Use This ONE Simple Strategy to Get Your Small Business In Front of Untapped Markets (online client acquisition secrets)

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Is your small business being innovative enough? (photo credit)

We’ve all heard it before… “The best way to acquire new clients (or customers) is to be ‘innovative’.”

While that is true, the question still remains “How exactly do you get your ‘innovation’ to stand out  in a saturated online market?”

Well, the simple answer to that question is… content marketing.

BUT not just any ol’ content marketing. You have to implement specific content marketing strategies that are in and of itself “innovative”.

What do I mean?

I’ll explain more in-depth about how to do that in a moment…

Why Small Businesses Need to Get On The Content Marketing Train

A few months ago, I received an email from one of my readers.

He’s a real estate agent located in Tucson, AZ. Take a look at what he wrote:

Now, on the surface you may think that his initial question was about my rates for promotional services.

But if you look closer you’ll see that his REAL question is how to become incomparable to his real estate competitors in the online marketing space.

This is a on-going challenge that many small businesses are faced with.

And the answer to his question is the same… by implementing ‘innovative’ content marketing strategies AND being willing to do what your competitors wont.

As online marketing has evolved, so has the way that consumers find and interact with brands and businesses.

Because of this content marketing has become a VITAL component of effective online marketing.

If you’re not yet convinced of that fact, here’s a few interesting stats for you to mull over:

  • A whopping 93% of B2B organizations rely on content marketing for brand building and demand generation. (Content Marketing Institute)
  • 63% of readers are more likely to be influenced by blogs than magazines when deciding on a purchase.  (Marketing Query)
  • B2B Companies that blog generate 67% more leads than those that don’t. (Webdamsolutions.com)
  • Blogs convert readers into buyers. In fact, 42% of consumers look to blogs for information about potential purchases; 52% say blogs have impacted their purchase decisions; and 57% of marketers have acquired new customers with their blogs. (LeadersWest Digital Marketing Journal)

See more interesting stats at the source here (Inbound Writer).

This CLEARLY says to me that content marketing is a MUST and that small businesses that don’t get with the program will be eating their competitors dust.

But remember, the REAL key is to be innovative with your content marketing strategies.

How?

One way is by using what I like to call the “cross-target promotion” approach.

How Cross-Target Promotion Can Help You Get in Front of Untapped Audiences

Cross-target promotion is an INSANELY effective promotion strategy that sadly isn’t used very often in the content marketing realm by small businesses.

It is essentially when you promote your product or service by creating content for related niche markets who’s target audience COMPLIMENTS your niche, thus introducing that complimentary audience to your brand and what you have to offer.

So for example, say that you run a fitness blog and you offer personal training services.

Instead of trying to get guest posts or featured on other more prominent fitness blogs, it would be more beneficial for you to get featured on prominent fashion websites.

Why?

Well, solely focusing on getting featured on other blogs that have the same target audience has two disadvantages:

  1. Other fitness websites are your direct competition so most of them will be reluctant to feature or link to you.
  2. More than likely you will begin to develop a “reader overlap”, which basically means that over time some readers that already read the blogs that you’re trying to get featured on in your niche will already be readers of your blog, thus diluting the opportunity to acquire new business and customers.

On the other hand, using cross-target promotion to get featured on prominent fashion blogs will give you the opportunity to get introduced to an entirely different audience that doesn’t know you at all BUT are still interested in getting fit.

This is the SMART way to grow your audience because your content and services aren’t direct competition to fashion blogs, they’re COMPLIMENTS and many of them will be happy to feature you or link to your content because it will further help their audience.

A potential article title for this scenario would be, “The Top 10 Tips to Slim Down and Fit into Those Designer Jeans”.

Do you see what I did there?

This type of article would be EXTREMELY attractive to a fashion blogger and her audience because it ties fitness into fashion.

Not to mention that they NATURALLY fit together.

Let’s take a look at a real world example…

How A Computer Software Company Increased its Sales by 13%

When looking for partners to cross-target promote with, you should always aim to promote in niches that naturally compliment yours.

