Working with a completely new marketing team on co-marketed content poses several challenges. One that I constantly run into is the branding of the content you are creating, and the promotional materials you are using. Not only do you want the branding to be visually appealing, you also need to comply with branding regulations of each company. Follow the co-marketing best practices I’ve laid here, and you’ll find the branding collaboration process will run much smoother.
1. Start the Branding Discussion Early
You don’t want any surprises or setbacks late in the process. In your initial conversations with your co-marketing partner, discuss your branding expectations. If you know your team is particularly strict about logo and message positioning, mention that upfront and suggest ways to work with it. This also helps during the design process, so all the expectations are met.
2. Agree on a Neutral Color Palette
Some brands have a specific style for their content. This works for content created by just one team, but it is often the case that the partner you are working with may not see eye-to-eye with your design and colors. You also want to make sure both brands are equally represented in the content.
I suggest you choose up to three neutral colors to use as the background, title and font colors. Then, pick one or two colors from each partner’s branding to use as accent colors. Use these colors sparingly on each page, only highlighting important passages.
In the ebook example below, we kept the main colors neutral and used HubSpot’s orange and LinkedIn’s blue as minimal pops of color.
3. Include logos that Link to Each Partner on Every Page
Co-marketing is all about getting your brand in front of a new audience. The majority of the people viewing your content may not have previously heard of your brand. Include the logos of both partners at the bottom of each page of an ebook or slide of a webinar deck. If possible, link the logos to the partners’ home pages.
The image below is from a webinar HubSpot hosted with LinkedIn. In the bottom left, you can see both the HubSpot and LinkedIn logos. We made sure these linked back to each of our websites in any follow-up webinar content we used these for.
4. Include an “About Us” Section for Each Company
The content you create shouldn’t be completely self-promotional. That said, you do want to educate readers about your business. Include an “about us” section at the beginning or end of your ebook, linking to each company’s website. Keep this section short and related to the ebook topic if possible. For example, in an ebook where HubSpot writes about social media, we would be sure to highlight our social media-related tools in this section.
This example is the “about” page in the recent ebook we wrote with iAcquire on SEO and social media.
5. Include Both Logos on All Assets
This one is self-explanatory, but can often be overlooked when your design team creates the ebook and promotional materials. Include both logos on the landing page, in promotional emails and on social images created specifically to promote the content. To minimize revisions, bring the designers into the conversion early, making sure they know exactly what is expected when including both company logos. Finally, get approval from both partners before using any promotional materials, to ensure you are using the most up-to-date logos and colors.
The image below is from a checklist resource that HubSpot and Twitter created together. Both logos are clearly displayed at the top of the landing page.
6. Use Both Company Names in Social Posts Promoting the Content
One of the greatest benefits of social media is the ability to tag usernames and conversations in all messages. When you create promotional messages that come from your brand, as well as pre-made social posts on landing pages, include both partners’ usernames, and a hashtag if you have created one for the piece of content. This helps spread the content and tags all companies involved, increasing their brand awareness as well as your own. Make sure both partners do this in order to take full advantage of both partners’ audiences. Then if you have any concerns about the long-term future of your business then you should look into the ISO 22301 certification as this gives you plans for the threats that exist to your business.
Now you should be all set when branding your co-created piece of content with a co-marketing partner. If you have questions, reach out to me on Twitter at @AmandaSibley or comment below.