Outreach marketing tools have come a long way since the basic Excel spreadsheet in which marketers tracked sent emails and acquired links (conditional formatting rules were considered impressive!). Nowadays one of my most used tools is Buzzstream – a great resource for influencer relationship monitoring.
Buzzstream is actually hard to sum up in a sentence, as this tool helps marketers at all stages of the outreach process. Below is an overview of all the ways Buzzstream can help marketers to streamline and optimise their outreach efforts.
When you first set up your Buzzstream account, your influencer database will obviously be empty. You can easily add your pre-existing contacts and prospects from a CSV file.
From then on, Buzzstream has a handy Chrome add-on, the Buzzmarker, that will significantly simplify the task of saving websites. Whenever you are on a blog or website you wish to add to a list of influencers, clicking on the Buzzmarker will not only save that website to your account, but also automatically extract contact details and social media profiles for you. No more trolling around a website for thirty minutes desperately looking for an email address! You can also assign that website to a project and/or team member and add your own notes.
I’ve detailed my main influencer research methods here, but there is one function of Buzzstream’s in particular that really helps me out when looking for new influencers to reach out to. Whenever you find yourself on a list of websites or blogs you wish to analyse (a Google results page or a “Top 10 blogs” list for example), right click and select “Create a Prospecting List“. This will open up a new tab in which you can efficiently browse each website in turn without losing the rest of your precious list and save the ones you like.
Organising your projects
Buzzstream allows you to easily organise your influencer contacts into folders and projects. It’s then up to you how you want to organise your influencers – into generic blog themes or campaign-specific lists. I like to use a mix of both, keeping lasting relationships in the relevant folders and adding more specific folders for one-off content pieces.
In every project, Buzzstream will add detailed information for each website, including extracted metrics like Domain Authority and Page Rank as well as information you can modify like Relationship Stage and tags.
The most important bit – Outreaching
Buzzstream boasts some impressive time-saving capabilities for outreach. You can create multiple email templates, again for generic outreach and campaign-specific projects for example, and decide who within your team can view and edit them. Having all of these templates on hand will significantly save you time when emailing influencers. They can also be personalised through the use of handy placeholders which Buzzstream automatically replaces with the information it has extracted from the website (e.g. first name, website name, etc.).
Once you’ve sent one email to the first influencer in that project, Buzzstream will automatically fill in the template for the next influencer, meaning you can send emails in seconds. Buzzstream also allows you to schedule emails for later and set up notifications if you haven’t received a reply in x number of days to remind you to follow up. Last but certainly not least, it records your outreach emails’ open and reply rates and displays this information for all templates, allowing you to quickly gleam what is working and what isn’t.
Once you’ve obtained that precious link on an influencer’s website, you can easily record it with the Buzzmarker. Buzzstream will then check it every two weeks and alert you if there’s been an anchor change, if it’s become no-follow or even if the page has become too spammy. Buzzstream can also check for backlinks to your project URL across the web and spot the ones you may have missed.
Why I love Buzzstream
The main reason I think Buzzstream is such a good tool is because it records and centralises all interactions between your team and an influencer. If anyone leaves the company, is on holiday, is ill, etc. you can still view all past conversations with an influencer at the click of a button. All team members’ emails to an influencer are recorded, as are all influencers’ replies, and everyone can add notes and other important information to a website’s profile.
…And why I don’t
As with any marketing tool, there a few things I’d like to change about Buzzstream. My main concern is the look of the outreach emails sent via the tool – the font isn’t the most appealing. This is why, for any influencer I may consider as ‘picky’, I send my own emails via Outlook and make them look pretty, and then record them later in Buzzstream. Another little problem are the occasional glitches with the Buzzmarker add-on – but this is outweighed by far by its amazing functionalities.
To end this post on some exciting news, Buzzstream have recently launched their new Discovery tool, which sounds pretty similar to Buzzsumo. I have yet to test it, but combining both capabilities in one tool is certainly promising.
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