Over the last few years, I’ve spent a lot of time working with bloggers and editorial site owners and I’ve learnt a lot about what they’re generally receptive to.
Here are 7 actionable tips for improving your outreaching campaigns.
1. Put a compelling pitch together
In the time that I’ve spent working on outreach campaigns I’ve generally found that that you will get a much better response if you pitch a structured idea to them. We generally approach bloggers with an idea, comprising a title, some data or research and an overview of how it’ll add value to their website.
As well as pitching the idea, we’ll also reference other similar pieces to illustrate what we’re looking to achieve. We also ask the bloggers for feedback on the idea, giving them the opportunity to provide advice or revisions for the content.
We work with a UK-based wine retailer who organise a popular industry event – we sent some of our team to the event and interviewed bloggers, wine producers, customers and some of the organisers. Before we attended the event we had already pitched different types of content to bloggers who had agreed to place them.
We also found that in this case speaking to bloggers over the phone helped us to generate a much better response. Pitching something over the phone is much easier and the recipient is generally more receptive than they’re to just another email.
We also leveraged pictures, video content and audio from the event, which went down really well with the bloggers.
2. Leverage image / video content
Giving bloggers access to video or image content (especially if it’s exclusive) will significantly improve your proposition to them, as it’s more engaging for their readers.
Video can work especially well as it sets you apart from the other people asking to place content on their website and it’s not something that they can obtain easily. We’ve generally provided links to a clients’ video content within the initial outreach email, as it gives the first form of contact more of an edge.
3. Give bloggers an exclusive
Bloggers tend to love an exclusive because it means they’re providing their readers with things that other bloggers aren’t. Here are some examples of exclusive content you can give away:
We’ve found that if we include some exclusive interview content (with someone relevant to the site) bloggers are far more open to accepting contributors
Bloggers tend to really like video, so I’d definitely recommend utilising any exclusive videos you have within outreach campaigns. I’d recommend investing in video interviews, conference / event videos or even high quality product videos.
Hi-res images (particularly from events):
If you have access to really high quality imagery (that’s relevant to the blog) it can be a great in with bloggers.
Giving bloggers an opportunity to try out or experience new products before anyone else is a great way of persuading them to publish content or link to your website.
4. Make sure your idea is targeted to the user
One of the best tips I can give to anyone doing outreach is to do as much research as you can into the types of content that a blogger likes before reaching out to them.
I would recommend looking at the following points before you even think about getting in touch:
– Articles they’ve tweeted about
– Most popular articles from their blog – by sharing signals (socialcrawltics), links or any other relative metric
– Their ‘about’ page
– Their LinkedIn profile
– Any previous guest contributions
Looking at these areas will help you to determine the types of content and the topics they’re receptive to.
5. Leverage previous articles / coverage
Outreach emails should sell you as much as they sell the content, as a blogger isn’t going to accept an article without trusting the author. For me, the best way to show the blogger that you’re capable of writing great content is to leverage articles you’ve written for other blogs.
We include links to other articles that we’ve had published within all outreach emails or we’ll reference them in phone conversations.
6. Utilise data and research
I’ve found that pitching research-focused content is a great way of getting bloggers to buy into your idea, especially if you’re able to show them some of the research you’ve already done.
We will generally work on a research project initially and then we’ll use that research as part of a number of articles or guides.
7. Don’t just go for links
One of the biggest things that we’ve learnt from our outreach campaigns is that there’s far more to it than just links – we’ve had plenty of examples where we’ve benefited far more from the traffic (and in some cases revenue) from the coverage or article that we’ve generated.
We’ve also found that generating coverage on authoritative sites will often lead to coverage from bloggers that look up to them, or other bloggers are then far more receptive to approaches.
We’ve had examples where we’ve written articles (and not obtained links) but we’ve generated some great relationships or we’ve got a huge amount of traffic as a result of the content.