Good digital outreach is the only way to build worthwhile links…links that come from people, not websites. In order to secure these links, you must be able to effectively communicate with people. Outreach sets the table for your campaigns and nothing gets accomplished without effective outreach. Regardless of how many link building tactics you implement, outreach will be involved at some point, and often the one thing that makes a difference between securing links and squandering opportunities is outreach.
Experiment with Verticals
Team up with a few social influencers or bloggers in a vertical you’ve never marketed in and see if you can place your brand or your client’s brand in front of new consumers. Track engagement and brand lift to see if this vertical is one that you should scale up a bit.
Write About a Time You Weren’t Your Best
Write a blog post about a time when you or your brand wasn’t at your best.
Authenticity is suggestive. When consumers see your brand as human instead of a mere digital presence, they can connect and relate. This means you don’t always have to be perfect, you just have to be truthful and real. Talk about a time your brand made a decision that you learned from. If you can use this as a lesson for others—a strong connection can certainly develop.
Funnel your Campaigning
Implement a network focus instead of campaigning. Develop a strategy that can harness more than one digital shout out. Find a way to work with social influencers on an ongoing basis. Whether it’s once a month or once a week for three months—try working with less influencers and compensate them for multiple posts. The theory behind this strategy is that ongoing mentions are more trusted and thus more effective because a network trusts a brand mention when it occurs more than once.
Make an Opt-In Friendly Plan
Create an opt-in network. Many marketers have told me how surprised they are at how many influencers reach out to them to work with their brand. Create a game plan and an online sign up form for people who like your brand to opt-in to being a partner.
Create a Resource Series
Instead of thinking how you need influencers to help your brand think about a resource you could create to help them. Whether it’s a how to guide, a series of tips, an instructional video, etc. just think about a pain point a lot of your consumers face and set out to create a way to solve that pain point.
Have Fun and Show it
Highlight the personality of your brand. Whether it’s a surge in the company happy hours you share on Instagram, a post on the founder of your company or a Facebook post once a week on something quirky going on in your office—be mindful of sharing not only your brand with your network but also your personality.
Get New Quotes and Stories
Gather happy customer quotes for marketing material.
Email your happiest clients and ask them for a quote on something they love about your brand or one of your products. Use these quotes in all of your marketing material. Creatively display them on your homepage, create a PDF with quotes paired with logos or headshots, tweet them or even curate them for a SlideShare presentations. Spin it as showing how people are interacting with and using your brand, don’t just say “here is what people are saying about us.”
Ask How Your Network Wants to be Marketed With
Ask your network how they want to work with you. Send out an email to your network—consumers, fans, social following, etc. and ask them how they want to work with you. This will show you exactly how your current network and your future customers want to be marketed WITH instead of being marketed AT.