Take the following case study for instance:

A $55-million software company owned by Sam Poole, CEO of Maxis Inc., wanted to promote his line of kids’ computer software to mothers and children.

After doing some research, Poole’s Walnut Creek, Calif., company discovered an established cookie manufacturer, Mother’s Cake & Cookie Co., and asked them to do a cross-promotion involving free software for schools.

Obliging, the cookie company put a Maxis coupon on its packages, and Maxis advertised the joint promotion in computer stores.

This resulted in a 13% increase of children’s software sales during the three-month cross-promotion.

See more interesting case studies like this at the source here (Inc. Magazine).

You see how well they worked together?

The cookie manufacturer was the perfect cross-target promotion partner for Poole because they ALREADY catered to a market that was ideal to purchase his children’s software – schools.

The complimentary principle may not be as apparent in the software example so lets look at more tangible case study…

Joel and Judy Kimmel, co-owners of Primo’s, a $600,000 chain of three San Francisco-area specialty coffee shops, are old hands at cross-promotions.

But the Kimmels knew they had found an ideal match last year when they teamed with Charlotte Albright, owner of local candy maker Sweet Charlottes.

The reason? Both companies have similar clientele and reputations for high quality. Now Primo’s sells Sweet Charlottes chocolates and offers free samples with its espresso.

In return, the chocolate shop gives customers coupons for espresso and sells Primo’s coffee beans in bulk. Customers have responded so well that the trio is test-marketing a potential new niche: cafÉs showcasing both coffee and chocolate.

See more interesting case studies like this at the source here (Inc. Magazine).

Now this is the PERFECT example of natural cross-target promotion.

Who doesn’t love chocolate and coffee? :)

These two companies work well together because they both serve similar markets and it isn’t difficult to generate cross-sales to customers.

Let’s Take it Back to The Content Marketing Realm

The kind of cross-target promotion in the example above happens ALL of the time, especially online with major brands and corporations.

Remember my fitness and fashion blog example?

Well, take a look at this Cosmopolitan article about Sexy Curves.

christina-milian

The editor used celebrity personal trainer Massiel Arias’ .gif animations (her visual content) to demonstrate exercises, with a link to her Instagram page at the end of the article.

This is a great example of leveraging a mainly fashion oriented target audience to attract new fitness followers.

Why?

Well, this article shows the audience how they can get (or stay) fit and sexy.

9 times out of 10 people who are interested in being fashionable are also interested in staying (or getting) fit and healthy.

Cosmopolitan knows this and so does Massiel, which is why this is a fantastic collaboration.

Or how about this article from Women’s Health Magazine on emoticon jewelry.

If you clicked on that link, you’ll that’s a really brief article… well, it’s more like a product description BUT the concept is the same.

Leverage a brand that has a similar target audience as you and cross-promote your content, product or service.

How Can You Apply This in YOUR Business?

Cross-target promotion can indeed work for you… REGARDLESS of what niche you’re in.

Let’s go back to the real estate agent at the beginning of this article.

If you’re in the real estate niche, you can cross-target promote on:

  • Popular Home Decor Blogs
  • Popular Personal Finance Blogs
  • Popular Travel Blogs (with a focus on relocation to a specific area)

An example of articles you could write for each niche blog would be:

  • Home Decor > 7 Tips for Staging Your House to Sell FAST
  • Personal Finance > 5 Tips to Improve Your Credit Score to Get Approved for a Home Loan
  • Travel > 3 Fantastic Neighborhoods to Relocate to In Hawaii

These niches are ideal because they have relatively similar audiences and you can easily write articles that will appeal to a specific sub-group (or money-groups as I like to call them) of people that are interested in purchasing a new home soon - as you can see in the example titles above.

This also takes great advantage of the pre-purchase topic concept, a concept that I go into more detail about in my free Study Guide (which you can sign up for in the big black box next to this article. ;) ) >>>

Of course there’s several other niche blogs that you can cross-target promote on as well, you just have to spend the time to think out-side-of-the-box and get ‘innovative’.

