Beginning partnerships with complementary business owners in your space can be one of the most effective ways to grow your customer base in a way that benefits everyone. From joint promotions to co-sponsored marketing campaigns, events, content production, social sharing and otherwise, combining resources and forming partnerships with others in your industry can greatly benefit all parties. Here are three ways to work with other business owners to achieve your ecommerce goals.
1. Promotional Partnerships
In a promotional partnership, business owners join forces with other business owners to cross-promote complementary products or services.
For example, if your ecommerce store primarily sells running gear, you could partner with a store selling cycling gear and another targeting swimmers to create product bundles for triathletes. Each partner could then list the same bundle on their store for the same price and promote it to their existing customer base. At the end of the promotional period, all three stores can share buyer lists so that each partner can continue marketing to the new customer pool.
Product bundling of complementary goods can be a win-win for each partner involved. Not only does this create more potential value for your own customers, but you’ll also gain exposure to an entirely new audience of customers with similar interests and needs. One of the primary reasons why this tactic works is that the trust your partner’s customers have in their business is transferable to your brand under the umbrella of a joint promotion.
2. Content Marketing Partnerships
In a content marketing partnership, businesses trade valuable content that excites their audience with other related businesses (and vice versa) in an effort to stay relevant.
For example, if you sell products and tools for graphic designers, building a content marketing partnership with a brand that reaches a large audience of designers like Adobe or Behance. Regularly swapping blog content and social media posts with them can significantly increase exposure to your target audience. Agree on a set number of posts to publish on each other’s blogs, social media channels, or email newsletters each week, and track whether you see any lift in new followers, subscribers, or customers as a result of the partnership.
By establishing a content marketing partnership with a related ecommerce store in your space, you’ll be able to get your content—whether that’s blog posts, social images, or videos—in front of other established audiences that have a clear crossover in interest.
3. Co-Produced Content
In a co-produced content partnership, business owners find creative ways to partner with other brands in their space by leveraging each other’s core competencies to reduce production costs.
For example, if you primarily sell activewear, you could forge a content production partnership with a company that sells camping gear and shoot a series of how-to hiking videos together. This would allow you to co-produce content that highlights both of your product lines; your activewear store gets exposure for what hikers should wear in various climates, and the camping store gets to showcase the gear necessary to enjoy a comfortable night’s sleep.
Before locking in a content production partnership, be sure to have very clear goals, mutually agreed upon deliverables, fair division of responsibilities, and well thought out promotion requirements that benefit both parties after the content is produced.
Making the most of relationships with other business owners in your industry can lead to great results for all parties involved. However, remember that the success of your partnerships depend heavily on choosing partners who sell to the same audience as you do, and in finding creative ways to bring them to your store.