How To Run A Partner Campaign With Gleam
Partnering up with other brands to run co-operative marketing campaigns is a fantastic way for any business to tap into a larger audience to gain brand awareness and drive action.
Running a partnered marketing campaign allows you to promote your brand and products to not only your audience, but also your partner's audience. Gaining exposure from a wider audience isn't the only upside of running a partner campaign, as affiliating yourself with other well-regarded brands is a great way to increase your business's credibility and popularity while forging positive associations with a new audience.
Due to the extensive and powerful benefits, partnering up to run a joint marketing campaign has become a popular strategy for many businesses, particularly those operating in E-commerce and SaaS.
With Gleam's suite of apps you can easily partner up with brands to run powerful co-operative marketing campaigns, engage your audience and drive a host of meaningful actions. You can achieve this by running collaborative giveaways, using special rewards to incentivise action and much, much more.
With our suite of products, it's easy to setup and run a comprehensive campaign that will help both parties drive powerful action and grow their business.
To find out exactly how you can find the perfect brands to collaborate with, form a partnership and run a wide array of highly successful campaigns just keep reading. In this guide we'll cover:
- Finding Partners
- Reaching Out to Partners
- Running Giveaways
- Running Rewards Campaigns
- Driving Action From Website Visitors
- Promoting Campaigns
- Analysing Outcomes
- Following Up on Your Campaign
If you want to run a collaborative campaign with another brand the first thing you will need to do is find the right brand to partner up.
When you set out to find a partner brand you need to look for a few key factors including goal alignment, audience relevance and what they can offer in the partnership. Here are a few tips on how you can find and connect with the right brands:
Determining the Perfect Fit
When looking for a co-marketing partner you'll want to make sure their business will complement yours instead of go against it. This boils down to the way they inherently operate as a business. Let's get into a bit more detail:
Type of Business
You should partner with someone who serves the same niche as you to ensure you're targeting a common audience. Their product should ideally complement yours instead of compete against it. If your partner offers services instead of a product you will need to consider how this service can align with your product to serve a customer.
A great way to devise a successful partner giveaway is by thinking about who uses your product and building a prize pool around their lifestyle. For example, if you sell hiking packs it's a great idea to partner up with other outdoor adventure brands who sell complementary products such as hiking boots, tents, water bottles and more.
Size of Business
If your business is in the pre-launch or early stage then you should be looking to partner up with bigger businesses so that you can tap into a larger audience. This will significantly help in driving more actions as well generating brand awareness.
You want to look at the partner's social platforms and determine how established they are in each. Which platforms are they focused on? Do they have a substantial following in each of their platforms, or are they focused on one platform only?
Of course, the more platforms they're on, the better. That means maximum exposure for you. However, if you're looking for a higher conversion rate e.g. you want to increase Instagram followers, then you should look for a partner with a strong Instagram following.
List down potential partners and compare your audiences on a spreadsheet. For simplicity's sake, we'll go with number of followers. Tabulate your social followers across your major platforms, this could be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram - and or all of them. Then, do the same for your short-listed partners.
Then, examine the similarities and differences in each other's social activity on a given platform and identify opportunities.
Let's practise with a real life example, take this collaboration between Satchel & Page and Bluffworks:
Both brands have a similar amount of followers on Facebook and Twitter. However, Satchel & Page has 42.6k followers on Instagram whereas Bluffworks has 2.8k followers. This is an opportunity for Bluffworks to increase their Instagram followers during their collaboration.
If you were in Satchel & Page's position, would you know how to pitch to Bluffworks? 😉
You will want an overlap in terms of the target audience you are serving. You want customers to feel like you are two brands who belong together in their lives. If there is no alignment between your partner's audience as well as your own, chances are your partnership will not send a very strong message about who you intend to serve.
Ideally the partnership will give you access to a wider audience who are not already familiar with you, but will be interested in what you have to offer. The best way to find people like that? Find a brand that sells complementary products.
Our customer Chris Cage from Greenbelly knew this all too well so he had a good idea of who was doing well in his industry as well some criteria on who could be qualified to partner with him:
We have a pretty good idea of the kind of brands we like working with. They need to 1) create reputable products 2) be in the similar outdoor space 3) be non-competitive.
