As authorship and customer engagement gain increasing weight in search engine rankings, outreach is quickly becoming a pillar of a strong digital marketing strategy. However, as is the case with all SEO and digital marketing tactics, there are those who truly understand and excel at outreach execution and others who prefer to put greater effort into merely producing fake results.
So what is real, effective outreach? Essentially, there are three components, each one as vital as the other: content, strategic placement, and engagement monitoring and support. Outreach efforts that are overlooking or only haphazardly engaging any of these will have negligible effect on SEO, much less the more significant business objectives like lead generation and profit.
Content: Content is more than just words. It’s about crafting literature in the form of blogs, short articles and whitepapers that will actually translate into a desired effect on the reader. It provides a human voice to a business and exemplifies a specific expertise to potential customers. In short it says, “Hey! We know what we’re doing, and we’re willing and able to help you solve your problem!” This is what all customers are looking for, regardless of where they are in the buying cycle.
Strategic Placement: Where a company places their content is as important as where they choose to place their traditional ads. Randomly posting a blog and then just hoping for the best is as foolish as spending resources on promotional posters and then hanging them up around your own office – you’re unlikely to attract a lot of customers there! Strategic placement includes carefully choosing relevant, active locations that make sense for your message.
Engagement Monitoring & Support: After pinpointing a placement and acquiring a live link, many digital marketers feel that they have successfully completed their outreach objectives. However, after a piece of thought leadership is cast out into the big world that is the Internet, it needs further nurturing. It needs to be supported socially, through sharing. It’s also critical to monitor how people subsequently interact with it. Are people reading? Are they sharing? Is it prompting them to leave feedback or spark conversations? The answers to these questions are necessary, as companies need to jump at their chances to engage in real dialogue with their potential customers.
By combining each of these components into a unified outreach strategy, businesses can more effectively impact their rankings, improve brand reach, and meaningfully communicate with customers. The latter offers significant opportunity as a firm that is well attuned to their customers’ wants and needs is more likely to be a leading innovator in the marketplace.[googleplusauthor]