Reciprocity is a key principle in business and marketing, but not many companies use it in a systematic, process-based approach. We strive to apply the reciprocity principle at scale in our marketing activities at Survey Anyplace, more specifically in our content marketing and our social media marketing. We are constantly looking for partners to join us: If you think this is beneficial for you, please carry on reading!
What is Reciprocal Marketing?
Reciprocal marketing includes every tactic in which two businesses promote each other’s products or content, gaining a mutual benefit. Other terms that are used to describe this are co-marketing, joint marketing or co-promotion.
We believe these guiding principles should be applied by all parties participating in any reciprocal marketing initiative:
Only promote if the quality standards are met. To have an idea of our content quality standards, check out our blog: this gives a good indication of the quality level that we expect. Any content that does not reach this level will not be promoted.
Only promote if there is a match with the target audience. Our primary target audience is digital marketers and a secondary target audience is HR professionals. We will not promote Nike Jerseys 😉
Give first, then try to achieve a balance between give and take. First, we try to give something valuable to the person or company we (want to) work with, such as a mention in an article, a social promotion or a free software subscription. In the long run, we work towards a mutually beneficial relationship with a balance between give and take.
No paid promotions. Everything is based on the give-and-take model. There are no fees to join our reciprocal marketing program nor are we going to pay for partnerships.
No contractual commitments. The model is based on mutual trust and it is implicitly assumed that you agree with the principles as described here.
Focus on developing relationships. Last but not least, we believe human relationships are more important than ever in an online world. While one-off marketing initiatives are possible, developing long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with other marketers is much more valuable in our opinion. By the way: everybody is welcome to have a coffee in our office in Antwerp! 😉
Reciprocal Content Marketing
According to Chartbeat, 92,000 articles are posted on the web every day. While we are strong believers of content marketing and its benefits, we think that it is mandatory for (small) businesses to join forces when it comes to content creation and content promotion.
To achieve exactly this, we created the closed Facebook Group ‘B2B Bloggers Boost Group’. You can find it here.
The members of this group are B2B Content Marketers who genuinely mention each other’s content in their articles.
People share the articles they are working on and others can suggest value-adding content to include and link to. An important principle is that the author of the article always has the final call: he decides whether or not to include a suggestion.
For more information about this group, check out the about page and the practical guidelines. The goal of the group is not to have the highest number of members, but rather focus on active participation and delivery of mutual benefits. If you are a B2B content marketer writing at least a few blog articles per month, we invite you to become a member of the group. Just click the ‘Join’ button on the group’s page!
Just in case you’re not yet convinced, here is a recent comment about the group from a new member 😉
Reciprocal Social Media Marketing
A study from BuzzSumo reveals that the median number of social shares per article has fallen from 8 in 2015 to 4 in 2017. This is due to a number of reasons, including the increase in content volume, algorithm changes and a rise in private sharing.
The traditional way to implement reciprocal social promotion is through an online community where members post their newly created content, asking the others to share or like it. However, in most communities we have seen, it is mandatory to promote the content of other members. This is not the way we want to practice reciprocal marketing (see also rule 1 about quality and rule 2 about relevance).
That is why we have created a no-obligation B2B content promotion group on LinkedIn. You can find it here.
The rules of the group are the following:
Members are not obliged to like/comment/share everything that is posted by the others. They should assess if the content is relevant to their audience, check for quality and then act accordingly.
The posts must be about B2B Content
There must be a balance between “give and take”: between posting yourself and engaging with other posts
No paid promotions
Only LinkedIn posts or articles will be promoted (no Twitter, Facebook,…)
High-quality content only: look at the other posts to have an idea of the quality level. If the quality level is too low, you will get a gentle message from the group administrator.