Before the internet came to be, salespeople expanded their company’s reach by calling prospective clients and selling them products or services over the phone.
And a time before that, people went door to door selling what they had to offer in hopes of securing more customers and sales.
Fast forward to now, and you can send a single email and get in touch with clients, brands, and influencers to get them to buy from you and help market your brand to their audiences.
This strategy of reaching out to others for sales and branding purposes is called outreach marketing.
And if you run an online shop, this strategy works wonders for your site’s SEO and drives more organic traffic to your website.
If you’re struggling to grow your site’s traffic, and have exhausted all other marketing techniques, take a look at how outreach marketing can help you get out of your rut and begin to grow again.
What is Outreach Marketing?
Outreach marketing is the practice of seeking out influential people that have a strong connection with your target audience and convincing them to help promote your brand.
While outreach marketing can be helpful when it comes to direct sales, it mostly revolves around influencers promoting your brand to others.
This is especially helpful if the influencer you work with has a large audience of their own.
After all, their audience trusts what they have to say.
And since 83% of people trust recommendations from their peers, it’s likely your influencer’s audience will agree with an endorsement of your brand.
That means more traffic will come to your site by way of your influencer, your brand will begin to establish credibility, and you’ll benefit from the increased brand awareness.
Not to mention, outreach marketing helps you build strong relationships with those in your industry and builds natural links to your website, which carry a lot of SEO value and drive organic traffic to your site.
So, let’s take a look at how to create an effective outreach marketing strategy, so you don’t waste your time or your money.
1. Understand Your Business
The first thing you need to do when it comes to outreach marketing is understand the business you are representing.
After all, if you don’t know what your company stands for, what it can offer customers, or how you plan to reach your goals, you’ll never succeed no matter who is helping promote your brand.
Here are some things to think about at the beginning of every outreach process:
I. Have a Blog. If you don’t have one already, consider starting a blog to complement your online store. It helps win the trust of your potential customers, cement your company’s value, gives something for influencers to link back to that isn’t too salesy, and establishes you as an authority.
The good news, creating a blog can be done in less than a day — thanks to the plethora of site-building and blogging platforms that consolidates everything you need in once place. You just need to register or buy a domain name, apply a theme for your blog, and start developing your content.
II. Have Clear Goals. Create SMART Goals that you and your team can focus on and measure throughout your outreach campaign to see whether you’re making any progress or not. Doing so streamlines the process and prevents people from wasting time on things not related to marketing.
III. Find Your Value. It’s not enough to know what you sell and how much you sell it for. You have to know what sets you apart from the competition, how you can solve customer pain points, and how you’ll explain why your company is valuable.
IV. Know Your Style. Consistent branding is crucial if you want to build brand awareness among a broader audience that has never heard of you before. Make sure your outreach partner knows and understands this style so they can match it while promoting your business.
V. Understand Your Audience. Lastly, you need to know who your target audience is and how you can use that information to convince them to buy from you.
Understanding your business before you allow someone else to promote it is the key to an effective outreach marketing campaign and should always be a starting point.
2. Find Your Influencers
Okay, so you know what your business values are and who your target audience is. Now it’s time to find the influencers that will help you achieve your outreach goals.
Finding influencers isn’t necessarily hard to do. It’s finding ones that will make a big difference in your marketing efforts that can be tricky.
Start by making a simple spreadsheet of all the influencers you might want to work with.
You’ll want to include information such as:
Email and other contact information
Site/company they represent
Position at site/company
Previous contact with person and notes
Date you outreach to them
To find influencers, you can use Buzzsumo and Buzzstream.
Buzzsumo lets you find, analyze, and follow influencers so you can see whether they’re right for your business or not.
You can also see what content they share, export data, and even start an outreach campaign using the built-in tools.
With BuzzStream, you can research influencers, manage relationships, and build an entire outreach marketing campaign.
Use keywords to tap into influencers in your industry, email prospective candidates, share notes and progress with other team members, and view analytics to see how your campaign is going.
And if you need to verify email addresses, look into an email verification tool like Hunter.
Just enter the domain of your influencer’s website and check out the results.
With over 200 million indexed email addresses, you’re sure to be able to find contact information for any influencer.
Another tool to check out for email address verification is Voila Norbert.
ContactOut is a simple browser extension that helps you find email addresses and phone numbers of anyone on LinkedIn.
The website ( contactout.com) finds emails from 75% of Linkedin users (2x better than the next closest competitor) at a 97% accuracy rate.
Now let’s take a look at the most important part of your outreach marketing efforts: reaching out and making contact with influencers.
3. Contact Influencers
You might be able to directly reach out to influencers depending on the outreach tools you’re using. For example, BuzzStream lets you reach out to people right from your dashboard.
However, if you want to do it the old school way and send out a simple email, check out these best practices:
Here’s a great example of an exceptional outreach email template:
If you’re looking for other great outreach templates, check out the ones HubSpot has that they say actually work.
4. Create Killer Content
As you continue your outreach efforts, it’s essential you stay up to date on your own website.
This way, if an influencer decides to research you, they can see firsthand the value of your business and the kind of content you publish.
Creating killer content on your website is also a great way to pitch ready-made content to your influencers to share on their social media accounts or link to in their blog content.
Part of convincing an influencer to promote your brand is convincing them you’re worth it.
And using the content on your website, which is designed to convince site visitors to buy, works just as well on influencers.
After all, an influencer isn’t going to endorse you to their large following if they don’t think you’re valuable. So you better be good enough for them to put their name and stamp of approval on.
And just remember, if you get links to your website from your influencer’s site, make sure your site’s speed and performance are up to par.
You don’t want new site visitors turning away because of slow loading times.
To ensure your website loads as fast as possible, use a CDN to reduce latency and boost site performance.
5. Maintain Long-Lasting Relationships
Just because you convince an influencer to promote your brand doesn’t mean your outreach efforts stop.
In fact, if you want to build long-lasting relationships, it’s important you continue to nurture the connection that you and your influencer have.
One great way to do this is to interact on your influencer’s blog and social media platforms.
Get involved with discussions their audience is having, so if they come across a link to your site, they already know who you are.
You can also interact on forums and AMA (Ask Me Anything) threads to not only communicate with your growing audience but also meet new influencers that may want to work with you too.
For example, check out this AMA thread:
This conversation is said to have generated over 100 comments, including the ones left by leading content marketer Sujan Patel.
If Sujan were someone you wanted to work with, this AMA would have given you the perfect opportunity to make yourself known, leave comments, and set the tone for an outreach email.
And there you have it! The most effective way to approach outreach marketing so you get the results you want, without wasting time or money looking in the wrong places for people to promote your brand.
Outreach marketing is one of the best ways to improve your SEO and drive more organic traffic to your website.
And with influencers promoting your brand, links coming back to your website, and social media reaching far beyond your current audience, you can grow your business and success using an effective outreach marketing campaign.