Creating the perfect website, filling it with great content, and establishing a social media presence are all vital for businesses operating in the modern day.
Whilst doing this is important and, over time, you will begin to generate organic traffic if your site and its content meets all the best practices, you can always be doing more. When you have everything in place, one thing you may want to think about is digital outreach.
Many businesses have great content in place, but a few really focus on distribution and digital outreach. When planned and executed right, digital outreach is a great way to generate leads.
It is the process of leveraging the quality of your site and its content to develop genuine human to human connections. There are plenty of ways to do this—e.g. building backlinks, guest blogging, speaking at keynotes and industry events, and using social media, amongst other things—that help to build relationships with consumers.
All this hinges on very basic human psychology. We are naturally ‘wired’ to trust a third-party—e.g. an influencer, authoritative site, and so on—talking about a product or service than it being talked about by its manufacturer or provider.
Digital PR, outreach marketing, and content outreach are all about reaching out to and building connections with the right people at the right time.
This may include building connections with influencers and asking or paying them to promote your product, guest blogging on a popular site related to your industry, or simply leveraging a satisfied customer to spread the word.
Digital outreach looks away from traditional marketing models and prioritises the building of ongoing relationships. It may seem difficult at first but once you have the ball rolling, it’s very simple.
But First, A Little About Me
Based in Norfolk, I have been working as a self-employed digital marking consultant for around a decade. Throughout this time, I have spent my time building close relationships with all my clients and working on their projects, helping to turn their dreams into reality.
Working with hundreds of clients, some of the projects I have worked on have included website development, content writing, and digital marketing plans. My clients include both small start-ups and large household names. Myself and my team, people who have proven expertise in a variety of fields, have several decades’ worth of experience between us.
The point of this page is to introduce you to digital outreach, something that is often forgotten. Many companies spend lots of time and invest lots of money into perfecting their website and getting content out there and, whilst they will see results, they won’t come close to the results that could be achieved because of one thing: a lack of digital outreach.
If when reading through this page you have any questions or think that my services may be right for you, feel free to reach out to me for an obligation-free consultation!
How I Can Help
I provide a comprehensive range of digital marketing-related and website development services for all my clients.
If you decide that you would like to go forward with my services, myself and my team will work closely with you to research, plan, and produce a digital outreach plan that will complement your existing website and its content to drive up organic traffic and conversions.
If, however, you don’t think my services are right for you or would like to give it a go for yourself, that’s fine! I always recommend that people at least try to get an understanding of digital outreach as it forms an important part of the day-to-day running of any business.
Feel free to send me an email if you think that any of my services, including digital outreach, could be right for you.
3 Ways You Can Begin Digital Outreach Right Now
These three digital outreach techniques put a bit of groundwork in place before you think about other aspects such as email campaigns or approaching influencers.
1. Be present within communities
Being a familiar face is one of the best things you can do for successful outreach and it will help you immensely further down the line. If your name and face are more recognisable, your chances of success massively increase.
One way you can do this is by being a familiar face and name both on your home turf and large online communities. Product pages, comment sections, and channels relevant to your industry such as Quora, Twitter, and Inbound.org are all great places where you can communicate with other people with your own name attached to your business.
Community outreach in these places is a long-term process that, over time, will deliver results. The best thing you can do with online communities is to just dive right in.
Has somebody asked some sort of question? Maybe it’s a customer on your own website or another business operator on Quora. Contribute! Answer their questions using your own knowledge and experiences. This type of digital outreach requires a lot of attention and nurturing.
As you become more familiar with communities by contributing on a regular basis, you will become far more popular and be able to target influencers and authoritative people.
2. Begin to guest blog
I have talked about guest blogging before.
It is a brilliant digital outreach and content strategy that is perfect for generating backlinks, referral traffic, and new business opportunities. By guest blogging, not only are you adding to a person’s own website, but you are helping to reach a wider audience that may include influencers and people who are interested in your product.
Target websites and blogs that are specific to your industry or niche but aren’t competitors. It takes quite a bit of cold emailing but once you begin to get a few guest blogs out there, it gets a lot easier.
3. Organise a physical event
If you have enough traction behind your business, why not try to organise a physical event? This will pull all kinds of people together in one place—your employees, customers, target market, and influencers—where you can communicate and build valuable connections.
Pick a location that makes sense and plan an event that will appeal directly to the people you want to work with. If you have a physical location such as a store, then this is a great place to trial run a smaller event. If it’s a success, try one on a larger scale.
Digital Outreach Is Largely About Link Building
Link building—the challenge of having other sites link to you—is vital for SEO.
Today, the importance of having high-quality websites linking to your own website, whether that be your landing page, product pages, or your blog, has never been so high, especially as the general SEO landscape is constantly changing; a link building campaign is a must.
If you are going to compete and perform well online, you need to understand link building.
Search engines such as Google use links to find new web pages and figure out how these pages should be ranked. When determining a page’s ranking, Google does not just look at the content—it looks at the number of pages that link to it.
Naturally, more links from authoritative sites (sites that already rank highly in search results) tells Google that the content being linked to—your content—is of a high quality. This means you also rank higher as a result.
