Scenario A: You’re hesitant to partner because you’re about to launch three other go-to-market campaigns. You’re just not sure you can handle another right now.
Scenario B: You’re hesitant to partner because you’re not sure about the work chemistry you’ll have with your partner.
Scenario C: You 100% want to partner but you need a “proof of concept” to get your CEO bought in.
… and the list goes on. You don’t exactly want to say, “No,” to your potential partner, but you don’t want to overcommit either.
So, what’s the solution to scenarios A, B, and C? Start small. Executing one co-marketing motion after another — to elevate existing partnerships and launch new ones as your program scales— can get overwhelming. So, crawl, then walk, then run with your new partners.
Execute a single co-marketing motion to test the waters and get an idea of:
- What it’s like working with your potential partner (Did they actually circle back when they said they would circle back? Are you stuck writing the content they said they would deliver on?)
- What use cases are most attractive to your combined audiences? (Did the Artificial Intelligence 91 post you retweeted from your partner get tons of engagement?)
- Are you seeing early results? (Did you get a handful of EQLs after your co-hosted webinar?)
And now, nine micro co-marketing campaigns you can launch right now with your maybe partners:
1. Exchange Tweets.
Offer to share one of your partner’s blog posts on Twitter. The article’s relevant to your customers, so why not? You can gauge your audience’s interest in your partner’s content through “likes” and comments. Plus, your partner will do the same for you.
2. Offer a Blog Swap.
You write an article for your partner’s blog that:
- Ties back to your product’s value proposition
- Ties into your partner’s value proposition
- Is helpful and relevant to your partner’s audience
And then your partner does the same for you.
Plug the article into your social media schedule, and link to it in your newsletter. Win, win, win.
From Botify’s November 2019 guest post on AB Tasty’s blog
From AB Tasty’s November 2019 guest post on Botify’s blog
3. Link to Your Partner in an Upcoming Blog Post.
The results on this one may not be as measurable as a blog swap, but you can track referral traffic from your partner’s site in your Google Analytics dashboard. Plus, your potential partner will appreciate that you thought of them. Linking to your partner may help to warm up your readers to the idea of a potential integration or strategic alliance with your partner.
From Sendinblue’s blog post, “Video Marketing for Small Business: A Guide to Creating Attention-Grabbing Videos”
4. Mention Your Partner in Existing Content.
Maybe you’re in the process of updating old content on your site to make it more evergreen — or maybe you’re just struck by inspiration. Have a partner you want to impress, with a very little lift? Mention or quote them in an existing blog post, and use that as an excuse to reshare your content on social media and tag them.
Have a blog post on the top 12 partnership and biz dev podcasts? Make it 13 by adding in your partner’s new podcast (if it lives up to the hype). Or, maybe you have a post about optimizing ecommerce workflows, and it makes sense to reference billing software company Chargebee.
5. Invite Your partner to Participate in a Webinar That’s Already in the Works.
Webinars with partners can be hard work. Who hosts them? Who markets them?
But, if you’re already working on webinar content that aligns with your partner’s value proposition (think: tying marketing automation in with account-based marketing), consider bringing the partner on board. If you’re already co-hosting the webinar with a partner, perhaps there’s room to bring a third partner in and make an even bigger splash in the ecosystem and with your mutual prospects (as long as the original partner is okay with it).
If the pieces fall into place, you and your partners may end up with even more ecosystem qualified leads (EQLs) than you were anticipating initially. Use the results of the webinar to forecast the ROI of a larger co-marketing campaign in the future.
6. Collaborate on an Instagram/Twitter giveaway.
You know the deal. Like our post, follow our hypothetical partner HipLou, and tag your SaaSiest friend. Just make sure to offer a prize that will incentivize your followers to participate — like an exclusive offer on your services, or cash will do just fine.
7. Mention your partner in your newsletter.
Maybe you’re writing a blurb about AI as it relates to your platform, and you can casually mention Conversica. Measure those clicks!
8. Invite your partner to speak on your podcast.
Get the conversation going — and record it. If you’re thinking of partnering, it’s likely you and your partner share a similar audience. Bring your partner onto your podcast for a casual chat geared towards your listeners — of customers and partners alike. The episode may stir up new conversations with folks interested in hearing more about how your brands work together (maybe they even ask you if an integration is on the horizon). It can also help you validate potential use cases before making a bigger commitment.
9. Ask your partner to sponsor your podcast.
Maybe you’re just about to launch your podcast, and you’re in need of a sponsor. Could your potential partner be a good match?
Psst! Check out the Partner Up podcast that Crossbeam sponsors to see an example of just this.
The Crawl-Walk-Run Framework for Co-Marketing
Baby steps. Start with the little lifts, like mentioning your partner in content. Then, graduate to more cross-functional engagements like co-selling. Once you’ve got a good thing going (the results are there and you’re enjoying a smooth workflow between your teams), establish a more complex, long-term co-marketing strategy.
A great way to manage your co-marketing motions — whether they’re in the crawl phase or the run phase — is to invest in your organization’s Ecosystem Ops. That means the workflows, processes, and documentation your team uses to scale your partner program. Just because you’re crawling doesn’t mean you can’t do so efficiently.
Learn more about the Crawl, Walk, Run framework in our Partner Playbook. 👇