Here’s a few more examples for other niches:

  • Personal Finance > Popular Real Estate Blogs
  • Landscaping Business > Popular Gardening Blogs
  • Local Bakery > Popular Event Planning Blogs

But what if you’re a marketing consultant or freelance writer?

With professions like this you first need to define EXACTLY who your ideal client is, getting REALLY SPECIFIC about the type of audience and clients you want to attract.

Then you simply find and approach corresponding niche blogs with potential article titles that ALREADY have the readers you want to work with.

So for example, if you want to work specifically with small business start-ups, you should break that down to a specific type of start-up, like local bakery’s, for example.

Then you would approach popular bakery blogs and pitch titles that would appeal to local bakery start-ups.

So to put this whole cross-target promotion concept simply…

The key to successful cross-target promotion is to partner up with other popular blogs that COMPLIMENT what your business has to offer. Not blogs that directly COMPETE with you.

This is one of the best ways to acquire FRESH new subscribers who will eventually turn into new PAYING CLIENTS for your business.

Take Action (Your Assignment)

Now that I’ve got your wheels turning, it’s time for you to TAKE ACTION because education is meaningless without implementation.

So, to get you putting the information you just learned to work, I have an assignment for you :)

Step 1: Research and compile a list of 3 different complimentary niches in which you can cross-target promote.

Step 2: List at least 3 corresponding blogs you find that you can write content for OR that you can ask to promote your content to their audience.

Step 3: Come up with at least 3 article titles that you can write that will compliment your chosen partners niche.

Here’s some questions to keep in mind as you work through this assignment:

  • Is my potential cross-promotion partner a natural fit for my business or content?
  • What SPECIFIC kind of content can I write that I know their audience will be interested in?
  • Is the company/blog reputable and credible?
  • Do we enhance each other’s credibility?
  • Do each of us bring different resources to the table?
  • Will our collaborative efforts help small business growth as a whole and help SMB compete against larger corporations?

Talk Back & Share

To further assist you with the assignment and information in this article, you can download my FREE cross-target promotion worksheet and the PDF version of this post.

Just click on one of the share buttons below to reveal the download links…

Once you’ve finished the assignment, I’d love to hear about your findings, so be sure to leave me a comment below and let me know what you discovered.

Or, if you’ve already implemented this strategy before I’d love to know what your results were.

I’m sure the rest of the community can learn from your experience as well, so please share your input with us in the comments, too.

Ti Roberts

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  • http://www.adriennesmith.net/ Adrienne

    Hey Ti,

    Good to see you back again and hope that things have been going really well for you this year.

    This is a great concept and I can totally see why this would work for small businesses. Now I know that getting in front of readers who are on your competitors sites although I never like to use that particular word for what I do, can benefit us. We all just have different voices so some may relate to me more then the person they’re already visiting.

    But I can see how this could benefit even someone like me who wants to share how to build better relationships with their readers so it doesn’t have to be guest posting on a blog that is already talking about blogging.

    You’ve given me some good ideas here so thank you for that and I do hope that the guy with the real estate company hired you. I think he really can’t go wrong with that at all girl.

    Have a great ending to your week Ti and hope to see you again soon.

    ~Adrienne

    • / Ti Roberts

      Hi Adrienne,

      So great to see your comment. :)

      I’m glad that my article and the message resonates with you. When it comes to marketing, especially online marketing, you have to be willing to think-outside-of-box, implementing innovative strategies to get the results you desire.

      You also have to be willing to build relationships and collaborate with other businesses and bloggers, as you already well know.

      Thanks so much for adding your voice to the conversation. :)

      Ti

  • http://moneytobemade.ucoz.com/ Maketta

    Hello Ti,

    This is some great information. I see what you are saying to not just seek out the obvious in your niche. This is a great way to get readers from different sources but that would like your content. Many times as bloggers we just focus on our own niche which is blogging. However, there are other niches that would be interesting in blogging or whatever niche that you are trying to reach.

