Adding Partners to Your Website

Co-branding is a powerful, yet somewhat under-used, strategy for promoting an online business. Much care should be exercised when selecting a co-branding partner – you obviously need to choose partners that have something in common with the product or service that you’re selling.
For small online businesses co-branding can be very cost-effective. However, if you choose the wrong partner, or too many partners, the risks may outweigh the benefits.
Adding Partners to Your Website
Plenty of care is needed when adding a partner to your website, to ensure that significant benefits result from the union. These benefits include increased traffic to your website, improved online sales, and increased customer contact. As a small business owner you need to be cautious with your marketing budget; online branding can be expensive so be sure to choose partners that will bring significant benefits to your business.
Co-branding works best when the partner companies each provide a related service or product to the same types of customers. Clearly a partnership needs to make sense, and customers need to understand the connection. The ideal scenario is to partner up with a company that has a similar level of market exposure to your own.
Guidelines for Co-branding
The right kind of partnership allows for sharing the costs of marketing, strengthening your company brand, and access to a larger customer base. The following are some important guidelines when considering co-branding:
* How do your customers see your co-branded partnership? Does it make your customers feel better about dealing with your business?
* What do the co-branded businesses have in common? Are the products / services offered by both innovative? Are both businesses dependable? It is important that the co-brand image makes sense to your current customer base. You obviously don’t want to lose your current customer base, but instead you want to build on it.
* How does the business partnership benefit your customers? Will it save them money? Or will it save them time? Your marketing campaign should make the customer benefits very clear.
* Your goal with co-branding should be to find the optimum solutions for your customers.
* There should be equal value for both businesses in the partnership.
* Will your customers be able to readily see the connection and value of your partnership?
* Does the partnership bring you into contact with new customers?
The above questions need to be answered satisfactorily before you enter into a partnership. Joint promotions take a great deal of time and thought to be implemented, however, when done correctly and accurately, a co-branding partnership can bring in results that are far more beneficial than other traditional online marketing methods.
A basic rule of online marketing is to take your message, content, and promotions to your customers rather than focusing too much energy on trying to bring customers to your website.
Integrating Partnership Products
When it comes to marketing in a co-branding partnership, you need to be sure to include the benefits of both brands in the overall design of your promotions. In this way your customers will be able to understand the connection between the products and services offered by both businesses.
Simply putting your company logo, or a link to your website, on another website is an easy option, but may cause you to lose potential customers.
Successful co-branding should never leave your customers wondering exactly which website they are on. In addition, partnerships should improve a customer’s shopping experience by helping them in the buying decision process.
By exchanging content with your partner you will both expand your knowledge and expertise in your niche industry. However, it is important that this content is integrated into your website in such a way that it flows naturally and fits in with your own content. Maintaining professional consistency in producing website content will be beneficial to both partners.
Complementary Partners
Well integrated co-branding content will increase the legitimacy and competitiveness of your website. However, co-branding will only be of benefit if it complements the business goals you have defined for your business.
You should always keep your business goals in mind, no matter which online marketing strategies you implement. It therefore follows that all your website content, promotions, and activities with your co-branding partners should encourage your customers to follow through with the sales process.

About