Collaborative B2B Marketing Tiips

Collaborative video projects with other brands can be an incredibly valuable part of a B2B video marketing strategy. By combining forces, co-promotion allows both companies to reach new audiences that might not have been aware of their offerings before. It also enables you to connect your brand story to others, creating alliances and enriching the social value of your brand.

By working with a new team, you also benefit from an influx of fresh ideas, which can liven up your creative process and help you think outside the box. For all of these reasons, co-marketing has been on the rise in video trends to watch.

Naturally, all collaborations come with their challenges. In this post, we outline the most common pitfalls for co-promotional video campaigns, and highlight useful approaches for resolving them.

The Big Challenges

Compromising on the message.

This might be the biggest issue. It often causes the most headaches for marketing teams. Coming up with an effective co-promotional campaign message that sticks to both brands’ ethos and style.

How do you balance your key message with that of the other company in a single, unified video campaign? It’s usually not that simple. This problem gets to the heart of what marketing is about—you have to stay on message.

Solution

One approach is to make messaging the very first item you address as a combined team. Have both teams submit the key concepts they want to communicate about their brand or product. Then, set to work immediately on a combined messaging strategy before you do anything else. If you can’t create one, the collaboration isn’t going to be a success.

Within this process, you can sometimes solve disagreements by designating a number of secondary messages. While the primary key message will guide the narrative and production of the video, secondary concepts can be used in marketing around the video to promote it to different audience segments. For example, you can test messaging variations on social media posts.

Losing control of the production process.

If you’re used to having total control over your production processes, collaboration can be a bit of an adjustment. There will be conversations happening on the other team that you won’t be part of. You’ll also be working with people who you might not be comfortable disagreeing with openly. In short, it can feel like you’re losing control of the process.

Solution

To make sure that a lack of communication doesn’t cause tension or lead to misunderstandings, have key liaisons in place for the project. Be sure to choose people who are diplomatic communicators.

Your collaboration is ultimately about achieving the best product, not about keeping control of the process. Try to keep an open mind, and encourage your team to do so as well. Meanwhile, be prepared to politely, but firmly, disagree when necessary.

Someone on the other team drops the ball.

This is a very delicate situation. It can be awkward to address the issue head-on with the other team. On the other hand, it would be unfair to your own team to expect them to shoulder the extra burden in silence.

The problem stems from the fact that in a collaborative situation, everyone is theoretically on equal footing. This can create an environment where people are careful not to step on toes. When someone isn’t holding up their end of the bargain from the other team, it’s difficult to know how to get that message across.

Solution

Be prepared to tactfully remind people of deadlines and objectives if it becomes necessary, and make sure you bring your concerns to the right person. Keeping things civil is extremely important, as is making sure you can work together effectively.

The aim of collaborations often go beyond the project at hand. You’re building a relationship that will hopefully lead to other opportunities in the future. Being able to ask for what you need is an important part of working together successfully.

If the situation is so bad that the project is endangered, whether you want to work with this company in the future or not, one solution is to provide them with an easy exit. Let them know that if they don’t have the resources to finish right now, your team can finish it without them, no hard feelings. However, only credit them for the work they actually did; be fair to your own team when promoting the video.

Red Tape

For many people this can be the most frustrating aspect of any collaborative project—the seemingly endless stream of approvals needed, admin, double and triple run-throughs of final products, not to mention the time spent waiting for people every step of the way, until you can finally say, “We’re done!” While red tape is a necessary evil, you can curb it with some firmness and planning.

Solution

First, establish approval deadlines as early in the process as possible, and disseminate them to everyone repeatedly throughout the process. Weekly progress meetings are a great way to stay ahead of any issues that may arise and make sure everyone is on the same page. That way, nobody can ever say they were unaware of a deadline or problem.

Secondly, avoid unnecessary roadblocks by ensuring crystal clear communication across the board. Request read receipts for important emails, send calendar invites, and follow up if you think someone might have missed something. Finally, it might make sense to plan a 15% contingency period into your time frame to account for the inevitable delays you’ll have in production and admin.

In Conclusion

While there are some challenges, the rewards of co-promotional or collaborative video campaigns are generally well-worth the few hassles you might run into along the way. If there’s a challenge you’ve frequently faced in collaborative projects that you think we should add, tweet to us or leave a comment below!

Written by Laci Texter

SproutVideo blog contributor. You can follow her on Twitter and Google+.

Posted September 10, 2015

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