Your landing page copy must communicate your purpose statement and USP (Unique Selling Point). You need to provide a comprehensive and compelling overview of your product and its benefits in as few words as possible. It’s best to use short paragraphs with action-oriented words and clear value statements.

how to build a landing page

Be sure to identify your target audience and cater to their interests, needs and pain points. As a general rule, your landing page copy should include these elements:

  • Headline

Include your USP (Unique Selling Point) and try to grab the visitor’s attention.

  • Sub heading/intro

Use this space to explain how your product solves the visitor’s problem. This section should be no more than 1-2 sentences long, but if you have more to say here, it might be a good idea to supplement it with a bulleted list.

  • The benefits

People generally buy the benefits of using products, rather than the actual product features. Use your copy to demonstrate how the features can create good results and benefits for the reader. Lay them out using easy-to-read bullets and iconography to make the content as easy as possible for the reader to take in.

  • Answers to common questions

If there are any specific questions that are frequently asked by your customers, be sure to include answers to these in your copy. Or if you prefer, add a short Q&A section towards the bottom of your page.

  • Social proof

If your current customers love your product, make sure the visitor knows it! Make use of testimonials and include current clients’ logos. However, be sure to ask for permission from your customers before publishing anything with their name on it.

Images

Images serve two important purposes: to showcase your product and to break up your landing page copy.

Images could include screenshots of your product, showing off its user interface or a particular feature. If you want to display how users interact with the product, you could include animations. There are free-to-use screen recording apps available which are useful for creating this type of imagery, such as ScreenToGif and RecordIt.

Call-to-action

This is arguably the most important part of your landing page – the action that the visitor will take to sign up to your product. The call-to-action (CTA) is typically formatted to look like a clickable button and can feature repeatedly on your page. It is a good idea to include your CTA at both the top and bottom of the page, so the visitor can immediately see the purpose of the landing page and so they have the option to take action when they have taken in all the information.

how to build a landing page

An example of a simple call-to-action by Asana, using contrasting elements to lead the visitor to the 'Try for free' button.

Some tips for your landing page CTA:

  • Keep it consistent

Your call-to-action should look the same wherever it is used, to send a clear message that it will lead the user to the same destination – signing up for your free trial. You want to make sure your CTA is as visible as possible. This can be achieved by making it larger compared to other elements on the page and styled in a contrasting shape and colour.

  • Surface your sign up form

If the sign up process for your trial is fairly simple and requires no more than a form with just a couple of fields, it can be a good idea to embed it right on your landing page, rather than just link to it. Call-to-actions on the rest of the page can link to the part of the page where the form is placed, using HTML anchor links.

  • Call-to-action copy

Your CTA copy needs to be declarative and instructional. By using actionable language that clearly tells the user what they can expect from clicking your call-to-action, and reassuring them of how easy it is to sign up for your trial, you have a much higher chance of converting that visitor into a lead. For instance, “Start free trial” sounds like less work and commitment than “Register for a trial” does.

How to build a landing page: what should it look like?

Designing your landing page so that it looks attractive and professional will capture your visitor’s interest, and designing it with your target audience in mind can help attract and convert your ideal leads. Your landing page needs to be designed to be effortlessly navigated and easy to read to have the most success.

The branding

It’s important for your landing page to match your company brand, so that users can easily make the connection between your landing page and your brand as a whole.

Keep in mind:

  • Your brand colours
  • The fonts you normally use
  • The type of imagery you normally use

Don’t forget to include your logo in at least one place on your landing page, preferably at the top where it’s guaranteed to be seen by your visitor.

The layout

You should again think about the hierarchy of elements arranged on your landing page, i.e. which are the things that need to be seen by the user first? We read web pages from the top left corner to the bottom right corner, so the placement of your elements should reflect that.

Some tips for your landing page layout:

  • Keep it simple

Make it easy for your visitor to follow the track you’ve created for them by getting rid of distractions. For example, consider removing the menu or navigation bar from your regular site, since it can draw attention away from the landing page.

  • Don’t give your visitor extra work

Scrolling is easier than clicking, since it doesn’t involve making a decision and leaving one page for another – keeping everything visible on the page, rather than hiding some of the content behind tabs is a good example. This means that the visitor can see all of the information they need without having to click. The decision to click is left exclusively for the call-to-action; you want to make sure your reader has taken in all the information by that point.

How to build a landing page: getting started

If your website isn’t set up in a way that makes creating new custom landing pages easy, there are a number of tools you can use. These tools can enable you to build your landing page on a separate domain and link it to your domain so that it looks like it’s a part of your regular website. Leadpages and Unbounce are two examples of tools that do this that don’t require any coding skills to use. However, basic knowledge of how your website is set up is needed to implement your landing pages onto your main site.

Don’t have time to create one yourself?

Getting your landing page just right requires time and effort. With dedicated experts for all branches of digital marketing – copy, design, SEO and more – Fifty Five and Five is perfectly equipped to help you create a landing pages that converts.


Fifty Five and Five is a full-service digital marketing agency that specialises in B2B technology. Get in touch with us today to find out more about how to build a landing page or so that we can help you create one for you.

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