Cross Promotion: How Can it Benefit Your Small Business

What is Cross Promotion and How Can it Benefit Your Small Business?

Cross promotion as a small business is about expanding the marketing reach of your product. It’s a broad term that can mean advertising across different mediums or even cooperating with other companies to showcase each others goods and services.

Here’s an example. You’re shopping for new computer on a website from a company that sells business models. An ad appears for the latest antivirus software. This kind of cooperation between the companies selling the computers and the software is called cross promotion.

Here’s everything that small businesses need to know about how it works.

How to Get Started with Cross Promotion

Finding the right kind of company to partner with is a critical step.  One of the first things you need to keep in mind is that you’re not just going to be selling each other’s products, you will be sharing reputations as well. People who see your products and the other companies being advertised together assume you’re both credible.

Make sure to check the other firm’s credentials and reputation thoroughly.

What is Cross Promotion and How Can it Benefit Your Small Business?

A Natural Fit?

That’s why you’ll need to ask yourself in the beginning if there’s a natural fit that includes enhancing each other’s products and sharing good credibility in the marketplace.

Another example might be a high-end coffee maker cross promoting an exclusive chocolate company.

More Advertising Bang

Ask yourself if you’ll get more bang for your advertising buck. You’re a small mechanics shop. You might want to team up and pay for a flyer or brochure that advertises your company and other tire and battery companies who help you foot the bill.

Make sure you’re not opting for exactly the same markets here.

What is Cross Promotion and How Can it Benefit Your Small Business?

Pick A Strategy

The strategies that you can use can bounce between online marketing and print, television or radio media. First things first. You’ll need to find the best tools to use. After you’ve put together a partnership, using analytics will help you to find out which medium is best and which times/dates to post content. Google analytics is a good starting point.

You need to make sure your brand marketing tools and logos are consistent before you start.  Remember to include a carefully planned Call to Action in your campaigns.

Special Offers

Special offers and discounts work well. If you’re using social media, you’ll want to post regularly on a partnering website. These special offers should emphasize any complementary features.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is another tool that has good return on investment. This is an excellent way to promote your latest blog post or social media tweet via a newsletter.

Brick and Mortar

Small businesses that want to have a physical presence can share booths at local tradeshows. You can even set up a small display in your partner’s brick-and-mortar store. You could consider sharing a space like Starbucks who leased some spaces in Target stores.

What is Cross Promotion and How Can it Benefit Your Small Business?

Advantages of Cross Promotion

You’ll see an ROI quickly. In fact, using cross promotion can be faster than using only SEO, which can take several months to pick up steam. What’s more, cross promotion marketing is typically done on a pro bono basis. That’s great if you’ve got a limited marketing budget to work with.

If you managed to cross promote with a legitimate and established brand, you’ll get a boost in reputation that will convert into sales.


If you’ve got a unique business that sells specialized goods and services, it might be hard to find a suitable partner. It’s harder to keep a consistent brand message when you’re using cross promotion since you’re more than likely advertising across several channels.

Unlocking Cross Promotion Potential: A Blueprint for Expanding Marketing Reach

Small businesses seeking to expand their marketing reach and amplify their brand’s presence can leverage the power of cross promotion. This strategic approach involves collaborating with other companies to jointly showcase each other’s products and services, effectively tapping into new audiences and fostering brand credibility. Here’s an in-depth look at how cross promotion works and how small businesses can harness its advantages.

What is Cross Promotion and How Can it Benefit Your Small Business?

Getting Started with Cross Promotion

Cross promotion begins with identifying suitable partners whose products or services complement your offerings. This partnership is more than a simple exchange of advertisements; it involves aligning reputations and sharing credibility. Before embarking on a cross promotion, thoroughly vet the potential partner’s credentials and reputation to ensure a harmonious collaboration.

A Natural Fit: Finding the Right Partner

Consider whether the partnership feels natural and enhances both brands’ products while maintaining credibility in the marketplace. For instance, a high-end coffee maker partnering with an exclusive chocolate company creates a seamless synergy that appeals to shared target audiences.

Assessing Compatibility and Synergy

When considering potential partners for cross-promotion, it’s essential to evaluate how well your products or services complement each other. The partnership should feel natural and beneficial to both parties. This involves understanding each other’s customer base and ensuring that there is a significant overlap or potential to appeal to each other’s customers.

Considering Long-Term Goals and Visions

It’s important to choose partners who not only align with your current business model but also share similar long-term aspirations. This ensures that the partnership can evolve and grow over time, providing sustained benefits and opportunities for both businesses.

Maximizing Advertising Impact

Evaluate whether cross promotion yields a greater return on investment for your advertising efforts. For instance, collaborating on a shared flyer or brochure can pool resources and promote multiple businesses simultaneously. However, ensure that the collaboration targets slightly different markets to avoid redundancy.

