Posted by Pamela Swift in People & Relationships
Article Contributed by Derek Iwasiuk
Making it as an entrepreneur is very tough due to the competitive environment in most industries and the fact that most entrepreneurs do not have the relevant experience or will power to make it. Statistics show that only a small percentage of startups make it past the first five years. There are several secrets that can increase the chances of a startup making it, one of them being an outreach campaign.
Outreach marketing focuses on human-to-human connection. It aims to bring marketing back to a simpler level. In an outreach campaign, you identify bloggers who have your target audience and work with them. They interact with your business and its products/services and share their experience with their audience in return for compensation. So, how does a startup stand to benefit from an outreach campaign?
- Speeding up the “know, like and trust” process
Readers will be interacting with bloggers they trust. Developing trust takes time and you cannot hope to create it in a few days or weeks. The trust between the blogger and his audience means the blogger’s opinion will be taken seriously. This speeds up the “know, like and trust” process and ensures you release your product/service with a bang.
- It is human nature to trust a third party recommendation
Human beings are wired to trust third party recommendations more than first hand marketing/self-promotion. People will trust recommendations, reviews, ratings, comments, blogs, and customer testimonials faster than they will trust an ad, even from a well established company.
- Focus on relevance and authenticity
Outreach marketing focuses on human-to-human interaction as opposed to numerical qualifiers and number of followers. Marketing campaigns like social media optimization, social presence, and ranking will benefit greatly from outreach marketing because, as an example, search engines look at relevance and authenticity when determining ranking in SERPs (search engine results pages).
- Targeted audience
When searching for a blogger to work with in your outreach marketing campaign, get one who is in your brand’s niche. For instance, if you sell used cars, you can work with a blogger who runs a car enthusiasts blog. This way, you will be focusing your marketing energy on people who are more likely to buy from you. With traditional forms of marketing such as PR submission, PPC (pay-per-click), and SMM (social media marketing), focus is more on numbers and less on target audience.
- Your product/brand could go viral
If the blogger has a big community that trusts him/her, there is a high chance that your product/brand will go viral. A good blog will have social icons that readers can use to share content they like with their social communities. If you are a startup, you will find it difficult to make your products/brand go viral even if you have the best product since people simply do not want to share something they are not sure about with their friends and relatives.
- Cost benefits
You will save money with outreach marketing compared to PPC and other traditional online marketing methods. Note that with most bloggers, all you need to do is give a sample product for them to write a review.
- High quality links to your site
Link building is one of the most effective White Hat SEO tactics – Google loves relevant links in authority sites and blogs. With outreach campaigns, reputable bloggers will have links on their blogs pointing to your landing page. Not only are links good for SEO, but they also bring in targeted traffic to your site since only those that are interested in what you have to offer or what they have read about will click on the links.
- Fresh content for your site
High quality, relevant, keyword-optimized content is another factor that search engines consider when determining ranking in SERPs. Producing high quality content is a difficult task, especially given the fact that search engines expect you to produce such content in volumes and in high frequency. Outreach marketing gives you quality, organic content that you can promote in relevant channels to get full SEO value.
- Measurable ROI
When an outreach campaign is managed properly, you can measure the ROI. There are tools to help you measure such things as the number of people who have come to you by clicking on links on a particular blog. This is important for your overall marketing campaign since it will help you know where to channel your scarce marketing dollars.
- Let others do all the work for you
As an entrepreneur, your time is best spent in product development. With an outreach campaign, you will not be involved in marketing and you can spend your time and effort in other online and offline marketing methods and in product development. Outreach marketing actually saves you money since you do not have to hire an in-house marketing team or to outsource marketing.
- Brand and credibility building
An outreach campaign will help your brand since the campaign focuses on finding creative ways to tell your brand’s story. This is particularly important for an entrepreneur whose brand will not be widely known. The bloggers you are working with will be looking outside the box and will have different perspectives – all these factors go towards improving your brand. This campaign will also build your credibility. When people see your link and brand name in a blog that is credible, they will also assume that you are credible.
You can find good bloggers to partner with through:
- PR sites like Source Bottle and Media Connections
- Tools like BuzzSumo.com
- Blog directories
- Twitter lists and Twitter search
- Advanced search queries
- Reverse engineering of your competitor’s link profile using tools like MajesticSEO.com and Ahrefs.com
You should ensure that the blogger you are working with is in the same niche your brand falls in. If you are not comfortable giving out money, you could offer something for free and ask the blogger to do a product review. Do not shy away from some criticism – people will trust a blog that is balanced more than one that is skewed in your favor.
Author Bio: Derek Iwasiuk run’s national digital search engine optimization firm headquartered in Minneapolis. He also spends a lot of his free time educating the minds of thousands of young SEO’s and top agencies. You can also follow him on Twitter @Diwasiuk and learn more about his out reach campaigns.