James Craigmillar writes for Inspiring Interns, which specializes in sourcing candidates for internships and graduate jobs.
Struggling to find a good content outreach campaign? Look at the top ways to create an effective content outreach campaign, and how to get your content published.
How we consume content has changed over time and continues to evolve today. This spread has reached consumer media from newspapers and letters to websites and emails – and, more recently, social media.
The only consistency in all this is the demand for quality content. In a world where the number of content outlets is vast, and the audience is large, the requirement to push out incredible content is growing.
As content accessibility grows, so does our ability to share content with others. This means that the competition is on. Content creators and production teams compete to direct all eyes toward their campaigns.
We looked at the top ways to create an effective outreach campaign and how to get it published.
1. Consider your audience
Split your audience into two categories. The first category is the central target audience, meaning the consumer you want to see your content. The second is the executive decision to publish this work on a particular channel.
When considering your central target audience, start by researching the media channels they use the most often. What websites do they use? Which social media platforms do they prefer? News outlets, both print and digital, are also a good ones to contemplate.
Next, you need to consider the latter. The person making the decisions will have a specific set of requirements. Think about gaining their attention and their trust.
Endorsements, as well as historical and relatable examples, are a good way to approach this. You also need a clear reason to push this content to this channel.
2. Consider your goal
You need to know what you want to achieve from this outreach, beginning with the end in mind. What will you deem success or failure? Is it the number of channels your content will appear on, or the number of views, or maybe the number of links?
Whatever your intention, it's best to define it from the outset and then work backward to figure out the steps you need to take to get there.
There is no point in beginning your content outreach campaign unless you have a clear plan for how you will do it. If you begin with no plan, your results will inevitably suffer.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
You should prepare everything from start to finish so you know how much time you have to achieve your goal, how much time you can allocate to each task and in what order you should complete your tasks.
It’s important not to fall into the trap of planning, though, as you risk wasting a lot of time in the beginning, delaying your start, and ultimately working inefficiently.
4. Quality over quantity
When promoting your content, you need to be sure that the content is of excellent quality. Is it well thought through? Is it structured? Does it flow well? Does it have the right tone of voice for your desired audience? Is it something you would enjoy reading yourself?
There is no point in sending out your content outreach campaign to thousands of people if no one will read it.
5. Follow Up
Sending out a blanket email is a very effective way to reach an audience, and although you may not see a high conversion rate, it is likely to yield some results.
But, of course, people miss emails. Sending a follow-up email increases your odds of success dramatically, and you can optimize your conversion rate by well over 100% with just a simple message.
6. Using visuals and graphs
Words on a page are not always compelling, even if they are meticulously planned and thorough. Text-based content can be effective if the reader has already made a conscious decision that they will consume this content. For example, the next page in their book.
Digital content hooks people differently. You need to incentivize your reader first to acknowledge the content and coach them through it. This is very hard to do with just words on a page.
Using visuals and graphs will draw in your readers and help them understand the context of your content without having to over-commit. Once you have their attention, they are far more likely to be open to reading your piece.
Visuals and graphs aren’t only ways to attract attention; they also assist in effectively conveying a message. The use of visuals, graphs and infographics will help better explain your content so it is more likely to resonate with the person that is reading it.
7. Use quotes for extra authority
Integrating the voice of a respected figure of knowledge can add authority to an article.
You do not need their permission to use their quote, but they must be referenced as the owner of those particular words.
8. Utilise mail merge and mail chimp but personalize where possible
When doing a content outreach campaign via email, you can spend unnecessary hours sending out individual emails, and the performance of those emails is blind unless a recipient responds.
Using mail merge or email software like mail chimp allows you to send out vast quantities of emails, as well as to include analytics to track performance too. Hence, you know who is opening your emails if they click through on a link and what the conversion rate is to respond.
The software available nowadays is very advanced, so you can play around with your messaging to optimize your performance to get it just right. It is always important to use the recipient's name in the email regardless of doing a mass email or sending an individual email.
Conversely, although mass emails are very effective, so are personalized individual emails. The conversion rate for this method is always higher, but it takes longer to do it, so it is recommended to use this method mainly for high-value prospects.
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