how to promote your website

How to Promote Your Website Through Link Building

Website promotion is not rocket-science. You can learn it in little steps. By understanding how it works and training yourself to apply the process, it won't take you longer to see results from your activity.

Today's post will not cover all the methodologies and practices in website promotion — there are so many and it’s impossible to cover in one post.

I'll focus mainly on website promotion through link building.

how to promote your website

Link building, or link acquisition, can drive an immense exposure to your website, given that links bridge websites where visitors can pass through. It helps drive visitors from pages to pages.

When a website is seen on a page, it gains an initial traction, especially if the anchor text used was branded. It adds interest and provokes curiosity to the reader to visit the linking website.

Even in a linkless mention (that requires link reclamation), a visitor may be curious enough to do a quick Google search to know what that mentioned product or brand is.

In addition, link building does help in other forms of marketing initiatives such as:

  • Introducing new brand ambassadors to the online space who are not just representatives, but are also evangelists of brand's message, and of what the company contributes to the community.
  • Increasing online visibility through enhanced off-page SEO factors of the website, which can help disseminate more awareness about the brand.
  • Expanding new connections with web enthusiasts, influencers, and industry publishers
  • Building authority and expertise through well-crafted content externally published on other websites

These, among other benefits, are exposure initiatives being affected by link building.

To execute a better website promotion campaign, you must first understand concepts in order to customize your approach.

Every website has these three components of website promotion campaign: web assets/resources, means/channel and authority & branding.

Let's discuss each one of them in detail.

 

WEB ASSETS & RESOURCES 

It's critically important to know your website's inventory. It is basically a collection of all assets you currently have as an entity. These include the following things:

  • Visual assets
  • Brand personalities
  • Internal data reports and industry surveys
  • Lists of past contacts with industry publishers
  • Ebooks and whitepapers
  • Blog articles and other internal informational content pieces

By knowing your existing resources, you can craft a strategy that utilizes most of them. In fact, you don't have to think of producing new content all the time, all you have to do is to look at your brand's inventory and see which asset is best suitable to use in a specific website promotion campaign.

MEANS & CHANNEL 

This basically means a specific place wherein you'll utilize your brand assets for promotion. It could be a website, a network, an entity or a subset of digital marketing field you'd want to focus your efforts on.

In SEO, your approach for promoting your website involves technicalities (on-page SEO) and link building.

When you properly optimize your website in its on-page totality, the links you'll be building will benefit your website tremendously.

With regard to link building, your means of website promotion could either be any of the following:

  • Industry micro community website (fora)
  • Q&A website with a niche section
  • Social networks
  • Email or outreach platform (Gmail or Buzzstream)

You align your channel to your resources. If you have infographics, for example, you may choose Sub-reddit for images and outreach platform (for reaching out to publishers) as means of website promotion.

AUTHORITY AND BRANDING 

The popularity of a website makes a difference in the results of a site promotion campaign. In blogger outreach, for example, if a brand is well-established in the industry, conversion rate (links to be built from publications) is expected to increase as publishers are already familiar with the brand.

Branding (how an entity is differentiated from its competitors) provides a cutting edge in link acquisition. When submit a guest post to another blog and propose a topic with your own unique twist, you're more likely to get a good link placement than when sending a guest blogging pitch with a generic topic proposal.

How to Promote Your Website through Link Building

STRATEGIC LINKING OUT

One of the easiest ways to get contextual links and receive initial exposure for your website is to start linking out to other valuable resources. By adding external links to your content to pages your audience will find informative, you are adding value to the web community.

Aside from including resources that will serve as references of your content, consider looking for recent blog posts and publications in your industry that have high likelihood of reciprocating links to your page.

Check out bloggers who regularly publish content assets who are linking out to topical content. Link out to them once in a while, as you find their pages fit to cite on your own content works.

CONTENT CREATION 

It's easy to go straight to website promotion without having a check and balance on what your content is available on your website that adds value to the community. Given that without strong content that matches an audience, it's difficult to get backlinks.

Here are some actionable tips to get started with content creation:

ASSESS COMPETITION BASED ON TITLE MATCHES AND EXACT QUERIES 

When you do keyword research, you normally assess competition based on the keyword difficulty score a specific tool has calculated for you.

Whether you're using Ahrefs, Moz or SEMRush, every keyword has its own difficulty score .This shows that if you want to target a keyword with difficulty level of let's say 70 or above, it will require a higher domain authority website to compete for the top spots of search results.

Another way to assess competition is to use the intitle: advanced search operator along with the desired topic of your content. Search results will show you how many websites are targeting the same keyphrase with their indexed pages.

By using intitle search operator, you'll be too restrictive with your search results, leaving out articles that have other variations of your keyphrase. For instance, you have searched for intitle:"how to promote your website through seo", you won't see articles with titles, such as "Using SEO to Promote Your Website".

google search how to promote your website

In addition to intitle search operator in order to quickly assess competition, you can make variations to check articles that fit to the category. You may use search queries like "website promotion" "seo", or "seo website promotion".

The reason you want to assess competition is not to bloat your blog with another similar article, but rather to ensure that there would be either a unique angle to the topic, haven't published yet topic so you may be the first to create or to target the exact keyphrase through long-tail form approach.

GENERATE LOCAL CONTENT INSIGHTS FROM YELP 

If you're into local SEO, this technique can be a huge advantage for you.

Supposed that you want to produce more local sales pages, instead of going through the normal approach of using keyword research tools for keyphrases like "pet care", why not reverse engineer a popular review website's organic keywords and see if they populate keywords you could target or haven't targeted yet for sales pages.

yelp homepage

Start by entering yelp.com into an SEO tool of choice (I'm using Ahrefs for this example). Select their organic keywords section and filter results based on your industry topics.

ahrefs yelp organic keywords

See for yourself which keyword is relevant to target for your local website's sales page.

