Todays’s post come from one of our favorite customers, Lexi Mills. Lexi has six years experience in online marketing and communications and spent 2 and a half years at an International SEO Agency becoming an SEO PR specialist. She now heads up digital for Dynamo PR.
She has designed and implemented PR, SEO link building, and social campaigns in the UK and USA for B2B and B2C clients. Her client experience covers everything from the music industry to debt, insurance, travel, tech, and luxury goods for both small start-ups and big brands.
Outreach is a tricky game, if you promote yourself too aggressively, you will turn off the very people you were hoping to build relationships with. Having worked in PR and outreach for several years I have relationships in quite a few areas however I was recently set the tasked of building relationships in a new market, specifically with design and decorating blogs for my client Bathrooms.com
I put a lot of thought into how I would go about doing this and thought it might be useful to share the strategy I mapped out with our head of social for contacting influential bloggers in a new market, so you can apply the tactics we used to your own outreach projects.
After the first few months of implementing the strategy I also went back and quizzed the key bloggers we were speaking to find out which parts of our approach made them want to engage with us. I have summarized these into 6 key takeaways.
Our Outreach Strategy
1.) Build list of influencers
Attempt to build a list of the 100 most influential bloggers in your target niche. (We actually built a list of 200 to begin with and then eliminated a hundred further down the line.)
Today’s post comes from Britt Klontz. Britt is a New Media brand journalist who believes that a successful marketing campaign is rooted in the interests and emotions of the target audience. She constantly strives to develop content ideas and campaign strategies that integrate collaboration from online influencers and truly serve a purpose to those who matter most, the audience that the campaign was created for.
As the popularity of infographics grew and were created in an abundance, so did the number of pitches sent to the inboxes of influential bloggers everywhere. Companies quickly jumped on the infographic bandwagon, churned out visuals that have no real reason to exist, and contributed to today’s content clutter epidemic.
When infographics that are not useful or entertaining are created in mass quantity, an insane amount of pressure is put on those whose duty is to perform blogger outreach. Ultimately, a vicious cycle ensues in which blogger outreach specialists have to spend hours trying to receive coverage on content that was created in haste and had no other purpose than to keep up with the status quo.
From a content creation standpoint, we must remember the importance of quality over quantity. Also, we must make it a habit to create content that caters to those intended to consume it. Engaging content is now a leading form of advertising and the power of audience participation should never be underestimated.
In order to avoid adding to the noise by creating another infographic that produces a low ROI, I like to incorporate two key habits into my brainstorming habits: developing an audience persona, and incorporating influencer feedback.
Ah, the guest post pitch. For busy publishers and blog editors (like the team here at BuzzStream), guest blog pitches are a mixed blessing.
We’ve had some truly awesome guest blogs from industry leaders and up-and-comers on our blog – like this one, this one, this one, and this one. (There are more – just check out our Guest Author postings.)
Personally, I’ve been lucky enough to guest post on some great blogs, like Marketing Agency Insider, KISSMetrics, and the John Doherty Blog. So I love good guest posts – writing them, receiving them, reading them, introducing great guest posters to blog editors – and everything that goes along with them.
Today’s guest post comes from Sarah Fudin. Sarah is an inbound marketing manager at 2U Inc., an education company that supplies universities with the resources to go online. Sarah currently works with the the George Washington University on their online MPH program. Outside of work Sarah enjoys running, reading, and Pinkberry frozen yogurt.
As a retired college athlete, turned coach, turned customer management guru, turned social media lady (I’m not ready to name myself a queen or guru at this point), turned linkbuilder slash community manager (is that even possible?), I’ve learned many things, but one thing has stood out to me: it’s all about building relationships.
I’ve realized in my short 25 years and even shorter 4 years in the workplace that relationships are king. Relationships are what move you forward in your personal life, your career and your bigger aspirations. I also have come to believe that it’s not actually who you know, but who you’re willing to get to know that will help to move you forward.
As marketers and link development professionals, we spend our days understanding how to change people’s behavior and take action. Fortunately, we’re not alone in this pursuit – behavioral psychologists also study the phenomenon of persuasion, and come up with some fascinating findings.
Stanford’s Professor BJ Fogg has created a framework for analyzing behavioral change that’s particularly applicable to marketing problems. In this post, I’ll give a brief summary of his theories, and show some examples applied to link development and online marketing.
The Taxonomy of Behavior changes
Image Courtesy BehaviorGrid.org
BJ Fogg divides behavioral change into 15 types via a combination of shapes and colors:
- Dot Behavior
- Span Behavior
- Changing Behavior Over a Period of Time
- Path Behavior
- Permanent Behavior Change
In a lot of the posts I see about content promotion, an underlying theme is “if you want great results from your outreach, follow the golden rule.” While the “do unto others” sentiment is heartwarming, it’s not particularly helpful for improving outreach performance. More useful lessons can be learned by looking at models found in disciplines like employee recruitment and sales.
