How Hosts Can Cross Promote With Small Businesses

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Promoting your short-term rental property is a daily grind, but you don’t have to do it alone. You can increase your client base and boost your bottom line by using cross-promotion, collaborating on marketing with the right business partners.

Let’s say your place is in a popular tourist destination. To promote an offer, you create social media ads, advertise on local billboards. Meanwhile, your top competitor has no vacancies.

If you’ve noticed this trend but haven’t yet made adjustments to your promotion/marketing strategy, you’re missing an opportunity to attract more customers through the benefits of cross-promotion. Cross-promotion, or co-marketing, means teaming up with another business to create a promotion that benefits both of you. The key is to collaborate with a business that doesn’t directly compete with you.

With more businesses competing for a slice of the market share, creative businesses of all sizes are trying more cross-promotion campaigns, in the hopes of driving sales and increasing brand loyalty. Here are 6 ways to employ this strategy for your brick-and-mortar marketing:

While exchanging contacts and reaching out to each other’s customers blindly probably isn’t a good idea, you and your partner can co-produce a newsletter that ties your brands together in an organic way. Co-production will keep expenses low while expanding the types of expertise you can offer your clients.

If both you and your partner have an established social media presence, opportunity is calling. By cross-promoting each other’s brands to respective followers, you can double your visibility and win new customers.

Remember, cross-promotion doesn’t mean simply cross-posting one message from your social profile to all of your partner’s social media channels simultaneously. That may just turn off your potential new audience. Rather, craft your messages in a way relates to each particular audience.

Take the example of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a nonprofit, and Red Frog Events, an event management company. On St Jude’s Twitter feed, the hospital gave a shout out to Red Frog Events for their contribution to opening a therapy centre for the kids of St. Jude. Likewise, on their Facebook page, Red Frog Events touted the opening of the Red Frog Events Proton Therapy Center at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, thanking their followers for supporting St. Jude.

Joint charitable sponsorship are likely to attract more contacts than if only one business sponsors a cause. Such collaborations provide co-sponsors exposure to each other’s audiences, and access to that of the charity, as well. And, as sponsorship fees rise, you can stretch your budget by spreading costs with like-minded partners.

You already know that you can target customers during or after a purchase with related specials, such as free giveaways, discounts, coupons, and/or gift cards. Try increasing your reach by collaborating with another local business. While your and your partner’s businesses might be unrelated in terms of product, both of you should have similar target clientele and a reputation for high quality products or services.

A 2015 poll of marketing professionals by Tomoson revealed that businesses are turning to influencer marketing to generate revenue. Companies reported making $6.50 for every $1 spent on this tactic. You and the influencer could cross-promote to each other’s audiences, or you could partner with a second business to bring a mutually beneficial influencer on board, splitting the cost of hiring an influencer. Collaborating with an influencer can allow local businesses to create highly-targeted campaigns by zeroing in on an influencer’s specific attributes, like geography or target audience.

If a cross-promotion sounds like it might work for your business, your next step is finding the right partner. Consider your customers: what sorts of services or products would add value for them? Narrow the field by focusing on businesses whose services, products, and marketing you respect. There are many benefits to co-marketing with a local nonprofit, if there’s a cause that’s meaningful to you.

Since your customers will associate your partner’s marketing with your own in a cross-promotion, it’s essential to work with businesses who leave a great first impression. Don’t be shy about getting to know a prospective partner—Google them, check out their LinkedIn profiles, look for reviews and recommendations of the business online, and, of course, ask your network!

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