Once you have products to sell and content to promote, you have many options for distributing these images or text in front of your target audience. You want to reach the right people, control the message that they see, and track how successful your distribution efforts are.
As you were looking for solutions, you may have stumbled upon outreach marketing. This is different from the outdated outbound marketing strategies of yesterday. Outreach marketing blends the power of social media with influencers who reach a particular audience and know how to sell products. And those products could be yours!
What Is Outreach Marketing?
Outreach marketing is the process of building a network of brands, influencers, and content creators who share a similar interest with your company.
Think of an endorsement deal. An athlete is paid a sum of money to wear a certain brand of shoes. When the athlete’s fans see the athlete wearing the shoes, they are more likely to go out and buy those shoes. The factors behind this purchase decision could include an increased brand awareness or even the desire to be like the athlete that they admire.
Outreach marketing is like endorsement deals, but usually on a smaller scale. The influencers in your network are not household names. They rarely generate big news and before you do your research, you may scratch your head saying, “who?” But they have a loyal fan base who watch their YouTube videos, engage with their Instagram content, and buy the products that they sell on social media.
Where Does Outreach Marketing Take Place?
Outreach marketing is more valuable on some social media platforms than others. In order to influence your audience, content creators will need to build a relationship directly with their followers through visual content and storytelling. They can usually be found on the following websites:
A survey on Collective Bias revealed a lot about the importance of influencer marketing. Facebook turned out to be the most influential social media platform; 19% of purchase decisions can be traced back to a Facebook post. If you can get your products endorsed or reviewed by influencers who are big on Facebook, you’ll start to see sales spike.
YouTube is right behind Facebook in influencing purchase decisions; 18% of purchase decisions are influenced by a YouTube video. YouTube was essentially the birthplace of influencer marketing as we know it today. Top influencers have over 13 million subscribers on YouTube. Long-form YouTube content can include product reviews and how-to guides for using products, so it is a great place for brands to showcase their products.
Instagram is another visual platform that is key for influencers who want to make it big. (That’s right…69.4% of influencers took on this role so that they could make revenue from brands.) If you thought that 13 million subscribers is a huge number for an influencer, just wait until you see some of the influencers on Instagram. Single posts can earn thousands of dollars for influencers…because they’re making even more money for brands.
Why is Outreach Marketing Important?
Outreach marketing spreads your content and products throughout social media. The posters behind the content are sharing your brand with a trustworthy and loyal audience that they have built through content. The social proof and authority that influencers provide not only put your name out there…they directly influence sales. Take a look at these statistics:
Six out of ten consumers who have purchased a product in-store were tempted to buy after seeing the product on social media or in a blog review.
Three out of ten consumers are more likely to purchase a product after it has been endorsed by an influencer (not including celebrities.)
When you measure the impact of influencer marketing, you may be surprised. Studies show that influencer marketing produces an ROI that is 11x higher than traditional marketing.
Some of the top reasons that businesses start using outreach marketing include:
- Increasing brand advocacy
- Promoting brand awareness
- Reaching new members of a targeted audience
- Boosting conversion rates
- Maintaining a positive reputation online
- Generating leads
Outreach and SEO
Outreach marketing isn’t just asking an Instagram influencer in Bali to post a high-quality photo of your product and offer a discount code. If you have content that you would like to distribute (blog posts, eBooks, etc.) you can also use outreach marketing to generate backlinks and boost your domain authority score.
The strategy behind generating backlinks through outreach is similar to that of getting promotions through influencer marketing. Before you start sending emails and contacting influencers, look at their audience. Would your content be useful on their blog posts? Are you telling your audience something that the influencer’s audience doesn’t already know? If you are asked to add some backlinks onto your website, will that content be useful to your audience?
We ask you to look carefully at the influencers and content creators that you want backlinks from. “Link trading” for the sake of backlinks dabbles into the world of black hat SEO. If link trading is done because each website genuinely can benefit from the other website’s content, however, you are all good to proceed.
How to Begin Outreach Marketing
If influencers and YouTube followers sounds foreign to you, don’t worry. It’s normal to feel a bit out-of-touch with niche influencers on social media. After all, they aren’t celebrities…but that’s why they are so successful.
As outreach marketing becomes more popular, 48% of marketers are looking to increase their spending in influencer marketing. Hop on this trend now to build a network of content creators and influencers who can do the work of building a following and sharing their content with that loyal following.
Know Your Audience
This is key to finding the right influencers and reaching the right people on social media. If you cannot describe a typical member of your targeted audience, you will not be able to align their interests with that of an influencer.
If you haven’t created buyer personas already, it’s time to get to work. Research the member of your targeted audience and how they behave online. If you have buyer personas on hand, check to make sure the following information is included:
- The buyer’s favourite social media platforms
- How much time is spent on social media each day
- Why buyers use social media
- The information buyers want to gain from social media
- Networks and groups that the buyer may be a part of (groups for single parents, groups for sports teams, etc.)
Once you get an understanding of what your buyers are doing online, you can find influencers that align with their interest. If a buyer is more likely to use YouTube to relax and unwind after a long day, they are more likely to follow influencers who post content about travel or comedy than one who provides information and thought-provoking content. If buyers are involved in Facebook groups for stay-at-home moms, they are more likely to follow influencers who tailor their content to that audience.
And trust us, if there is an audience, there is an influencer.
Document Your Goals and Intentions
We listed a few goals for marketers above. Giving your products to influencers can reach buyers at different steps of the buyer’s journey. Good influencers are expert content creators, and can offer ideas for how to tailor content to your goals and their audience. But in order to have productive conversations with potential influencers, you will have to have goals set and documented. If you just want to build brand awareness, for example, all you might want is for an influencer to wear or display your products in their posts. Boosting revenue may require content that prominently displays the product or even offers a discount code for users to buy that product.
Discuss your outreach marketing goals with your team before reaching out to influencers. If you have different goals, discuss which targeted audiences you want to reach in order to accomplish different goals. You could have a network of influencers dedicated to one goal and one target audience, and a separate network dedicated to another.
Find the Right Influencers
Now it’s time to do the research! What social media influencers will help you meet your goals and reach your target audience?
There are many online softwares and services that can help you find the right influencers, but you could also discover these influencers through surveys and reaching out to your current audience.
It is so important to arm yourself with knowledge as you begin the search for influencers. You’ll need it; 67.6% of marketers believe that it can be quite difficult to find relevant influencers for brands. After all, these influencers aren’t usually household names. The right influencers for your brand may only have around 2,000 followers, and with one billion monthly users on Instagram, these accounts aren’t always the first that pop up.
Want to learn more about how you can tap into your target audience and find the right influencers for your brand? Reach out to the experts at Digital Squad. Our skills in data analytics and SEO tactics can help you build an effective, results-driven outreach marketing strategy.
Megan Okonsky is a copywriter and content marketing specialist with Digital Squad. She is originally from Philadelphia but has landed in Melbourne after traveling for eight months in Southeast Asia and New Zealand. She also teaches vinyasa yoga online.