Brand recognition and public relations are two different areas of your business that often intersect but aren’t always considered in the same strategy.
However, there is a strong connection between building your brand, boosting your reputation, and finding the right people and organizations that can help facilitate growing awareness of your products and services.
The most successful companies have strong advocates who can help bring the brand to the next level.
In order to build relationships with those groups, a technique called outreach marketing can be a significant help.
Outreach marketing is a term that has been thrown around often in digital marketing circles. But what exactly is outreach marketing and an outreach marketing strategy?
In this guide, we’ll discuss the benefits of an outreach marketing plan, the steps to building an impactful outreach marketing strategy, the best channels for outreach marketing, and how to track it.
What is an Outreach Marketing Strategy?
Outreach marketing is a strategy that involves getting your business, brand, products, services, or messaging out in front of influential sources who are connected to your target market and can promote you to their followers.
That means that another term for outreach marketing is influencer marketing.
When you can build relationships with industry leaders, social media influencers, bloggers, and others who have a strong following in your area of business, you can use that connection to find ways to promote your own brands.
Outreach marketing is the process of getting in front of those influencers so you can begin using influencer marketing tactics.
An outreach marketing strategy is the planning and execution of tactics that will help you reach the most influential people that can bring your business to the next level.
Each outreach marketing strategy begins with an initial connection to an influencer, then continues to develop and work at strengthening that relationship using different tactics and techniques to convince your influential source that your brand is worth promoting.
Benefits of an Outreach Marketing Plan
Creating an outreach marketing strategy can bring about many different advantages and benefits for your business.
When you put in the time to plan your outreach marketing, you can gain more control over the process of finding important influencers and improving your overall marketing program.
Increase Your Online Reputation
When you find influential sources and partners who can promote your brand, services, and products, you’ll be able to increase the reach of your online reputation.
And, not only will you expand your reputation, but you’ll be able to improve the quality of that reputation by using the trust and authority already built into the platforms of your influencers.
When a partner promotes your brand to their loyal followers, those followers in turn can become advocates for your company.
That means that not only does your audience grow, but your network of promoters grows at the same time.
Build Powerful Collaborations and Relationships
Finding an influencer doesn’t mean partnering with a huge celebrity or social media star with millions of followers.
The best collaborations are the ones that fill the gaps in your marketing outreach and allow you to build strong and long-lasting relationships that are impactful to your business.
Working with small businesses and local influencers or creating partnerships with people or organizations who can use your help in turn is a powerful end result of outreach marketing.
Create Better Quality Content
Attracting the right people to your website and brand requires you to closely examine the content that is created.
By focusing on the quality of your content and message you are sharing, you can improve your overall content production and attract more visitors to your pages.
Evaluating your content strategies so that they align with your outreach marketing program helps improve the copy around your products and services and can help you capture not only a broader audience but an audience that has more influence in your industry.
Learn About Personalized Approaches to Marketing
Just as improving the content on your website will improve the traffic that comes to your business, you can also work on personalizing your messaging to create a better, more honest approach to reaching your target audiences.
When you have a human touch in your messages and communication with target influencers, you can improve your brand’s reputation.
Boost Your SEO Rankings
When you build relationships with influencers who have a strong online presence, you have a much higher chance of getting backlinks and referral traffic coming to your website.
That boost in traffic from another reliable source will increase your SEO rankings, as the search engine algorithms will have more trust in the authority of your brand.
Steps to Build a Powerful Outreach Marketing Program
Before you can put specific tactics in place to reach influencers, you need to set the groundwork for your outreach marketing program.
Let’s take a look at some of the important steps you need to take in order to build a foundation for outreach marketing that will bring in the best results.
1. Identify the Right Influencers
The first step of building any outreach marketing program is identifying the influential people or organizations that you want to build connections with.
Just as you should have ideal buyer profiles, you can start by designing your ideal influencer profiles that can help guide your teams in finding the best influential sources.
For example, you’ll want to consider:
- The number of followers they have.
- Their reputation in your industry.
- How frequently they post recommendations.
- The mix of professional and personal posts.
- If their followers are growing.
- Any negative press the influencer has been involved with.
- The other brands that they promote.
- If their engagement is positive.
- How much engagement they receive in their posts.
- How communicative the influencer is with their followers.
You’ll also want to consider the size and reach of your influencer.
As mentioned above, sometimes the person with the biggest followers isn’t the best choice for your brand. If you are a smaller brand, you might want to consider working with local or smaller influencers to start.
