The Pre-Outreach Strategy

When you ask marketers what their biggest challenges are, it’s no surprise to hear that many of them say “content promotion.” Getting links and social media shares is becoming more of a struggle for even the most popular blogs.

So, what can you do to promote your content more effectively?  That’s where a pre-outreach strategy comes into play.

Pre-outreach is great if you have established relationships with influencers, and industry experts you team up with on a regular basis to promote content.  Pre-outreach is useful to linking various fields together which can allow you to get a decent traffic boost that won’t die down, but only continues to bring additional users everyday.

Before I dig deep into the strategy, it is important to note that this approach may not be the best option for companies that don’t yet have visibility. If you are one of these companies, it makes more sense to invest resources into increasing brand visibility across your industry first. Once you have achieved a stronger brand visibility, you can come back to using a pre-outreach content promotion plan.

Check Your Network

Start your campaigns by putting together a list of people you regularly work with on content promotion. Using CRM systems or at least keeping a spreadsheet with names and contact information can make this step a bit easier. Pitchbox is a good option because it serves as an influencer outreach and link building platform.

It’s also a good idea to review your current list of social media followers and email subscribers. There’s a good chance that you’ll be able to find some people who are interested in sharing your content.

At this point, separate the contacts of the two lists. The first list should be people that you asked to show some love and endorsement for your content across their social media channels. The second list of people is who you should reach out to about linking back to the content.

In both situations, you must remember you are asking for a favor and you need to make sure it’s easy and beneficial for them to help you out. Take time to ask whether they want you to promote anything in return.

There are people out there who believe the best way to get links is to email blast people you might not even know. I don’t recommend that course of action. Recent studies show that cold outreach emails have an 8.5% open rate and through personal experience, I can confirm that number.  A better use of your time is to only ask people whether they could refer to your content if you know them and they have previously worked with you on link building.

While it is possible to use automated email outreach funnels like Mailshake, it’s always a good idea to handle your free outreach manually so that you can double-check that you are sending it to the right person and taking the time to add the appropriate amount of personalization to each email.

If you don’t have a very large network, you may want to consider launching a podcast or your own event to help you build relationships with industry leaders. If you have any close ties with companies that send out mass emails to their subscribers, it could be a gold mine for you. If you ask to be featured in their mass emails and  in return mention their posts to your email marketing campaign, you could see quite a burst of traffic.

Expanding Your Horizons to Build Links

If you want to build enough links, you will have to reach out to people outside of your network of contacts. This is a great time to use your pre-outreach to warm people up and start building relationships with them.

The key here is to provide any one you’re reaching out to with benefits and value first so they start to feel like they owe you. If you’re not familiar with your industry experts, it may become time-consuming for you. To maximize your time, do this:

Find Experts that Regularly Publish Guest Posts

To gather a list of contributors, you could start with checking sites that accept guest post opportunities. If you have access to Buzzsumo, you can run a report with the top authors tool where you can search using any keyword related to your pre-outreach content.

From there, take a look at the list of authors and find contributors that write across several blogs. Chose one or more writers to write on several blogs that are fully relevant to your search.

Create a Strong Value Proposition

The majority of us are not as popular as big names in our industry so it is crucial to create a powerful value proposition. Ways you can do this include:

  • Ask them to add their quotes if they are interested and have the time available
  • Sharing your final draft and seeing if they have a post they’d like to refer to in your piece.

Both of these options provide value to them and help you establish a mutually beneficial relationship. if you want to work with people you don’t know well, you’ll have a much better shot at getting what you want if you can provide them with value first.

Though it may seem easier to send cold mass emails, it’s better to invest your time and energy into building relationships with experts because they will absolutely pay and you may even become link building partners.

Get it Done!

That’s all there is to it. It’s a fairly simple idea but it is complex. You want to think long-term and try to find the best way to approach every person you reach out to. Remember you are asking them for a favor so you must take time to see what you can help them with in return. This not only ensures links, but a growing network of connections which we all know is the key to success in digital marketing.

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