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How a Link Outreach Campaign Boosts the Value of Your Content

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How a Link Outreach Campaign Boosts the Value of Your Content

If you’re creating great content but it isn’t getting the exposure it needs, consider a link outreach campaign. The days of randomly suggesting or trading links with bloggers or other website owners are long gone.

Today, you need a personalized approach to link building. It takes more effort, but there’s usually a higher pay-off.

Link outreach is one of the best ways to generate high-value links from a variety of sources. This is a form of online PR that takes some research, but being able to target the right people – the ones you want to see your content – can lead to more mentions (and hopefully, links) in their content or social shares.

Below is a high-level view that explains some of the most important aspects of link outreach when it comes to increasing the value of your content.

Why Outreach Is an Important Part of Your Link Building Strategy

You aren’t just building a relationship with your online audience by growing your link profile. You’re also increasing the value of the content you’re creating.

Getting links and traffic to your content can happen in many ways, but it usually takes some outreach to get your content in front of your target audience. This means that link outreach efforts begin with the creation of the content itself.

Sometimes called “online PR,” this approach means you’ll be researching influencers within your target industry, then crafting content campaigns around them to get them to read and share your content.

Two of the best tools we’ve found to research influencers are BuzzSumo (whom we have no affiliation with) and Google (just do a good old-fashioned search to find the top-performing publications and websites in a specific industry).

Research Proper Industry Terms & Keywords

Start your research by compiling a list of industry terms. Search for them, combined with “blog,” “publication,” “magazine,” or even “expert.”

As you learn more about the top influencers or publications in the industry, narrow down your searches to be as specific as possible. For instance, if you sold organic baby food and wanted to target the West Coast, you could start by searching for “mommy bloggers” in California, Washington, and Oregon, and then narrow those down even further to organic or healthy living mommy bloggers in the same geographic area.

The term “mommy blogger” also brings up a good point — make sure you know your audience. Many marketers use the term “mommy blogger,” for instance (as I’m doing here), but actual women who are mothers and are blogging are likely not using that term for themselves.

Take your time to research how your target influencer group actually refers to themselves. This will help you in your search.

Creating Content

While influencer targeting research is obviously key to promoting and getting links for content you’ve already published, researching what is already happening in the industry should be part of the initial creation process as well. Look at what content is already being published or shared by influencers and create content that aligns.

Social media is extremely helpful at this stage. Many influencers will add their own opinions to what they are sharing, which can help you figure out what content would do best. Even though Content Marketing Institute found that there isn’t a correlation between higher social shares and incoming links, they still all work together to drive more visibility for your content.

For instance, if people are asking a lot of questions about a product, then creating content that clears up their confusion could be extremely beneficial to influencers and overall target audience. For instance, if you sell phone cases, and Guerrilla glass came out with a new type of screen that promises to be unbreakable, a blog post or infographic about how phone screens are made could capitalize on audience interest about having a phone screen that couldn’t be shattered when you drop it.

It’s also extremely helpful to make sure this highly targeted content is hosted on your own website, so it can be linked to and drive traffic. This could include white papers, PDFs, blog posts, or infographics. Owning the content on your own website makes it much easier to capture leads or steer users to other pages on your site (like a services page) once they are done reading or consuming your content.

Leveraging Existing Content

Another way you can capitalize on audience interest and content is to put your own spin on content that has already been created. For a Jeep part supplier, as an example, there are already going to be dozens (if not hundreds) of pieces of content around basic Jeep topics, like “what type of tires are best for Jeep Wranglers?”

However, you can take it up a notch by crafting content around niche interests your audience may be searching for (which you can usually find by using an SEO research tool if you don’t know the industry well). What about an entire blog series or white paper on what types of tires work best for Jeeps in specific geographic regions, like the desert or the mountains? This will appeal to a more niche audience, which can drive curiosity, traffic, and make your content stand out.

In addition to taking a specific angle, like geography, your content can also focus on your unique value proposition — what makes your products or services better than anyone else. If your Jeep tires have been road-tested for 75,000 miles before being stocked in our store, mention that in your tire content.

Showcasing your superiority to competitors can help build credibility and trust. It also makes it more likely that people will link to you, do business with you, or return to read more of your content.

Generating Links Through Outreach

link building image

Once you’ve created the content and researched your influencers, you can start your outreach efforts to get more visibility.

One popular method is email outreach.

If you don’t have an influencer’s email address, try using an email finder tool like Email Hunter or looking at the contact section of their LinkedIn profile.

Here’s an email template you can use to pitch an infographic or other piece of content to an influencer.

Be sure to make your email as personalized as possible so it stands out from other pitches they receive.

Subject: Great insight on {insight}

 

Hey {name},

I’ve been reading your blog periodically, and follow you on Twitter! {something unique about their Twitter feed or their online presence}

When reading through {article name} about {topic} I had noticed that my recent infographic was closely related. {Demonstrate connection}

Here’s the infographic that I thought your audiences would certainly be interested in: [link]

If you’re so inclined, feel free to share in your post or a new one. 🙂

Signoff

This process has worked for us in the past; below is a screenshot of an anonymized campaign for a client that got us two links to a long-form guide they did:

screen shot of email template

You can follow up once or twice after one and two weeks, just letting them know you are checking in to see if they received your email. But don’t be too pushy. Chances are if they don’t answer after a week or so, they probably aren’t going to. No need to keep bothering them, as this can lead to negative connotations about you and/or your company.

Anna Crowe has a good guide on influencer marketing campaigns here on SEJ if you’d like to learn more about this approach.

Creating a Process

Content creation and link outreach to promote that content definitely have many other nuances than what is described above, but there is a process you can start following when creating your own content:

  1. Research Your Target Audience: Create a list of keywords/topics for your target audience that can be used to find existing content and influencers you want to target.
  2. Research Existing Content: See what content is already being created around your target topics and what industry influencers are talking about most.
  3. Create Content: Put your own spin on it by focusing on a niche aspect or demographic factor, like specific locations.
  4. Generate Links Through Outreach: Target influencers through email outreach that creates a connection between what they’ve already shared or created and your own content. Show how your content could be used or shared in their next piece of content or on social media. (Additionally, if you’re looking for other ways to gather links, check out Ron Dod’s post here on SEJ about other link acquisition tactics.)

Once you make these steps a part of your overall link outreach strategy, the entire process will not only be easier, but you’ll start to build better relationships with influencers and your online audience. This can lead to more links, traffic, and ongoing conversions for all the content you are creating.

Image Credits

Featured/in-post image: DepositPhotos

Screenshot taken by author April 2017

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Kevin Rowe

Kevin Rowe

Founder & CEO at Rowe Digital

Kevin Rowe is the founder of Rowe Digital, a link building firm leveraging engagement marketing to build white-hat links. Kevin ... [Read full bio]

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