Backlinking as a ranking factor has been a part of Google since its inception. Over time, it has matured from something that was easy to abuse to something that has very clever algorithms to see if people are using exploitative link building techniques such as:
- Submitting to web directories in return for a link
- Lots of guest posting to low-authority sites
- Links from sites not relevant to you
- Comment and message board spam
- Paid links
- Private blog networks
These should be avoided where possible. It’s not bad to sometimes have links from non-relevant sites—you can’t control who links to you, for example—or guest blog on low-authority sites, but it is best avoided where possible.
Paid links and private blog networks should never, ever be done. This is a sure-fire way to have your site penalised by Google meaning that you simply won’t rank in search results.
I have covered backlink building and other off-page SEO optimisation techniques already, and I recommend you check it out for some in-depth learning.
Leveraging the Power of Social Media
Social media has truly changed the way businesses operate. Think of your favourite brand or company and they will almost certainly have some form of social media presence that is updated daily. This is because social media, when used properly, is a great way to use content for generating leads.
In fact, it is social media where you can extract the most value from content outreach. There are a few solid ways you can do this for yourself:
1. Optimise your pages
Making a great first impression is vital. On social media, where you are already competing with popular pages, it is the first impression that makes or breaks you. What makes a good first impression, though?
- Identifiable—your page needs to be distinct, unique, and immediately identifiable as you and you only. Use your logo and branding!
- Useful—your page’s information and most of its posts need to be useful to your audience or provide some value, as well as promotional.
- Consistent—your postings should be consistent and reliable as well as fresh and relevant. Be careful to not appear like a spammer.
As long as your pages are identifiable, consistent, and valuable, you are sorted so far as optimisation goes.
2. Begin creating content
When your pages are optimised, you are ready to begin posting content. This is a great opportunity to begin promoting content that you have already created, such as blog posts. You can always create some more later as well as recycle some of your more popular and most interacted with posts.
Understanding your audience is important here, though. You want to find out what your audience is engaging with through likes, comments, and shares so that your own posts stand a better chance of being interacted with.
Write posts and descriptions that make sense. Make them engaging and interesting, but don’t make them too long. Use hashtags to make them more social and @mention other companies or people when it makes sense to do so. Try to schedule your posts to go live when most of your audience are using social media, too.
3. Start using social media to build connections
When your pages gain traction, start fostering relationships. After all, businesses thrive on contacts—just because you are using social media does not mean this should be forgotten.
Your strategy for building connections depends on the platform, though. LinkedIn, for example, is built for networking and has an introductions system. Facebook on the other hand is more social and casual.
You can never go wrong by politely approaching people who work in your industry, organisations who may find value in your product or service, and people that your own audience engages with (e.g. influencers) who may be interested in what you have to say or offer.
Patience and etiquette go a long way here. Always make sure you have a reason to reach out to somebody (creativity is a great trait for this!) and write a personal message.
Do you manufacture a physical product? Why not send one out to influencers with whom your audience members engage and then follow up a month or so later? This is just one of many possible example strategies.
Digital Outreach Takes Time and Effort
It is not as simple as putting a few guest blogs out there and watching the results roll in. Digital outreach is by far one of the most time-consuming digital marketing efforts which also takes time to see results from.
Just because this is the case, though, does not mean you should ignore it.
Yes, it is possible to increase web traffic and conversions, amongst other things, by having a strong website filled with good content, but there are far more opportunities to be had by going the extra mile and physically putting it in front of the eyes of people who matter.
Guest blogging, leveraging social media, and backlink building are three of the easiest and most beginner-friendly ways you can get going with digital outreach. They work for virtually any business, too.
I always recommend approaching digital outreach like any other long-term project for your business—do your research and put a plan in place!
It is very easy to get lost in the world of content marketing and digital outreach, especially when you are trying out lots of different strategies and avenues. Additionally, you are likely to discover new things along the way such as potential leads and opportunities.
With a plan in place, you won’t muck everything up by getting temporarily side-tracked.
When Should I Consult a Professional?
Digital outreach, PR, and content marketing are simple once you get the hang of them. One thing is for sure though, it is something that takes time and effort to do properly. Not only do you need to completely optimise your site and fill it with good content, but you then need to start working on getting it in front of the right people.
That’s not to say you can’t do it yourself, you just need to make sure you have enough time. Unfortunately, as the operator of a business, this is something that you probably don’t have lots of!
It is often the case that businesses such as yours outsource their digital marketing to people like me—it’s not just about digital outreach, it’s content creation, SEO, marketing strategies, ad campaigns, website optimisation, and more.
Whilst you could do all of this for yourself if you take time to learn about them, it is out of reach for most people.
This is why people like me exist—it is our full-time occupation! We provide comprehensive digital marketing services to businesses like yours so that you get the very best results whilst you concentrate on what’s important, running your business.
Want to learn more about my digital outreach services or digital marketing services in general? Drop me a line! I always strive to help wherever possible and I am always happy to answer any questions you may have.
If, however, you want to try this out for yourself, take a look at my blog where you can learn more about digital outreach and other digital marketing elements in context.