Good partnerships are all about providing mutual value. Companies turn to partnerships to promote their goods and services to new customers that they feel they can’t reach through traditional sales and marketing channels. Content affiliates, influencers, mobile apps and other kinds of companies enter the partnership space because they have the kinds of engaged audiences that these brands are after, and there are potential revenue opportunities.
However, bringing in significant revenue as a referring partner isn’t as easy as simply signing up and letting the payouts flow. You have to get on various brand partners’ radars, and you have to actually help them drive towards their goals. This isn’t always easy to do, especially if you’re just getting started in partnerships and lack a track record of proven success.
The best way to build a successful partnership and earn more trust is to help your brand partners understand the unique value that you can provide. Here are three ways that you can communicate that value, helping them understand what makes you and your audience unique, and building a deeper, better performing alliance.
- Start direct communication before applying for a contract
Many brand partners have templated, pre-written contract language in place for new partnerships. This is done to help expedite the contracting process with first-time partners – once they prove their value, both sides can negotiate and adjust terms.
But you may already know the value that you can bring to a specific brand, even before you work together. In this case, it makes sense to reach out to brands directly, before even applying for a contract, to explain how you can help and possibly negotiation different terms from the start. You can do that directly from Impact’s Brand Marketplace within the platform.
The other side of this coin is that partners shouldn’t put all of their eggs in one basket and confine themselves to the two brands that they think make the best fit. Apply to work with many different brands, and be studious about opening and responding to requests to work with you. We often see two companies that may not look like a natural fit for a partnership on paper, but end up working together really well and creating mutual value. You may be surprised about what works in the partnership space and all of the creative ways to work together, so be open to the possibilities.
- Don’t be afraid to request different ad types or offers
On the same note, don’t approach partnerships with the idea that you need to fit into what a brand already has lined up. Again, you’re likely to know what your audience responds to, and brands want to get the most from their investment in partnerships, so many will be open to providing different types of ads, creative, or offers if they feel it will lead to more conversions and customers.
By making a request for an ad type catered to your audience, you demonstrate to the brand that you’re taking the partnership seriously and that you want to deliver mutual value. For example, an affiliate site can specifically request more promo codes from subscription box brand partners, and will often get them, especially if they deliver signups. Better still, communicating specific requests also helps you stand out from a sea of partners who just take anything the brand gives them.
- Focus on your niche
Marketing is a data-driven field right now, so brands in the partnership space have a clear idea of their desired target audience. Armed with this knowledge, they can often be selective about who to work with.
Rather than try to sell yourself based on broad audiences or scale, focus on your particular area of expertise. Do you or your company fulfill a particular niche that attracts a very specific audience? If so, emphasize that core focus when communicating with and promoting yourself to brand partners.
This is especially true if you are just beginning to enter into partnerships and are looking for brands willing to work with you. Dedicated, engaged audiences that come to you for expertise in a certain niche provide brand partners with the ability to reach a granular segment, which is one reason why many brands turn to partnerships in the first place.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an influencer or an affiliate site, the best performing partnerships rely on effective communication and a clear understanding of the opportunities.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an influencer or an affiliate site, the best performing partnerships rely on effective communication and a clear understanding of the opportunities. Don’t rely on brands to understand who you are or what your company does — use your deep knowledge to promote yourself to a brand and explain how you can help achieve their goals. This kind of communication helps build a successful partnership where both sides enjoy the benefits of working together.
Want more tips for making your true value known? Contact a growth technologist at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll give you ideas and solutions.