REVERSE ENGINEER SLIDESHARE FOR VISUAL CONTENT 

There are a lot of image link building strategies in the search space today, but one that's not really maximized to its full extent is reverse engineering top visual submission websites.

Slideshare, for example, dominates most of the reports, data, and visual-driven keywords.

slideshare

If you want to produce an infographic or create a visual-oriented content, you can plug in Slideshare or other top visual websites and see what keywords they're currently ranking.

ahrefs slideshare organic keywords

Filter these keywords based on your industry topics and assess which one you can target for your brand's visual content.

PUBLISH ARCHIVE OF STATISTICS 

There is one powerful tactic that will help you consistently earn authority links over time and even get competitors backlinks, that is producing statistics content.

You can produce it internally if you have same data in place, or curate exclusive and premium reports from trusted statistic websites like Statistica.

statistica

Moreover, if you see a statistics reports brought up year over year, you can provide an entire archive of statistics on your website. Given that many people are searching it every year, there's a definite value community is giving to such kind of report. In that sense, it's a huge advantage you can get if you have produced an entire archive of statistics.

google statistics report

archive of statistics

REVERSE ENGINEER CONTENT WITH REDDIT 

Reddit is a good place to develop your audience. It has only been misunderstood these days by some marketers banned because of their manipulative tactics to get more visibility in their subreddit of choice. But if you do things properly, you can get repetitive traffic from the website by submitting or putting out content.

One way to reverse engineer success in Reddit is to use Buzzsumo. Buzzsumo has an incredible feature of giving you Reddit engagements similar to the usual number of social shares (Facebook, Twitter) you see in every URL.

reddit engagements buzzsumo

By looking at Reddit engagements, you can assess if the topic of your choice has a potential to get massive traction in its specified Reddit.

It's a lazy behavior to make an assessment of the traction a topic based on the overall total score from social shares and other websites' engagements. Given that each network or site has its own set of audience (with its own culture of engagement, interest and style), it would be reasonable to stick on looking at one engagement score, in this case, Reddit engagements alone.

If you can find a topic with good potential engagement on Reddit, you can craft a content that is suitable only for a sub-reddit.

One way to get the most out of your Reddit initiative is to submit content's URL to a sub-reddit during optimal times. You can use a tool like Later for Reddit to schedule your post at your desired day and time.

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

One way to promote your website is to make use of your professional organizations your company or entity has been a partner of.

There are Chambers of Commerce, industry professional organizations,and other similar sites you  can contact to for further promotion of your brand.

There are entities that will require recurring payment, some would love just a donation in exchange for a feature on a page or on a magazine or exhibit event.

Whatever it is, make sure you find them first and reach out to them whenever you see them fit to your brand.

Start your link prospecting process by using any of these search queries:

  • “KEYWORD” Business Association
  • “KEYWORD” Directory or Business Association “CITY”
  • “KEYWORD” Chamber of Commerce
  • “POSTAL CODE/ZIP CODE” Chamber of Commerce
  • “POSTAL CODE/ZIP CODE” Directory
  • “INDUSTRY” association “STATE/PROVINCE”
  • national “INDUSTRY” association

You can check out this guide for more search queries targeting professional organizations.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

Without any cost, every person can spend their time engaging the community. When I started my first blog, Digital Philippines (now redirected to SharpRocket link building blog), one of the things that I regularly did is to look for specific channels, networks and websites I could provide value by asking and answering questions.

quora stats

Most of the time, people think that you have to be an expert before you start going outside of your blog and looking for places for engagement. It's not the way industry practitioners work today. In fact, you'll find most of them just asking questions to one another, creating an Ask Me Anything section and then roll over conversations.

Here are some places where you can start promoting your website through engagement:

  • Industry twitter chats
  • Webinars
  • Quora
  • Community Blogs

It is important to monitor your performance in engaging the community and check which inputs will you give the maximum outputs in return.

One good approach is to choose specific questions on Quora that got traction already in the past and still getting more views given they're currently ranking for some informational keywords. If more people are searching for the question and has landed on Quora question page, your answer may potentially get more exposure (adding up if your answer is marked as top answer).

quora ahrefs

DISCOVER AND PRACTICE

There are hundreds of ways to promote your website that I haven't covered here. But if you would like to take little steps in website promotion, start implementing tactics above and see if they worked for you.

Discover more approaches to get traction for your website by reading SEO and link building blogs, guides, and ebooks. Practice them as soon as ponder them to be of useful to you. There's no way you can say it works if you haven't executed it properly.


creative-content-promotion-strategies

25 Creative Content Promotion Strategies

If there is one thing you shouldn't forget about content marketing, it is implementing a solid and creative strategy to promote your content assets to your target audience.

A strategic content promotion plan would help you in so many branding activities, such as:

  • Building communities (sub-groups of your target audience) that are exposed to your brand, which can help your future content get social shares in its first days after launch.
  • Increasing the probability that bloggers in your space would link to your content (especially if your content is worth sharing to their readers).
  • Engaging with popular media outlets in your local and niche vertical who would be interested to cover news or stories about your brand, which would be made easy if they’re attracted to new information or ideas from your content.
  • Generating leads/sales through referral links from popular blogs/sites and connections built with influencers during the process of promoting your content.

If you already decided to invest your time and effort in showing your content to your target audience (especially those who still don’t know your asset), then you can follow at least ten of the content promotion strategies I listed below.

1. Multiple-effect email outreach

Content promotion through outreach is done in a one to one person basis (unless you’re doing an email blast for your campaign).

If you send 100 emails and you get a 10% click through rate, it means that you have an additional 10 visitors on your site (assuming we exclude those people who were referred by your recipients to visit your site as well).

