When done right, outreach marketing helps build greater brand awareness among your best possible audience. Here's how (and how not) to do it.
For anyone who works in marketing or is tasked with managing their company's brand content, outreach marketing is one of the best methods for expanding your target audience's awareness of your brand. In addition, it offers a great way to establish crucial connections within your industry and to exhibit your organization's trustworthy name.
This article discusses what outreach marketing is, who you should target for this campaign, how to perform this kind of marketing effectively, and what amazing benefits you can expect to reap from your efforts.
What is outreach marketing?
Outreach marketing is a marketing strategy that revolves around creating a pitch for the content your company produces to individuals with a significant influence on, or a strong relationship with, your brand's audience. As such, outreach marketing is also known as influencer marketing.
The basic idea is to pinpoint the key individuals and organizations whose target audiences share similarities with your company's own audience. These similarities could include needs, interests and issues of concern.
Once you've narrowed down the list of these people or groups, you can then create a plan to reach out to them and request that they promote your content. This way, you'll gain greater visibility and popularity among people who are most likely to be interested in your products and services.
Is outreach marketing the same thing as email marketing?
There is a key difference between the two kinds of marketing methodologies. With email marketing, the task is to create and send emails to your target customers who specifically opted in to receive notifications from your company.
In outreach marketing, however, you'll deliver your message to people or groups who are not yet familiar with your brand and what you offer.
Who should you contact for your outreach marketing campaign?
Established journalists or bloggers who write about your field
Influencers whose style meshes well with your brand
Subject matter experts who are thoroughly knowledgeable in your technical field
Outreach marketing is essentially an act of reaching out to select people and organizations. Growing your list of those who share similar audiences, work within the same industry, and are invested in the same issues means building strategic connections with entities that may also prove beneficial to your brand later on.
2. You get to expand your online presence and reach
Every time you secure a new brand ambassador or content creator, you potentially gain new followers from their existing audience that you may not have had access to before. In addition, any positive impact created by the new content produced by your outreach marketing efforts will also positively affect your search engine results and, consequently, your brand's online presence.
3. You gain an opportunity to promote your brand's content
All businesses aim to tell the world about what they do, what they're about and what they have to offer. Outreach marketing expands your online presence, which means new eyes will discover your company and your unique products and services. You'll be delivering satisfaction and convenience to more people with every successful outreach marketing campaign.
4. You connect with people who can help further improve your content
Finding truly relevant and powerful content creators, experts and ambassadors to speak or write for your brand can have far-reaching positive effects on the quality of your content.
Content by popular and trusted personalities, authorities on specific topics, and go-to resource persons will always be highly regarded and sought after. This means your target audience will be actively seeking your company out for expert, authoritative and trustworthy content, and will thus look to your products and services with the same quality standards.
5. You improve your company's SEO
A successful outreach marketing campaign translates to more quality content produced. This means that your site will present more quality content, which will contain links to other authority sites that can boost your site's credibility.
Likewise, new content will be posted on respectable sites with links leading to your site. Overall, there will be more opportunities for your brand content to come up in search engine results pages when potential customers search for the keywords you are targeting.
What are the things you should do, and not do, for outreach marketing?
Like any marketing strategy, there is a right and wrong way to go about your outreach marketing efforts.
In this respect, it will certainly work to your advantage to turn to seasoned providers of search engine optimization services with years of experience in outreach marketing for their advice on the proper outreach marketing etiquette.
Here are 17 important dos and don'ts to keep in mind to attain success in your outreach marketing campaign:
1. Do come up with a detailed, targeted plan and list of companies
Before anything else, you should create a list of individuals and companies that you aim to reach out to. It's best to be fully aware of the characteristics that make each entity a no-brainer fit as your brand ambassador or content creator and how each one ranks according to priority.
You may have different goals, messages and approaches for each one, and your detailed plan should keep close track of all these so you can successfully execute your plan and maintain the relationships you make.
2. Do thorough research.
It goes without saying that doing comprehensive research on each prospect on your list is a must. You need to tailor your campaign specifically to each company or individual so that you can thoroughly understand them and devise an effective method of capturing their attention even with the presence of competitors.
It can be useful to study your prospects through LinkedIn, and other social media channels to get a feel of their philosophy (as brands that are complementary to yours), view their content and following, and gain insight into their relationship with their own followers.
3. Do personalize the emails.
Your focus should be on creating an authentic and sincere interaction with your prospects, so you need to tailor each email you send to the particular recipient. Avoid all generic statements, false promises, trigger words and exaggerated emotions.
