What is cross-promotion?
With this form of marketing, you work with related businesses to promote each other’s products or services to your customers. The main criterion for effective cross-promotion is for the businesses to be related in some way so that their customers have similar needs.
Unlimited options for helping each other through cross-promotion
The potential ways to work together are almost limitless. Here we’ll examine a few ways you can boost your marketing on a limited budget.
Promote each other online and on your premises
Social media is a perfect way for small businesses to cross promote each other. For example, a commercial printing company can mention a web designer on its social media channels. Likewise, the web design business can create social media posts about their favourite printer. Since the businesses don’t compete with each other but have similar customers, it’s a perfect match for cross promotion.
You can also include a page on your website with links to recommended businesses that you trust and that have agreed to reciprocate by listing your business as well. For example, an automotive tyre shop can include other specialist providers – such as radiator, brake and panel repair – on its website.
Retail businesses can also promote each other by putting each other’s advertising material in shopping bags, displaying brochures at checkout areas or having register receipts with promotions from their cross-promotion partners.
Use postal communication to cross promote
If you send communication through the post, such as invoices or printed newsletters, you can include information from your cross promotion partners. Remember, that it should be a product or service that you think is relevant to your customers.
Service businesses helping each other
Cross promotion is especially applicable for service businesses, from trades to professional services. For example, a lawyer, financial planner, insurance broker and accountant could hold a joint seminar where they speak about risk minimisation and wealth creation. Each consultant speaking at the event will raise their credibility and find new clients.
Likewise, independent tradespeople can promote each other while on the job. For example, a painter, plumber, electrician, carpenter and plasterer can all keep each others’ business cards on hand. Homeowners getting renovations or repairs will often need more than one type of service, so it’s a perfect opportunity to promote each other.
Also, service providers can promote each other through online marketing. As mentioned before, each business can have a recommended businesses page on their website.
How to find and select your cross-promotion partners
The important part of cross-promotion is selecting the businesses and people you will work with. First, you will want to make sure they are relevant to your business and that they offer a complementary product or service. For example, a graphic designer won’t need a plumber on their team because it’s not a complementary business. A photographer and printer will be more appropriate because they offer complementary services. But if there is a crossover with a potential partner in what you offer, they might become a competitor so you will want to consider if the relationship will be work.
Second, you will want to make sure your cross-promotion partner reliably delivers quality products and services. If you end up recommending a person or business that is not reliable or doesn’t deliver quality, it will damage your reputation in the long run.
When choosing your cross-promotion partners, you will want to do your homework to make sure they can reliably deliver their products and services. Word travels fast, so you will probably know who you will want to be on your cross promotion team if you’ve been in business for a while. If you’re not sure, you can ask around and conduct online research. Look for online reviews of the potential cross promotion provider to see what people are saying about the business.
Keep the business flowing for successful cross-promotion
The key to success is to keep the business flowing between each other for mutual benefit. If one partner promotes others in the group but gets nothing in return, they will quickly lose interest. This doesn’t mean you need to keep score, but be aware that all group members need to get some benefit for cross-promotion to succeed in the long term.
If you need business finance for your cross-promotion marketing projects, use our Marketing ROI Calculator to estimate your return on investment.