The chances of getting more visitors who will likely to share your content depend on the number of recipients and emails you send to them. The larger your list of recipients, the more new visitors you should expect to see in your Google Analytics account.

You can make this 1-to-1 email outreach work more effective by adding a few texts to your email template.

You can actually increase the chances of getting a few more visitors from a single email using this simple approach.

How?

Step 1: Find generic branded emails in your list of prospects. Examples of the types of emails you should look at are:

Step 2: Add these simple lines to your email template (beginning and end of your email).

I noticed that your team tweeted a [topic] post on [Site Name].

Happy to hear a feedback from your team.

Step 3: Add this subject line to your email.

A post that your team might want to see

Step 3: Click the send button (or schedule your email if you are used to it).

Because you allow your email to be read by a team, you have chances of getting more shares from each person in that group (once they passed it on to one another). Additional visitors to your website and followers would be possible if your content captures their interests.

2. Invest in building interview opportunities

Interviews are open doors to show off your expertise and improve your site discovery by allowing people to visit your best pages/content (which will help them decide if they want to follow your brand in a regular basis).

How to open interview opportunities?

Step 1: Create an interview page.

You don’t need a highly skilled graphic designer to create a well-designed interview page for your website.

You can do it by yourself. Here is an example of how a high quality interview page looks like:

interview page

An interview page should consist of the following:

  • Your expertise or topics you’d like to discuss about (you can use this as your introductory sentence)
  • Interview requirements including audience type and the topic of the interview (number of email list is optional).
  • Contact form

Step 2: Make this page visible to your visitors.

There are a few things you can do to add more visibility to your interview page:

  • Add a menu linking to your interview page.
  • Link to it from your about us
  • Design a simple advertisement and make it sticky in the sidebar of your website (you can use Q2W3Fixed Plugin).

interview menu

Step 3: Promote your interview page.

Share your page in your social profiles.

You can also link to your interview page from your newsletter, once in a while to boost its visibility.

As you consistently produce more high quality content on your blog, your chances of getting interview opportunities are higher.

Few more tips to maximize your interviews:

  • Build second-tier links to pages that are already linking to your site through referencing them from your interviews (add a descriptive call to action when linking to those pages to entice clicks and shares).
  • Use your interviews to capture subscribers from blogs where interviews are hosted.
  • Promote your contributions through linking to them from your about us page (this will add some trust and build stronger relationships with the interviewers, allowing you to get some more interviews).

about us page3. Guest blogging post benefits

Guest blogging has a lot of benefits even after you got a link and shares from the content distributed site.

You can promote your content to people who've shared your recent guest post and get them share your newest content as well. Given that they already know your brand through the caliber of your content, it’s easy to entice them to share your content (assuming you exceeded their expectations as readers).

How to do it?

Step 1: Identify social shares of your recent guest post using Topsy. Grab the URL of your guest post and paste it on the search box. Then click the search button.

copy-paste-topsy

topsy-social-sharers

Step 2: Check if those social sharers have their own websites or blogs. If they have, include them in your Twitter spreadsheet.

twitter spreadsheet

Step 3: Find their email addresses using any of the following tools.

  • Twitter Google search (inurl:twitter.com/venchito14 “email” OR “at” “dot”)
  • Whois
  • Basic email placement pages (about us, contact us, get in touch, etc..)
  • Rapportive in Gmail

Step 4: Send them outreach emails using the template below.

Hi [Name],

I noticed that you shared [topic post] on [Shared which post]. I appreciate your social sharing a lot.

Just wondering if you’d like to see my latest 4000-word ultimate guide about [topic].

Please let me know if you want to check it out.

Regards,

[Your Name]

Why this outreach works?

  • You thank the person who shared your post.
  • You make your description strategic and short (e. 4000-word ultimate guide).
  • Ask for feedback (indirect enticement of response)

 4. Send exclusive content to twitter list (list of followers who retweet/favorite your posts)

Your brand needs a community whether you’re a one man team or handling hundreds of team members.

Building a solid community these days is easy with social media marketing.

If you’re actively sharing posts on Twitter or at least engaging your followers through retweet and favorite activities, then you should start creating Twitter lists to leverage your engagement and increase social following even more.

You won’t just create a list and leave things behind.

You should think of an exclusive content that you’ll provide to them to strengthen connections and attract more social followers through their behaviors of sharing your content to their followers.

Here is a simple step by step guide to apply this content promotion method:

Step 1: Find all social followers who mentioned you in their tweets. Most of the time, these are your followers who also shared your content before.

You can use SnapBird to find them.

snapbird

Step 2: Create a twitter list. Include all followers whom you think you can share your content to.

create-twitter-listStep 3: Ask or find their email addresses. You have two options: send them personal messages and ask if they can give you their email addresses or manually search their contacts using email finder tools mentioned earlier.

Step 4: Send them exclusive content via email. You can use this email template below:

Hi [Name],

I’m [Name], [Position] at [Company Name]. I saw that you tweeted my post on [Blog Name]. I appreciate it a lot.

I just want to ask if you’d been interested to check out an ultimate guide for [topic]. This is something that I’ve been working on for the past 3 months and would only want to share exclusively to my active followers.

Please let me know if you’re interested.

Happy tweeting!

Regards,

[Your Name]

5. Schedule your reply emails appropriately

If you've been doing outreach for content promotion for quite a long time now, you know that one of the important factors that affects email open rates is the timing of outreach.

If you schedule your initial outreach email at the best time your recipients would likely to open it, make sure that you also do the same thing with your reply emails.

The reason why conversations were stopped is that the second to third reply emails were received by prospects during non-peak hours. If you can schedule your reply email at the time your prospect replies to you in your initial outreach, you'll get much success from it.

