How Co-Branding Can be a Publisher’s Next Revenue Stream

Co-branding, defined as the strategic advertising partnership between brands, isn’t new—think Taco Bell and Doritos. To the outside world, co-branding is nothing more than a strategic alliance between brands with shared audiences. For publishers, however, co-branding can be so much more, including a new revenue stream. 

Why? Brand equity and shared audiences.  

Think about it: How many people follow you or your clients’ Facebook Page or YouTube channel? Whenever you post organic content to those sites, thousands—maybe millions—of people see and engage with it. And the best part? These are opted-in experiences, which means that people chose you. You have an established audience who’s exhibited clear interest and intent. Don’t you think a similar brand with a connection to the same target audience would want to reach them, too? In many cases, these brands will pay to ride your coattails. 

Imagine yourself as The Wall Street Journal. Traditionally, you’ve sold ads via traditional means—think Rolex buying a full-page ad in your Sunday edition. Why did Rolex do that? Because they share an audience and want to reach the millions of people who read the newspaper. Decades ago, it was their way to tap into a tried-and-true demographic. Today, that principle applies to the digital world just as much, if not more. While not as many people are reading the newspaper, millions of people follow The Wall Street Journal on Facebook and Instagram, for example. Reaching this audience is just as valuable to the modern advertisers as reaching the savvy businessperson reading the newspaper fifty years ago. 

As a publisher, why couldn’t you sell this inventory the same way you sold print ads? You can by selling media packages that span both traditional and digital, e.g., TV, print, Facebook, and Instagram, for example. For the company riding your wave of success, they get the old-school reach they want with the digital performance they need to survive—and you get net-new revenue that may have stopped as traditional advertising faded. It’s a win-win.

Great, so you’re selling media packages to like-minded advertisers. Now it’s time to scale. Here’s where a well-considered paid promotion strategy comes into play—you’ll never deliver the business impact to your co-branding partners you could without a healthy blend of advertising and organic reach. 

By the time your widespread appeal has attracted many advertising partners, you’ll be launching dozens, maybe hundreds of campaigns with different goals and objectives. Now things get really complicated. How can you thoughtfully deliver on your promises to the outside advertisers you’re working with without burning out your media team? The revenue you’re trying to create could even be at risk. You need expertise and technology that’s done it before. Enter Brand Networks. We have unique technology designed just to do this. And expertise to make it happen flawlessly, every time.


Winning in the business world is all about evolution. That’s why The Wall Street Journal, world-renowned for its printed newspaper, latched onto digital—and their global following, well, followed. So, just like you opened your newspaper decades ago to outside advertisers, open your digital doors to the same ones. Who’s to say Rolex still doesn’t want to reach them, too?