Whether you’re a professional writer, influencer, or a business looking to benefit from affiliate marketing, knowing how to successfully co-create content is an essential skill to have in your repertoire.
This is easier said than done.
Co-creating helps both parties reach a broader audience and hit goals that may have been unreachable otherwise. It’s a tricky collaboration to get right. But when co-creating content hits the sweet spot, it can be wildly successful. ‘How successful?,’ you ask. For a high-scale example, Adidas’ net income increased by 19.5% with its collaboration with Kanye West.
Now, not all affiliates are going to be on the same level as Adidas and Kanye. However, there are still ample benefits to be had from these types of partnerships. Here are some tips on how to co-create content as an affiliate creator in a way that will make everyone involved happy and will produce great results for both you and the brand you’re collaborating with.
Co-Branding vs. Affiliate Marketing: What’s the Difference?
What is Co-Branding?
Co-Branding represents the collaboration between two (or more) different companies with the intention of creating a mutually-beneficial campaign. The entities come together to achieve their respective goals and objectives, and in turn, create joint collateral, promotions, and even offer discounts for each other.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Contrary to co-branding, affiliate marketing is a partnership between a business and one individual, like a freelance writer or influencer, or another business. But the relationship is different — this strategy involves offering commission for purchases made through the affiliates’ channel (whether that be a blog, Instagram page, or other social media platforms).
The Big Difference
Co-branding involves forming a relationship between two companies that needs to continue to grow and expand. It takes time to develop and requires a more in-depth process. The purpose of affiliate marketing is to create a new revenue stream that is less involved than co-branding.
Tips for Co-Creating Content
Make Sure Business Objectives Align
It’s important to make sure the objectives of the brand you’re working with align with your own. For example, if you want to increase your email list size, but the company has no intention of creating content related to lead generation, then it might not be a good partnership.
But we also have to take things beyond measurable goals. From the affiliate standpoint, does the brand you’re in talks with line up with your own personal values? And if you’re the company, is this content creator someone who you are comfortable with representing your brand?
When both business goals and brand values align, the partnership will be mutually beneficial, and you can grow your audiences.
It Should Always Be A Strong Brand Fit
Co-creating content with brands is a great way to share your expertise and help someone else out. But before you can start sharing on behalf of a brand, it’s important to know if the product or service is a good fit with your audience. Sometimes, even if you’re an expert in a certain field, it’s not worth mentioning something that won’t be relevant to your audience.
How do you determine if this partnership will be a good fit? Take a look at the audience of the brand. Does the brand’s main customer personas have similar identities and interests or pain points as your own audience? If there is a strong overlap, that’s usually a good indication that the affiliate relationship would be a strong one.
Identify Any Competitors
Affiliate marketers may also have to deal with competition. It’s important to know whether or not a brand is entertaining working with other influencers or content creators and how this might impact your partnership. Identify these competitors (if any), see how their content differs from yours, and leverage anything that makes your voice and approach unique.
Additionally, brands may not want an affiliate marketer to work with other brands, so they may try to keep their affiliates exclusive. So before agreeing to any sort of affiliate partnership, evaluate whether or not you are okay working exclusively with this brand, or determine if the brand is open to you exploring other opportunities as well.
Consider Search and User Intent
Many affiliate marketers have a loyal following, but they also have an audience with which they are less acquainted. In order to create content that resonates with both audiences, it is important to consider the search and user intent of your audience when deciding what type of content to create.
For example, if you’re marketing a fitness brand, think about how people search for fitness. What kind of questions they might ask in relation to your niche?
SEO keywords also come into play when thinking about search and user intent as well. What will the target audience be searching for when they come across your content and why? Think about this when crafting your article, blog, or ad and determine how to shape your messaging.
Understand the Relationship with Your Own Audience
The key to any successful affiliate campaign is having a strong, loyal audience base. Without this, the content falls short. Affiliate marketing relies on the trust the customers have with not only the brand, but also with the individual making the affiliate content.
It can be tricky to balance the relationship with your own audience while co-creating content on behalf of a brand. You want to make sure that you’re not only creating content for the partnership, but also maintaining a connection with your followers.
Stay Authentic To Both Brands
To be a successful affiliate creator, you need to be able to work with brands you love and feel confident in. But you also need to stay authentic to your audience. This means that you should always be honest and upfront about the relationship. So it’s important to disclose relevant information on your blog or channel.
For example, if a brand is sponsoring your content, make sure they are credited appropriately and that they have given their permission for you to promote their products. If you’ve been sent product samples in exchange for a promotion on social media, make sure that this is also clearly communicated and disclosed.