Co-creating content is when two or more parties work in tandem to create content and distribute it to each participants’ target audience. It’s a collaborative effort that could be between a company and an influencer, company and customer, a brand and an event, or any combination thereof. What’s content marketing though? According to the Content Marketing Institute, it’s defined as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Gregory Pollack at MarketingProfs indicates that “For a true strategic partnership brand marketing program to work, both brands must complement each other and deliver similar customer profiles. Even more importantly, the partnership must sit within the lifestyle and user experience of the customer.”
Finding A Partner to Co-Create With
Obviously, partnering up with just anyone willing could be risky business. You want to be sure you’re aligning your brand, company, or event with another entity that shares your values. To qualify potential partners, ask yourself the following:
- Do they have the audience we’re after?
- Would our audience like their content?
There must be synergy between the demographics, like shared interest, values, focus. For example, a fitness gym wouldn’t benefit from a partnership with a high-calorie fast food joint because the audience wouldn’t have shared interests, values, or focus. On the other hand, a fitness gym would do well to partner with a natural, health focused meal delivery service.
Some other questions to ask include:
- Is the tone of their content something we can get behind?
- Are their product(s) or service offering(s) complementary to ours?
The consumer must be able to see the value of both for increased impact and success. You wouldn’t want to cross-promote with a competitor, or with an entity that’s focused on something opposite, as outlined in the above example. That same fitness gym might lose customers if they partnered with another fitness platform because that’s direct competition. But by partnering with the meal delivery service, there could be a shared customer base, attractive cross-promotions, and overall strong and mutually beneficial synergy.
Benefits of Content Marketing
Being intentional about creating content to nurture, educate, and solicit is incredibly effective on its own, but what happens when you join forces together? Naturally, the impact doubles the benefits. Not only do you get twice the benefits, but you’ll also gain access to relevant and valuable insights into a new audience group that potentially becomes new customers/fans for you. Below is a list of some benefits you can expect to gain through effective content marketing.
- Increase brand awareness
- Build credibility/trust
- Educate audience(s)
- Build loyalty
- Generate demand/leads
- Generate sales/revenue
- Build a subscribed audience
- Nurture subscribers/audience/leads
- Support the launch of a new product/service
- Drive attendance to one or more in-person events
Benefits of Co-Creating Content
Natalie Staines, director of marketing at r2i, recommended using brand partnerships to generate leads. “When one target audience is totally saturated, leveraging another brand, and the peer influence of its followers, is an almost necessary means to an end,” Staines says. “Partnering with the right brand can help your company reach an audience that thinks it’s not interested in new content — until it sees what you have to offer.”
So in addition to the benefits of content marketing, you get to reach a whole new group, potentially growing your customer base -- and who knows... You might even be planting a seed to a larger, more comprehensive partnership in the future.
Examples of Effective Co-Created Content
Danielle Bernstein, We Wore What with Eric Johnson and Fiji Water
Fiji water partnered with Danielle Bernstein, fashion blogger more commonly known as @weworewhat. Danielle also partnered with trainer Eric Johnson to co-create Bodyworewhat, a series of at-home workout videos. Customers could join Bodyworewhat for a one time only fee of $35 to receive access to eight 8-minute long workout videos with Danielle and Eric. The perfect routine for someone who doesn’t enjoy going to the gym, these videos ranged from cardio, to abs, to BFF workouts that could be done at home. As for Fiji water, they offered a 25% discount on the first order of home delivery. Seen throughout her instagram over that summer, advertisements in Fiji workout gear, and videos perfect for that ‘summer bod’, Danielle Bernstein’s Bodyworewhat campaign really hit the spot and Fiji was perfectly aligned to appeal to the customer base she was reaching. They didn’t just use this for brand visibility, they actually offered an incentive to get their product into the viewers’ homes.
Raising Cane’s and The OC Fair
The Orange County Fair partnered with Raising Cane’s to create some counter cards which encouraged customers dining at Raising Cane’s to use their Caniac Club card, a loyalty-based rewards program, in exchange for a chance to win tickets to the OC Fair. Not only does that effectively promote the OC Fair, but it influences customers who don’t have a card, to get one, thereby also promoting the rewards program which contributes to customer loyalty. This was a simple but effective marketing campaign that was a win-win for both parties.