It's the word on every marketeers lips but what exactly is outreach? Jack Teare, Affinity's Head of Content and Outreach Services explains the art of Outreach Marketing.
What is Outreach Marketing?
There always seems to be a new bit of jargon being thrown around the world of digital marketing. Buzzwords that sound smart but come with a certain ambiguity, that get used often yet are rarely understood.
“Outreach marketing” is a term that’s been bandied around a lot lately, with the keyword seeing a 270% global increase in searches in the past two months alone, so you may be forgiven for assuming it’s another trendy word like “synergy” or “advertainment”.
You’d be forgiven, but you’d be wrong.
Outreach marketing is an essential and valuable part of any well-rounded digital marketing strategy, one that will continue to add authority and value to the brands and companies that are already using this vital yet understated method to build their relevance and respectability.
So, what is outreach marketing?
Before we get into the nitty gritty of it all, we first need to have a basic understanding of backlinks, and why they’re so important.
Backlinks (also known as incoming links, one-way links and inbound links) are links from one site, to a page on a different site. Simple. Yet these little links are the corner stone of SEO and go a very long way to deciding who gets on page one, and who gets left behind.
Google (and other search engines) look at these links as “votes” for a page or site. The fact that other sites link to a page tells Google that the site is relevant, credible and useful. The more links, the more reliable, and therefore the higher the ranking.
Every site is given a score based on their backlink profile, ranging from 1 (bad) to 100 (good). Google keeps these scores a closely guarded secret, but there are different ways to measure it, such as Domain Authority from Moz or Authority Score from SEMrush. Which is the most accurate is a matter of hot debate, but the point remains the same. Sites with higher scores appear higher on the SERPs (search engine results page).
So, the more links the better, right?
Yes and no. Google isn’t quite as simple as that, unfortunately. They also use Rank Brain to look at wherethese links are coming from, so it’s not enough to just have a ton of links from a bunch of random sites. This is known as link farming and is a big no no. If Google suspects you of link farming, your rankings will see a quick and definitive drop.
Links need to be from relevant sites that are clearly related to the content and purpose of the linked to site. Put simply, the most important thing a site needs to rank well is a robust profile of backlinks from relevant and reliable sites. But how do we get these links?
That’s where outreach marketing comes in.
The trick to effective outreach is finding similar brands to your own and negotiating a collaborative exchange of needs. One way to do this is to find relevant articles that have already been published and email the owners asking for your link to be inserted into it.
Sure, this could work, but it’s hardly reciprocal and as the saying goes, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, so these links will more often than not come with a hefty price tag.
Another approach could be as simple as reciprocal links, where two sites agree to link to each other, thereby providing each other with a quality backlink and improving their Authority Scores.
Both of these tactics are valid, but they give only the simplest and smallest nudge in the right direction. We’re not interested in nudges; we’re looking for leaps.
So how do we get more from our links without spending a fortune?
You may have heard the term “content is king” (another marketing buzzword), and as annoying as the jargon can be, it’s undeniably true.
Having great content on your site is essential for any successful business, but it’s a difficult thing to come by. Creating original and sought-after content is a highly time-consuming process that many companies simply don’t have the time, resources or expertise to effectively execute.
This creates a demand for relevant content and opens the door for collaborative work, which is exactly what outreach marketing relies on.
Remember that Google Rank Brain thing we mentioned earlier? Well that doesn’t just look at the sites that provide the links, it looks at everything. Google will look at the content that’s on both sites to determine how relevant the link is.
If both sites use similar keywords and clearly overlap on topical content, then the link will be stronger and give a better score. But how do we get our keywords onto other sites, along with a link back to us?
We address the demand for content.
A truly reciprocal relationship goes two ways, and if a brand is looking to increase their backlink profile, they need to be able to supply something valuable when it comes to negotiating a deal. Most people are wise to how important links are by now, they’re very unlikely to just give them away for nothing.
So, give them content.
By providing them with a thoroughly researched, key word optimised piece of content, we create a link that is so much stronger than a simple insertion.
The content provider not only gets a strong backlink, they also ensure that the linking site features all of their most valuable keywords, proving to Google that both pages are relevant, similar and reliable.
This can be strengthened even further by adding a complimentary piece of content to their own site, which the outreached content links to. It effectively says to Google “this content is valid and reliable, so much so that this other site is linking to it as a source”.
Now, how to find these content hungry sites?
That’s what we do here at Affinity. Our outreach department has worked hard to create an extensive network of blogs and sites that are desperate for high quality content and more than happy to provide relevant links to our clients in exchange for it.
We do the research, find the keywords, write the pitches and conduct the negotiations. Once we’ve forged these relationships, our content team make sure that our clients have the most relevant and valuable content already placed across their site.
We then craft the articles that get published on the outreached sites, linking back to the areas of focus for our client.
Authority Scores and rankings go up, and so does our client’s ROI.
Contact us today to discuss how our Outreach Marketing strategies can help to grow your business.