If you’re not recognized as an authoritative source in your industry, chances are that you’re not getting any passive web traffic for your blog. Having a website and online presence is great, but that alone does not guarantee that readers, leads, and customers will step right in and sign up to learn more about your company.
However, you’re not required to hire a PR agency or purchase online banners to increase your web traffic. All you need is quality content, time, effort, and the art of outreach marketing.
How Does Outreach Marketing Work?
In essence, outreach marketing is all about connecting with influencers in your industry in order to increase web traffic and expose your content to a larger audience. Having an influential magazine, blog, writer, or a just a person that is followed and listened to by many to mention your brand, product, service or blog post has the power to significantly boost your business.
A successful outreach campaign can also amplify your SEO. Having your link in a high-quality referral website can help your page to rank higher in SERP because Google sees quality backlinks as a sign of page’s quality and credibility The bigger your page ranking, the bigger the audience you’ll have.
Understand Your Business First
If you want your outreach marketing to be effective, you need to fully understand your brand and what you represent as a business. There are some aspects that you need to think about when you analyze your company:
- Do you provide unique value and content for your audience?
- Is your branding/marketing style on point with the outreach?
- What are your target customers’ key characteristics and how are you going to use them for your outreach strategy?
If you understand what characterizes your business you can express your unique value proposition (UVP) better and you’ll be much more persuasive in your outreach approach.
Developing an Outreach List
Before you start with the outreach you need to create a list of target pages/blogs and people. When it comes to link opportunities, you’ll need pages that:
- Operate in your niche.
- Have a targeted audience that is, in fact, your target audience.
- Have a high domain authority.
- Have a high engagement rate (Lots of Reads, Shares, Likes, and Comments).
- Conduct a marketing strategy that ensures thousands of readers and traffic.
Searching on Google is the most straightforward tactic for locating your target pages if you still haven’t recognized them yet. You just need to enter the type of page/blog that you want to link to in the search bar and inspect the results that will turn up.
To evaluate your choices you can use Moz’s Link Explorer. This tool will provide you with information on how much the audience appreciates the site in terms of domain authority, links and traffic.
When you develop an outreach list, you need to know what information to include in it. For example, important details that you can cover are:
- Page URL
- Domain Authority
- Contact Name
- Email Address
- Social Media Profiles
- Reason for Outreach
- Date of Outreach
- Additional Notes
Your list will serve as your database for your wanted outreach opportunities. When you spot a page, just enter it in the list and track your progress. As you outreach, fill in the information and don’t leave any missed linking opportunity behind.
Smart Ways to Create Outreach Marketing
Outreaching it’s not as easy as it sounds. Performing an outreach to a bigger company, publication or to an influential person requires careful planning and hard work. That’s why we want to share with you the most clever and useful tips that can enhance your outreach strategy.
1. Have a Solid Online Presence
To be recognized when you contact an influential blog is one of the biggest leverages that you can have in the marketing world. The more they know you, the more probable it is that they’re going to provide a response to your query. But the question is, how to create that presence?
Social media is just the tip of the iceberg here. Today, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and alike are all oversaturated with content, influencers, and “influencers”. The trick is in finding the channel that can make your page stand out.
For example, Twitter is the place where we get the most engagement for our blog and where we can leverage more outreach opportunities.
If you want to be recognized online, you must realize that the Internet never sleeps. Once you start with social media and community engagement, you need to stay consistent, engage regularly and provide value to your audience. This is what credible influencers and publications seek and value in a contributor, an established online presence and value.
However, being known doesn’t happen overnight. Keep participating in social media, communities, and forums. Talk about your niche, solve people’s problems and learn from the feedback. You can even mention valuable discussions when you perform the outreach to make your knowledge and expertise visible and create more context.
2. Write Captivating Emails
Once you’ve created your outreach list, it’s time to start sending those emails. The website owners and bloggers that you target probably receive hundreds, if not thousands of email messages per week/month. So, how are you going to craft an email message that will not end up in the spam or the trash box?
First of all, before you write your message, you need to be sure that you have something that connects you and that can provide value to the readers of the page that you target. When you know that you have a connecting point, a common factor, only then can you start crafting your email message.
Another key aspect of successful outreach email messages is personalization. You can’t copy paste the same message for every page of your list. Instead, you need to tailor the email to the page itself. Look at the blog posts, see what pages got a link there and in what context. The ‘About’ page is another excellent place where you can learn more about the author/website.
If you know that you are writing to a person, always use his/her name in your email message. With that being said, the underlying traits of the successful outreach email message are:
- Direct Subject Line – The person that you reach out to should know immediately what you ask after reading your subject line. If the page already has some guidelines for link outreach, please follow them.
- A Readable Message – Readability is key for email success. Avoid long paragraphs and bigger pieces of copy. Use bullet list if you have to. Also, read your message out loud before you send it. If it doesn’t sound right and readable to you, it probably won’t for the receiver either.
- Message Length – People are busy, they receive tons of emails a day and time is money. Make your message long enough to express your purpose, but short enough to not waste people’s valuable time.
