Every brand on Instagram or other social media has their own audience. A group of people who follow them, are interested in what they offer and are likely to buy from them. Your brand has its own audience, too.
How can you increase this audience? How can you get more people who are interested in your products and will possibly buy them?
The answer is by cross-promoting with another brand.
Cross-promotion with another brand
Cross-promotion is one of the most natural methods of marketing a product. You basically promote another brand's product in your platforms, while that brand does the same for your product in their platforms.
You and your brand-partner create a mutually-beneficial marketing campaign that will help you:
- Reach each other's market. Their audience will get to know your brand and product, and vice versa. Both sides get to increase their audience.
- Introduce some variety into your feed. You can post photos that aren't just about your products.
- Show how your product is used/can be used. You get to demonstrate just how great your product fits into the customers' lives.
- Build good relationships with other brands. Who knows, maybe you can collaborate again on an exciting project in the future?
The best way to cross-promote is by exchanging the actual products. Brand A gets Brand B's product and vice versa. This makes the cross-promotion more engaging and natural, instead of just reposting a photo.
And because you get something in return, it's friendlier to your budget. Think of it like a business barter!
Now let's look at the 4 easy steps you can take to cross-promote your product.
Step 1: Brainstorm on other products and services that are related to your product.
The first step is to find a product (or service) to be cross-promoted with yours. Brainstorm as many as you can and make sure that they go well together. This means that:
- The product is not competing with yours. That's just trouble, pal.
- The product is not indirectly competing with yours. Cakes and cookies may go well together, but those cookies might steal the spotlight.
- The product's uses complement yours. If they can be photographed together, all the better!
It's better to get something that complements your product rather than something completely random, because it won't make the cross-promotion seem 'forced' or 'unnatural'. For this example, Brand A is going with ceramic plates.
Step 2: Identify the brand that you'd like to cross-promote with.
The next step is to find a brand that you'd like to partner with. Let's say that there are quite a few brands selling ceramic plates. Which one should Brand A choose?
Brand A should choose to partner with a brand that has similar branding or values. This common ground will make the partnership look 'right' and help Brand A attract customers that will be more likely to enjoy its cakes.
Before you settle on a brand-partner, ask these questions:
- How does the brand describe itself? Do some of the words match how I describe my brand?
- Would I be happy to be associated with that brand?
- Does the brand have the type of customers that I want to attract?
Step 3: Contact the brand with your cross-promotion idea.
The third step is to reach out to the brand with your cross-promotion idea. It's always advisable to email them first to gauge their interest.
In the email, you should mention that you're interested in cross-promoting with them by exchanging products. Other things you can include are:
- Why cross-promoting is a great idea. (Hey, you can link them to this article!)
- Why you chose their brand to partner with.
- Their exact product that you're interested in.
- Your product that will complement theirs. (Attach a nice photo!)
- Your contact information and social media profiles.
Tip: If you want to make sure that they don't overlook your email, drop a quick comment at one of their social media profiles saying you've emailed them.
Step 4: Set clear expectations for both sides.
Once they've agreed to your idea and the exchange has been carried out, set expectations that will make the cross-promotion a win-win situation. Both sides must come out happy!
By being crystal-clear about what you expect, you prevent miscommunication and ensure the cross-promotion gets carried out perfectly. Some of the details you'll want to be clear about are:
- The social media platforms involved. Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook?
- The frequency of promotion. How many posts in the span of 1 month?
- The features to be highlighted. What to mention in the captions? Any specific words?
- The social media profiles to be used. Give all the usernames so that there'll be no mix-ups.
Tip: If you're extra-cautious, set expectations before exchanging the products.
Now that the preliminaries have been taken care of, cross-promote away! Be creative and generous with how you promote the other product. After all, they're doing the same for you too. If the cross-promotion works well, it can open doors to further collaborations down the road. Maybe you and the other brand can work together to create a totally unique and beautiful product. My favourite collaboration of Malaysian brands so far is Nelissa Hilman x A Soap Affair, where they teamed up to create the Feet For A Queen soap.
Which brand would you like to work with?