When you first think about backlinks, you immediately think SEO.
But let’s think outside the box with how we use backlinks.
Backlinks don’t just help you get an uptick in Google.
They also help you build mutually beneficial relationships—also known as co-marketing partnerships.
These partnerships are essential to business growth.
And in this post, you’ll learn how you can build valuable co-marketing partnerships by using your backlink profile in Monitor Backlinks.
Why Should You Build Co-Marketing Partnerships?
Co-marketing refers to when two companies with a similar audience collaborate on marketing efforts. It increases brand awareness, leads and buzz for both you and your co-marketing partner.
Having partners can help you expand your market and connect with new customers.
Simply having a stronger brand mention you online increases your level of reputation, helping you create more trust with clients that have never done business with you before.
Basically, it’s a way to create more buzz about you and what you do.
And it can be very effective.
Remember the acronym for T.E.A.M:
Together Everyone Achieves More.
Essentially, the more you give, the more you get. That’s the ultimate goal of a partner relationship.
But starting a partnership doesn’t mean it has to be a huge commitment. Your partnership can be as unique as your business.
Examples of Co-Marketing Partnerships
The most effective co-marketing strategies aren’t just self-serving.
Remember, this is a two-way relationship. Like any relationship, it’s important that both partners pull their weight and keep their other half happy.
To create an effective partnership, you want to provide as much value as you can for your partner’s audience. In turn, your partner’s audience will see value in you.
Developing a co-marketing strategy can be very diverse.
For example, co-marketing opportunities could include:
- Co-hosting and co-promoting a shared webinar
- Name-dropping your partner in your email newsletter
- Writing an e-book together
- Collaborating on a creative blog post
- Creating a lead magnet
- Organizing a networking event
- Supporting one another at tradeshows
- Sharing content on social media
- Creating a partner page
Partnerships can open a lot of windows of opportunity for your business at any size.
For example, partner pages can showcase who your partners are. This is a great way to build trust with new prospective customers.
Leaning on partners at events can also ease the financial burden and amplify your presence.
For example, you could host a networking dinner at an event and split the cost among organizers. Plus, if each organizer brings different leads to the table (so to speak), you’ll be able to meet leads you otherwise may not have known.
Co-branding is a similar concept to co-marketing, but its focus is centered on joining forces to create something new and exciting. Think of Taco Bell teaming up with Doritos to create Doritos Locos Tacos.
Another head turner is when two dissimilar brands partner up to create something unique. Like back in the 1970s, when Dr. Pepper teamed up with Bonne Bell’s Lip Smackers to make a pop-flavored lip balm.
How to Build Powerful Co-Marketing Partnerships with Monitor Backlinks
Now that you get the picture of how important relationship building is and the various ways that you can collaborate with partners, here’s how to start making things happen.
Delivering a successful co-marketing campaign is a three-step process, and we’ll be using Monitor Backlinks in steps 1 and 2.
If you don’t have an account to follow along, you can sign up for a free trial here.
1. Find the Right Co-Marketing Partner
You want to have a marketing partner who’s going to deliver success.
The first thing that you should look for is a partner with similar customers, but not similar products. It won’t bring a good first impression if you try to pitch co-marketing ideas to a potential competitor.
However, you do need overlap in potential customers. These customers should be not just looking for both of your products or services, but they should also have other similar attributes, such as budget or time.
For example, let’s say you’re a small business web design agency. You wouldn’t want to work with a competing web design agency—after all, those are your clients.
However, you may reach out to a small business email marketing agency for co-marketing opportunities, because customers who need an agency to redesign their website might also need an agency to handle their email marketing.
Here’s how you can use Monitor Backlinks to identify potential co-marketing partners.
A. See who has posted about you.
Click on “Your Links” to pull up your backlink profile.
This is a great source for potential partners because everyone on this list has already mentioned or referenced you in some way with a backlink, so they’ll know who you are (or at least have some idea).
Once you pull up your backlinks, it’s best to sort by date. This is because it’s best to find a recent mention in an article so that your business is still top of mind to the potential partner you attempt to connect with.
Start by looking at the backlinks you’ve received within the last three months.
B. Look for positive link signals.
You don’t want to pony up with a site that has a high Spam Score, because those could have a negative impact on your SEO.
To find the better-qualified list of potential partners, use filters to avoid links with warnings and only show you higher quality links.
2. Do Your Homework
Now that you’ve narrowed down a shortlist of potential co-marketing partners, it makes sense to only reach out to the ones you feel would be a good fit.
Not everyone that links to you will be a good partner to co-market with, so it’s important to thoroughly review each site that’s linking into you.
In this example, the data verification SaaS company Xverify would prefer to connect with like-minded companies. You can see from this snapshot of their backlinks that they get links from a range of industries and niches.
The first link is from ClickDimensions. Their system is marketing automation centric, which has a similar audience to Xverify.
The second link back is from The Daily Positive. It’s a wonderful site for motivation and inspiration, but not in the same realm of marketing tools. So it wouldn’t make sense for Xverify to partner with them.
But that’s not all your homework done!
Let’s say your co-marketing idea is an e-book, and your goal is to gain more digital downloads. Even if that potential partner is interested in working together, you want to make sure that they have the reach.
Find out if they have a presence on social media where they could potentially be sharing the content.
When you’re evaluating social profiles, don’t just look at their number of followers. You should also dig a little deeper and see what kind of engagement they’re getting on their posts.
Prioritize working with partners who already provide good quality content and have likes and shares on existing posts they’ve published.
Doing your homework also means piggybacking off your competition.
If you add your main competitors to the “Competitor Links” section of Monitor Backlinks, you’ll be able to see all their backlinks as well.
Spying on your competition is a great way to get your foot in the door to developing a new business relationship.
You can find out if your competitor has a listing on a niche business directory. Gain insight if they got on another company’s partner page. Find out which upcoming tradeshows they might be attending.
There’s so much knowledge to be gained just by reviewing their backlinks.
3. Make a Plan and Start Your Outreach
Next, decide on a co-marketing project that makes sense for both of you.
You wouldn’t host an event together at a tradeshow if the other company isn’t attending that tradeshow. Likewise, you probably wouldn’t host an event together during your first foray into co-marketing.
Instead, take the relationship slowly. A guest blog post is often low-commitment and a great place to start.
Finally, you also need to ensure you start your partnership efforts off on the right foot. Make sure you set clear expectations upfront about your co-marketing goals.
You don’t want to invest a lot of work into the project to end up with a failure.
The Wrap Up
Co-marketing is a great way to boost your brand muscle and increase your reach by leveraging relevant partners.
It’s also a wonderful word-of-mouth marketing tool—if you work with a great partner, you’re more likely to refer them to your current customers.
Best of all, thanks to these simple steps and Monitor Backlinks, building co-marketing partnerships is a simple process any company can use.
Krista Brea is a marketing specialist at Xverify. She helps digital marketers improve email campaign success through data verification. Outside of the office, Krista also enjoys traveling, fitness, reading and listening to podcasts.