cloud of words or tags related to blogging and blog design on a  digital tablet with cup of coffeeCollaboration appears to be taking hold in creative communities at the moment. It’s only a matter of time before it becomes a fully-blown trend. Best hop on that boat now before it gets too crowded.

The idea of brands collaborating on projects is not a new idea. The latest trend however, is for brands to collaborate on content. Which sounds like it could be pretty challenging despite the promise of mutual benefits.

A collaborative project of this nature will obviously work best if the two companies complement one another and are working towards the same goals. But the way in which online marketing is changing the way we present content offers the potential for two companies to merge campaigns.

Marketing changes

Traditional marketing involves crafting a brand message and delivering it to your audience through a certain media. The modern audience however, are typically passive towards advertising. They receive too many obvious ads.

The huge amount of content available on the internet has changed the mind set of consumers. They are no longer interested in merely hunting down a bargain, they want information, assurances and proven quality.

Content therefore has to be authentic and offer something of value to readers; not just an “offer of a lifetime.” Collaborative content helps brands push the boundaries and reach a wider audience, whilst at the same time increasing online creditability.

Combining brand messages

If you do enter into a collaborative project with another brand, the content has to be strong enough to appeal to both audiences, and fulfil the goals of both brands. Not always easy, but not impossible either.

Redbull recently teamed up with Playboy and featured a video of pro rider, Danny MacAskill performing tricks on his street bike at the Playboy Mansion. With all those play bunny’s hanging round in their bikini’s needless to say the gig went viral.

The video does not directly advertise either brand, but rather reinforces their brand messages; Redbull is all about action and adventure, whilst Playboy acknowledges a life of luxury.

Already the messages seem like a conflict in interest, yet the content still works well for audiences at opposite’s ends of the spectrum. It opens doors to new interests and ways of life people may not be familiar with.

So even without direct advertising from either brand, marketers were able to produce brand advertising that has been seen by almost 3million viewers.

Increased audience

Online businesses understand the need for content marketing to be an integral part of their SEO campaign. However, maintaining a blog and building an online profile comes at a cost.

When two brands that complement one another produce the same piece of content, you can reduce the cost of production and promotion whilst at the same time reaching a wider audience.

Although collaborative content presents many challenges, it also has the potential for huge rewards, not only from a brand perspective, but the wider message of building relationships that can be reinforced in the community.