Promoting content is a difficult process and to get the most out of the quality content you create, it should be placed in front of the right audience.
How can you work to promote your content to the specific markets that will return clientele or readership?
We have some simple steps to get you started with influencer outreach.
Step 1: Identify the Target Audience
You want to avoid solely marketing your content to “your industry”, in the broad sense. Work to include supplementary industries and general audiences that can benefit from your work.
For example, if you’re a local ice cream shop, look to blog about the local neighborhood and other family events, not just information pertaining to ice cream and your business.
Every industry has influencers that you’ll want to target, but it’s important to have a clear idea of who specifically will benefit from your content.
For example, take a look at these two pieces of similar content from the tax industry:
While both posts focus on tax resources, one piece is about tax tools while the other focuses on tax forms.
Despite the industry of both examples being the same, the websites and audiences that would benefit from each of these pieces is vastly different.
While everyone can utilize tax forms, not everyone can leverage small business tax information. This makes the prospecting and pitch process (see below) much different.
Step 2: Find Websites That Share Content
Once you have identified the ideal type of website that can benefit from your content, it’s time to build a list of similar websites that share content and provide resources for their users.
Resource pages and round-up posts frequently include CTAs like the one above to be pitched with relevant content.
The key step in this process is identifying how you want to pitch your content and where it will fit on your target publications’ website.
Let’s look at two more examples from the home industry:
The first example is a guide to finding an apartment without using Craigslist. The second example highlights the best home décor trends of 2016.
Both are useful for people looking for apartments, but these pieces will integrate with prospective websites much differently.
One is a guide that could fit well on resource or “tips” pages, while the other is more of an editorial piece that could be used within another article or added to an additional piece on the subject.
To find the right pages your content can go on you can use Google’s advanced search operators or more in-depth searching tools like Scrapebox.
This tool has small upfront expense, but is instrumental in performing large scale searches.
A good starting search is: inurl:resources + “Your industry or keywords”
These tools can help you find popular content and the websites that are sharing them.
Inspired by my new favorite reality show “Flip or Flop” here is some unique content results from the term “fix or flip”.
Ahrefs provides multiple KPIs, such as number of social shares, domains linking to them, and other great information about the page.
Make a spreadsheet of contact information for each potential site.
In your spreadsheet, include the URL of the target page, the audience of the site, name of the webmaster, and contact emails or “contact us forms”.
These will be valuable during your pitching stage.
Step 3: Craft a Pitch for Each Website Type
Think about the different types of websites you have on your list.
Do you want a custom post on a website highlighting your content or are you trying to get placed on a resources page?
The style of your placement is a huge factor in the type of pitch you are creating.
Try to craft a “pitch” for each different type. Personalization and relevancy are key, as no one appreciates spam.
Once you have your pitch templates for each type, take a minute to personalize the pitch before sending individual emails to each site’s webmaster.
This will keep your email from sounding generic and will keep it from being treated as spam.
A few simple ways to personalize each email is to use names or call out things they recently tweeted.
Mention a few specific details from other, recent articles or features from their site that you appreciate.
Let them know you would be happy to write a custom introduction to your piece so that it feels like a natural fit to their website.
This works especially well for visual pieces!
Here is a great guide from Sujan Patel on email pitch generation.
Step 4: Sending and Follow-ups
Think about how you respond to emails.
When you first look at your emails in the morning do you quickly get rid of emails that don’t look important or familiar? We all start our day with slew of messages in our inbox.
That is why it is important to never send your emails at night. You don’t want to be one of the many messages just waiting to be deleted first thing in the morning.
Send your emails so they should arrive during the middle of the workday of the recipient.
Remember to pay attention to time zones. Just because it is 10:00 a.m. where you are doesn’t mean it will be for the webmaster you are trying to get in touch with.
If you get a response, respond quickly!
Even if the response is a rejection of your proposal take a second to thank them for their time and let them know that you would be interested in sharing content in the future if they are amenable.
If you don’t get a response, feel free to follow-up after a week or so.
Sometimes the follow-up lets the webmaster know you are serious about sharing your content with them specifically, and not just casting a wide net to see who you can catch.
It is Worth the Effort!
Taking the time to research websites, generate a contact list, and create personalized pitches will pay off when working to promote your content.
These simple steps will help you avoid wasting your time trying to share your content with the wrong audience.
It may seem time-consuming at first but the effort will be well worth the reward at the end!