It seems like every day there is a new trick, a new trend, a new online platform that your company needs to be utilizing to stay relevant. In this haze, many marketers can get stuck on the more familiar brand-consumer relationship. This mindset neglects another important dynamic of social media: the power of connecting with those other than your consumer audience.

Partnerships have always played a key role in businesses looking to advance in new markets, so why shouldn’t they be a part of your digital marketing game? Social channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can be incredible tools for entrepreneurs and small businesses to establish low-investment partnerships. Rethinking partnerships for the digital era has the potential to create incredible growth in your online following and engagement. You just have to learn the new rules of the game.

First, you need to identify relationships that have the potential to form reciprocal partnerships. For this, you need to define a few points:    

Define your brand and its online market position

  1. What does your brand represent?

  2. What are its strengths? Its weaknesses?

  3. What can you offer in a potential partnership?

Define your goal

Of course, you want more followers, but

  • What type of followers are you looking for and where are you trying to find them? Not all audiences are equal and not all platforms are equal at reaching certain demographics.

Define your deciding criteria

  1. What companies have a similar brand image?

  2. How strong is their digital reach?

  3. Do they have access to the audience that you are trying to reach?

From here, you should have a good understanding of what options you have to work with. Next comes the exciting part: How do you want to use this partnership? How you jointly utilize this new microphone can make or break a partner marketing campaign. With this in mind, here are several ways that you can move forward with a partner:

  • Create giveaways or contests

Sponsored giveaways and contests are always exciting opportunities for new followers to learn about your brand and get connected with it. Partners can make this even more exciting by contributing their products or services as prizes or contributing to the ad budget.

  • Create content

On social media networks, original content is an incredibly powerful resource for growth. Creating and marketing new content with comparable partners gives everyone involved a chance to create content with better quality, reach, and creativity; all while defining your brand by association!

  • Create Credibility

Social media influencers are no longer a gimmick! They are a key part of many companies’ growth efforts and they should be a part of yours. Whether you partner with micro-influencers or the biggest names on Instagram, you can make large gains in your following if you use influencers right. Send them to your hotel for a night, give them your product to review, or create an experience with them for their followers. An influencer is a tastemaker of the internet. If they believe in what you’re doing enough to pass it on to their followers, you can be sure that it will be worth something to their followers.

Finally, when a partner marketing campaign concludes, evaluate its performance and make notes on what worked and what didn’t. Do this frequently and stay open to any new partnership opportunities that come across your radar.

Digital audiences have an abundance in options online and they are not afraid to jump ship for brands that don’t create meaning in their experiences. The need to work together and create this meaning has never been greater. In today’s hyper-competitive online marketplace, partnerships have a special role to play in creating growth and they are worth looking into.