Introduction to Outreach Marketing
Outreach marketing is a marketing strategy that focuses on human-to-human connection and consumer psychology to position ideas, brand, and products to the right audience at the right time.
The simple act of connecting with prospects (your audience) not only helps them learn more and understand what you are about, but can also help them.
Having other people tell your story or market your product (after they have used it or seen it) leads to more traffic, more sales and a better return on investment.
Most consumers value another consumer’s recommendation as compared to the seller pitching for his/her products.
The Blogger Difference
Bloggers, on the other hand, use their platforms to provide useful, unique content and in return acquire high-quality links and exposure into their target audience.
However, I have seen many bloggers posting quality and high-value information on their blogs but get very little exposure or traffic.
Traffic (that converts) is everything in online marketing, and if you cannot get enough traffic or exposure, you are doomed to fail.
While search engine optimization and smart marketing will help your site/blog gain more traffic, outreach marketing exposes your blog to your target audience easily and you can do so via a more personal interaction (as you’ll see).
Authority sites get more traffic and are much more respected, hence a great place to market your brand and products.
TIP: A good rule to follow: to drive more traffic, build authority and get REAL visibility, spend 80% on promoting yourself and 20% on your quality long form content (1500-2000+ word articles are recommended).
Here are 9 Clever Ways for Outreach Marketing you can use:
1. Identify your target audience
The first step to getting your content published on authority sites is by identifying your target audience and what they enjoy.
With the target audience already identified, it will be much easier for you to present and publish content that may interest them.
You can learn key insights by browsing through rival websites to see how they do it. Twitter search can provide a treasure trove of information.
It would also be advisable to go through the authority sites in your market to see how they like content created for them to publish your content.
Reading through their guidelines and terms of service may also help you know how to approach them, and learn more about the target audience.
2. Knowing who your target audience influencers are
A little digging is required to get this valuable information. Put yourself in the consumer’s shoes to find out what they might expect from you.
Social media has made it pretty easy for marketers. Many people turn to their favorite social media platforms for info and recommendations on particular products and services.
With billions of people using social media networks these days, you can use this to your advantage to learn about them, and then start working towards filling in the ‘void’ they may be having.
Buzzsumo.com provides great details about top posts, # of shares and their sharers.
Followerwonk is another great tool to help you find your top influencers, or you can use AuthoritySpy to get a lot more data.
3. Publish informative and high-quality articles on your blog
Armed with information from points 1 and 2, you must first focus on creating high quality and informative content for the target audience to consume. If you have few references, no materials or low quality to share, it will be slow-going.
As long as you can provide your readers and contacts with quality information on topics they are looking for, it will be much easier for them to share the content with their friends and networks.
Before you can publish any post, make sure it is free from errors and that your research and data is easy to back up. Your readers do not want to follow your ideas based on an assumption.
Do proper research on the topic and construct everything carefully based on facts, and in an easy to understand language.
Share your new findings and complimentary research to work they are already interested in.
4. Work on content marketing
Publishing quality content on your blog alone isn’t enough. Especially in a growing, crowded online marketplace.
You need to create and promote.
Use your blog and showcase content, tools, infographics via outreach (email, phone, social) and seek to publish content in strategic locations from your research.
It is only by offering to share highly informative and valuable content that search engines and authority sites will take note and interact with you.
Ensuring only quality posts are published on your blog and other key locations is your best chance of attracting attention from your target audience.
5. Use strategic email marketing campaigns
Email marketing is one of the best outreach marketing campaigns one can adopt.
Creating an avenue for your audience, webmasters and editors to communicate back, by either allowing them to publish comments on your blog or sharing their personal email addresses for further communication is invaluable.
Note: Never embark on buying leads or email lists with the hope of getting more traffic and exposure, unless you can get validated traffic and conversion numbers.
As long as the audience are willing to provide their contact information, and allow you to send them more information, there is a higher chance that they will consume and even share your information.
TIP: The best way to reap big rewards through targeted email marketing is by keeping it simple and making the messages short and to the point. Use references and always include a “helpful” angle to all your emails. Don’t come off as a “sales person” and plan ahead on what they should do next. Make it easy for them.
6. Make use of video posts and video marketing
This is one of the best ways of reaching out to a target audience and receiving improved online exposure.
Many people today prefer watching a short video clip other than reading a long post of written text. (Note: you should test this for your market).
Technology plays a big part in this since consumers have Internet-enabled handheld devices (such as smartphones, iPads, or tablets) and can search & view your materials from anywhere. That includes accessing apps in app store directories.
With these devices capable of playing video clips online, uploading high-quality video clips (how-to or explainer videos) to your blog and network can help drive more traffic to your blog. You can send them the information directly via email too.
TIP: Make use of free video hosting sites (such as YouTube, Vimeo, etc.) to upload videos for increased ranking, exposure and ease of sharing.
7. Social media marketing
Social media is one of the leading sources of traffic for most sites and blogs, and is very helpful during a startup phase.
Millions of people log on to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn to communicate, to make new friends and connections every day.
This creates opportunities to tap into traffic, deeper research and ease of outreach to your target audience.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn already allow bloggers and marketers to share information through different techniques (posts, paid advertising, #hashtags and @mentions).
Using these features not only increases exposure but also helps drive essential traffic to your blog or website.
While posting informative, creative, or funny content helps gain following on these social networking platforms, it would be advisable to allow users to be able to share content from your blog to their social feeds.
This makes it easier for other audiences to read through the shares hence improving your reputation online.
TIP: When posting to Twitter, include images as they have shown to improve sharing opportunities, but also creates attention and further branding opportunities. Let your targeted audience know about these quality shares.
8. Host on-site blogger events
This is more advanced, but easily one of the best ways of bringing bloggers together, where you act as the leader of the event.
Hosting a blogger event not only improves brand visibility but also creates a stronger ongoing relationship with influential bloggers and editors.
This alone can help you win the hearts of influential site managers hence allow you to publish your content on their sites and vice versa.
TIP: Consider using a series of webinars for these events, and invite other bloggers to speak and present. Using blogger outreach programs to strengthen bonds and brainstorm on new ideas can also market your brand beyond borders, which in turn will improve your authority, trust and online visibility.
9. Work with brand ambassadors
Using or working with a brand ambassador on your blog can also help increase visibility and authority online.
This not only approves the authenticity of your blog posts but also shows that you are an easy to reach person.
Most bloggers hide behind their computer screens and rarely go out to public functions and events.
Attending events also expose you to target audience in person, thus creating a much stronger relationship with them.
It will not be long before you start trending on social media and other influential channels on the Internet.
Outreach marketing not only makes your blog/brand known to target audience but also exposes you to a larger market on the globe.
TIP: Use tools like Pitchbox, HARO and Buzzstream to find quality webmasters, websites and to completely automate the outreach process.