Both partners should be able to get something out of the partnership. This could be tangible assets like increased number of followers on a specific platform, a new mailing list or a joint product.
That doesn't mean the business benefits have to always be tangible. The ability to expand to a larger market, generate brand awareness as well as the cost-efficiency makes co-marketing a powerful tactic used by many brands. For example, Greenbelly increased their giveaway prize pool by 10x simply because they partnered up with other brands.
Finding the Right Brand
Now that you know who you're looking for, it's time to venture out and find that match. At this stage you might also want to be aware of the theme of your campaign and who can fit into that picture. If you already have brands in mind, that's great. But if you need help looking for the right brand, check out the following techniques:
Search For Hashtags
Take this for example: If you are promoting a product for people who go hiking a lot, you will want to look up some hashtags related to hiking on social media to see what brands people are talking about.
Here's a screenshot of #takethetrail on Instagram. 4 out of 6 of these photos have some product mention in the post:
This technique can give you a bird's eye view of who is in the same space as you are, as well as providing the social validation you need to make sure they are worth partnering with. In other words, people are talking about this brand, so it's likely a good idea to work with them.
Look Up On Amazon
Let's say you sell this product on Amazon:
On the product listing page, scroll down further and you'll see this section:
Products recommended under this tab are great for creating product bundles because they are products frequently bought together.
Notice how the products are mostly unicorn-themed as well as catered to children's parties. Now your target audience and campaign theme is very clear: Suburban parents with young children, looking to throw a unicorn-themed party for their children's birthday or related celebrations.
Now if you're an Amazon seller, you could just reach out directly with the vendor of your chosen product and see if they are interested in partnering up.
If you're not, you could still use the new information you gained to search elsewhere for a partner selling that specific product.
Once you've built a list of potential partners, it's time to reach out and find out if they would like to partner with you too.
At this stage it's important that you have a few partners in mind that you could work with, rejection is a possibility especially if you are a budding business. To avoid rejection as much as possible, here are some key points to take note of:
- Have A Dedicated Partner's Page
- State Your Intentions
- Where To Message Potential Partners
- Messaging The Potential Partner
- Key Considerations
Have A Dedicated Partner's Page
In addition to reaching out yourself, you could make it easy for other businesses to approach you by creating a dedicated partner's page on your website. Here at Gleam, we have a Partner Competitions page dedicated to giving away cool products in collaboration with Gleam customers:
How do we do it? We simply get folks to submit their interest through our Typeform page and then communicate through email.
If you would like to make your own partner's page, simply include a contact form in the page and briefly describe what kind of partner you are looking for, as well as the types of campaigns you will be interested in co-hosting.
State Your Intentions
If you decide to reach out to other brands you have the advantage of stating your pitch, which is an important step. You need to make sure you are not wasting the other person's time by beating around the bush.
You should state the kind of Gleam campaign you are looking to co-host with the potential partner. If you're looking to drive sales or create a brand association, it could mean hosting a discount campaign with Gleam Rewards where both brands offer a product bundle at a discounted price.
If you're looking to build your mailing list or increase traffic and engagement on your social media platforms, then a giveaway campaign with Gleam Competitions is more suitable.
You might also want to mention why you want to host a marketing campaign. This could be to...
- Introduce a new product
- Launch a new brand
- Drive traffic to a new website
- Increase social followers
- Build a new mailing list
Where To Message Potential Partners
To make sure communications are thorough and conversations can be backed up, it's recommended that you use email as the primary mode of communication to convey your intentions to a potential partner.
You can use a tool like Hunter to help you hunt down the partner's email address. All you have to do is enter the partner's website and Hunter will help you find email addresses under the specific domain.
If you can't find their e-mail on Hunter, you can always message the potential partner on social media and ask for their email address. You should also briefly mention that you're exploring partnership opportunities of course.
Messaging The Potential Partner
You'll want to make sure the partner knows what type of campaign you're trying to run and what the theme would be. It's also worthwhile to state how the partner could benefit from the campaign. You can feature certain actions that would be beneficial to them.