    Thanks for sharing this with us!

    • / Ti Roberts

      Hi Maketta,

      Wonderful to see your comment.

      Sometimes we as online business owners or businesses that are trying to leverage the internet to get more exposure, we get “stuck” in the mentality that only other people who are in our same niche are the only people that can help us grow, but that is definitely not the case.

      In many cases, you’ll see growth in traffic and subscriber numbers but not in acquiring new customers, which is a result of the “overlapping” effect I explained in my article.

      I wonder, Maketta, have you ever tried or seen other businesses use this content marketing strategy before? If so, what were the results?

      Thanks for adding your voice to the conversation. :)

      Ti

  • http://www.carolamato.com/ Carol Amato

    Hello Ti,

    Awesome headline, and I just had to check it out.

    Innovation, yes, and becoming a thought leader… Yes, I see that your reader was definitely seeking to stand out from the crowd.

    I couldn’t agree more that content marketing is a must.

    I like your example of creating content for related niche markets, whose target audience compliments my niche. Love that idea!

    You’ve given me a lot to think about with cross-target promotion! Will definitely brainstorm how I can implement this in my business.

    Thanks for sharing your awesome info, Ti, I really appreciate it. :-)

    Have a blessed weekend.

    - Carol

    • / Ti Roberts

      Hi Carol,

      Great to see your comment! :)

      Yes, cross-target promotion is a fantastic strategy to get new blood to your site and on your list, not to mention increasing your sales.

      I’m glad you understand and are open to this concept. If you implement it I’m sure you’ll yield great results.

      Thanks for dropping by and adding your voice to the conversation.

      Ti

  • http://www.SocialMediaRush.com/ Reginald Chan

    Hey Ti,

    I think you have some serious points here. I can’t agree more about the cross promotion thingy. I recently did a quick case study on this and hey, it works like charm!

    Thanks for ‘reminding’ me on this. Got to try back again ASAP!

    Have a blessed week girl!

    • / Ti Roberts

      Hi Reginald,

      Great to see your comment, thanks for dropping by!

      I’m glad my article hit home for you and it’s great that you’ve done this yourself and have seen results. Care to share a bit more details with us about your cross promotion campaign. What other niche did you target?

      I’m sure hearing more about your first hand experience will further help my readers.

      Thanks again for adding your voice to the conversation. ;)

      ~ Ti

  • / Ti Roberts

    Hi Max,

    Awesome to see your comment. Thanks for stopping by.

    Yes, it’s important to be innovative with your marketing strategies to stay ahead of your competition and to stand out from the crowd.

    Thanks again for adding your voice to the conversation.

    Have a great weekend ahead. :)

    ~ Ti

  • http://www.youcanmarketonline.com Mark Newsome

    Wow Ti!

    This was an absolutely fabulous article on so many levels!

    You really crushed it! I just saw your comment on a post by Kevin Carlton and your headline was very intriguing, so I knew I definitely had to stop by and take a look around.

    And I’m so glad I did.

    Your article is filled with several powerful, market tested strategies, that without a doubt, will (as you pointed out) definitely help any and all serious entrepreneurs and or business owners/service providers!

    I really enjoyed reading your post, because it was so well written!

    I’m definitely looking forward to studying at your blog more often! Great job!

  • http://freshlysqueezedbusiness.com/ Rachel Ambagtsheer

    Hi Ti,

    Thanks so much for posting this interesting and useful article. It’s so hard to know in advance whether another blog will view your friendly approach as competition or take it in the spirit in which it’s offered.

    I love the idea of targeting complementary areas, and audiences, and also to be very specific about who it is you are trying to target. Highly relevant suggestions that are easily actionable.

    Regards,
    Rachel

  • http://christopherjanb.com/ Christopher Jan Benitez

    Nice drilldown on how to conduct a research and evaluation of cross-promotion partners for your products and services. It’s an underrated marketing tactic, and your content shed light into this often ignored technique that more marketers should use.