Marketing a small business can be challenging. Most small business owners are already deeply involved and committed to the other tasks of their business management, focusing energy, effort, and money on everything from hiring, customer development, business account management, scouting software solutions, researching trends and reading market research, and even sometimes physical upkeep and maintenance of the workspace.
Still, marketing remains a high priority. It’s impossible to do everything in marketing effectively, especially at a small business. It’s important, then, to focus on the things that a business does well and the areas that make the most difference for a small business. Use cross promotion to grow your marketing.
How cross promotion can increase your brand awareness
Enter cross promotion. Cross promotion helps you expand the reach of your marketing effort by partnering with another brand or business and engaging with their audience to market your business. An effective cross promotion partnership can help boost the business for both companies. Here are some cross promotion ideas that can benefit your small business.
Co-brand an event
A great example of a cross promotion even is when a mortgage company, real estate brokerage, and moving company host a local event for homeowners and potential buyers. Some real estate agents will throw in a free move for clients who buy their home with them. This benefits all businesses involved because it provides ready-made solutions for all facets of a homeowners needs and takes some of the work out of it for clients.
Join forces (and mailing lists)
Chances are that both you and your partner business have mailing and email lists that are used to promote products, services, and specials. Consider joining mailing lists to announce a new product partnership or to promote a joint venture. An office furniture, for instance, might become the preferred office furniture vendor for a company with a number of locations and send out an email announcing that brand partnership to all their employees – in this case, the furniture brand gets more exposure and increased orders, where the employees and company get a discount on product.
Co-produce a special edition
A brewery that has a new winter stout might consider partnering with a local coffee shop or roastery to use their coffee to create their new beer. The joint-venture beer can be announced at both locations, promoting the beer to coffee drinkers and the coffee to regulars at that brewery.
Run a joint entity contest
Vacation goers need a lot of things – luggage, a place to stay, meals to enjoy, activities to engage in, flights to take. Smart travel-oriented businesses will capitalize on this and engage with customers by offering a prize for engaging with all relevant brands sponsoring the contest. For instance, if an airline, luggage company, hotel, and restaurant all want to promote their products and services, they might combine email lists and blast customers with an offer for a free flight, stay, meals, and travel cases to a lucky winner. All the recipient would need to do is follow each brand on social media and enroll in their email newsletter. This is a win-win – a customer has the potential to win a vacation and the brands each get a new contact to engage with through email and social media marketing.
Your small business can get a huge boost if you cross promote with the right partner. Make sure you identify the brands and businesses that may have similar interests and similar, but not identical, audiences. You want to make sure you’re making it easy for customers to understand the connection between two brands and why if they care about and use on brand, they should care about and use the other.