To schedule your follow up emails, you can use Right Inbox.

Step 1: Open your Gmail account, then click the Compose button.

Step 2: Write your message and subject line then add your recipient’s email address.

Step 3: Schedule your email at the time your prospect replies to your initial outreach.

Step 4: Send your email.

 Further reading

6. Use your preferred anchor texts when describing your content

The old school way of letting your link prospect know about which anchor text you prefer to be used (in linking to your content) is to directly tell him the anchor text (e.g. Would you please link to me using this anchor text: payday loans).

That link building practice won’t get much success today as it will make your email look like spam.

One way to actually make this linking practice still work is to add some phrases to your email to describe the content that you want to promote.

How to do it?

Step 1: Edit your email template. Instead of only using these texts– if you want to check out my post, you can click on this link, you can actually add some descriptive phrase to your email.

If you want to check out my broken link building guide, you can check out this link: (link here).

Step 2: Add your subject line and your recipient’s email address.

Step 3: Click the send button.

7. Use popular hashtags in your tweets

Hashtags add more social visibility to your tweet, making it easy for your tweets to be seen by active social participants other than your followers.

If you will add popular and relevant hashtags to your tweets, you will have chances of increasing your tweets' social discovery.

How to do it?

Step 1: Go to BrandMentions' Hashtag Tracker. Scroll down the page and look at the popular hashtags section.

popular hashtags

Step 2: Use relevant hashtags to your tweets. If you are in the business niche, you can regularly use the hashtag “sales".

Step 3: Do it religiously.

8. Reduce link noise ratio by estimating the number of external links

Obtaining a link from a resource page is tough these days as there are a lot of success factors that will make your broken and resource page link building works, including:

  • Relevancy and utility of the content suggested adding to the page.
  • Real purpose of the page listing all the links and resources in it.

Another success factor to consider is the number of external links in a resource page.

If there are too many listed links, the probability of earning the link is low and the value you’ll get from it (if in case, you earn that link) will be diminished by the dissemination of page authority to several external linking pages (the higher the number of external links, the lower link juice you’ll get).

The main point is to find a relevant resource page that have a fair amount of external links.

How to identify the number of external links in a resource page

Step 1: Plug in the URL of the resource page to Ahrefs.

ahrefs external link

Step 2: Go to Outgoing links tab Linked Domains.

outgoing links ahrefs

Step 3: Look at the number of results. If it is more than 100, then find another resource page to prospect on.

number of results ahrefs

 

The reason why you need to consider the number of external links is to increase the probability that you’ll going to get the link once you start reaching out to the target linker.  The higher the number of external links in a resource page, the lower the chances of earning your desired backlink.

9. Use manage subscriptions link instead of unsubscribe link in your newsletter

When people are not satisfied with your newsletter content (email), they usually want to find the unsubscribe link to get rid immediately of all your future promotional emails.

This will obviously decrease the number of your subscribers in your email list.

But you can avoid people to unsubscribe to your blog but at the same time allowing them to do it if they decided to do so.

How?

Step 1: Go to your email marketing tool settings (for this example, I use Mailchimp).

Step 2: Go to settings (for Mailchimp: Campaigns – Design). Then select a template.

Step 3: Edit the footer section by changing the unsubscribe text to manage subscription.

manage subscription

Step 4: Click Save & Close button.

 10. Build links from non-English blogs

If you limit your link building strategy to relevant niche and local blogs, you will be boxed with link opportunities surrounding your space only.

But if you go a step further and look for non-English blogs that can translate your content to other languages, you’ll find much success with it in terms of building high quality backlinks.

How to do it?

Step 1: Use your descriptive keywords as your search queries and add the site search operator to it (e.g. online marketing blog site:.fr).

non english site search

french website

Step 2: Populate your list by prospecting more related non-English blogs. Use the related search operator as your search query.

related french

Step 3: Reach out to your list of non-English blog owners and ask if they’d be interested to translate your content to other languages and publish it on their blogs. You can use this email template below:

Hi [Name],

I’m [Name], [Position] at [Company Name]. Heads-up to your recent post about [topic]. Thanks for  sharing it.

By the way, I’d like to share my recent link building guide on [topic]. I’m wondering if you’d be interested to translate it to [language].

Please let me know your feedback.

Thank you,

[Your Name]

11. Interlink relevant client posts

If you’re working on several link development campaigns that are all in the same industry, you can maximize every post/page you’re getting links for each of those campaign.

However, you have to be careful with it because you don’t want Google to see some kind of footprint in your campaigns. Make sure you include your client’s domain to your other client’s target page when they are only relevant to each other.

Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Find a topic that will allow you to include two separate domains of your clients in a single blog post (assuming in this example it is a guest contributed article).

There’s no tool that you can use here. Use your brain.  Be creative and target a non-very specific topic as much as possible.

semrush post

Step 2: Write the post.

Here are a few things that you can consider when you want to apply this approach:

  • Use list post as your content format to make it easier for two domains to be included in that single post (just make sure both domains have the same offerings – e.g. both have Wordpress plugins).
  • Use one domain as your example (in case you want a case study type of post) and just link to the content page or category page of your other client’s domain.
  • Use one domain’s image (link to the homepage URL/post URL if possible, not to the attachment URL) as your featured or secondary image, then just contextually link to your other client’s domain from the same blog post.
  • If there’s no chance to include both domains, don’t try to do it (always remember that one post must have one message/information to discuss about).

Step 3: Publish and promote the post.

If you’re handling multiple clients (4 or more) all in the same industry, you can maximize all your linking opportunities by following this content promotion strategy.

Even if it is an image linking to a homepage URL of one of your client’s domain, it is still worth it, especially if the page/post is relevant to the domain.

