As SEO and link building move towards quality over quantity, experts like myself resort to a different, more sophisticated strategy that leans towards PR (public relations) rather than submissions. In my years of doing this strategy, I found this highly effective not just in obtaining quality links but also in providing value to your target audience and partner sites, which is what content marketing should be about. It may take a while though, and returns may not be as immediate as we all wish it could be, but trust me, it’s still worth it.
With all of these trends popping out, new platforms to be ‘exploited’ for promotion, we digital marketers often forget the very first question we need to answer: what value can you add to the customers’ life? It becomes rather easy to get caught up in the trend and become more interested in the number of views and clicks we get that we fail to realize we need actual conversions. We need brand loyalty. Views, rankings, and clicks won’t get us there.
However, answering to customer pain points do.
What is Blogger Outreach?
Remember the time when you used to send press releases to print media in the hopes they feature your story or purchase an advertorial in a magazine? Blogger outreach is the digital version of that. It is PR in an online form.
The beauty of it though is that compared to newspapers and magazines, online platforms are more targeted; meaning, you can actually pin down audiences who are genuinely interested in your offer.
To break it down further, blogger outreach is about finding top related blogs to your niche that have a.) significant social following, b.) high traffic, and c.) high Domain Authority for SEO purposes. Most of the time it is triggered by a focus keyword related to the material you are trying to rank/get discovered for and finding related content publishers for a potential collaboration.
It starts with a quick search via Google or any search engine of your choice using your focus keyword. Filter results and pick out the best prospects. Find the site’s contact details and shoot them an email. Sounds easy? Not quite.
The very challenge is that you need to separate yourself from the hundreds and thousands of spam emails received by your prospect. Not to mention, you need to consider readers’ attention span, which is usually quite short. That is why you have to make your initial email as impressive and direct to the point as possible.
The Problem with Blogger Outreach
One of the issues I found in most blogger outreach process is how most outreach specialists put so much of their focus on acquiring links. This is good but not great. You see, when it comes to emailing a prospect, you need to answer one question: “What’s in it for me?”
Sure, you can buy your way into an advertorial but are you getting the most out of your efforts?
With the numerous tools available that can easily extract competitor backlinks, many outreach specialists tend to take the short, easy route and just try to steal or copy competitor links without checking if this is the right prospect for the project at hand.
You have to put yourself in the shoes of the content publisher.
Is this something my audience can relate to? Will this collaboration jeopardize my brand’s reputation? Will this affect my SEO? How can this proposal exactly help me?
Among with other concerns.
Defining Audience Pain Points
Defining your audience pain points first before doing outreach helps a lot in finding the right link prospects to reach out to.
While yes, extracting competitor backlinks is a great strategy, you have to filter out which ones of these prospects are being followed by the right audience for your content.
There are higher interests from content publishers to collaborate with you if they see the overlap between your audiences as compared to those who see you’re just in it to gain a backlink. Not only does this help you gain credibility among your peers and customers, it’s a more efficient process–no risk of wasting valuable resources and lesser risks to hitting the spam button on your email.
So, how can you use audience pain points work in outreach?
Let’s say, you are promoting content that relates to online communities and networking. Ask yourself, “Who are the people who’re likely interested to learn about this topic?” Oh, I know! Those businesses that live online like BPOs, Content and SEO Marketing Agencies, and SaaS Companies! It can also be for Musicians and Producers, Financial Advisors, Construction Companies, and Real Estate Companies! Practically, any industry that live and breathe referrals.
Next question to ask, “What are the problems they are facing why they need to learn about so and so?” Going back to the example given, they probably need online communities and networking to establish relationships with their current clients. Or maybe, improve internal communication and employee engagement. Or, securing interest of event attendees.
Lastly, ask yourself, “What are they probably searching for related to these pain points?”. This is where keyword research comes into play. Think like a customer in the research phase of the buying process. They are probably looking for list articles comparing top networking software or maybe tips on how to engage their members. Maybe, they’re looking for communication solutions for their companies. Find the keywords/key phrases that relates to these type of articles and you are on your way!
Adding Value to Content Publishers and their Audience
So, now you finally have the list of prospects. How will you make them interested in your proposal? Simple, and again, going back to the question, “What’s in it for me?”
You have to be prepared to give something back. Nothing is for FREE in this world.
With the most successful project I’ve handled for outreach, we’ve been open to either doing cross promotion on our social channels, link exchanges (only for those with high DA and articles closely related to our topics), content partnership (continuously promote us and you get to write on our blog or get featured in future articles), and guest post exchange. This way, you gain their trust and confidence that they are also getting something out of this deal–SEO wise and brand awareness.
Another one that worked for me is actually helping the authors update their blog. Yes, you have to exert efforts to write content for them. This is a more audience oriented approach. If you’re lucky to have stumbled an evergreen content and you are able to help them update/repurpose it without them exerting so much effort, it’s clearly win-win on their part.
There is more to outreach than just gaining a backlink. Finding the right prospects helps you gain authority in the eyes of Google, get higher chances to referral traffic from the right avenues, and win a new friend (content publishers) online.
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