For example, if you can help them drive more Instagram followers, you can feature an Instagram Visit action for your partner so they get more traffic on that platform. In fact, send them a screenshot of your Gleam campaign draft, so they know what it means to them.
Here's an email script our customer Chris Cage from Greenbelly used for his partnering campaign:
We have a big Backpacking giveaway lined up for early next month with insert company A and insert company B. These usually result in several thousand social shares. It will look similar to this insert link to last giveaway.
We'll handle all of the setup. Just looking for a product contribution and a push on your end.
Please let me know if you want the insert category slot asap!
Chris, Founder greenbelly.co
Finally, prior to them accepting your offer and finalising the campaign, you should be prepared and handle these key considerations when it comes to co-hosting a Gleam campaign:
- 🔌 Campaign Setup: Should the Gleam campaign be setup by a single party or handled by both? Do both partners also want their own individual Gleam campaigns?
- ✔️ Actions: What kind of actions would you like to focus on? Is there a new website you would like to drive traffic to? Or do you intend to increase social follows? What about growing your mailing list?
- 💰 Value: What are both parties looking for? Whether it's audience, brand recognition or traffic, it's important that both parties have something to offer and receive.
- 🎁 Prize for Giveaway: If you are planning to run a giveaway together, what are both parties offering as the prize pack? And how will the logistics be handled?
- 🛒 Sales Promotion: Not every business is willing to offer discounts for their products, especially if they are already doing well in sales. Are there any expectations for the other party to offer their products at a discounted price?
- 📫 Mailing List: If you are going to share your mailing lists with each other, make sure to put that in the contract.
- 📢 Promotion: Will both parties be promoting the campaign through their channels? This could be through social media, a mailing list, a Facebook ad, or even all of them.
Running a partnered giveaway is a simple but highly effective strategy. It essentially involves you and your partners creating a prize pool of your own products and allowing uses to enter the giveaway by completing an array of actions which will benefit both you and your partners. When you run a giveaway with Gleam you can easily award more entries to users who complete more actions. This is an outstanding way to encourage users to complete more powerful actions.
Giveaways are one of the top choices when it comes to a joint campaign because it takes advantage of what you already have, which is your product. Joint giveaway campaigns are super easy to setup and highly efficient in attracting the masses, especially when there is a prize bundle sponsored by multiple brands:
With Gleam Competitions you can run joint giveaways with other brands which will allow users to enter the draw to win a prize by completing a variety of actions that are valuable to both you and your partner.
Partnership Giveaway Demo
Here at Gleam we run partnership campaigns from time to time. Here's a real-life example of our partner giveaway campaign with customer Beardbrand. Have a play below 👇
Decide On Entry Actions
When you run a partner campaign with Gleam you have a massive selection of entry actions to choose from. There are lots of great options for actions you can incentivise with your giveaway, and to help you get started we're going to take you through some of the best options that will benefit both partners:
- Sign Up to a Mailing List
- Social Media Actions
- Visit Your Store
- Watch A Video
- Collect Reviews/Testimonial/Feedback
- Collect User-Generated Content (UGC)
- Offer Coupons
- Viral Share
- Promote Your Partner's Campaign
Sign Up to a Mailing List
You can have participants sign up for your mailing list using the Subscribe Action. Whether or not both parties will receive the new mailing list is up to the both of you.
We offer integrations with over 30 email marketing platforms so you can seamlessly add your new audience to your existing newsletters.
Social Media Actions
Since both partners have 'skin in the game', remember to feature social media actions for both parties. After all, the same action can be repeated as many times as you need:
- Follow on Twitter
- Retweet a Post
- Visit Facebook Page
- View a Facebook Post
- Visit Instagram Page
- Subscribe to YouTube Channel
- ...and many more
Cross-Pollinate Your Campaign With The Retweet Action
If you or your partner are active on Twitter, we recommend using the Retweet action to promote your giveaway announcement. The tweet can quickly go viral once you have many users retweeting the same thing, so while it spreads like wildfire chances are you'll get more participants.
The most important thing is to of course make the announcement eye-catching. We recommend featuring an image of your prize in the tweet as well as using emojis to make it pop.
