Outreach marketing can be a very valuable tool if used correctly. It’s a great way to add value to your content marketing campaign and drive traffic to your site. For brands that are just starting up, outreach marketing provides a way to expand their audience, develop industry authority, and attract high-quality consumers. Using an array of tools and best practices, businesses can launch a highly successful outreach marketing campaign.
What is Outreach Marketing?
Outreach marketing is a way to develop your brand, and trust in your brand, using connections between consumers. In short, it uses the human connection to legitimize and create a bond with your brand. It focuses on bringing marketing back to its roots. Instead of marketing to your consumers with tricks and gimmicks, outreach marketing does what marketing once did in days long past: build a connection with consumers. Outreach marketing is built on a set of principles:
- People trust third party opinions. Obviously, you’re going to think your brand is the best and want to share that with consumers. While that may be true, consumers are more likely to trust you if an unbiased third party is telling them that, not you.
- It’s all about the right people in the right place, at the right time. You have to employ others to help your marketing outreach campaign. That means finding influential people within your niche or industry. It’s about finding the people that “fit” to market your brand for you.
- Outreach marketing is an ongoing effort. It’s not like a typical marketing campaign where the goal is to convert browsers into buyers and the work is done. Outreach means building relationships yourself, and keeping them alive by treating customers like a part of your brand’s story.
- Honesty is the keystone of outreach marketing. If the goal is to get back to your marketing roots, the road to get there is by being an honest and up front brand. Marketing your brand authentically will naturally lead to more followers, higher page ranks, and a better social media presence. Let those things fall into place naturally, and focus on being the “good guy.”
How to Do Outreach Marketing Correctly
So, with all that being said, how do you pull off an outreach marketing campaign successfully?
Reach out to Bloggers. Find bloggers that fit within your niche and have a genuine interest in your brand. Bloggers love to do product reviews. Use social media hashtags to promote your brand and encourage others to join in, whether in a full-fledged review or a simple shout out. Ask bloggers in your industry or niche to review a product for you. Better yet, offer them a product for free and don’t require them to post a review. That way, you’ll get 100% honest feedback.
Consider the impact of product reviews and retailers who engage in social media.
Source: Marketing Charts
This graph shows that the return on effort for engaging in social media campaigns, as well as, a well-placed product reviews from outside sources, significantly boosts your impact.
If a review mentions you in a post authentically, it will generate high-quality traffic to your site. Software platforms like GroupHigh help you to identify top bloggers in your niche. It also has analytical tools that evaluate their digital presence and how much a blog post will affect your campaign. If you don’t have time to scour the web for relevant bloggers that are willing to write about your brand, GroupHigh is how you find them.
Keep in touch with your fans. Identify your most loyal brand fans and maintain a relationship with them. They are one of your most valuable assets for spreading the word about your brand and instilling trust in other consumers. Don’t be afraid to e-mail them updates about your company and ask for opinions. Whether it be an opinion on a new product, a past purchase, or a secret product that is yet to launch, your customers will appreciate you reaching out to them and they’ll feel like part of your success.
Take traditional sales techniques for inspiration: send them free gifts every now and then, and even send them a gift on a holiday or birthday. You can use e-mail marketing tools like MailChimp to designate specific customers and audiences and tailor e-mails to them. Use it to find your best customers, create personalized e-mails, and send them at optimized times. The platform also has ongoing analytics to find new subscribers with serious potential.
Find high-quality brand ambassadors. Reach out to people who are a natural fit for your brand. Before you do, take a look at the content they produce. Is it authentic? Good quality? Influential? See how engaged their audience is and how genuine their posts are. Use software tools like BlogDash or InkyBee to find potential candidates who will promote your brand.
They don’t just have to be bloggers, either. Customers with a heavy social media following, other industry professionals, and business partnerships are all valuable sources. Above all, look for high-quality content no matter where you search. The digital world is too saturated with dull blog posts and spam, so don’t waste your time on anything subpar.
Get creative when telling your brand’s story. Your brand story is one of the most important parts of what makes your business unique. Find creative and genuine ways to tell that story instead of just dictating it. Interview employees of your business. Create a video series about your company culture. Share stories about other people who work with you in your industry.
Launch an interesting campaign that strengthens the story of your company and you will gain organic interest.
Whenever you can, attend face-to-face events in your industry. This will give you chance to meet with other influential people and spread your brand. It also gives you food for a new story or campaign. Consider yourself a marketing entrepreneur: don’t be afraid to think outside the box and come up with new ways to deliver content and spread your story.
Reward everyone. The best way to build and maintain meaningful relationships with your customers is to continually recognize them for their services. If a customer gives you a shout out or a review, thank them on social media, or send them a free gift in the mail. Interact with them on Twitter or Facebook in a genuine way.
For example, offer them advice, ask for their opinion on a matter, share links to helpful information, and share their posts. Treat is like an interaction with a customer face to face. You want to be helpful and appreciative, as if they were shopping in your store. If you can keep your customers involved and appreciated, they will be loyal to you and spread the word about your brand naturally. Growing your brand naturally like this is the whole concept of outreach marketing.
How to Tell What Works and What Doesn’t
So how do you know if something doesn’t fit into your outreach marketing scheme? Just use common sense. If something feels “off,” or doesn’t seem to fit within your niche, don’t waste your time with it. Remember, the name of the game is authenticity. If you force yourself to launch a marketing strategy that you’re not comfortable with, that awkwardness will show right through and turn off consumers. On the other hand, if something does feel right, even though you’ve been told it doesn’t work, try it out. Your customers will thank you for being true to your brand and unafraid to try something different.
Stephen Moyers is an active tech-savvy blogger who loves to write about online marketing, Social media marketing and various technology topics. He is currently associated with a Los Angeles based SPINX Digital Agency which provides a range of services like Website Design & Development, Search Engine Optimization and many more. You can follow Stephen on Twitter & Google+.