12. Produce regular round-up posts on Google+

If you’re still not leveraging Google+ as one of your content promotion platforms for your brand, then you’re missing a lot of marketing opportunities.

Posting weekly roundups on your Google+ profile can help you in so many ways, such as:

  • Increasing your Google+ engaged followers.
  • Build connections with Google+ influencers particularly those authors of articles you’ve mentioned in your round-ups.
  • Amplify your content through link inclusion in the round-up, engagement (+1s, share, etc..) and sharing activities from Google+ influencers in your space.

Here’s how you can effectively apply this technique to your content promotion plan.

Step 1: Create a list of weekly popular content (slide decks, articles, guides, courses, etc..) in your industry. You can quickly find them on your niche community site (for online marketing niche, you can visit Inbound.org to find daily best articles).

spreadsheet-google-plus-roundup

Step 2: Write your Google+ post. You can follow this simple format.

Use categories to classify your list of resources and to add hashtags to your post (which can help  increase the post's visibility and popularity).

Write a call-to-action at the end of the post to encourage your social followers to check out your next roundup posts.

Step 3: Promote your Google+ weekly roundup.

To promote your roundups, you can share them to your email subscribers, site visitors (by linking to it from your blogroll links) and on your Twitter profile.

blogroll-google-plus

Posting weekly roundups with links pointing to your site’s internal pages is better compared to single posting of your article on Google+. Your roundups could earn more social shares and +1s than your self-promoting posting on that social platform.

 13. Increase homepage links with simple email outreach

Choosing between a homepage link and a deep link, when pursuing links, is still a debate today.

In my opinion, both have benefits to your website:

  • Building links to your homepage could pass authority and link juice to your sub-pages and posts.
  • Deeps links will prove that your other pages/posts aside from your homepage are serving your visitors appropriately.

Let’s move on to building homepage links to your website.

Here's how you can do it.

Step 1: Export all links pointing to your website (whether homepage or deep pages). You can use any of your favorite link building tools (Ahrefs, OSE or Monitor Backlinks).

raw data export

Step 2: Remove unnecessary columns and only remain columns for page rank (Ahrefs rank), referring page URL, referring page title,  number of external links, link URL and link title).

spreadsheet homepage link

Step 3: Sort by Ahrefs Rank and Domain Rank (highest to lowest).

Step 4: Check out corresponding referring page URLs of non-homepage links in the Link URL tab. (e.g. if you see a www.domain.com/blogpost in the Link URL column, and its corresponding referring page URL is www.referringdomain.com/blogpost1 , then visit the latter URL).

Step 5:  Identify if the deep link placed in the referring URL can still be changed to homepage URL. You can consider the following things:

  • If contextually placed within the content, check if it makes sense to replace the link with homepage URL, i.e. it will not deteriorate the overall message of that section of the content.
  • Identify descriptions to the link (e.g. According to Moz, the large portion [link]). If it mainly describes the content to the site’s inner page, then it could be impossible for content managers to edit the text and link.

Step 6: Reach out to the content manager and ask to change the deep link to homepage link. You can use this email template from Ross Hudgens.

Hey NAME,

Thanks so much for covering our recent article. QUICK CUSTOM RESPONSE TO COVERAGE.

Anyway, I’m reaching out today with a small request – is it possible to link to our homepage, http://WEBSITE.com where you mention BRANDNAME on the post? I think it would add additional value/context to your readers, and of course, would be much appreciated as well.

Thanks so much for considering and if nothing else, consider this email a thanks!

Cheers,

NAME

14. Tag and category-based infographic promotion

Infographic marketing is not a common content-based initiative today. Several brands had already invested into this content creation process because of the value infographic could provide to a certain brand or website (i.e. reach, branding and SEO benefits).

The common outreach practice for infographic promotion is asking the webmaster if he/she is interested to publish the infographic on his blog, share it to his social followers and get the link that the brand deserved.

There’s nothing wrong with that. But if you can add a few tweaks to your outreach email, you can help your infographic earn more shares and natural links from researchers and bloggers.

You can add these lines to your email:

Thank you for allowing us to publish our infographic on your blog. Could we request something? Is there a chance to put some tags on it (tag 1, tag 2, tag 3) and put it under [Site’s Category] to let your visitors find the image easily.

Thank you.

 The more your infographic becomes visible on several tags  and properly categorized on the hosted blog, the probability of earning more page views is higher.

15. Customize your site’s search box for most commonly used keywords

Optimizing your site search can help your visitors convert to customers (see this ConversionXL post for more information).

site search

Site search optimization is not only good for conversion rate optimization but also for adding visibility to your most important pages (those that already gained popularity and authority in your space).

When people search for specific terms that are visible in your search box, your authority pages (e.g. top blog post) will normally be placed in the top spots of search results and thus, can earn additional shares and links from people who’re digging information from those pages of your website.

Here is a great post on ConversionXL that will walk you through customizing your site’s search box.

16. Build relationships with active members in niche content-upvoting sites

This technique will depend on whether or not your industry has websites where you can submit your post and be upvoted by other users (when found to be of high quality and useful for them).

Examples of these content-upvoting websites are Reddit and Hacker News.

Getting your content to top page for those websites in the category of your choice would need connections with active memebers in order to rank easily in those sites.

You can follow this step by step guide.

Step 1: Search for active members in your niche’s community website.

niche community site

Step 2: Research on their personal blogs or websites, contact emails and social profiles (simply do a Google search for their names to find those basic details).

Step 3: Reach out to them and build relationships.

17. Monitor resource pages and discover newly founded broken links

If you are using broken link building for your marketing campaign, then this content promotion technique is for you.

Resource pages are not constant in nature. Webmasters and content managers constantly update links pages with new resources and remove any resources that have no content in them (404 pages).

