B2B Networking, Brand Partnerships & Cross Promotions

Growing your business through the power of PR and marketing is not always about Forbes covers, TV appearances, and Instagram influencer shout-outs.

Now, don’t get it twisted; media and influencers are great. We could extol their virtues all day – it’s kinda our ‘thing.’ But what if we told you there was ALSO another marketing tactic you can try today, that is:

  • a bit less scary
  • powerful
  • free
  • organic
  • great for accessing like-minded audiences and demographics
  • like a growth serum for your professional network
  • credibility boosting
  • great for driving sales
  • a follower booster

Yep, we are talking about B2B networking, brand partnerships, and cross-promotions.

So, where to begin? We’ve got some good news for all you list-makers out there! It starts with making a list of brand targets you’d like to partner with on some sort of activation.

Activations could include:

  • giveaways
  • competitions
  • product duos or bundles
  • gift-with-purchase
  • collaborative products
  • whatever the two of you dream up

And they could take place on:

  • your social media channels
  • your e-commerce platform
  • your e-newsletter
  • an event (virtual or physical, when safety allows)

You’re looking for brands who have similar demographics to yours but aren’t competitors.  

Ok, so you’ve got a few prospective brand partners in mind and maybe even an activation idea or two. But now what? How do you actually make this thing happen?

As always – we got you! Here are our 

Top 5 Tips for B2B Networking, Brand Partnerships & Cross Promotions

1. It doesn’t have to be a brand with a huge audience to work.

Lateral networking can be hugely effective and result in a better hit rate, better engagement, and stronger conversion. Of course, it would be great if that huge brand with 10 million followers did an Instagram collab with you – but what would they be getting out of it? The best cross-promotional partnerships have mutual value. Hint: the best brands to partner with are like-minded in terms of core values, usually around the same size and not category competitors, but sharing similar demographics.

2. Jump on Linkedin

While Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter can be good places to network and connect with other like-minded brands (especially on a more social, conversational level), Linkedin is really where it’s at for B2B networking. You can easily find the right person to talk to at your target brand by searching the company’s name and then selecting ‘People’ from the drop-down options. You’re looking for someone with a title along the lines of ‘Brand Partnerships,’ ‘Strategic Partnerships,’ or ‘Marketing.’ Ask them to connect and leave a note introducing yourself. 

3. Make sure your online footprint looks good.

Chances are, the recipient of your message will check you out. We’re all guilty of a little internet stalking on occasion, and the B2B networking world is no different! Ensure your Linkedin, social pages, and bios are up to date, brimming with your most recent accolades and achievements, and reflective of your brand. Your personal and brand online footprint needs to scream ‘WORTH WORKING WITH!’

4. Have a couple of semi-baked ideas to propose

Don’t just reach out with a:

‘I’d love to work together somehow…let’s chat about it sometime’ – there’s no sense of urgency for them to respond.

Go in with something more like:

“I think we can harness each other’s audiences if we partner on a cross-collaboration that funnels through to e-commerce. Next month we are doing a special promotion around our product ____, and we thought that your product, _____, could tie in really nicely if we did a giveaway. It could run through e-commerce as a gift with purchase over an $X spend. I would love to discuss further!”

5. Don’t just ask for value; offer value.

Make sure when you’re approaching brand contacts that you’re not just asking them for something but bringing something powerful to the table as well. Perhaps you had a record high sales conversion rate from last month’s e-newsletter. Present your target brand with the stats and offer them the chance to tap into that amazing audience of click-happy shoppers!

Now, what are you waiting for? Go for it!