Archive for the ‘Influencer Outreach’ Category

Infographic Outreach Tips

Today’s guest post comes from BuzzStream customer Adrienne Erin. Adrienne is a writer and online PR specialist at WebpageFX

Have you ever heard the expression “work smarter, not harder?” It sounds like one of those things your dad might tell you during an awkward heart-to-heart. However, they’re great words to live by, and they’re especially true when it comes to outreach. When you’re trying to gain coverage for an outstanding infographic, you should be using your brain a lot more than your keyboard.

Traditional tactics involve blasting hundreds of bloggers and journalists with a single impersonal pitch that often gets ignored or deleted (which means working harder to get results). A much better approach is to strategically target a smaller list of bloggers and journalists with customized messages (working smarter).

These infographic outreach tips can help you figure out where to target your pitch, how to tailor it to the right person and how to give your infographic that extra push when other outreach efforts aren’t working.

 

Some Infographics Were Born to Succeed

Sometimes an infographic seems destined for success. It has a compelling topic, it’s timely, it has killer graphics and great data, and it presents an awesome, engaging story. It’s also incredibly shareable, meaning it appeals to lots of different people interested in lots of different things and gets a lot of pass-along traffic from social networks.

This is, of course, the holy grail of infographics, and it makes your job a whole lot easier. Still, even an infographic that works in every way needs a little push to get started, and that is where you come in.

 

What Makes a Good InfographicComponents of a Good Infographic (via Dashburst)

 

Find Your Targets

Good outreach for infographics requires some creativity. Think about the unique attributes of your infographic, and make a list of obvious sites where it could be pitched. Most people stop after that step, but you should take it a step further. How can you reimagine this infographic so that it fits on other, less-obvious sites? Now you’re on your way to a successful placement.

Say you have an infographic focused on the soccer player Pele. An obvious place to pitch it would be a soccer site; Pele is the most famous soccer player in the world, after all, so that’s a natural fit. You might even open it up another step and try to share it with more general sports sites. This is when you should take the extra step. Why not try pitching a site about Brazilian culture, since Pele hails from Brazil? You could even try pitching a site for retired folks, since Pele is now 73 years old. 

The key is to think outside the box. Here’s a real-life illustration. A cool motion graphic about how bath salts turn people into zombies would seem made for health and addiction sites. Yet it found a home in the Weird News section of The Huffington Post, where it went viral in fall 2013. That’s a perfect example of reimagining what categories might fit an infographic.

 

Huffington Post Weird News featuring the Zombie Infographic

 

Make Sure You Pitch the Right People

No matter how incredible, awesome and life-changing your infographic is, if you pitch it to the wrong person, that pitch is going right into the trash bin. Take the time to look over the publication’s list of employees and who writes for the section that best fits your infographic. Better yet, look at the stories people have posted and approach someone who’s written about your topic in the past.

Pay attention to details. Don’t send your tech infographic to the sports editor. Make sure you use the right name and the right publication, too. You’d be surprised how often people mess that up.

Make sure you’re not targeting a one-time contributor, who may not write for the publication regularly. Instead, target a staff writer whose bylines pepper the site. Then personalize your pitch. I’ll try to find something that I have in common with the person I’m pitching by reading over their bio. You may notice, for example, that you went to the same school as the person you’re pitching, so note this shared connection. (“You went to Vista College? Me too!”)

 

Sometimes an Infographic Needs a Helping Hand

Not every infographic you pitch is going to be rainbows and unicorns. Sometimes a client’s industry isn’t very glamorous, or the topic is a bit of a reach, or it’s simply a matter of bad timing (your client sells bikinis and the country’s experiencing a major cold front). This will happen from time to time. It’s not the end of the world; you just need to pay this infographic a bit of extra attention.

 

The Guestographic Strategy

Guestographics are basically a mash-up of guest blogging and infographics. You’re essentially using the tactic of guest blogging to help distribute the graphic and get it the links it deserves. There are five steps, as laid out by Backlinko’s Brian Dean, who coined the word:

  1. Make an infographic and post it on your site.
  2. Research sites that cover the topic your infographic covers.
  3. Contact those sites and show them your infographic.
  4. Offer to write a robust post on the topic of your infographic..
  5. Include your infographic in the post. 

The selling point here is that you are providing the added value. You are giving the site free content and you also have control over where your infographic is reproduced and what is written about it. It’s a win-win strategy when you’re trying to place those infographics that don’t fit into categories covered by most blogs.

 

Don’t Quite Shoot for the Stars

Common infographic promotion strategy involves reaching out to people at huge publications and trying to sell them on the infographic. But if you’re getting no success from what is otherwise high-quality outreach to these people, try aiming for smaller sites.

I don’t mean start auto-publishing copies of the graphic on low-quality article directories or across a blog network. That’s more likely to get you in trouble these days than to help you and your client. However, think about it: bloggers on smaller sites are not getting inundated with infographic requests the way journalists and high-profile editors are. They are far more likely to respond positively to a polite email sharing the infographic, especially in combination with the guestographic strategy.

 

Do Whatever You Can

Sometimes an infographic just isn’t catching on, despite your wide and varied outreach efforts. Then it’s time to reconcile yourself with the fact that you simply have to do what you can. Try any of these strategies:

  • Publish it on infographic submission sites.
  • Write a post about the infographic and how it relates to another industry that you write about frequently, and publish it on a blog you already have a relationship with.
  • Reach out to someone you’ve had success with before.
  • Forgive yourself and move on.

