7 Ways to Build Partnerships with Other Food Brands and Influencers

Digital marketing isn’t all about tools, platforms, data and analytics – although that’s a big part of it. Digital marketing is all about getting the right message in front of the right people.

Building partnerships with other brands in your field is a great way to build your network and influence. Moreover, it’s a genius hack for getting in front of a new audience that’s similar to yours.

Are you looking for creative ways to reach a group of people who would LOVE your product? Not sure where to find them? Build partnerships. If you can find the right proposition with a win-win for both parties, you’ll both benefit. Your partners will be grateful which puts you in an even better light!

Here’s seven different ways for building creative partnerships with other food brands and influencers to get your creative juices flowing. We’ve ranked them from simplest to most complex. Here’s the list:

  1. Partner for Content Swaps
  2. Suggest a Guest Post
  3. Collaborate on Promotions and Prize Draws
  4. Social Media Share for Share
  5. Social Media Takeover
  6. Partner for a Podcast or Video Interview
  7. Host an Event, Talk or Webinar with Partners

build partnershipsPartner for Content Swaps

Content marketing is a digital marketing trend set to continue. But producing content on a consistent basis can be challenging and time consuming. Why not partner with a similar brand and swap a blog post or a recipe or two? You can post their content on your site with a link back to them. They can post one of your pieces on their website with a link back to you.

Content swaps are a great, low effort way for you to put your content in front of a new audience. Since this is a swap there’s a clear win-win. Both parties exchange something similar for equal benefit.

Suggest a Guest Post

In a similar vein to content swaps, you could suggest guest posting to a potential partner. If you have a popular brand blog with all sorts of delicious, foodie content, your partner may be keen to publish something of their own on it. This gives you a piece of free content (win) and gives them some new exposure (win).

If you don’t have a blog but your potential partner does, you could suggest the same thing in reverse. You could offer to write something for them to publish on their website.

When writing (or accepting) guest posts, it’s very important to make sure the content is valuable to the audience consuming it. Guest posts that are overly self-promotional or poorly written aren’t going to do anyone any favours.

There’s a great example of a guest post on Eco & Beyond from baby food brand, Bellota Baby. Jade, the co-founder of Bellota, approached Eco & Beyond and offered to write something relevant and interesting for our audience of millennial mums. The article is valuable in its own right and the only mention of Jade’s brand is in the first paragraph which states this is a guest post.

Collaborate on Promotions and Prize Draws

What do consumers love best? Free stuff. What do they love second best? Discounted stuff. Partnering with brands with a similar target audience to yours is a great way to get your product in front of a new audience.

There are loads of ways to run promotions, prize draws and contests and we’ll be writing about a number of them in future articles.

You can get quite high-tech with running sales promotions on your website or you can keep it simple with a social media giveaway.

You can run these yourself without involving any third parties. But working with a partner to run a contest means you can reach more people. If you both contribute to the prize on offer, you’re also making the contest more appealing to entrants by offering a more valuable prize. Hampers packed with foodie treats work really well.

You Scratch My Back, I’ll Scratch Yours: Social Share for Share

When done right, social media is a great tool for building and engaging with your community.

To grow your following organically you have to post the right content at the right time and keep doing it consistently. This is challenging. There’s no magic bullet to catapult you to 1 million followers, fans or subscribers.

However, you could partner with other brands or influencers in a mutually-beneficial way. You can offer to share someone else’s content if they’ll return the favour. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.

This sounds a bit childish – the kind of partnership that would be made in a school playground. But why not? It works. In this case, you need to target partners that have a similar sized following to yours. If you have a few hundred followers and you ask a user with a few thousand followers to share your stuff you probably won’t get a response. But give it a go, what’s the worst that can happen?

Feeling Brave? Try a Social Media Takeover

Sticking with the social media theme, you could try a social media takeover. This is a little more complex and a little more risky because it’s exactly what it sounds like. You hand over the reigns of your social media account to someone else for a period of time. Yikes!

I’ve seen these kind of partnerships work well for bigger brands partnering with influencers. In this case, a big brand – that has a lot of clout but a small social media following – partners with an influential individual who has a very large following.

Influencers are looking to align themselves with products and causes that resonate with them and increase their influence and connection with their followers. Brands are looking for relevant influencers to help them reach wider and deeper.

This isn’t something I have experience of testing so I can’t comment on how or why it works in too much detail. The idea of letting someone loose on your social media channels sounds quite risky. If you want to experiment with this advanced tactic, I’d definitely get more advice from those who’ve done it before. I imagine social takeovers have the potential to go incredibly well or fail catastrophically.

Partner for a Podcast or Video Interview

Partnering for a podcast or video interview is a double-whammy of win-win.

When you collaborate on an interview you create engaging, rich media content that you can distribute across your channels. You also benefit from the power of social sharing.

Whether you are the interviewer or the interviewee, both parties will want to spread the word about what was discussed. This gets you in front of two audiences for the price of one piece of collaborative content. It’s worked wonders for me as a host on The FoodTalk Show and I’ve seen it work equally well for guests and hosts of other shows – both audio and video.

Host an Event, Talk or Webinar with Partners

If you’re a cause-driven business that’s vocal about a particular issue, you might consider putting together an event. You can partner with other leaders and champions of your cause by asking them to speak.

In this scenario, you play the part of facilitator which makes you look good and builds authority. Win.

You bring together the community of people (potential customers and other partners) who care about these issues. Another win.

Your guests get to speak about their area of expertise in front of a captive audience. Win.

They get to do this without having to handle any logistics, paying for venue hire, catering, marketing or ticketing. That’s so many wins (for both sides) that I’ve lost count.

Running events – whether in person or online via a webinar – is a great way to bring people together. It can be a lot of work but it provides a lot of value and gives you content to use or repurpose in the future.

Building Successful Partnerships

So, there’s seven different ways for building partnerships with other businesses in your field. Of course these ideas would work for any business but the food industry is particularly well suited to partnerships.

Swapping recipes and curating hampers of delicious products is a great way to engage new and existing customers. Partnerships not only give you the chance to reach more consumers, they can help strengthen your professional network too. This can lead to all sorts of opportunities for the future.

Have you had success with building brand partnerships? Which of these ideas will you try next? Do you have any other suggestions for ways to collaborate?

We’d love to hear from you. Shoot us a tweet or drop us an email to [email protected].