Cross Marketing for Online Businesses

Ever heard the saying, “Two hands are better than one”? It’s never truer than in the case of two companies partnering up to stretch their promotional dollars and reach. Even the most time-pressed organizations can generate more leads and gain additional customers with little effort through creative cross-marketing campaigns. These campaigns can include joint PR appearances, bundled offers, and untraditional cause-related campaigns. They might also include co-op branding, collaboratively recorded webinars, and shared brochures.

Why Is Cross-Marketing Important?

Cross marketing takes place when two or more companies work together for accomplishing a common goal. An example of a basic cross-marketing technique would be trading flyers, signage, or other collateral with a firm – you would do the marketing of another company’s services and products through your website, social channels, etc. and the other company will reciprocate the favor.

And though the concept seems simple, discovering the right partner can be a long and challenging process. The best cross-marketing partner will be a company that’s targeting a demographic similar to yours while listing a complimentary service or item. It’s also vital that they have a good reputation and one that is credible. You’ll be more successful at cross-marketing when you work with somebody who is already popular among audiences and in industry circles.  

The vast assortment of marketing channels mean that your target audience can be present anywhere – and you need to get your message to where they are. As the number of potential engagement channels increases even further (and it’s a safe bet they will), implementing cross-marketing campaigns will be essential to reaching relevant audiences.

Cross-marketing Campaign Ideas

Now that you understand how cross-marketing works, feel free to execute any of these campaign ideas.

  • Host A Joint Event

Co-hosting an event is one of the most successful cross-marketing technique as well as a great way to get familiar with your partner on a whole new level. You’ll learn about their organizational resources and talents. On top of that, you can expect to gain much insightful feedback from the attendees which can play a role in shaping your venture’s future.

If you’re looking for an example, the C3 conference arranged by NY-based marketing platform vendor Conductor was organized in conjunction with its ecosystem partners, namely Acronym and NewsCred. The primary host not only showcased its recent corporate developments but also highlighted its ecosystem during the event.

  • Co-host A Webinar

For cross-marketing, you don’t need to limit yourself to traditional tactics like micro-conferences and networking events. You can incorporate online marketing as well. For example, webinars created with your suppliers/business partners/neighborhood businesses are also ideal for SaaS companies and small businesses alike. You can find many of such webinars on Facebook.

For instance, the Kissmetrics’ Facebook channel often co-hosts webinars with its marketing and technology partners, where thought leaders from both companies sit down and talk about the latest developments in the analytics’ industry. As you may be able to figure out the primary goal, making sales isn’t the motive for co-produced webinars. Providing value for both companies’ audiences is far more critical for these sort of webinars.

  • Arrange A Contest

There’s no limit when it comes to leveraging one another’s strengths in producing amazing campaigns. That’s where a contest could be a great way to collaborate and reach new audiences. Two or more businesses can pool their resources for a gift/prize and set up a landing page so people can enter via subscription, social login, or another similar route. Each company can then promote the contest to its email list, blog visitors, and offline customer base.

The kind of promotion you go with will depend on your target market and industry. It could be social network posts, newsletter marketing or word of mouth referrals. Alternatively, you can give out custom leaflets to each others’ audiences with content rules printed on them. Whatever route you take when it comes to promoting the contest, it needs to be aligned with your style of doing things as well as your audience.

  • Create a Joint Survey

It may seem conventional at first, but setting up a customer survey and then doing an enticing analysis piece you can repurpose for cross-marketing, is a brilliant idea. The process doesn’t have to be complicated or daunting, and tools like Survey Monkey and Typeform can be used to make things easy in the later stages of the process.

The results can then be converted into an infographic, published as a data-driven blog post or sent out in a newsletter. When it comes to presenting the data collected with a survey, the sky is the limit. Completing the survey by reaching the intended number of respondents and getting them to fill out the e-form will also be more comfortable when there’s another company (the partner) reaching people out for the purpose.

A Word Oon Picking a Cross-Marketing Partner

Don’t just agree to a co-promotion with an organization only because they conform to bear the financial burden of your marketing campaigns. That is the wrong approach, to begin with. Instead, partner with a firm whose services and products complement your items. Also, it’d work in your favor if you both share the same business ethics or target the same demographic.

In other words, partner with someone you would recommend or be using regardless of whether or not you intend to form a partnership with them. When it comes to cross-marketing, you’ll be judged by the company you keep. Also, once you find the ideal partner, put things in writing. Draft a contract outlining each organization’s financial responsibilities and duties. The better you list expectations and tell how the ROI will be measured, the better the cross-marketing experience will turn out to be.

Final Verdict

Every kind of marketing is crucial to improving your company’s reach and bottom line. When executed right, cross-marketing offers a strategic, creative direction that lets you distribute your branded message to diverse audiences without spending a fortune on digital advertising.