Content marketing has quickly become the most popular way for businesses, large and small, to market themselves. And, it's no wonder when you consider all of the benefits:
- It presents you as a thought leader within your industry
- It creates trust between brands and customers
- If done correctly, it seriously increases SEO
With this in mind, it's easy to see why 9 out of 10 organizations now market with content.
So, we all know that content marketing is important, but what about outreach? If you’ve yet to try outreaching your content, or your doing it and not seeing results, this post will talk you through the What, Why, and How of outreaching in content marketing.
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What Is Outreach?
Unfortunately, successful content marketing isn't just about creating a stunning video, or a thought-provoking blog post. The internet is full of content just like yours, to get ahead of competitors you have to do a lot of leg-work – and that 'leg-work' is called outreach.
Put simply, outreach is the process of making sure that the right people see your content. To do this you need to reach out to industry leaders within your niche and ask them to post your content on their blog or website. It's quite a request, and that's why it's important to learn how to outreach effectively (but, we'll get into that later).
Why Is It Important?
It's extremely important to outreach your content to industry leaders because their sites get the most traffic within your niche. And most, if not all, of the traffic they do get will be from people who are seriously interested in your topic or product.
By getting your content displayed on these high-traffic sites your brand will gain more exposure, and you could also gain more backlinks to your site. But, more promising than that, your authority within the industry will increase dramatically once people see that your content has been given the okay by the Top Dogs.
How to Do It
You can successfully outreach your content marketing by following these three steps:
A lot of extensive research must be carried out before you try to outreach your content. The first thing you have to do is figure out who you should reach out to. To find the blogs that are receiving the most traffic within your industry, do a couple of detailed searches on a search engine for keywords that you expect your ideal customer to search for. Make a note of the blogs and websites that appear on the first page of the search engine.
After the search engine approach you can then research via a different avenue. Websites, like Alltop.com, are really useful for outreachers because they act like a directory of the highest performing blogs on the internet.
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Another great resource for finding high quality content in and around your niche is BuzzSumo. This tool lets you search for a topic and shows you all the top performing content across the web. You can make a note of the blogs that are showing this high performing content.
The research process is crucial because within this time you will be able to determine which people are safe to contact, and which are too close to being a competitor. For example, if you sell cupcakes and you blog about these cupcakes, you don't want to outreach to someone who does the exact same thing. Instead, you should be outreaching to people who blog about baking, cake decorating, catering, and so on. To find out more about how to find the correct people to outreach to (sometimes referred to as the 'Linkerati' here.
2. Build a Relationship
Once you have a long list of 'Linkerati' you can move slightly closer to outreaching your content. Before making contact with the bloggers that you want to outreach your content to, you have to build a relationship with them. The likelihood is that there are hundreds of other marketers that want to get their content on the same blog as you, and so you have to make sure you stand out.
Begin by reading a few of their articles and posting insightful comments, always try to ask questions to increase the chance of sparking up a conversation. You should also share their content as often as you can, and let them know about it. All of this careful relationship building will make sure that you're less of a stranger when you contact them in the future and ask for a favour. If you want to put a timescale on this I'd say it should take between one and two weeks.
3. Make Contact
So once you've done all of your research and relationship building it's finally time to make contact. Your first email shouldn't be too forward, so maybe something like this would work:
Your blogs are so great! I especially liked the one about [TOPIC]. I actually wrote about a similar thing last week, I'd love to get your take on it! :)
You should always make sure your emails are personalised. Mass emails will not work for outreaching so make sure you know who to contact, and remember to use their name!
Another good example for a first email would be this:
I know you're interested in [TOPIC]. So I wanted to give you the first look at an article I'm publishing next week [LINK].
Any constructive criticism you have would really help me out!
Emails like this are good because although you're asking the blogger for something (advice), you're giving them an exclusive look at your article, showing your admiration for their work. And, who knows, they might actually read your post and offer to feature it on their blog!
After one or two of these introductory emails I'd say it's finally safe to begin outreaching your content to them. Assuming your previous emails were answered you can say something like this:
Thanks for your advice recently. I hope you're doing well.
I'm just getting in touch again because I wrote a blog on [TOPIC] that I think would do well on your blog.
Check it out here: [LINK]
It's similar to some of the popular stuff you've been doing recently so I thought it would gather some page views for you :)
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Again, this email, like all of the others, shows that you are really interested in this person's work, and that you want to be a helper or a partner, and not a burden. A lot of the time when you begin outreaching you can create long-lasting relationships with influential bloggers that will happily feature your content time and again.
So, after reading this post I'm sure you'll agree that outreach really is important for content marketing. It often just gives you that boost you need to get noticed. However, it's also vital to remember that no matter how nice you are, how eager, and interested, some people just won't get back to you. But, don't let that put you off! The benefits of outreach in content marketing are so phenomenal that it's worth putting in all of the hard work.