Brand Publishing

January 28th, 2014

Content Partnerships Fuel Startup Growth

Content marketers go out of their way to build their social media channels based on an idealized perception of their brand. Given the internet’s voracious demand for that content, however, brand managers are stuck with a quandary — and a need — to fuel a conversation where there wasn’t one before. Creating original content is ideal, but what do you do when you’re just starting out and don’t have much original content at your disposal?

Naama Bloom founded HelloFlo, a startup that sends feminine hygiene kits to women all over the country. She hasn’t staffed much of a content team, not yet, but she still needs to leverage content to grow her booming business. As a result, she’s built relationships with likeminded brands to share each other’s content and messaging.

“We’re a company that is very focused on the women and health spaces,” Bloom said. “We choose brands and organizations that align with our goals — widespread menstruation education and the destigmatization of women’s health taboo. Often, these brands are media properties or non-profits. It’s not uncommon for HelloFlo to promote content created by these other brands, and vice versa. It not only creates lasting partnerships, but also visibility and shared traffic.”

It’s not uncommon for HelloFlo to promote content created by these other brands, and vice versa. It not only creates lasting partnerships, but also visibility and shared traffic.

Chris Cassidy, principal at Hustle Labs, says he encouraged his client, EARN, to pursue a similar strategy when engaging its target audience: low-income families learning to save money.

“Aggregating content related to issues they’re passionate about serves two purposes,” writes Cassidy. “EARN shares content relevant to the lives of the folks they serve while building amazing search engine results because of the sizable social media community they’ve built.”

“EARN doesn’t have a huge budget to pour into content creation,” added Cassidy. “Working with that reality, they’ve used social in a way that celebrates content-producers focused on poverty, personal finance and hope, sharing that valuable content with Savers, and elevating their own profile in the process.”

Splash founder Ben Hindman says using a curated, outgoing social strategy has helped to build his business by leaps and bounds. “We’re always looking to tout and tag event-industry titans, sharing content our users will find helpful and entertaining,” he said. “By doing so in a thoughtful way, we’ve been able to forge strategic synergies, some which have paid dividends beyond the social universe.”

And sometimes, those relationships between upstart organizations and industry titans lead to extraordinary content. Just take a look at the partnership between 10×10, a global action campaign that seeks to educate and empower girls around the world, and Intel, who partnered together to create “Girl Rising,” a film “directed by Academy Award nominee Richard Robbins, which tells the stories of 9 extraordinary girls from 9 countries, written by 9 celebrated writers and narrated by 9 renowned actresses. ”

“When the film debuted on CNN in June,” writes Suzanne Fallender, director of Intel’s Global Girls & Women Initiative,“Intel used the opportunity to build an authentic relationship between the company and television viewers to support conversations in social media and the production of new action tools.”

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