This worked particularly well for our customer Twitch Kittens, who managed to gain 25,000+ retweets from this giveaway announcement:
Visit Your Store
If you have an E-commerce business, you can drive more traffic to your online store. Just set up a Visit a Page action and have it direct users to your store's URL.
With the Visit a Page feature, you can add an optional question to verify that the entrant has indeed visited your website. You can try asking a simple question like what was your favourite product? for verification purposes.
Watch Your Video
If you have a video describing your brand or product, you can incentivise participants to watch them during your giveaway. This is a good opportunity for the audience to learn more about you or your partner, especially if one of you are a pre-launch or early stage business.
Don't worry, entrants can watch the video directly from our Competition widget, so there is no need to redirect the entrant. Check it out 👇
Got something you'd like to know about your target audience? We can help you get it right out of your audience's mouth. Or in this case, their fingers 🤔 Use the Questions action to collect feedback or insight about something you'd like to know:
Collect User-Generated Content (UGC)
User-generated content (UGC) is a powerful way to get closer to your audience with original, authentic and relatable content straight from the customer. You can start collecting UGC by hosting a photo contest to get users to upload photos of them using your product.
Creating A Photo Contest
Photo contests are great for collecting UGC as well as making the campaign an interactive experience for your participants. You can use the Submit Media action and have users submit a photo with a pre-defined hashtag.
Here's an example featuring Disney and Make-A-Wish Foundation's #ShareYourEars campaign:
Displaying User-Generated Content
If you decide to collect UGC as part of your partner giveaway then you'll be wanting to show off all of the high-value content you generate.
You can do this by sharing the content across your social media channels or displaying it on your website with a stylish and customisable Gleam Gallery.
You can create Galleries which will automatically import images from your giveaway, or you can even use your Gallery to pull in hashtagged images from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more. This is a highly effective and simple way to collect and display high-quality user content.
Learn About Running Photo Contests
Find out everything you need to know about setting up your own engaging photo contest and displaying submissions in a stylish gallery.Learn More
A great way to use your campaign to drive some immediate sales is by using our Coupon action to offer discount codes to users who complete a designated number of actions in your campaign.
With this action you can easily create campaigns which offer instant discounts to both you and your partner's store to users who successfully complete a certain number of actions. This is an outstanding way to not only incentivise the completion of more actions, but also to drive sales by offering discounts which make a purchase that little bit more enticing.
The Viral Share action is a great way to exponentially increase your campaign's audience. This is especially true if you are exposing the campaign to not just one, but many different audiences.
By offering bonus entries to participants who refer the campaign to their friends and family, you stand to gain more participants and potential followers. However, you need to ensure that the prize truly aligns with your audience, or else users will be less inclined to share the campaign with their friends.A successful referral means the referred has also entered the competition. They must have at least completed your mandatory actions for the original entrant to receive additional entries.
Creating A Referral Campaign With Viral Share
All you have to do is enable Require login before actions as well as Automatic Entry in your User Details form:
You should also tick Build Competition Subscriber list if you intend to collect emails for your mailing list.
Once that is done, participants will be able to gain an entry the moment they log into your campaign. All that's left to do is of course use Viral Share action to refer their friends and gain even more entries.
Promote Your Partner's Campaign
If you and a partner are running individual campaigns and helping each other promote them it's a good idea to use the Promote action to run a chained giveaway.
Using the Promote action, partners can promote each other's campaigns by awarding extra entries to participants whenever they enter the campaigns specified.
This is especially useful if both you and your partner have individual Gleam accounts. It'll also allow higher level of control to both parties when it comes to setting up their own Gleam campaign.
Creating A Chained Giveaway
To cross-promote each other's Competition you'll need to have each partner setup their own giveaway. Remember that each Competition will need to have its own prizes and winners, so don't share the prize bundle between different campaigns.
- Set up your own Gleam campaign with your own actions.
- Add the Promote action on your own campaign.
- In the Promote action, enter the campaign key of your partner's campaign.
- If you'd like the user to participate in both campaigns to receive entries, just check the Mandatory box.
- Rinse and repeat for your partner's campaign.
Make sure both parties have the same settings for the Promote action in order to award bonus entries in both campaigns. Here's how it will look:
Set Up Google Analytics
We offer integrations with Google Analytics for users on the Business plan and above.
