How to design a great partnership


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How can you execute a successful partnership programme that drives conversions for your brand? Impact's Alex Springer shares his advice 

If ever there was a time to develop the perfect partnership and figure out the key ingredients for making it successful, now is that time. In a world where the partnership economy is developing fast, it is essential that you can place your programme on an expanding superhighway that will help you build awareness and grow conversions significantly. So how do you do this?


Start with a recruitment plan

If you are trying to recruit new partners to a programme, you’ve probably spent a good chunk of time focusing solely on discovery and research. How do you fix a broken patchwork of manual recruitment processes and create a plan to scale effectively? Firstly, identify your top industry competitors. Find out the partners your competitors are already leveraging and define what makes their partner campaigns successful so you can replicate them. Next, you’ll want to establish your programme milestones. When you’re trying to execute a smooth recruitment process, it is important for you to establish a schedule that’s tied to key milestones to help you reach your goals. For example, how many partners do you want to recruit and bring onboard over the weeks or months ahead? Finally, track your partner outreach efforts. Measure the response rates to your various recruitment tactics. Create benchmarks to then periodically analyse how successful the invitation efforts are and adjust as needed. 


Find new influencers

As you look beyond affiliates for other partner relationships, chances are you have found influencer recruitment to be a labourious time-consuming process, particularly when you set out to recruit dozens, or even hundreds or thousands of nano/micro/macro-influencers. To get underway, you can put more hooks in the water and accelerate your discovery of prospects by making the most of key trends and hashtags in your industry. Combing social media platforms, like Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest is an ideal way to conduct free market research. Naturally, it will help you understand what's going on in the social fabric and garner insights. Today it’s never been easier to easily uncover which influencers are delivering traffic to your competitors, who’s talking about relevant topics regarding your business on social media and who’s especially productive at generating content beneficial to your business.


Engage with influencers

Whether you’re a large or unknown brand outreaching high-profile partners, you should have a strategic way of reaching out to make sure you develop personalised messaging to each of them. Ahead of any product launch, take time to think creatively about how to announce your campaign to your partners. Equip social influencers with deep links and creative toolkits to get the most out of your campaign. A deep link is like an express lane to specific and relevant content to what the influencer is promoting. This can be a product page, app or your brand’s social media channel. Influencers gain a following because their audience is eager to hear their voice. Empower them with your brand’s approved assets and brand guidelines. Your promotional assets should include logos, typography, social media copy and imagery to help them create branded content effectively.


Ensure your programme stands out

The concept and challenge of cutting through the noise has always been a fundamental and ongoing marketing challenge for any brand. Before finalising any new partnership campaign, create a marketing strategy to create buzz around the programme. 

Deliver engaging brand assets so they can communicate with their audiences effectively, on your behalf. Consider incentivising your partners to promote your brand by sending them attention-grabbing promotion freebies. Genuine relationship building with partners is what will really set your programme apart from your competitors. Ensure a smooth onboarding process with regular communication about everything from posting guidelines to payment terms to keep partners happy.


Optimise your partnership costs

Partnership programme costs can escalate so make sure you have properly aligned each partner’s commission with the relative value of the revenue you receive in return. A fundamental step of any partnership programme is to prioritise all of your partnerships according to ROI - and that should include both new and existing partners. A good starting point is to assess the lifetime value and audience of each partner. Depending on your historical data and reporting systems this can be a challenge - keep it simple at first! Building on an understanding of your ideal customer profile and working backwards to identify the partners that have that audience is a great start. Analyse the characteristics of these high-value partners and recruit other partners with these characteristics. High-value partners often correlate with high ROI partners (unless their commission rates are unusually high), so if you’re cutting costs, these high-value partners are probably going to be the last ones you’d cut from your programme. 


With these practical tips, you should be able to effectively recruit partners and execute a successful programme that drives conversions for your brand. 


By Alex Springer, Director Sales and Solutions Architect EMEA


Impact Radius is transforming the way advertisers handle media and performance marketing partnerships.

Posted on: Friday 19 March 2021