I’ll explain more in a minute. But first, a story.
My Strangest Interview Ever
My first real job in technology was with a big software company in Houston. The company was known for treating its employees incredibly well and in my third year the company offered me an opportunity to spend a year in one of the company’s European offices. I’d also recently entered a relationship with a girl that had gotten serious quickly, so I was feeling pretty settled in my life.
One day I got a call from a recruiter about an opportunity at a software startup in the Valley called support.com. The company was founded by Mark Pincus, who went on to found Zynga. At the time, he wasn’t someone I’d heard of and, as I said, I wasn’t looking to make a move. Nevertheless, I agreed to talk more about the opportunity and I ended up spending an hour and a half on the phone with Mark. Something intrigued me, so I scheduled a trip out to the Valley for an in-person interview.
I went to their office, which was located in a seedy building in a seedy part of Redwood City. The front door to the office was glass and the words ‘Star Physical Therapy’ had just been scraped off of it. The interior of the office was in bad shape…the floorboards were warped, there was almost no light and there were hockey sticks lying in various places throughout the room. In contrast, the office at my current company was in a (more…)
Today’s guest post is from Traian Neacsu. Traian is the Director of SEO and co-founder of Pitstop Media Inc, a Canadian company that provides top rated search engine marketing services to businesses across North America. To invite the author to publish articles on your blog please contact www.pitstopmedia.com
If you’re a link builder who chooses his or her link partners based on their social influence, you probably don’t like to be cheated when it comes to decision-making metrics. Would you spend hours writing a guest article for a blogger with only 5 subscribers, or would you rather publish it on a blog with 250 subscribers? Or how would you like to acquire a PR8 link, only to find out later that the PR was forged, and it’s actually 0 (zero)? I don’t think anyone likes that kind of “sorcery”.
I consider the numbers of blog subscribers in addition to the useful metrics provided by default within BuzzStream when I decide on how to approach link partners.
This article will show you how to find this metric in BuzzStream, with the help of custom fields and a bit of detective work.
Create a new custom field with BuzzStream
This is easy. Just go to your Account -> Customize Fields -> New Custom Field:
Name it Blog Subscribers and use “type numerical”.
Today’s guest post comes from one of our favorite customers, Adria Saracino.Adria Saracino is the Head of Outreach at Distilled. When not consulting on content strategy or leading her team of outreach warriors, you can find her writing about style on her personal fashion blog, The Emerald Closet.
Video is becoming one of the most highly searched items on the internet—YouTube is now the second most used search engine on the web. Internet users are watching more video than ever before, which has made video marketing a valuable tool. But what do you do with that tool? How do you reap search engine optimization (SEO) benefits from video, or create effective link building/outreach with video?
Video is an extremely valuable resource for SEO, specifically by assisting with the following goals: generating more traffic through rich content signals and rich snippets, improving conversions, and link building.
Generating more traffic through rich content signals and rich snippets
A page with varied media types (like images, text, and video) show search engines that page contains a variety of content, which suggests that page is engaging and useful for users. Video increases a user’s time on page, and search engines choose to reward pages with these “rich content signals” in order to provide the relevant results in search queries.
There are lots of great link building blogs. But to really gain competitive advantage to dominate the SERPs, you can’t just read blogs about link building. You need to go beyond what your competition is reading, and become a fantastic all-around marketer.
Derek Halpern writes about how to turn traffic into subscribers into customers by understanding social psychology and the power of language.
Social Triggers is his excellent blog on the topic. While it’s geared towards the blogger/affiliate community (with guides on list building and increasing online sales), Derek’s blog is about how to use language and persuasive psychology to get people to take action – exactly what link development professionals need to do.
How To Eliminate “Wallet Closing Words” From Your emails, Sales Pages, and Speech
Why We Buy What We Can Get for Free
How People Make Decisions (and How it Helps You Grow Your Business)
SpinSucks covers professional development for marketing and PR professionals. This includes a broad range of topics, from traditional PR and crisis communications to advertising, social media, and SEO.
Too often link development efforts fail because SEOs conduct cold, non-personalized outreach. (The recipients of these emails call them spam.) These failures damage clients’ brands and SEOs’ credibility and pocketbooks. And this kind of outreach is neither fun nor professionally satisfying.
There Has Got to Be a Better Way
If you’re reaching out to bloggers, you can start with a ‘softer touch’ before you ask for a link. This builds a connection, creates some familiarity, and increases the odds that a busy site owner will open your email.
Always remember, while building links may feel like a mechanical process, it’s fundamentally about making connections and influencing people.