Integrating Google Analytics to your campaign gives you and your partner better visibility of the campaign's performance. This is especially important when you get to align your daily performance with your marketing schedule. That way, you can figure out which partner's audience responded best as well as which days and what promotion methods turned out to be most effective.
For higher granularity, you can also setup a Goal to track the conversion rates from each party's audience.
Learn About Integrating Google Analytics
Integrate your Gleam campaigns with Google Analytics to dive deep into campaign performance.Learn More
Who Else Is Doing It?
If you want some inspiration for your own partner giveaway take a look at some of these hugely successful campaigns our customers have run with Gleam.
Remember that campaigns like these are also not limited to one single partner. In fact, the more the merrier.
When our customer Flyte Socks was crowdfunding their new product, they partnered with multiple successful Kickstarter projects to come up with this themed bundle:
Using this powerful tactic, Flyte Socks managed to tap into 3 other established brand's audiences as well as increase the campaign's prize pool at no additional cost to themselves.
At the end of the campaign, they established themselves as a trustworthy brand who belong side by side with their esteemed partners.
Smashing Funding Goals With Giveaways
Take a look at how Flyte Socks used Gleam to pre-Launch their business on Kickstarter and exceeded their fund goals by 700%:View Case Study
Our other customer Jane.com partners with exciting brands and run giveaways on a weekly basis. Apart from that, they have also ran referral campaigns as well as treasure hunts during the Easter holidays.
So far, they have accrued over 1.7M social media actions in the last 2 years.
Jane.com Runs Weekly Partner Giveaways
Take a look at how Jane.com used Gleam to run weekly giveaways and accrued a total of 1.7M social media actions in the last 2 years:View Case Study
For more examples of awesome giveaways take a look at our other customer success stories.
Apart from contests and giveaways, you can also use Gleam to run Rewards campaigns which incentivise powerful actions with exciting coupons, exclusive content or other valuable rewards.
Rewards campaigns function similarly to Competitions, except instead of completing actions to enter the draw to win a prize users will be able to receive instant rewards such as discount coupons when they complete actions.
Using this method, you and your partner can both enjoy growth by incentivising something valuable to both your audiences. If you're a SaaS business, this could be some form of content marketing. If you're an E-commerce business, then maybe an exclusive guide for your niche or a discount on your product.
Let's look at some options:
Run A Sales Promotion Together
If you and your partner are both running a sales promotion at the same time, you can setup a singular discount code which can be claimed by participants at either you or your partner's store. The benefit of using the same Rewards campaign is that you get to pool up a larger amount of participants, this is especially useful if you intend to build a joint mailing list which you can both use for your own email marketing purposes.
Just remember that the discount code has to be redeemable at both stores!
Rewards like this are perfect when you have two brands who complement each other to serve one specific niche. Have a play with our demo below:
Sign Up For Partner Webinars
Running joint webinars is a tactic used by many B2B and SaaS businesses to cross-promote their brands and engage their audience. If you're looking to drive webinar signups then you should consider running a Rewards campaign.
Gleam Rewards comes with a nifty User Details form that can help you collect data as well as register interest from participants to join your scheduled webinars.
Once they sign up for your webinar, you can then send them a valuable offer from both you and your partner. This could be in the form of a discount or unlocking exclusive content.
Try out our demo below:
Gleam Captures are highly customisable and come with powerful behavioural rules to help you get your message to the right audience. If you have your own website, you can use Capture to build customisable pop-up banners to announce your partnership as well as your campaigns.
Notify Visitors About Your Campaign
You can create a Capture to notify visitors that you are hosting a giveaway with your partner. Visitors can then click on the banner and be redirected to your campaign:
Let's say your giveaway campaign is only limited to audiences from a certain country, you can set your Capture to only show for users in that country using the Country rule:
Once your Gleam campaign is set up and ready to go, it's time to promote it. When you promote your partner campaign there are a few key things to keep in mind:
- You and everyone you partner up with should play an active role in promoting the campaign. This is the best way to ensure you gain exposure from a diverse and relevant audience.
- You need to consistently promote your campaign. This includes announcing it across multiple channels and posting reminders to give followers who may not have entered yet a nudge in the right direction.