If you already executed an outreach campaign for resource page link opportunities before, then you may want to go back again to your list of link prospects.

What to do?

Step 1: Visit each of the resource page included in your list and check for new broken links (you can use Domain Hunter or Check My Links tool).

Step 2: Update your list with new founded broken links.

Step 3: Reach out again to resource page owners with broken links in their pages.

Pro tip: Take note of newly added content to resource pages and discover pages linking to them. This will help you find more link opportunities for your website.

18. Community-based guest blogging

Guest blogging is not dead. SEOs are still using it in the right way to show their industry expertise and increase popularity for their websites through links acquired from referring domains.

Blogs with built in community are the best places to get links from given that you do not only get some SEO benefits but a ready to engage people that can help promote your content.

How to do it?

Step 1: Go to Reddit and look for the reddit sections that are related to your industry (simple type in your keyword in the search box).

reddit niche section

Step 2: Visit the top pages in your reddit niche section.

Step 3: Identify if there’s an opportunity to contribute content to those discovered blogs. Look for guest blogging guidelines or contribution page, or simply reach out to site owners and ask if they are interested for a free content (guest post).

Step 4: Contribute content to those websites.

19. Add print this page button to your page

Online marketers love to add social sharing buttons to their webpages but tend to forget adding print this page button to pages or content that can be used as references for educational purposes.

print page

A few benefits of adding that print button to your page:

  • Allows visitors to share your page offline to their colleagues (after printing it on hard copies), which puts more eyeballs to your page
  • Entices researchers to understand and learn information from the page, referencing it for their own content works.

Check out these resources to add print page button to your pages:

20. Strategic internal linking

Internal linking helps your non-ranking pages get promoted from pages that already have high page authority and have some domains already linking to them.

If you’re still new in blogging, you won’t get much success with it, but as time goes by, your readers or fans will begin to read more of your pages not just the blog post that they landed on the first time.

And this is where internal linking helps. It attracts people to read more of your content, which will later on translate to links and shares (when these people start to reference your works from their websites or just share it to their social followers).

Here’s how you can do it.

Step 1: Go to your Google Webmaster Tools account – Search Traffic – Search Queries

gwt search queries

Step 2: List down all search queries with high impressions and CTR but have low Average position (low average position means that they’re not ranking high in search results).

Step 3: Check what pages on your website are targeting those search queries or keywords. Then include them also in your spreadsheet.

Step 4: Go to Open Site Explorer. Plug in your website into the tool and check the Top Pages section.

top pages section

Step 5: Link to non-ranking pages (pages that have low average position) from your top pages in OSE. Ensure that linking pages are topically relevant to each other.

21. Entice engagement through Recent Comments plugin

One of the main goals of blogging is to increase page views and time spent by visitors on the site through engaging them in the conversation or comment platform (below each blog post).

You can achieve that goal for your campaign if you can add a recent comment section on your website.

Here is an example of a recent comment section on SEO by the Sea.

recent comments plugin

How to do it?

Step 1: Install Recent Comments plugin on your blog.

Step 2: Make your community aware that your comment section exist. Share it to your social followers.

Add these simple lines to your status updates.

Hey guys, you can now see recent comments on my blog [attach screenshot]. :)  Let’s talk in the comment section.

22. Fix two widgets on your sidebar

Remember the fixed widget plugin?

You will use it again in this content promotion strategy.

The process is very simple. You fix two widgets in your sidebar to increase your chances of achieving any of your two main brand-related goals.

For instance, if your goals are subscription growth and social following boost, then you may want to fix your email opt-in form and social profiles widgets.

How?

Step 1: Login to your Wordpress account. Go to Appearance – Widgets. (Make sure you install Q2W3 plugin)

Step 2: Click Primary or Secondary sidebar.

Step 3: Click on the widgets that you want to fix on your website. Then check the Fixed Widget check box.

fixed widget

Because you have two widgets to display on your website (which is very visible even if your visitor scrolls down to the bottom of the page), you have high probability that the visitor will click any of the two options: subscribe to your newsletter or click on your image pointing to your resource page (or content).

two options23. Regular content contribution for blogs with huge email lists

Bloggers are now revealing their email list numbers on their blogs (see examples below) to help them built trust to their target audience and capture their emails through the opt in forms.

tripleseo email list

optimize smart email list

If you’re planning to do regular content contribution on popular blogs, then email list number should be one of your deciding factor when identifying if a blog is worth submitting your guest posts to.

Further Reading: Free Responsive Email Templates

24. Use branded photos for content promotion efforts

Visuals or images help users to depict in their minds the information they consumed from your content. It also helps them understand easily the message being presented in the article or page.

You can actually use images (particularly branded images) to get more exposure for your content (image content promotion).

Take a look at this simple image below. Did you know that it has been used 700+ times on the web?

seo

tineye

Images can give you links that are properly attributed to your domain. With that benefit, it can help you increase your domain authority as well as the authority of the page being linked to (where the image is included).

Here is a step by step process on how to maximize images for link building and content promotion purposes:

Step 1: Find a non-licensed image to edit as your featured post image. Do a Google search for a term/phrase and click Images.

Click on Search Tools – Usage Rights – Labeled for reuse with Modification.

non licensed image

Step 2: Save the image of your choice and edit it using image editing tools like Pixlr and Canva.

Step 3: Include the image to your article, whether it is for your blog or guest blogging.

Step 4: Track non-attributed images using Tineye. Simply upload your image to see image results.upload your image

Step 5: Sort by newest links.

sort by newest

Step 5: Check each and every page if they have links pointing to your domain. If a page is not linking to you, find its email address and reach out to the site owner or blogger. You can use the email template below:

Hi [Name],

I’m [Your Name], the [Positon] of [Company Name]. I’d like to thank you for your including our image in your latest article about [topic]. Much appreciated.