Honestly, not every infographic is going to be a smashing success. As long as you’ve tried all of the strategies outlined here, you can take comfort in the fact that you gave it your best shot — you worked smarter, not harder, which is the best way to do any job.

 

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6 Ways to Make Link Building Outreach More Effective

Today’s post comes from BuzzStream customer Brian Dean, founder of Backlinko.com. He started his SEO career back in 2008, when article directories and blog comment backlinks were all the rage. Since then he’s built his namesake on discovering and sharing outside the box link building strategies.

Let’s face it: email outreach link building is monotonous, boring, and time consuming.

But you know what? It works!

In fact, I don’t know what I would do without my secret stash of proven email outreach templates. But I do know one thing: I wouldn’t be ranking for anything remotely competitive.

If you use BuzzStream then you don’t need any convincing about the power of email outreach. You already use the tool to build relationships (and links) with the movers and shakers in your niche.

That’s great.

But you may not realize what a small difference in conversions can make in your campaigns.

Think about it this way: let’s say that you send out 500 emails per month with a 2% conversion rate. That’s 120 links per year.

Not bad.

But if you bump that figure up to 5% you can turn those same emails into 300 links!

Today I’m going to share with you 6 simple ways that you can get more links from every batch of emails that you send out.

#1: Separate Your Prospects Into Tiers

Outreach is a give and take between personalization and speed. The more you personalize, the better your responses. But all that personalization takes time.

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How to Build Quality Inbound Links in 2013

In case you missed yesterday’s Market Motive Webinar with Paul May and Captain Todd Malicoat, we’ve embedded the slides here.

The Webinar covered:

  • Creating a Link Building Strategy for 2013
  • Finding Great Link Opportunities
  • Creating Personas and Understanding What Motivates Your Target Segments
  • Writing Great Outreach Emails

and more.

 

Big thanks to Todd and the Market Motive team for having us on – we had a great time.

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6 Link Outreach Tips & Tricks

Here at BuzzStream, we keep our ear to the ground about the latest and greatest in content promotion and outreach techniques.  Here are 6 cool tips and tricks we’ve seen lately:

Use Custom Search Engines or the Site: Modifier to Learn More About Your Prospect Site

When I look at a new site for outreach, I ask myself, “Have they written about me before? How about my competitors? Have they written about my main topics previously?” 

Now, I could read the whole blog, and for particularly high-value prospects, I’ll take this approach.  Otherwise, I want to get the ‘greatest hits’ of my brand, my competitors, and my relevant topics.

To do this, I’ll use a site: query, with my brand name, my competitor’s brand names, and some relevant keywords.  (When we do this for BuzzStream, we look for things like keywords like “influencer marketing” – you’ll have to play with the keywords to understand what’s too broad versus too narrow.) 

Now I have a digest of what that blogger has written about my brand, my competitor’s brand, and my outreach themes, so I can refer to these in outreach.

Engage with People that Pin Your Content

While finding and engaging with people who follow your brand or client but haven’t yet linked on Twitter is well documented, this method is extensible to any social network.  It’s harder to implement and requires a little legwork, but it can be very, very valuable, especially to brands with a strong Pinterest presence.

Download the Pinterest Bookmarklet from Aaron Friedman’s website.  This bookmarklet gives you a list of users that have repined your content.

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The 3 Ps of Great Outreach Emails: Personalized, Positioned, and Persuasive

Today we return to the topic of better outreach emails.

Anatomy of a Terrible, Terrible Email

At BuzzStream, we periodically receive link outreach emails.  Some are good – like high quality guest post pitches, where the author has built a relationship and made something excellent – and some are not so good. 

Let’s look at one of the not-so-good:

I don’t want to out anyone, so I’ve removed the email and referenced sites.

Why didn’t this email get a link?

-          It wasn’t personalized.  Our blog is written by a person – not customer-service.

-          It’s not positioned – the resources she suggests have nothing to do with our site, and frankly don’t belong there.

-          And it’s not persuasive. I have no idea why these area code or zip code are better than any other resources.

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Improving Link Building Response Rates With Persuasive Psychology

One of the most frustrating parts about link development is low success & response rates. While this has many causes – including poor prospecting methods, low quality sites, bad timing, and more – it is often due to poor outreach email construction.

Most people don’t send persuasive emails. They just ask for a link.

This is a particularly extreme example from Rand Fishkin, but this is about how persuasive the average link building email really is:

bad link building emails

From Rand’s Presentation at LinkLove 2012 Boston

Persuasive, personalized messages get dramatically better response rates than the standard, “I see you have a website. I’d like a link – can you hook it up?”

Better Link Building through Science

Fortunately, persuasion has been studied for years, and many experiments have been done.

The 10,000 pound Gorilla of persuasion studies is a book called “Influence: Science and Practice”, written by Professor Robert Cialdini, the Regents’ Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University.

In ‘Influence’, Dr. Cialdini writes about 6 persuasive triggers:
• Reciprocation
• Commitment and Consistency
• Social Proof
• Liking
• Authority
• Scarcity

Let’s look at these principles one at time and see how we can leverage them to improve our link development effectiveness:

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