This is a guest post from David Schneider
You run a blog or a business and you’re trying to get out there.
I can relate.
We just launched our new prospecting and outreach tool, NinjaOutreach, and we’re in the same boat.
The funny thing is, the tool we’re trying to sell actually helps people promote their businesses and blogs.
Therefore, now that our tool is live, we’re using it to promote itself, by reaching out to influencers, and seeing great results.
Through traditional content marketing like
- Link Building
- Guest Posting
- Round Up Posts
- Product Reviews
The two fundamental processes that come together to accomplish these efforts are prospecting and outreach, and we’ve been able to double our traffic month over month since we started our campaign:
We’re sticking to proven models, but implementing in a way that is saving us time and money.
Let me walk you through how each of these can be accomplished with this new SEO tool.
Why Reaching Out To Influencers Works
Before we get into the how, let’s get into the why.
Imagine this scenario, which might not be too far from the truth. You have a blog or a business, you’re writing great content, yet no one knows you.
Meanwhile, there’s a guy in your niche who has been blogging for three years and has a nice size audience with terrific engagement.
What would happen if he introduced your brand to his audience?
It would probably fast track your success – wouldn’t it?
In short, it’s a lot easier to go to where an existing audience “hangs out” than to create an entirely new one yourself from scratch.
This is the fundamental tenet of influencer marketing, and it involves:
- Identifying influential bloggers in your niche.
- Coming up with a way to work with them.
- Building relationships with them.
- Forming a partnership
This is what we’ve been doing, and here are the tactics.
Link building is a fairly general term, but at a high level we can summarize it to mean:
- Creating a valuable resource (a post, a page, or even an entire website)
- Finding relevant blogs and websites, who might be interested in linking to it
- Contacting them with an effective pitch
At NinjaOutreach, link building has meant trying to get our product featured in blogger resource pages.
Here’s how it’s done.
Prospecting For Link Building
With Ninja Outreach I can start with a search term and collect thousands of results including contact information.
For example, I might search for Internet Marketing Resources
Which will return results like 78 Resources For Every Internet Marketers Toolkit
Additionally, with the chrome extension that accompanies the software, I can see if bloggers have resources pages, like this one:
By running several related searches and checking the various websites, I can build a list of thousands of internet marketing resource pages in no time!
Outreach: Pitching for resource pages
Now I have my prospects, and in many cases I have a contact page and/or an email courtesy of the software (NinjaOutreach captures contact information in over 70% of results, on average).
But outreach can be a bit tricky.
Before emailing anyone, I always recommend warming them up with some creative ways to attract influencers to improve the response rate.
This is the case for all outreach, not just link building.
Regardless, having an effective script makes it a whole lot easier.
Here is the script that I sent out for link building.
I don’t necessarily think there is anything exceptional about this pitch, but it does check the boxes on the following:
- Offers something of value to the influencer AND their audience
- Provides them with easy to implement HTML (no friction)
- Offers to do something in return. I’ve had people take me up on this BTW.
Results – Several Resource Page Features And New Partnerships
Additionally, another handful of bloggers signed up for the affiliate program and agreed to write a product review. So far, we’ve had over 10 reviews written, many of which are courtesy of this outreach.
Publishing 30+ Guest Posts In 3 Months
We’re all familiar with the merits of guest posting, but it does have a few negatives.
- It takes a long time to research opportunities
- It’s difficult to discern, whether or not the blog takes guest posts
- It’s hard to know how much traffic, authority, and engagement a blog has, without using a lot of tools.
Luckily there is another way.
Prospecting – How To Find Guest Posting Opportunities
Ninja Outreach sees if the influencer does giveaways, guest posts, sponsored posts or product reviews, and if it finds anything it links to it.
Here’s what it looks like:
We can use this valuable data to collate a list of influencers who specifically do guest posts based on these findings. Additionally, we can filter down by key metrics like traffic, authority, and engagement to make sure we’re targeting the right blogs for ours efforts.
Outreach – Building Authority In Your Guest Post Pitch
But again, it requires an effective pitch to get noticed.
The pitch we use for a guest post is slightly different. We try to build more authority by referencing past articles.
Here’s the pitch we have been sending out to get featured:
Again, nothing special, but a few more boxes need to be checked:
- Highlights my other guest post appearances as a way of building in social proof as well as showcasing some of my best work.
- Offers to giveaway several licenses of our product in order to provide value to the influencer AND their audience.
This outreach script has been converting at over 20%!
Organizing A Round Up Post
As a blogger of quasi-importance myself, I receive a few invites every month to be featured in a round up post.
Here are some awesome ones I remember:
- 60 Experts Reveal Top 3 Tools To Grow Your Email List
- 42 Blogging Specialists Explain How to Monetize Email Newsletters and Turn Autoresponder Messages into Profit
- 39 Successful Entrepreneurs Share Their First EVER Sale (This one was my own)
A roundup post is a great way to connect with lots of influencers at once, as well as provide great, unique content to your audience.
But organizing one can be difficult, since often it involves dozens of people.
Here’s how you can do it with NinjaOutreach.
We could go about prospecting the same way as before, but I’d prefer to highlight a different feature – the import.
Now, consider that the ideal person is
- An authority on the question you are asking
- Has a large following
- Open to appearing on blogs and being featured
So where can we find such people, if we don’t want to run a search?
One option I quite like is Triberr. In Triberr, blogs get together and form groups around their niche. It is easy to see their website and their Twitter following so you can get a quick snapshot view of their authority.
Imagine heading over to a Triberr group filled with influencers and collecting their websites.
Now, all you’re missing is some contact information and perhaps data to verify their influence, such as Klout and Alexa
For those, we can import those contacts into NinjaOutreach and it will handle the rest.
Outreach – Building An Effective Round Up Post
The template I use for a roundup post has to include the question that I’m asking as well as explain some important information such as expectations for the response and timelines.
Here is an example template that I used:
Let’s break this down.
- Personalize the subject to increase the open rates
- Lead with who you are and follow that by how you “know” them
- Hit them with the request, and tell them why it is worth their time
- Tell them that you appreciate your time
- Set a deadline (several days before you actually need it)
Related Post: 3 Follow Up Email Templates That Just Work
This will cut down on the back and forth and get you what you need, when you need it.
Content marketing, specifically prospecting and outreach CAN be tedious. A typical manual approach can look something like:
- Search in your target niche. For example if you are targeting health bloggers you could search “How to stay fit while traveling”
- Run a search in Google and select some websites.
- Identify the specific metrics that matter to you. Interested in their traffic? Consider Alexa. Want to see their social following? Visit their social media pages. Looking for engagement? See how many comments and social shares their posts get.
- Find their contact information such as email or contact page URL.
- Create a personalized pitch based on your research, possibly referencing a recent article you read.
- Send it and repeat.
However, we now have tools available to alleviate this daunting task, including tools specifically targeted at using influencers to drive traffic. If you are doing prospecting and outreach often, consider how you can save hours by integrating them into your workflow.
David Schneider is the co-founder of NinjaOutreach an all in one Prospecting and Outreach tool which was created to streamline the process of connecting with influencers. He can also be found on Twitter @ninjaoutreach and his business blog SelfMadeBusinessman.com
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