Your Guide to Partnership Marketing

If you are anything like most small business owners, you don’t have a huge marketing budget.  And while free organic social media might be helping you a bit, you are likely looking for more effective ways to market your business without spending a ton of money. That’s where partnership marketing comes in!

What is Partnership Marketing?

Partnership marketing is working with relevant local small businesses to create mutually beneficial marketing campaigns. The goal is for both companies to increase their brand awareness, target audience and revenue. Collaboration is the name of the game!

Benefits of Partnership Marketing

No matter what stage of business you’re at, using partnership marketing is an affordable and effective strategy to reach your goals.

According to SendPulse here’s the 5 benefits of partnership marketing:

  • Reaching new audiences
  • Increasing brand reputation
  • Reducing marketing costs
  • Bringing more value to your audiences
  • Increasing revenue

Now that you know the benefits, let’s dive into the tactics.

Types of Partnership Marketing

There are tons of effective partnership marketing strategies and tactics that are easy to do and have the potential to create a big return on investment. Here’s my 3 favorite types of partnership marketing strategies.

Content Sharing

Content sharing is all about you and the partnering business promoting each other to your respective audiences.  From guest blog posts to social media shout-outs, you are exposing each other’s brands to a new pool of potential customers.

Another option is to create collaborative content like webinars, videos and articles. This is a great way to up the value you give to customers and reach new audiences. 

Here’s an example of content sharing:

Let’s say Tracy, the owner of Integrative Animal Solutions, a pet health food store in Sparta and Victoria, the owner of Siriusly K9, a dog training business in Cookeville, wants to partner to give their audiences more value and build brand awareness. They decide to collaborate and create a co-written blog post on how feeding your dog a raw food diet can help with behavioral issues.  They then share this blog post with their audiences on social media and in their newsletters.


Cross-promotion is very similar to word of mouth marketing, except you rely on your collaborative partner instead of your customers to spread the word. Typically with cross-promotion both partners are offering incentives to each other’s audiences.

Here’s an example of cross-promotion for our business owners Tracy and Victoria:

Since Tracy owns a pet health food store she wants to reach all the pet lovers in her area.  She reaches out to Victoria, owner of Siriusly K9, who’s also interested in the same audience about partnering. This is a great partnership because they aren’t competitors, have similar goals and complimentary audiences, so they decide to collaborate for a promotion. Tracy offers an exclusive 10% off discount to all Siriusly K9 customers and Victoria offers a free consultation to Tracy’s customers. They share this promotion via email to their mailing lists. 

Collaborative Events

Collaborative Events are a hybrid of Content Sharing and Cross-Promotion.  The goal with this tactic is to again partner with a business that has access to your target audience to offer some sort of informative or social event. You gain access to new potential customers while providing value to the partner business and their customers.

Let’s take our pet brand collaboration example again:

Tracy, owner of IAS, could offer a free workshop on Raw Diets for Dogs for the customers at Walnut Street Market.  Tracy’s target audience tends to be health conscious and prefers to shop local. Walnut Street Market’s customer base also values shopping local, health and non-conventional wellness. These two companies make a great pair for partnership marketing. Tracy creates value for the customers of Walnut Street Market through her workshop and her business gets exposure to new potential customers.

Leverage the KLT Factor

Consumers tend to make buying decisions based on businesses they “Know, Like, Trust” (KLT). When you build strong alliances with local businesses and leveraging each other’s audiences and resources you boost your KLT factor. Without a lot of financial investment you are implementing marketing strategies that will lead to more customers!

Need help with Partnership Marketing?

Need help figuring out how to use partnership marketing for your business? Book a FREE Start Here meeting with one of our business coaches to discuss how to use this marketing strategy for your business.

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