Is there any chance you can mention our brand as the source of the image and link to our website? Please let me know if that is possible.

Thank you again. Hoping to hear feedback from you.

[Your Name]

25. Use list post for content distribution efforts

Brian Dean shared a very simple guest blogging process on Backlinko that will get you results for your SEO campaign.

It’s all about using expanded list posts for guest blogging. Just like a simple list, you curate things, tools, resources or tips that are useful for your readers. But in every item on the list, you include detailed sections or put a step by step guide on how to actually do it. This makes it easy for people to extract information or understand clearly each item on your list.

This image below is a screenshot of my old guest post on Search Engine Journal. It is a good example of an expanded list post.

It currently ranks for the phrase link building tips and white hat link building.

link building tips post

Conclusion

Creating content is only half the battle. You’ve got to figure out how you can win in the competition by executing any of the above content promotion strategies.

If you have a content promotion strategy in mind, let me know in the comment section below this post.

If you liked this post, you can subscribe to this blog or follow me on Twitter and Google+.


11-outreach-best-practices-can-easily-apply-blog

11 Outreach Best Practices That You Can Easily Apply To Your Blog

 11 Outreach Best Practices That You Can Easily Apply To Your Blog

Great outreach always lands coverage. Whether or not it is accompanied by a link/mention, the potential business value that coverage can provide to your brand is still worth your investment.

Best practices in outreach are not products of great inputs by experts in the blogging/internet marketing scene but rather just a collection of small pieces that improve a specific outreach in order to yield great results (higher response and press/link coverage rates).

In this post, I’d like to share a few outstanding outreach practices that you can immediately apply to your blog.

1. Using corporate emails with branded signatures for commercial sites

I’ve seen a large percentage of outreach emails fail even before the battle begins because of one simple reason – not using corporate email for the initial and subsequent pitches.

Using a corporate email for outreach doesn’t only make your pitch professional, but would also make it easy for your prospect to contact you via your website’s contact form, in case they will offer content partnerships or other brand-related opportunities.

Uniqueness adds more chances of getting your pitch remembered by your link targets. Instead of a common gmail account, your prospects would see a unique domain that might help them decide if your pitch deserves a response. Domain names that include industry related phrases can get more attention from recipients than domains without semantic relevancy in their brand names.

For instance, you can easily determine that this working shoes site is a working shoes brand because of its brand name. So when this particular business asks for a specific link or partnership, the link target can quickly understand the nature of its business, which will be his/her deciding factor when trying to respond to the pitch.

work-wear-hub

In this actionable post by Ross Hudgens on SiegeMedia about using PR practices for link development campaigns, he emphasizes the value of using branded signatures for outreach.

Some significant points from the post about the importance of using a branded signature when pitching bloggers/journalists in the field:

  • Increases the credibility of the pitch.
  • Adds a differential factor against other outreach emails (because you make your brand’s phone number visible in your first email).
  • Higher friction of earning a response/contact via direct email or phone.

Here’s an example of a branded signature.

workwearhub-signature

It’s easy to add default signature to your email. Go to your email provider settings and insert these specific details to your signature:

  • Name
  • Company position
  • Company name (linking to your website)
  • Logo
  • Phone number
  • Email

This action tip is pretty basic for advanced link developers out there, but if this is done correctly, this could really make a big difference to your campaign’s result.

2. Using top pages to identify link target’s interest

Identifying interest of a certain business/site is one of the underrated techniques to secure positive responses from niche bloggers/journalists. Knowing what idea, strategy or topic he/she is interested to discuss with you can help improve your pitch and make it beneficial to your prospects.

There are so many ways to determine what a specific website/blogger’s interest is. One of them is using Open Site Explorer to track the top pages of a certain website, which is commonly based on the page’s performance in terms of authority and # of referring domains. The tool is indeed useful when scaling this outreach approach – identifying link target’s interest.

ose-backlinko

Why ranking pages is a good identifiable factor of a link prospect’s interest?

  • Efforts devoted by a person can result to higher performance of the page, which means that if someone is very interested with the content he produced, he would promote the page to increase its page discovery (leading to a good link and social performance). Removing important pages like homepage and branded pages – about us, our team, etc.., this assumption is probably true.
  • Pages that get a lot of traction in the community can be sources of highly useful/acceptable content ideas.

Inserting prospect’s interest in your email is a good technique to spark some interesting conversations with your target.

3. Pitching unique ideas not yet discussed in a blog’s existing archives

Sending two or three content ideas to write about for a specific blog is one of the common strategies outreach specialists/marketing managers are using to get the attention of blog editors.

This guest blogging approach could still be improved by adding creativity to the content ideation process – pitching only unique blog topics.

unique-ideas1

unique-ideas2

These are just a few examples of how this approach can result to positive responses from bloggers.

This is very much applicable for contributors who don’t have any writing samples to include in their pitch in order to prove their capability of writing great content. By pitching unique ideas, you’ll be able to show how knowledgeable you are in your industry and how interesting your piece would be even you haven’t started writing it.

One of the content ideation tools I’m very much amazed and is part of my SEO arsenal today is FAQFox. What it does is that it allows you to see a list of questions people are asking in your community related to the keyword/phrase you inserted in its search box.

faqfox-running-shoes

If you’re working on a new content marketing campaign, FAQFox can provide you several topics that might not yet been discussed on your target guest blogs. Including those topics to your pitch could make some difference to your campaign’s response and link acquisition rates.

4. Pursuing commitment to earn trust

The hardest part in outreach is not finding the contact emails of your target bloggers or journalists nor scheduling emails in your CRM tool but actually building the right relationships and earning trusts from your potential amplifiers.

