Monday, December 12, 2011

Cross Promotion: Partnering With Other Business to Better Serve Your Customers, Part II

       This posting, the second in the cross promoting series, focuses on how to join efforts with complementary businesses to communicate with your customers and theirs.

Newsletters and Blogs

How do you currently communicate with your customers?  Whatever methods you use to inform and remind customers about your business or persuade them to buy your products, there is at least one way to cross promote each others’ products and expertise.

With the number of garden centers who have a blog, newsletter, or other publication that they publish on regular basis it is highly likely that the person writing these pieces often has to find items to write about.   Short pieces can alert readers about the complementary business or a new product they are offering.  Feature articles can describe how products from both businesses could be incorporated into new gardening trends or an upcoming event that the two businesses are co-sponsoring.  Do not forget to include the complementary business’s logo, URLs or hyperlinks to their website, and contact information.

Also, invite the other business to write a newsletter item or be a guest blogger.  Suggest a topic so the guest writer has some direction as to what your readers might be interested in learning and that would meld well with other items you are including in the newsletter or blog.  

Your Website, Facebook, and Twitter

Your website is an ideal outlet for cross promotion activities.  Use space on your website to inform readers about complementary businesses you cross promote with and provide space for their advertisements.  If customers sign-up for your newsletter online provide an option that would allow them to sign up for other businesses’ newsletters or add a link that will take them to the other businesses’ online form.

When it comes to Facebook, make sure that you “like” business you cross promote with, post images of events and activities both businesses implement, include links to articles, and mention each other in postings.  Tweets you publish on Twitter should also mention your cross promotion partners.  Include these businesses in your #followfriday (#ff) tweets (a strategy used on Fridays to suggests to your Twitter followers who they should also follow) retweet (forwarding another Twitter user’s tweets to your followers) appropriate messages, publish tweets when you add their products to your displays, and similar.   Inform your customers about joint activities while reminding them about your business.

Until next time when I’ll present ideas on how to cross promote with other businesses to host events and some of the costs to consider when entering into this type of relationship.

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