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PR has fast become a crucial element of any content marketing strategy. The days of ‘link-building’ have evolved, and now content marketers need to work hard to earn great links to gain exposure and brand awareness. That’s why it is crucial to have a robust outreach strategy.
Simply put, an outreach campaign is the process of sharing specific content with publishers and/or influencers in order to encourage them to share it to increase its reach.
In order to secure opportunities, you need to be reaching out to the right journalists, site owners or influencers. In order to do this successfully, you need to be honing your PR abilities to build key relationships with these individuals.
However, before you pick up the phone or start typing an email, you need to have a clear plan in place.
First and foremost, you need to put your organising hat on because it’s time to establish the following:
Your Brand & Business Values
You may already have a clear idea of the values around your business and your brand message, but these need to be drilled down to a finite point. This means that when it comes to outreaching, you know what makes your business unique and the specific selling points that you should push.
What do you wish to gain from your campaign? Is it awareness of the brand as a whole, or sales of a particular product? This will help you when it comes to brainstorming tactics and measuring results.
Who exactly are your audience? Exposure on a site with millions of visitors won’t be worth much if they’re not the types of customers interested in your business. Buyer personas are incredibly useful in this situation, as well as any market research you may have conducted in the past.
So now you have the backbone of your outreach campaign – what’s next?
To get maximum impact from PR, you need to ensure that you are targeting the right publications and individuals.
Regardless of whether you are outreaching to online or offline publications, they both have deadlines to meet and will often have their editorial calendar planned for the next 6-12 months.
This is why it is important to request a features list so that you can tailor your content ideas around their requirements.
Often, the features list will be available from the website, so have a look around before asking for it. Check the site’s footer, contact or advertising sections before getting in touch.
As well as trade and online publications, individual influencers also carry a lot of weight online if they own a popular industry blog or have a particularly active social profile. Find out more about the importance of influencers here.
You will need to build influencer relationships over time, but this can pay dividends in your future marketing campaigns.
You now need to build the story in order to confidently persuade the people you are outreaching to.
It might seem like a painstaking process, but in order to garner the best results in your campaigns, you need to tailor your story to the individual.
The best way to do this is to focus on your USP’s (unique selling points) and add value by presenting solutions to an upcoming story. Perks you can offer, such as free products to review or prizes, are always going to be a bonus too.
The process of contacting key publications and influencers will take time. Journalists in particular are very busy people, and they won’t have much time even when you do catch them.
With this in mind, consider these tips:
Here at Koozai, our Content Marketing team can work closely with you to create and run effective PR campaigns. If you’d like to find out more about how we can help, get in touch today.
Image Credits by BigStock Images.
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