The Future of Outreach as Business Development: How CLEARLINK Uses BuzzStream




Today’s post comes from Elli Bishop of CLEARLINK. Elli leads the Outreach team at CLEARLINK, where she designs and executes SEO strategy, strategic content creation, and digital PR for Fortune 500 brands like DISH Network, CenturyLink, Verizon, and AT&T.

CLEARLINK partners with the world’s leading brands to increase their reach.  We specialize in leveraging digital marketing to connect consumers with the services they need at the moment they need them.  BuzzStream has made a significant impact on our business within the marketing department, specifically when used in the development and execution of SEO strategy, strategic content creation, and outreach.

BuzzStream helps us discover, build, and maintain genuine online relationships on behalf of all of our brands, something that is hard to do at the rate we’re growing and innovating.We discovered BuzzStream three years ago as we were trying to figure out how to scale our content marketing without sacrificing the authenticity of our relationships.

The platform allows us to manage our contacts, avoid over-contacting potential partners, and keep track of communication within each of our team’s industries, ultimately streamlining our outreach processes.

More than anything, BuzzStream’s platform has helped us to think of content marketing differently—we are now able to really connect at scale, which is huge. It gives us the chance to develop relationships and identify strong partnership opportunities in an innovative way.

Affecting Communities with Outreach & Content

Online efforts frequently transfer offline, and we love when that happens.  With the help of BuzzStream, our outreach opportunities have increased ten-fold.  We are able to make our content relevant and meaningful to a number of communities across the country, both on and offline. Not only are we meeting our SEO and outreach goals, but we’re making an impact on the people we’re connecting with. That’s hard thing to do at scale, at least in a way that is genuine, and that’s important to us.

Colleyville Texas Photo

Colleyville, Texas National Night Out – In one of the best examples of online moving offline, community leaders in Colleyville printed out flyers and shared their recognition for commitment to improving resident safety with the community at their annual National Night Out.

The Community Recognition Platform

After years of creating content with a limited lifespan, we realized we were failing to consider the whole lifecycle of what we were producing.  Although our work was high quality and relevant, it became apparent that we needed to pivot toward a content creation model that would seek to make an impact on people and their communities over time.  At CLEARLINK, we do this by creating real value with our content and turning what was once referred to as “ego-bait” into a genuine community recognition platform.

First, we find people who play a pivotal role in multiple communities across various cities, towns, and states—like policemen, firemen, mayors, and city council members. We work to understand their goals and hopes for the community, and then go out and create something tangible that recognizes their performance in achieving those goals. For example, we might call-out individuals’ commitment to green living, public safety, or community service.

Screenshot of 2015 CA Comm Proj

We organize our lists of contacts by tagging each connection as national news, local news, city website, local blog, etc.

Next, we create segmented lists of people in BuzzStream that will care about this recognition, like city residents, local newspapers, personal and local blogs, local media outlets, and sometimes even national media outlets. Pride* fuels content’s potential for success and virality. It is an emotion that, as marketers, can be hard to instill. Rather than providing people with a self-serving “piece of content marketing”, we work with community leaders to spread the message of the change they’re driving within their communities.

*Thanks for the great news! We are extremely proud!

Please send us a press release.

Thanks again!

-Neighborhood Services and Public Safety Officer

Thank you for sharing this AMAZING news! I am very proud of my fellow Officers for their 24/7/365 dedication, commitment and professionalism in delivering exemplary law enforcement services.

-City Police Department

I hope you are doing great. This is exciting news for us!! With our experiences in above average crime not too many years ago, we are excited to see how community partnerships and emphasis on increased quality of life on our community has paid dividends. We are currently experiencing 20-30 year crime lows in our community.

-City Police Department Captain

The key here is value and authenticity. Ego-bait is transparent. Create content that makes a difference, something that is meaningful to the people for whom you created it.

And, don’t stop there! Keep going and you’ll have yourself a sustainable, offline, online, brand-building, community-empowering, media-magnet of an online marketing campaign that matters.

Building Trust With the Community

Part of building trust with the community is remaining consistent and dependable. When recognizing members of a community for their work (across different cities, counties, and states), we’ve learned that surrounding communities strive for improvement with the hopes of earning your brand’s acknowledgement and recognition in years to come. In that way, communities literally hold us accountable and expect that we will deliver more content, which is crazy to think about! Isn’t that what every content marketer hopes for? People anticipating and wanting more of your content because it means something?

BuzzStream allows us to build this community of loyal (and often prideful and competitive) brand followers across multiple on and offline communities nationwide. We’re able to manage these valuable relationships by utilizing the history feature pictured below, creating separate folders and projects dedicated to each location, industry, and brand associated with its corresponding community project.


History screenshot
<–BuzzStream’s History feature is one of the best ways to understand the timeline of communication with a website. You can write yourself notes and reminders, see how many times your teams have made contact, what’s been said, the response, and whether or not there’s interest in working with us.

We organize contact info for news and media, bloggers, government officials, and influencers in order to create customized email templates allow us to connect with everyone in a unique, genuine way. When we go to replicate the process in the following years, we have all contacts and communication with each person stored in one place.

Outreach As Business Development

It’s clear that BuzzStream serves as a catalyst for our content promotion processes. What’s more is that it’s revolutionizing our content marketing initiatives by helping turn traditional outreach, SEO, and link building into a strong business development vertical. This is the future of outreach and digital PR.

Big brands with a strong digital presence have achieved success by showing a vested interest in people and communities, both on and offline. The ability to creatively outreach en masse opens up that same opportunity for all websites and brands, especially startups. It allows us to connect more and often, without the risk of appearing impersonal or robotic.

From earning press coverage, brand awareness, links, and qualified referral traffic, the potential of outreach to affect a business’s success is huge. Outreach professionals are the ones out there scanning the internet all day for potential partners and influential people, putting our brands and their messages in front of the right people, and learning what makes major publishers and influencers tick. We communicate constantly with companies, blogs, municipalities, and thought leaders who, a year from now, may represent huge business opportunities.

What starts as a content-sharing partnership, where we contribute industry knowledge to their blog bi-monthly, could develop into an unexpected business venture down the line. We are the ones who build the trust from the ground up. With a relationship management platform like BuzzStream, it’s easier to scale, keep track of, maintain, and grow those relationships year after year.

MORE ABOUT CLEARLINK We have delivered millions of customers to our brand partners, including AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink and ADT, over the past ten years through customized marketing, sales and analytics platforms. CLEARLINK currently has over 15 people executing on SEO, digital PR, and outreach strategy on behalf of nearly 14 major brands across 40 different web properties in varying industries. 

CLEARLINK is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah and employs more than 1,200 local sales, technology, and marketing professionals.  If this seems like the kind of outreach you want to be a part of, let’s talk.  We’re hiring!