- Call to Action (CTA) – You need to have a CTA that tells the person why you outreach to them and the benefits for them if they include your link. In another CTA, don’t forget to ask for feedback or a response. If you don’t get an immediate response, make sure that you follow up.
- Email Signature – Your email signature should be flawless and represent who you are. Here, you can also include other options to contact you, such as your phone number and social media accounts.
If you don’t get a prompt response, you probably need to follow up and remind them that you’re still in for the linking opportunity. There’s not an exact follow-up formula, but it doesn’t hurt to send up to two or three follow-up emails if you don’t get a response.
Wait a week between each message, that is a reasonable time to give to someone to think about the opportunity and it won’t make you look like a stalker. With every follow-up message, make sure that you don’t write the same subject line or the same written copy. Alter your approach, make people know that you really care about the opportunity and that you do personalize your messages.
3. Provide Immense Value
Authority pages and influential people didn’t get where they are without work and growth. They won’t keep their place at the top either if they don’t continue with their growth. This is why they want to get even more value. At this point, it is critical for you to jump with your link and provide value upfront without asking something in return.
You need to think about building relationships with influential people/pages. Relationships are everything in life, and in business. But in business, in order to develop the relationship, there has to be a value exchange. To successfully execute link outreach, you should always be the one that gives the value upfront.
When you form a real connection with someone, they’ll have a continuous positive impression about your personality and your brand. You can always keep influencers posted about your new piece of content and product enhancements so they can pass that up to their followers.
Think about a valuable resource that would add up to their content. If you use their solution or regularly read their blog that helped you, make a testimonial and offer it in exchange for a link too. In short, help these websites/people achieve their goals and solve their problems, and you’ll solve yours in return.
4. Guest Blogging
If you’re serious about link building, you need to incorporate guest blogging into your outreach strategy. Guest blogging has the power to bring you relevant traffic, increase your page authority and attract qualified leads for your business.
To get a relevant link for your website that brings more traffic and builds your brand online, a guest blog post has to have the right intent, be of high quality, and to be accepted on an authority website.
For outreach, you have to know where to submit the post. You must look for websites that actively seek quality contributors. Above all, you need to be certain that the link opportunity is aligned with your goals.
There are lots of ways to find guest blogging opportunities. Again, the easiest way is to conduct a Google search to look for websites that can accept your article:
- (keyword/phrase) + “write for us”
- (keyword/phrase) + “submit guest post”
- (keyword/phrase) + “contribute to our blog”
For example, if you write about Photography, you’ll be presented with lots of guest blogging opportunities:
If you want to evaluate the pages’ domain authority, you can use Ahrefs, a well-known toolset for backlinks and SEO analysis used by the best marketing experts, including Neil Patel.
Before you approach the website owner for contribution, it is recommended to form a relationship with the blog owner. Like we said above, these people probably receive a lot of guest blog pitches, but they either can’t be bothered for a single article or they prefer to choose to give a chance to someone that’s been persistent and likable to them.
You need to engage with them. For example, you can subscribe to their newsletter, contribute with valuable comments on their blog posts and tweet their posts with their handle. Kind words and regular interaction can do a lot before you decide to submit a guest post.
With your guest post topic, think about how you can add value to their audience, for example:
- Providing more value for a given topic.
- A fresh point of view about a topic that will resonate with their audience.
When you know the topic that you’ll write about and you’ve thoroughly understood the guest post guidelines, it’s time to pitch your topic. Couple of things to consider when you pitch to a guest blog:
- Be concise – Influencers and authoritative blog owners don’t have the time to read a long pitch, so don’t waste your opportunity – keep it short and to the point.
- Personalize – We can’t emphasize personalization enough. Nobody will bother discussing your guest post idea if you don’t, at least, use their name in the first sentence of the pitch.
With your guest blog pitch, you should aim to ignite the interest of the blog owner. You need to include details and key points that have helped you develop your topic. Talk about formatting, post length and the idea in general. Give the blog owners some time and space to think about your idea. Be polite, but also be persistent in your quest for your valuable guest post link.
5. Use Effective Tools
An effective outreach strategy requires data management, analysis and lots of writing. You need to keep track of websites, analyze them, contact them and monitor your approach. Google Spreadsheet is excellent for creating your list, but there are other effective tools that can amplify your outreach marketing:
- BuzzSumo – It is a powerful online tool that allows any user to find out what content is popular by topic or on any website. With BuzzSumo, you can find content that performed the best on the website where you want to pitch your topic. Just type the site’s URL in the search bar.
- Traackr – Influencer management platform. Everything you need to discover your influencers, manage key relationships and measure their impact on your business.
- PitchBox – With this tool, you can avoid the finer details that typically slow down a blogger outreach program. Instead, you’re able to focus your time and energy on creating connections and discussing partnerships with the top influencers in your niche.
Effective outreach marketing is all about creating relationships and dealing with people. That goes way beyond having your link on authority page. Although linking is extremely important and the ideal result from your outreach marketing, you can’t ignore the power of providing value and the two-way relationship.
To successfully implement the tips above, let outreach marketing become your regular practice and stay consistent while you’re at it. Never get discouraged if someone refuses to include your link. Just know that by fostering relationships and with continuous improvement, it will pay off in the long run.