So how can a small business use these tactics? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Find a Complement. Team up with a business that complements your product or service to share advertising. A pet store teaming with a pet groomer or a spa with a nail salon are more obvious ways to market complementary services, but it can also be accomplished in other creative ways. If you are a small bookseller, ask the local coffee shop two doors down if each can advertise for the other, or run promos for customer referrals. An apparel shop and jewelry store can co-market their products. Even a small butcher shop may do well to pair with the neighboring wine seller. Whether it’s as simple as putting a stack of business cards in each other’s stores, or lending inventory to display – start building up relationships like these.
- Market Together. Include your partnered business’s promotional material with yours in direct mailings (and vice versa) – this splits the budget and may bring in a new customer base. You can also try running an online promotion on social media with your newfound partner – to grow followers on both companies’ platforms.
- Swap Ads. If you have a website, contact other businesses in your locale with websites to see if you can exchange links or place advertising banners on each other’s sites. Many times, even unrelated business owners are willing to cross-link with other businesses for increased website visibility. I scratch your back, you scratch mine!