- Use a variety of different promotional methods. If you want to encourage participation from a large audience you will need to promote your campaign across a multitude of platforms.
To help you get an idea of how you can promote your joint campaign across various channels we'll take you through a few effective tactics.
Promote on Social Media
When it comes to promoting a contest or giveaway there many not be another tactic as effective as social media marketing. Promoting your campaign across social media allows you to reach a huge audience, encourage peer-to-peer sharing easily cross-promote the campaign with partners through tags and reposts.
Instagram is highly visual-centric so you can bring your campaigns to life by creating colourful, eye-catching visuals focused on your prize bundle.
Since the Instagram album feature allows you to upload up to 10 photos in one post, you can use it to describe your campaign in full-depth, like Bellroy did in the example below.
Facebook is another platform which is very well suited for promoting your campaigns. One of the main upsides of using Facebook to promote your campaign is you can easily direct users to your campaign from within the post, which makes converting your audience into participants a breeze.
Twitter is also great for reaching your audience and promoting your campaign. You can also retweet your partner's posts and get them to the same, helping each of you gain exposure from a wider audience.
If you want to use Twitter to promote your campaign it's a good move to include a Retweet action in your campaign. You can use this action to encourage users to share a post promoting your campaign which will increase entries and help you gain exposure to a wider pool of relevant users.
Pinterest pins are known to have a much longer half-life compared to the likes of Twitter, Instagram or Facebook post. If your campaign runs on for more than a month, use this to your advantage and make sure Pinterest knows about your campaign.
Since the platform is built perfectly for visual discoveries, make sure your pins are eye-catching and the image dimensions matches Pinterest's guidelines to maximise your exposure.
Send Out Promotional Emails
When you run a contest or giveaway you need to ensure that you're announcing it to all of your followers. This includes your social media following as well as all those who have signed up to your mailing list.
Sending out promotional emails is a terrific way to announce your campaign and drive action from those who have already showed a keen interest in your brand.
Promote Your Campaign With A Blog Post
Writing up a blog post about your campaign is a great way to drive action from readers and website visitors. One of our customers, Jane.com have had great success using this strategy.
Learn More About Contest Promotion
Check out our in depth guide for all the information you need on promoting your giveaway.Learn More
Once your campaign is over, it's time to analyse campaign outcomes and determine if the joint campaign was a success. At this stage, it's important that all partners have access to campaign outcomes such as statistics and any data collected during the campaign. This can be useful for figuring out what did and didn't work which will greatly help your future endeavours.
View Campaign Performance With Gleam Reporting
Gleam comes with built-in analytics so you can keep track of how well your Competition or Reward campaigns are performing. You can cross-reference this with your shared marketing calendar to see whose audience responded better to the campaign and which promotional efforts seemed to be most effective.
Sharing Metrics For Campaign Performance
Depending on the agreement, the party responsible for hosting the Gleam campaign is obligated to share any relevant campaign data with the other partner. This includes reporting from Gleam as well as analytics data from relevant platforms.
Furthermore, if you had agreed to share the mailing list then the list of contacts should be sent to the other party too.
Once your campaign is over you will have a heightened level of attention and a freshly expanded audience. It's important that you make the effort to continue to engage these new users to keep their attention and drive further action.
In order to do this you should be regularly sending out promotional emails, engaging in social media activity running follow-up campaigns.
Announce Winners And Offer A Consolation Prize
The winner's announcement is the perfect opportunity for you to reach out to all your new members. As the announcement email will usually have a much higher open rate, you should use this to your advantage to try to drive further action.
Whoever said winner takes it all has never run a giveaway - make this announcement an opportunity for yourself to drive more sales by offering discount codes for all your campaign participants. This will not only help you increase sales, but also give participants a good reason to stay tuned for your next campaign.
Follow Up With Another Campaign
If running a partner campaign worked for you once chances are it will work for you again. You can take advantage of your existing partner relationships to run more campaigns or reach out to new brands with a partnership opportunity to reach entirely new audiences. Whichever approach you decide to take, running regular contests and giveaways is an outstanding way to continuously grow your audience, promote your brand and drive action.