Instead, use a template that can be easily adjusted and customized, make the communication personal by mentioning direct contact details and perhaps real people you both know. Including your social media handles is another example that can also encourage the recipient to get to know you and your brand more.
4. Do add your photo to the email signature.
This is a simple way to put a face to the name your recipient sees in their inbox and further personalize the message. This can be a simple but very effective way to establish a productive connection.
5. Do make sure to command attention.
Your subject line should be able to capture the attention of your prospective content creator or ambassador instantly.
Try, for instance, using your email subject lineto highlight something you noticed on your recipient's latest content piece. Maybe you could tell them that there's breaking news supporting their statements. This lets them know that you've read and understood their content and are eager to start a valuable relationship.
6. Do make the sign-up process simple.
Be clear about the next step you want someone to take to become your new partner influencer or subject matter expert. For example, include a simple and working link to a form you'd like them to fill out to gather their information rather than making them look for a page on your website themselves.
7. Do show them how they can benefit from your proposed partnership.
One of the best ways to pique someone's curiosity is to let them know what benefits they could enjoy if they agree to collaborate with you. As such, it makes sense to explain upfront how you can help bring new customers straight to your prospect's doorstep if they share content about your company with their followers.
8. Do revisit and re-evaluate your campaign regularly.
Once you've secured your brand ambassadors and proceeded with the outreach marketing campaign, monitor and revisit your progress at all times and look for the logical next steps to take.
For example, a blogger or journalist you've worked with may have peers who leave comments on their content. Consider whether these individuals could also prove to be effective influencers for your brand.
9. Do request feedback.
It's always a good practice to gather insights other people may have on your approach to outreach marketing so you can make the necessary changes or improvements. Ask your collaborators what they think about your content, your company's offerings, or their experience in working with you so you'll know what strategies to continue, stop, or adjust.
1. Don't reach out to a generic email address. Talk to a real person instead.
Take note that email addresses beginning with "support@" or "info@" are unlikely to be managed by the individual you're trying to reach. If you made a detailed list of companies to contact, try to reach out to a real person in the organization.
2. Don't repurpose the same message for different contacts and industries.
A person will immediately be able to detect from the style of your email communication if you bothered to do research on them, their brand and what they do. More than addressing them by their name, talk to your contact about content they've published, an event they've recently held, or their personal contributions to their company or field.
Make sure to eliminate generic lines and instead show them that you took the time to craft a personal message.
3. Don't send automated follow-ups.
Similarly, add a human touch to your follow-up messages rather than sending a cold and impersonal template. Every email you send should be personalized so the recipient can feel the sincerity and earnestness in your communication.
4. Don't excessively pack your message with links.
Be conscious about keeping the number of links in your outreach email minimum. If too many links exist, your recipient may be distracted or directed away from your actual call to action. Make it easy for your prospect to find the links that matter in your message.
5. Don't focus solely on your products and services.
Provide only concise information about you, your brand and your offerings as you make your pitch. Keep in mind that putting what your potential partner stands to gain from this collaboration at the forefront will keep them more interested in what you have to say.
6. Don't contact your prospective influencer using your brand name.
You may think that reaching out to an influencer or blogger from under the banner of your organization or company is more effective. Still, personalization is the key to a more open and fruitful conversation in outreach marketing.
In the same way, you would contact a particular person, and let your potential partner know that they are speaking to a real individual. Use your full name so they can remember you specifically.
7. Don't stick to a single channel or platform.
LinkedIn isn't the only place to find people and organizations to help promote your brand and content. Explore all the possible social media platforms you can use to reach your prospects. Send a connection request on LinkedIn while also liking their content on Instagram or Twitter, or send them a Facebook DM inviting them to check out your email.
8. Don't skip adding a little humor to your message.
Finally, remember that the messages between business partnerships don't always have to be serious and dry. It helps to send a message that can make your recipient smile or laugh when you're reaching out to establish a working relationship around marketing a business.
Consider using wordplay, clever puns in your email subject lines, or perhaps an unexpected but relevant meme (which could make the message even more hilarious and relatable). Humor can break the ice and help make your recipient more comfortable conversing with you.
Outreach marketing works wonders for your brand
Outreach marketing is a powerful strategy that can benefit your company in important ways. Not only does it expand your company's presence within your industry, but it also establishes your standing as a positive and trustworthy brand.
Plan and execute your strategy well (keeping these helpful dos and don’ts in mind) and you can expect to build a compelling and impressive following.
Lea Lazaro is a Content Editor at SEO Sherpa . Since 2016, she has been working with the company's team of writers to produce and polish quality content that effectively promotes clients' products and services, improves their SEO, and cements their position as forces to be reckoned with in their respective fields.