If there’s one thing we can say with conviction after a big year of focusing on partnership marketing, it’s this: it’s always better together.
Before we even dig in, we feel obligated to highlight the cardinal rule of partnership marketing (and influencer marketing for that matter): NEVER choose a partner or an influencer solely based on the size of their social media following. Your core brand loyalist can see straight through a disingenuous affiliation. However, when done right, you can find yourself on the favorable side of the statistic that says 57% of purchase decisions are complete before a consumer even calls a supplier. A substantial sway can come straight from an effective partner.
The most important thing to remember when courting potential partners is that this is a two-way street; if your campaign can provide little to no reciprocal value, you’ll be doomed from the beginning. Though they may not cognizantly realize it, your consumer is more perceptive to reciprocity than he realizes. Setting off on the right foot by providing a substantial value add for both (or all) partners involved builds a solid foundation for success from the beginning.
This summer, we coordinated and managed two major campaigns for Explore Hood Canal that hinged on the success of lucrative partnerships. Allow us to break them down:
Fish the Wild Side Sweepstakes
A sweepstakes is a unique type of partnership; the payout is even across the board, and return is generated by all parties’ participation. We can’t yet talk final numbers because the Fish the Wild Side Sweepstakes is in full swing (until September 24, 2017), but participation and excitement generated by our partners has caused a sizeable uptick in entries and awareness. For a full-blown recap of a successful sweepstakes campaign, check out our blog, ViralSweep + Yakima: How to Use Sweepstakes to Boost Brand Awareness.
In strict observance of our cardinal rule, we reached out to Justin Waters of All-Waters Guide Service to lay the foundation of this initiative. His guiding company specializes in sea-run cutthroat trout and salmon fishing on Hood Canal and its tributaries. Even though his is a relatively small company, his core audience on Instagram and other social media platforms is super engaged, and delighted at the prospect of winning a trip with him.
When we pulled Alderbrook Resort, Redington, Sage, TREW, HydroFlask, Outdoor Project, and CRKT on board—relevant companies that share a passion for fishing in the Pacific Northwest’s wild places, we knew it was going to be a sure success.
Wild Side Explorer Series: VanLife
Time and time again, it’s proven that video wins. Even the dreamiest aspirational image with the snappiest copy can’t compete with a well-shot and edited video. Even when it comes to a client on a tight budget, we’ll encourage the creation of quality content over quantity. In this case, it led to The Wild Side Explorer Series. VanLife is the fourth in the series, and our most successful to date!
When we were planning the story, we wanted to document two relatable families having an authentic weekend vacation on a budget in Hood Canal. So, to build out the intrigue and to turn up the volume on our microphone, we pulled trusted Northwest brands on board. In exchange for product and some help with distribution amplification, Yakima, TREW, Slingshot Sports, and Everybody’s Brewing were featured in notable ways throughout the main video and supporting social media snippets. The result? See for yourself:
Do you have an upcoming campaign that could benefit from solid partnership engagement? Get in touch!