Everyone can inbound-market. Making a social media account is free and there are hundreds of free blog platforms for entry-level marketing. Even brands that are still glimmers in the eyes of their founders can start inbound marketing and building leads before their first VC pitch or product creation.
However, blogs and social media aren’t the only way to create lead magnets and, in fact, they aren’t always the most effective. The principles of inbound marketing suggest that you create content in your space and lure leads to your door through tactics like SEO.
But how do you scatter your marketing efforts throughout the internet for potential customers to find without coming off as pushy and promotional?
One option is to create opportunities by partnering with complementary brands.
The Advantage of Product Partnerships
Product partnership is something you see from time to time, but usually, this is done by third-party marketplaces like Amazon or retail stores for their benefit rather than yours. This occurs when two products sold by different companies are sold together to make the most of a shared target audience. This brings the customers from both brands together and often causes customers to discover the value of the other brand based on how well it pairs with a product they already love. Here’s how it’s done:
Find Companies That Sell Complimentary Products
The first step is the trickiest, to find a brand that shares a target audience with your brand but does not provide competition. This will most likely be accomplished by examining your buyer persona and what customers typically use your products for. Let’s say you sell backpacks, messenger bags, and other sorts of utility cargo bags. You’d like to generate parent and student leads, as these customers often come back every year for a new bag, if not even more frequently. You need to partner with a brand that also sells yearly to students whose success in no way competes with yours.
After some research, you may determine that people often by a color-matching water bottle with their backpacks and decide to partner with a popular water bottle brand that makes bottles in colors that match your bag selections. Not only does this serve your student market, it can also serve to entice your camping market as well.
Work Together to Create Tempting Deals
The next step is to reach out to the companies you think are good candidates and propose a little marketing project. When you find someone who both fits the complementary requirements and is willing to cooperate, work closely with their marketing team to create the perfect promotional offers that will be appealing to your current customers, their current customers, and your shared target audience for generating new interested leads who like a conveniently packaged deal.
Your goal is to create deals that are more satisfying than buying the products separately, increasing the reward and allure of buying both products. Running with our backpack example, by pairing your colorful backpacks with water bottles that match the colors closely, you are saving customers time who might otherwise spend half an hour looking for a bottle or bag that matches the product they have already chosen.
Promote Each Other for Double the Conversions
Finally, when you have the perfect set of shared deals, collaborate to promote the deals on both of your websites and list them under both brands for third-party marketplaces. This achieves your entire reason for partnering in the first place, to have your products featured in new internet locations. Rather than simply relying on inbound marketing for customers actively searching for, say, backpacks, you will now create leads from people who were looking for products relating to the other brand as well. By doubling your products and cross-promoting as widely as possible, you can create double the lead-magnets not just for you, but for your new non-competitive partner as well. Double the exposure, double the lead generations, and double the conversions.
Planning your website design, digital content, and marketing strategies for growth takes more thought than simply promoting your products or providing useful information.
Partnering with complimentary brands is one of the best ways for both businesses to increase their customer bases and make the most of both shared and separate marketing campaigns.
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Founder & CEO of ThinkFlame, Shelly Patrick, trains individuals and companies to understand how their marketing affects their sales conversation and how to integrate marketing into their yearly plans for consistent growth.