In this day and age, unless you have a product or service that is completely unique, it’s pretty certain that you’re going to have competition
. To get over that hurdle and stay thriving, all businesses need to follow the same kind of mantra – to offer something to their clients they can’t get elsewhere, albeit because of your good prices, one-of-a-kind offerings, or your fantastic service.
But, as excellent as your product or service may be, if you don’t promote yourself enough, how can you ever expect to get any real sales?
Welcome to the Digital Era
Being in the 21st century, and having a world so very technologically advanced, there are lots of different avenues in which to market your business and get your name well known, particularly through the internet. But, your advertising efforts shouldn’t stop there. Not if you truly want people to see you.
In addition to these organic marketing methods, there are a number of other things you can do to boost your sales and ultimately, increase revenue – one of which is via cross-promotion.
What is Cross-Promotion?
Cross-promotion is pretty much as it sounds. It’s the act of promoting products from other non-competing brands with similar audiences. To give you a better understanding, the following are some well-known examples of cross-promotions:
- Apple Watch Nike
When these two consumer giants joined forces to make a wearable device in 2015, sales went through the roof. Not only were Nike followers looking to invest in this amazing new smartwatch, but Apple fans also couldn’t get enough of this new-found technology.
By the end of the second fiscal quarter of 2015, more than 4.2 million Apple Watches had been sold. And as of the end of 2020, it’s estimated that as many as 100 million people own an Apple Watch.
- Whirlpool an Swash
Another pair of companies to reap the benefits of cross-promoting are Whirlpool and Swash. While the former is a manufacturer of home appliances, washing machines being a big part of that, Swash is a kind of laundry detergent. So, you can see why these guys teamed up.
But, this pair did it slightly differently to that of the Apple and Nike. Instead of collaborating to make a joint product, they simply promote each other’s product at the same time as their own. That’s why you’ll often see a Whirlpool washing machine in the background of a Swash advertisement. Or maybe a promo offer on Whirlpool’s site giving customers the opportunity to redeem a discounted bottle of Swash.
Benefits of Cross-Promotion
While the obvious main benefit of cross-promotion is to increase sales, the rewards don’t just stop there. Other benefits to be seen through cross-promotion include:
- Increased brand awareness
Regardless of whether people make a purchase or not, cross-promoting with another brand is going to get your name out there.
- Improved reputation
With more people seeing your brand, it will become more noticeable, more recognised. This in itself will give people an increased sense of trust.
- Lower advertising costs
Marketing your products via cross-promotion is very cost effective. Quite often this will be done at either a very good rate, or in simple exchange for the equal promotion of the corresponding product.
- Reach a wider audience
Cross-promoting allows you to reach consumers that may have never crossed your path otherwise. It makes them aware of the unknown and unconsciously plants a seed in the brain.
Steps Involved in Cross-Promoting
Once you’ve made the decision to get involved in cross-promoting, it’s time to start putting the wheels in motion. There are a few different steps you’ll need to take before launching any kind of cross-promotion, and here we’ll look at those in a little more detail:
1. Set Your Goals
Before you begin your quest to develop a successful cross-promotion, you should have a think about what it is exactly you want to achieve. Of course, you want to gain more exposure and increase sales, but you should set yourself some real-life targets in which to measure your performance against.
Another thing to consider here is what channels you want to promote yourself on. There are a lot of different social media platforms around today, but not all of them are suitable for every kind of audience. For example, if you’re selling a product aimed at people aged 55 and up, it’s unlikely you’ll gain much exposure via TikTok. So make sure you choose a channel(s) that will work for your product.
Email marketing is definitely a channel worth pursuing. More than 85% of marketers use this channel to promote their goods or services as it has some of the return on investment (ROI) figures for cross-promotion.
2. Finding Partners to Cross-Promote With
This is probably the most imperative step of them all, as no cross-promotion will work without a partner. And, because this is your livelihood and reputation on the line, you don’t just want any old partner, either. You need a company that is both compatible with what you have and shares similar values. The one thing you definitely don’t want is a brand that’s in direct competition with you and/or a completely different marketing agenda.
Another thing to keep in mind when choosing who to partner with is they need to have a good reputation with decent products. If you are going to promote their goods, you need to be confident of their quality. The reason for this is that any backlash they receive for a product you helped to promote, may affect your own sales and reputation.
3. Reach Out and Pitch Yourself
Once you’ve located some potential cross-promotion partners, it’s time to get in touch. Most people prefer dealing with emails initially as they can take a look at what you’re offering at their own leisure, taking time to digest it all. If they like what they see, they can easily send a reply via email.
When you send your initial email, proposing a cross-promotion partnership, make sure you introduce yourself and say where you found out about them or, if they’re already very well-known, something they did recently that impressed you. Mention your common ground and why you feel you could complement one another’s sales.
Don’t just stop at one email either. Make sure you send a follow up email or two. Very rarely do people respond the first time around. It could be that it came at a time they were really busy and didn’t read it, or it could be that they read it, loved it, but then filed it and forgot about it. Sending a follow up email will give them a second chance to see what you have to offer, or jog their memory from before.
Cross-promotions come in all kinds of forms. One type mentioned earlier was email. Here are a few others to have a think about:
- Promotional videos: This works well in the case of two complementary products such as clothes and jewelry as both can be showcased simultaneously in the video without either looking out of place.
- Influencer posts: Influencers can have a massive effect on their followers and are good at driving sales. It’s estimated that more than 55% of consumers are happy to try a product based on an influencer’s opinion alone.
- Contests: Running a contest is a great way of drawing in the masses as everyone loves a freebie. The rate of conversion from contests is around 34%. So, even if they don’t win there’s a good chance that at least a third will buy your product anyway.
- Podcasts: One of the latest and most popular marketing methods of the 21st century is through speaking on a podcast. It’s estimated that around 155 million people listen to podcasts on a regular basis. That’s a huge space in which to promote your brand. And what better way than to have an authoritative person big it up for you, live on air?
Cross-promotion can work wonders for a brand if used correctly. Not only does it boost brand awareness, it also helps to improve reputation, and ultimately, increase sales. Simply set your goals, be persistent, and follow a clear path. The rest is down to your brand.