Cross-promotion is a great marketing tactic to use, especially for startups and small and medium enterprises.
Why? Cross-promotion is exceptionally cost-effective (most of the times, it’s free!), and it can help you achieve great results.
Now, I’m not going to lie: cross-promotion isn’t the first technique you think of when launching your marketing operations.
Take influencer marketing, for example.
Image from MediaKix.com.
Influencer marketing is huge, and it’s still experiencing crazy growth.
Given that Instagram marketing (which is just a subset of influencer marketing!) has now become a billion dollar industry, it’s safe to say that just about every other brand has experimented with getting influencers to promote their products (or is thinking of doing so!)
That having been said, why would you pay an influencer anywhere for $50 to $5000 to promote your product, when you can get the same exposure, for less cost, faster and with more insurance in term of ROI?
That’s where cross-promotion comes in!
What is cross-promotion?
In a nutshell, cross-promotion refers to a situation in which two brands work together to promote each other’s products or services to their own audiences.
This can be done through various methods, such as shoutouts on social media, email newsletters, website banners… the sky’s the limit!
You can also utilize cross-promotion campaigns to achieve various objectives.
For example, if you want to increase brand awareness, you might want to use this campaign to showcase your brand story. You have the option to partner with several other businesses, cross-promote each other and increase your product awareness among a huge audience.
Alternatively, if you want to drive sales, provide your partner with a promo code – this will incentivize his or her audience to convert on your website, and also allow you to track the number of transactions (and revenue generated!) from your campaign. That’s just an example, because, of course, there are many ways, depending on your business, to drive sales through cross-marketing operations. Your creativity’s the limit.
Which partner should you work with to cross-promote your products?
The first thing to consider when looking for cross-promotion partners is whether the two brands are aligned in terms of their vision, and values.
Let’s say your company’s goal is to empower women. Obviously, it wouldn’t make much sense for you to partner with Axe, a brand which is known for their sexist ad campaigns and messaging.
On top of that, do also think about whether you have similar target audiences.
This is fairly straightforward: if your company sells women’s clothing, you’ll want to work with other companies which also cater to women.
Last but not least, both companies need to be reasonably matched up in terms of the amount of exposure they can offer to each other. In any case, both have to find an interest: a young startup can bring dynamism and relifting to old brands while the old brand can provide the startup with credibility and potential clients. Both interests are aligned.
Always think in term of aligned interests when looking for a cross-marketing partner.
Pro Tip: What if you don’t have a large subscriber base, but you still want to work with larger brands?
In this case, consider offering more promotion opportunities on your end – for example, the other company might just do a single email blast to their 20,000 subscribers, but you can do an email blast, plus additional social media shoutouts as well.
Advantages of cross-promotion
In this section, I’ll explain some of the benefits that you get with cross-promotion. Let’s jump in!
Cross-promotion is quick to implement
If you’re trying to work on your SEO, the results will take at least 6 months to show.
If you’re engaging an influencer (a legitimate one, through a proper agency!), there’s a lot of back and forth as well, and it’ll probably take one to two months to get a single sponsored post out.
Cross-promotion, on the other hand, can be a lot quicker to implement.
All you have to do is to decide on the specifics of the campaign (each brand’s deliverables, as well as the posting date), and you’re good to go.
If you don’t have an in-house designer and you’re outsourcing your artwork for the campaign, you might need 3-5 days of buffer time, and the entire process might take about a week.
If not, assuming that both brands are on board and can work on the campaign without any major red tape, you can literally push out your cross-promotion within a matter of days!
Cross-promotion is typically free or, at least, cost neutral
Have a highly limited marketing budget that you’re working with?
You’ll love cross-promotion campaigns, because you’re essentially marketing with no risk, especially in term of cost.
Because cross-promotion marketing is a win-win strategy that benefits both your brand and your partner brand, this is typically done on a pro bono basis.
With cross-promotion, you can get your brand in front of tens of thousands of eyeballs, without having your pockets drained.
Cross-promotion can help your brand be seen as more prestigious
If you can set up a cross-promotion campaign with a reputable brand, and get your company associated with that brand, you’ll have struck jackpot.
Why? This will help your brand seem more trustworthy and legitimate; after all, if such a reputable company is collaborating on a campaign with you, it’s akin to them giving you a stamp of approval.
Cross-promotion can help your other marketing campaigns
Let’s say your current Facebook ads campaign has a 5% clickthrough rate, and a $10 cost per conversion.
If you play your cards right, you might just be able to use your cross-promotion efforts to push down your cost per conversion, and increase your overall number of conversions.
How do you do this? By running remarketing ads, and reaching out to the shoppers who visited your website from your cross-promotion efforts, but didn’t buy anything.
According to statistics, remarketing ads lead to a 147% higher conversion rate. Sweet.
Final words on cross-promotion
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to expose your brand to a previously untapped audience, cross-promotion is the way to go.
As with everything else, the key to success is to evaluate your results, so that you can subsequently fine-tune your campaigns.
Maybe you’ll realize that email campaigns are better at driving sales – or maybe Instagram posts are more effective for you. You won’t know unless you test these out, and measure the results.
With Bridget, finding suitable partners to work with on cross-promotion campaigns will be a breeze. Sign up for your free trial here!