Join Forces and Start Cross-Promoting Now

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shake handsCross-promotion happens when you join forces with another company to market your products and services to a shared audience.  Effective cross-promotion can boost the return on a business’s marketing efforts while giving small companies with limited budgets a chance to pool their efforts and compete with the bigger players in their market.

The Benefits of Cross-Promotion

There are many reasons why cross-promotion can be beneficial, including:

  • You increase your credibility – When you team up with another company, they are putting their weight behind the products and services you are trying to sell when they advertise your company to their network (as you do with their products and services). Because they are respected and valued by their customer base, your offering will garner added interest and consideration, too.
  • You expand your reach – Cross-promotion enables you to reach a new and highly desirable audience quicker and more effectively than you’d be able to on your own.
  • You spend less and get more – When you partner with another company for cross-promotion, you are combining your marketing efforts and budgets to reach both audiences. You’re effectively spending half the amount for double the impact.
  • You offer more to your clients – When you cross-promote a partner company, you have the ability to share a product, service or resource that is valuable to your clients.

Determining if Cross-Promotion Makes Sense

Every business won’t be a perfect cross-promotion partner for your company. Consider these questions to determine if a cross-promotional relationship makes sense.

  • Do you have a shared audience? While you will want to market to a new audience, there should be common characteristics among both yours and your cross-promotional partner’s target groups.
  • Are you different from your partnering company? The most successful cross-promotion relationships allow you to provide a new value to your clients, something they don’t currently get from your company. You want to join forces with a business that enhances what you offer and doesn’t compete with you.
  • What’s the level of trust? If you don’t buy into what your potential partner is selling, you can’t expect your network to either. The relationship has to be based on mutual respect and belief in the product or service being sold.

Ways to Cross-Promote

Once you’ve found and linked up with a complementary company for cross-promotion, you’ll need to devise a plan for marketing your products and services. Some possibilities include:

  • Combining your efforts in a direct mail campaign by offering discounts or promotions for each company.
  • Holding a contest that awards a combination of products/services.
  • Highlighting each other in your email newsletters.
  • Promoting the other company to your network on social media outlets.
  • Writing guest posts (with bios) for each other’s company blogs.
  • Developing a free downloadable product that will promote the services of each company.
  • Creating a referral program to encourage shared business.
  • Co-sponsoring a free teleconference or webinar and marketing it to both networks.

Cross-promotion has the power to inject new life into your marketing activities, while providing a chance for you to collaborate and learn from another successful company. And if done well, you can also offer your own clients something that will make their businesses better, and your relationship with them stronger.

Do you cross-promote? What type of activities do you do?

Image credit: Henkster

Alyssa GregoryAlyssa Gregory
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Alyssa Gregory is a digital and content marketer, small business consultant, and the founder of the Small Business Bonfire — a social, educational and collaborative community for entrepreneurs.

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