Part I of this series addressed starting partnerships with other businesses in your area, particularly with non-competing brands. This installment will address how to promote that partnership effectively to the benefit of all partners in your network.
Co-Publish a Newsletter
Sharing business contacts and marketing to a joint customer base is a good start, but there are better ways to promote both businesses. Publishing a joint email newsletter or circular is a great way to start co-marketing efforts. The content should target your shared audience and contain original informational content. Link it to an active blog on your and your partner’s websites to increase web traffic. Your newsletter doesn’t just have to be all business. You can also publish interesting information that is related to both businesses but not directly related to your products and services, too.
Use Social Media to Cross-Promote
The social media presence of all of the partners presents a golden opportunity to increase followers, increase visibility and convert followers into new customers for every partner involved.
Before you start sharing, liking and linking to every piece of content from your partners’ social media pages, be aware that cross-promoting on social media encompasses more than simply mass sharing and reposting. It is vitally important to craft your content to reach each particular audience, otherwise visitors may just block or choose to not see posts from you in the future.
Work together with your partner network to get an idea of their average followers’ demographic information, and then see if their analytics combined with yours can help both of you tailor your messages appropriately to reach potential customers.
Come Together For a Good Cause
Co-sponsoring an event for charity is an excellent way to increase visibility and garner positive media buzz. Not only does it expose your partners’ existing customer base to your products and services, but your customers are being exposed to theirs simultaneously.
For example, you can donate money to support a local little league team or a fundraiser for cancer research. In exchange for your providing funds to cover costs, the organization will list you as a partner, promote your business as being a supporter of their cause and advertise for you at community events. It is one of the easiest ways to make the partnership work for both of you and spread around the cost of sponsorship fees.
Plan Cross-Specials That Run Concurrently
Post-sale specials like coupons or special discounts when you shop at a partner location are common. You can take this idea a step further and run cross-specials with your partner companies.
For example, a restaurant can run a special entry-based contest on its website or via its online ordering system that gives customers a chance to win a prize like a discount, free product or anything else a partner business is willing to give away.
Likewise, your partner can offer discounts to customers who come in with receipts showing their contest entry. Winners are going to tell their friends and family about their good fortune, promoting both businesses via word-of-mouth in the process. No matter how you look at it, this is a win-win scenario.
Reach Out to Influencers
This area is one in which restaurants can particularly shine, especially when other marketing efforts by a partner business fall short. For example, you can provide the food for a catered event, such as an open house hosted by a partner real estate agency and simultaneously run a contest that promotes a new drink or signature appetizer. You promote the contest and the open house online. Customers can come into your restaurant to sample the contest choices, but they can only vote by visiting the open house. You can offer the contest-winning dish for free with a food purchase. The restaurant gains revenue from the catering order and people coming in to claim their free item and the real estate company gets attendees for the open house. It is truly a win-win situation.
Bounce these ideas off your partner or partner network. Collect ideas for other cross-promotions and brainstorm together. Through collaboration, you and your partners can develop unique ideas to make your partnership as profitable as it is beneficial to your customers. Once you get into the swing of it, you will find that effective cross-promotion becomes easier and your customer base grows larger.