2. Craft Impactful Message Lines
Reaching out to the influential source often starts with an email or social media message.
In both cases, the first message line and subject lines that you create are incredibly important.
That’s the first line of communication you have with someone you want to build a partnership with, meaning that the message needs to be impactful and communicate the value you can provide.
3. Personalize Your Outreach Approach
While automation and templates are great for most kinds of marketing, when it comes to outreach marketing you’ll likely want to consider a personalized approach.
When you are connecting with an influencer, you want them to feel like you take them seriously as an individual and appreciate their influence.
If you only send template messages, influential sources likely won’t take you seriously and might even group you in with spam messages.
Taking the time to understand the influencer and craft a personal message will increase the odds of a response.
4. Follow Up with Your Influential Sources
Another important step of an outreach marketing program is to follow up with your influencer messages.
If you just send a single message and never follow up, you might risk losing a connection. Sometimes messages are lost or get missed in the shuffle, so following up means that you can prove your dedication to the relationship.
While following up is important, you want to make sure that you aren’t being an irritant to the influencer.
Be consistent in your follow-up, but don’t send daily messages. Let some time pass between your follow-up messages and allow the influencer to think through decisions rather than pushing too hard for a deal.
5. Prove Your Value to Influencers
You want to be able to demonstrate value to the influential sources you reach out to.
When you can demonstrate clear value, an influencer is more likely to want to create a partnership with your brand.
You can demonstrate value by:
- Being a credible source.
- Showing the impacts of your products or services.
- Offering other benefits to your partnerships.
Be ready to show proof of the benefits of your brand’s products or services or a successful track record with other influencers.
You want to be able to tote the value you bring without going over the top.
Effective Tactics and Techniques to Execute Outreach Marketing
Now that you understand what outreach marketing is and how to get your foundation built for your strategies, let’s take a look at the specific tactics and techniques you can try to reach the influencers you want to make connections with.
By implementing these strategies you can get results quicker and see the impact of your marketing strategy.
Use Guest Blogging
Guest blogging helps you connect with specific audiences in your industry.
It also helps you gain important backlinks to your site and tap into existing audiences on other sites with your high-quality content.
Combine Your Outreach Marketing with Email Marketing
Email marketing is another tactic that involves getting directly in front of audiences.
When you can combine your outreach and email marketing, you can improve your message and personalizations.
Try Visual Formats to Engage Influencers
A plain email or social message might be boring to the eyes of your pool of influential candidates.
Using images, infographics, videos, and interactive content can create a more unique connection with influencers.
Take Advantage of Social Mentions
Rather than just emailing, you can try using social mentions to reach the influencers you want to build connections with.
This also allows you to reach the audience of an influencer on social media.
Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out
Oftentimes brands, particularly smaller brands, worry about irritating influencers in their space.
That means they miss out on opportunities to market themselves. Don’t be afraid to reach out to big names in your space. The worst they can say is no.
Share Customer Stories
A large part of outreach marketing is building your trust with your audience.
That means that positive reviews, referrals, and sharing customer success stories are all important tactics that can build your authority and improve your trust.
Use Networking Events to Your Advantage
You don’t need to just rely on digital means to reach influencers in your area.
By attending networking events, whether in-person or virtual, you can personally make connections with influencers without relying on a message line to start the relationship.
How to Measure the Impact of Your Outreach Marketing Strategy
Measuring the impact of your outreach marketing strategy in the entirety of your marketing program takes time.
One of the biggest mistakes that brands make is thinking that outreach marketing will take place in a short period of time.
On the contrary, outreach marketing requires you to be patient.
It takes time to build strong relationships with influential people and create enough connections for influencers to promote your brand.
However, once that happens you can track the amount of traffic coming in from other sources, social mentions, and brand recognition to measure the impact of your strategies.
Outreach marketing helps you build relationships with influential people and organizations who can then go on to promote your brand, services, products, and business to their audiences.
Creating an outreach marketing strategy allows you to take control of who sees your brand and how you convince them to work with your business.
A successful outreach marketing program uses effective tactics and channels to reach the best possible influencers for your particular message.
That means that outreach marketing goes hand in hand with influencer marketing strategies and digital public relations.
If you want to improve your online visibility and learn how to enhance the authority of your brand, then check out our blog on digital PR.
You’ll learn how digital PR differs from traditional PR and get tips and tricks on how to plan and execute a successful digital PR strategy.