Outreach marketing started out as a way to engage in link-building with other websites in order to improve search engine rankings. Nowadays some brands still engage in outreach purely for the sake of their SEO performance. However others have learned that successful outreach marketing is not just about link-building, it also significantly helps build your brand. Below are the five most important ways I believe good outreach marketing can go beyond improving SEO metrics and truly strengthen brands.
1. It boosts your brand awareness
Getting your content featured on blogs and websites will immediately help you reach a large audience and improve brand awareness. This is particularly true if your outreach efforts are targeted as audiences will remember a brand that truly appeals to them. If your content is exceptionally valuable, natural snowballing could occur from blog to blog and social media profile to social media profile, helping you reach an even larger audience organically.
This benefit of outreach marketing is especially important for smaller brands who do not have the budget for large-scale advertising. Instead they can build brand awareness through genuine relationships with relevant and influential bloggers. For example, when working at cosmetics start-up Feeligold, I instantly boosted brand awareness by getting its products featured on Beauté Blog, a top French beauty bloggers with over 23,000 Twitter followers.
2. It builds a tight-knit brand community
Over time, successful outreach marketers will build up a community of bloggers and experts. By asking for their feedback, valuing their opinion and even involving them in the ideation and creation of product or strategy development, they can truly earn their loyalty and evangelism.
For example, beauty start-up Birchbox collaborated with lifestyle blogger Cupcakes and Cashmere by asking her to curate one of its monthly boxes. The brand also frequently works with other bloggers via Instagram take-overs or giveaways. By building a reciprocal relationships with influencers, brands can gain lifetime evangelists who will enrich their brand image through their own input. The influencers’ followers will also be part of this brand community to some extent.
3. It creates an aura of trust
Influencers are considered more trustworthy than advertisers by the majority of consumers. Their followers trust their opinion and follow their advice, much more than they do brand-generated advertising. This means that if an influencer genuinely likes your content or your product and decides to write or vlog about it, most followers will then naturally trust your brand through a sequential process. Do be careful to build authentic relationships with influencers however, as dishonest influencer marketing can often backfire!
4. It helps you become an emotionally supercharged brand
The really creative brands will weave emotional brand stories, with bloggers as the narrators. By involving influencers in story-telling, they can create strong brand identities and histories.
Examples include celebrating a brand milestone with a blogger event, or supporting a cause alongside influencers. For example, last December beauty vlogger Amelia Liana completed a series of challenges for children’s charity Caudwell Children. The charity benefited from a strong surge in brand awareness (as explained in my first paragraph) but most importantly supercharged their brand identity thanks to Amelia’s image.
By involving influencers in the core of their brand building, brands can flesh out their personality, which is reflected in the bloggers they choose.
5. It makes you an aspirational brand
Being an aspirational brand is no longer only possible for high luxury players like Chanel. Because followers look up to influencers, especially lifestyle and fashion bloggers, they can feel a strong desire for the products these bloggers endorse. Many young women following these influencers on Instagram now wish they had that Michael Kors bag or those Valentino shoes. This is an important lesson for lesser-known brands, which can go from unknown to ‘must-haves’ by creating relationships with the right influencers.
This blog post was inspired by this amazing Moz Whiteboard Friday video.
If you liked this post, please like, share, tweet or pin it! And keep on finding out more about outreach marketing by reading my latest blog posts. Thanks for reading!