Choosing a Strategic Approach

Cross promotion strategies can span various mediums, from online marketing to print, television, or radio. Identify the most effective tools for your collaboration and employ analytics to optimize timing and content delivery. Consistency in brand marketing tools and logos is crucial, and integrating a well-crafted Call to Action enhances engagement.

Crafting a Cohesive Cross Promotion Strategy

Integrating Brand Messages Seamlessly

In a successful cross-promotion strategy, the messaging of both brands should be integrated in a way that enhances each other without losing individual identity. This might involve creating a joint campaign theme that reflects the values and strengths of both brands.

Leveraging Each Other’s Strengths

Effective cross-promotion means leveraging the unique strengths and assets of each partner. If one brand has a strong online presence and the other has a significant physical presence, combining these can lead to a more impactful and comprehensive campaign.

Measuring Success and Refining Strategies

Tracking and Analyzing Performance

To gauge the success of a cross-promotion campaign, it’s essential to track relevant metrics such as customer engagement, conversion rates, and overall reach. Tools like Google Analytics can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of different strategies and help in making data-driven decisions for future campaigns.

Adapting to Audience Feedback

Being responsive to how your audience perceives the cross-promotion efforts is crucial. If certain aspects are well-received, consider focusing more on those in future collaborations. Conversely, if some elements don’t resonate as expected, be prepared to adjust or revamp your approach.

Exploring Cross Promotion Tactics

  • Special Offers: Special discounts and offers resonate well with audiences. On social media platforms, regular posts on your partner’s page can highlight these offers, emphasizing complementary features.
  • Email Marketing: Employ email marketing to share content like blog posts and social media updates via newsletters, increasing engagement with your audience.
  • Brick and Mortar Presence: Share booth spaces at local tradeshows or set up displays in each other’s physical stores. Collaborative efforts like Starbucks’ presence in Target stores demonstrate the viability of this approach.
Cross Promotion TacticsInsights
Special OffersOffering special discounts and promotions can entice audiences, especially when emphasizing complementary features. These offers create a sense of urgency and drive immediate action.
Email MarketingUtilizing email marketing to disseminate valuable content, such as blog posts and social media updates, through newsletters fosters deeper engagement with your target audience.
Brick and Mortar PresenceSharing booth spaces at local tradeshows or setting up displays in each other's physical stores creates a tangible, in-person experience. Collaborative partnerships can enhance brand visibility and resonate with customers. Starbucks' partnership with Target showcases the potential of this tactic.

Advantages of Cross Promotion

Cross promotion is a dynamic strategy that harnesses collaborative efforts for accelerated success. This approach boasts a rapid Return on Investment (ROI), often surpassing the gradual pace of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts.

The swiftness with which cross promotion generates results is a key advantage, making it an attractive option for small businesses operating on limited marketing budgets. This cost-effective approach ensures that businesses can witness tangible outcomes sooner, providing a significant boost to their bottom line.

One of the most notable advantages of cross-promotion is its ability to leverage partnerships with well-established brands. These collaborations not only expand market reach but also inject a dose of credibility and trust into your brand.

Aligning with reputable and recognized partners can lead to an immediate uplift in your reputation, fostering consumer confidence. This elevation in credibility translates directly into increased sales, as consumers are more likely to trust and engage with brands that are endorsed by others they already trust.

Navigating the Challenges of Cross Promotion

Maintaining Brand Integrity

In any cross-promotion effort, it’s vital to ensure that all promotional materials and messages are in line with your brand’s core values. This helps in maintaining the integrity and identity of your brand, avoiding any potential dilution through association with another brand.

Balancing Partnership Dynamics

A successful cross-promotion requires a balanced dynamic between the involved parties. Equal input and representation in decision-making and creative processes are key to ensuring that both brands benefit from the partnership without overshadowing each other.

In Summary

  • Combine distinct brands for expanded horizons and increased credibility.
  • Leverage the synergy of collaboration for amplified outcomes.
  • Explore new markets and audiences through strategic brand alignment.
  • Build and solidify your presence across a broader consumer spectrum.
  • Plan strategically for a cohesive and authentic partnership.
  • Use a compelling Call to Action to guide audience engagement to conversion.
  • Embrace the strategy confidently for collective achievement.
  • Propel your business towards new heights of success through collaboration.

Photo via Shutterstock

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Rob Starr Rob Starr is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and a graduate of Ryerson University in Toronto with a Bachelor of Journalism degree. His print credentials include employment with various Toronto area newspapers and three works of fiction: The Apple Lady (2004), Creekwater (2006) and Sophistry By Degrees (2008) published by Stonegarden Press In California.

One Reaction
  1. Cross promotion is a way for you to promote other businesses and even promote your own business. I think it works because you are promoting in the same target market.

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