The way 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 consistent 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 accessibility to content 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 took a look 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 person making the executive decision on whether to publish this work on a particular channel.
When considering your central target audience, start by researching the media channels that 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 one 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 for pushing this content to this particular channel.
2. Consider your goal
From the outset, you need to know what you are looking to achieve from this outreach, beginning with the end in mind. What will you deem success or failure? Is it the number of channels that your content will appear on, or is it the number of views, maybe number of links.
Whatever your intention, its 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 beginning your content outreach campaign unless you have a clear plan for how you are going to 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 over planning though as you run a risk of wasting a lot of time, in the beginning, delaying your start, and ultimately working in a very inefficient way.
4. Quality over quantity
When you are promoting your content, you need to be sure that the content is of an 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 sending out your content outreach campaign to thousands of people if no one is going to 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 on its own can be effective if the reader has already made a conscious decision that they are going to consume this content. For example, the next page in their book.
Digital content hooks people differently. You need to incentivize your reader to first 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 conveying a message in an effective way. 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 it’s important that they are referenced as the owner of those particular words.
8. Utilise mail merge and mail chimp but personalize where possible
When doing 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 including analytics to track performance too, so you know who is opening your emails if they are clicking through on a link and what the conversion rate is to respond.
The software available nowadays is very advanced so you can really play around with your messaging to optimize your performance to get it just right. It is always important regardless of doing a mass email or sending an individual email, to use the recipient’s name in the email.
Conversely, although mass emails are very effective, so too are personalized individual emails. The conversion rate for this method is always higher, but of course, it takes longer to do, so it is recommended to use this method mainly for high-value prospects.