Effective outreach campaigns are the lifeblood of search engine optimisation and internet marketing, bringing in natural links, engaging with your audience and potentially boosting your rankings. However, for many businesses and marketing agencies, outreach campaigns can also prove to be an exercise in frustration, with considerable time and resources expended to limited interest and minimal return on investment.
Here are some of the key pitfalls that could sink your outreach campaign before it has a chance to blossom.
Many outreach campaigns are doomed to fail from the point of conception because they’re simply not interesting enough. Before you commit to an idea, ask yourself a serious question – why should people care about this? Bloggers, customers and the media don’t owe your company anything, and they’re only likely to pick up on your campaign if the output is genuinely compelling.
Whether it’s during the process of reaching out to bloggers and media or in your online content, nothing will puncture your credibility like copy that’s riddled with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. A professional copywriter is always worth the investment – especially if they can help to turn your findings into the perfect headline to grab attention.
Once you’ve come up with an interesting headline – perhaps the results of a study or survey, or maybe a piece of well-researched industry insight – the next step is to package it in a striking, easily digestible way. The internet is littered with failed infographics that squander a good idea on flat, unoriginal visuals. Allow your graphic design team to stretch their creative wings and come up with something quirky, entertaining or powerful, and you’re far more likely to cut through the noise.
These days, popular bloggers and webmasters are increasingly wise to their value in the online space. Even if you have a great story, getting a guest blog or a link on a third-party site isn’t likely to come easily. Many bloggers accept paid links, but this can be a costly exercise and one that could land you with a penalty from Google. It’s far better to work more closely with potential brand ambassadors in your industry space – instead of essentially ‘cold calling’ them, offer them something of interest; such as access to exclusive materials, sending them to an industry conference or event, or supporting a project or fundraising activity they’re involved with.
Having a piece of content go viral is a nice feeling, but it doesn’t automatically translate into a major business benefit. Even outreach campaigns that do get attention won’t achieve their full potential if they don’t somehow harness that attention towards something relevant to your objectives. The most successful outreach campaigns tell a fully realised story that resonates with your target audience first and foremost. If you’re not totally confident in your campaign’s ability to do that, you probably need to go back to the drawing board.