Skyword’s homepage headline reads, “Greetings from the intersection of Story and Science.” Ceros’ daily business operations are fueled by art and science. It seemed written in the stars that our two companies would one day work together as partners—but the story isn’t quite so simple.
Part 1: Courtship
Ceros first caught Skyword’s eye in early 2015.
“We saw Ceros produce a piece with another company in our space, and we were super jealous,” says Ted Karczewski, Content Marketing Manager at Skyword. “Since our marketing budget was already at full capacity, we didn’t think interactivity was possible for our program. A year later, we learned that Ceros had a content partnership program.”
All that changed at Conductor’s C3 Conference in New York CIty. Keegan Vance Forte, Ceros’ Director of Marketing & Business Development, spent a lot of the event chatting with Ruben Sanchez, Skyword’s Director of Marketing. From their talks, Keegan and Ruben realized that they had very similar marketing goals. Upon returning to the office, Ted was brought in to kickstart the partnership conversation.
Part 2: Partnership
“When I first started talking to Keegan about working together, I didn’t know what to expect,” says Ted. “I knew what Ceros’ tech could do, but after doing research, I didn’t have much of an expectation that we would be able to work with their team to build interactive content for free. The second I understood that Ceros was offering to create mutually beneficial content for our programs, I thought: ‘This could have a big impact on our audience.’”
For a first project, the teams decided to do a four-part interactive article swap on the topic of interactive storytelling. From the beginning, the Skyword team was very impressed with the partnership process at Ceros.
“Working with Ceros was great. Everything was very organized. It felt like we were true partners working for different organizations. This was very different from other co-marketing programs, where your companies have competing goals and partners don’t want to give too much away,” says Ted.
In addition to the process, Ted was thrilled to work with like-minded content creators.
“We didn’t want to create the same stuff on the same topics as everyone else in the industry. Lots of people who think they’re experts in content marketing aren’t really pushing the industry forward. We’re always looking for partners like Ceros who see the brighter side of what content marketing can be so we can push the envelope together. That’s what will make our community powerful.”
Part 3: Results
The original partnership goals were to drive brand exposure across each other’s audiences, generate new subscribers for both programs, and drive strong engagement to all four pieces in the series.
- 5000+ unique visits
- 2.5 minute average view time
- 7% CTA clickthrough rate
While all of those goals were met, the partnership also had an unanticipated benefit for Skyword’s sales team.
“I didn’t realize it at the time, but our marketing partnership with Ceros was simultaneously being used as a sales tool with clients on our side,” says Ted. “Because of the quality of the content, we were able to use our partnership to generate new business with one of our existing clients. I didn’t expect that to come out of a partnership—it certainly hasn’t happened with most co-marketing programs we’ve done.”
In 2016, Skyword plans to create other partnership pieces with Ceros.
“This year, we’re eager to push the boundaries of the platform even further to see what’s possible. We’re excited to explore the next wave of interactive storytelling with Ceros,” says Ted.
“We’re excited to explore the next wave of interactive storytelling with Ceros.”Ted Karczewski, Content Marketing Manager at Skyword