Effective relationship building doesn't only break relationship barriers between you and your amplifier but allows both parties to benefit from the partnership you both actually agreed on.

There are many ways to strengthen relationships but one of the most valuable methods is initiating commitment to a specific task. This approach is doable in many simple actions (that you can also insert to your pitch). A few of them are:

  • Helping a blogger lighten his blogging workload by applying to become a regular blog contributor, especially in busy seasons like Christmas.
  • Committing yourself to send any future error pages that you might encounter in a links/resource pages (assuming you’re executing a broken link building technique).
  • Sharing someone’s content works on social and blog communities without asking for any incentives from that person. You can also use this commitment as your initial sentence to your pitch (i.e. I’ve been a social follower of your blog and shared your recent posts on [topic 1] and [topic 2].

Though commitment will always require time and effort, and it seems that this can’t be done in a scalable manner, the fruits of doing so would be much higher than plain engagements with your target influencers/bloggers.

5. Improving subsequent pitches by analyzing unsuccessful emails

There are tons of reasons why your email didn’t get a response (that you can somehow track using your CRM tool). Below are some of those reasons:

  • Pitch sent at non-peak hours of the recipient (burying down the email to the bottom part of the inbox).
  • Non-related pitch (wrong choice of potential amplifier).
  • Inactive or non-validated email.
  • Low interest to respond to the email (email may not be straightforward or beneficial for the receiver).

Knowing those reasons should push you to take actions to increase response and coverage rates in your next round of pitch. Those actions include:

  • Perform necessary actions to directly connect with your recipient in case you don’t get a response (they could be in the form of blog commenting or social engagement).
  • Find secondary emails and note them in your spreadsheet (look for non-generic emails like name@domain.com; don’t be satisfied with info@domain.com and other common types of emails).
  • Go back to auto-responder emails. They may include other contact points that you can utilize for second pitch.

secondary-email

6. Personalizing pitch based on industry’s needs

Personalization always comes to play when outreach/content promotion is being discussed on blogs and communities. But what most personalization in outreach lacks is including details that best describe the needs of the community.

Notable tips to consider in persona outreach:

  • Get insights from existing industry articles and determine the most common pain points in the industry (e.g. relationship building with family members in the parenting niche). Semantically improve your pitch by adding those insights to your pitch, in order to emphasize the need to respond to your email.
  • Utilizing information found on a specific website to focus the pitch on your content’s benefit. For instance, blogger outreach specifically designed for scholarship page promotion should note the range of budget and list of expenses the scholarship will cover (e.g. laboratory expenses for medical students).
  • Change opening and closing remarks in email (e.g. Happy parenting! for parenting bloggers).

7. Engaging early before performing initial outreach

Adding personal touch to pitch is good enough for mediocre outreach campaigns. However, if you are targeting high-tier blogs and news sites, you have to execute pre-engagement activities to tap signals to your target content amplifiers.

You don’t want to receive this kind of email, right?

idontknow-email

Actionable tips to perform pre-outreach engagement activities:

  • Follow blogs you’d like to reach out to and share their recent blog posts on social and blog communities.
  • Authentically comment on targets’ recent blog posts (you can use RSS feeds to track their future articles). Let them remember you by adding value to your comments.
  • Include your blogs’ high quality articles to your own content. Let them know about it via email/social even before you connect to them for your main pitch.
  • Subscribe to their newsletter and learn the latest updates about their brand and its industry.

Pre-outreach engagement initiates relationship building right from the start of your outreach campaign, which makes it easy for both parties to know each other and help you identify what would best work in your pitch.

8. Writing more on benefits rather than descriptions

If you’re doing PR for quite some time now, one of your must-do acts is writing email copies that are saleable to journalists who are looking for new stories to cover in their news sites.

This sales approach in outreach is also applicable to other outreach campaigns like content contribution or link requests wherein they require solid lines of benefits to persuade someone to give a link to a certain blog whether or not there is an intention to have one.

Now, here are some tips to make your pitch benefit-focused:

  • Get straight to the unique value proposition of your content (if it is a direct product, then doing so is very vital to your success). Emphasize content’s UVP in the first few lines of your email.
  • For content contribution, some authority blogs require bullet points of subtopics that you want to discuss in the article not just the list of suggested topics/titles. In this case, adding benefits or points to your pitch would be a better option rather than just listing down suggested ideas that you want them to choose from.
  • For content aimed at getting links from industry-related blogs, you might consider adding a few lines in your pitch detailing which sections/paragraph in the post you would want to be mentioned. Provide reasons why it would be a great fit to add as a resource to their article.

It is very important to understand the worth of your content before promoting it to your target audience. Confidence in selling can easily be seen in your pitch.

9. Aiming for semantic improvement

Editing your email copy before sending it or running an editorial review for email copies/templates can help filter out unnecessary lines/texts in your pitch, which can overall help increase your campaign’s response rate.

Editorial review for outreach involves semantic improvement, which is identifying elements that are robotic in nature and changing them to make pitches appear natural for receivers.

One good example of this is using the phrase personal blog instead of naming the personal website of the blogger (e.g. www.venchitotampon.com).

This is a basic editing knowledge for writers that should also be impart to outreach specialists.

10. Including the brand’s latest activity

Pitches that are appreciative in sense must include details of the brand’s latest activity.

If you’re telling someone that you like his blog, you should include his brand’s latest activity. This approach will let that person know that you really know something about his website and his personal interest.

brands-latest-activity

Other latest activities of the brand that you can include in the pitch:

  • His latest tweet or other social profile updates (choose one that you know that you can provide feedback/insights to).
  • His latest newsletter (subscription) and add some feedback to it.
  • His latest blog post/content (leave some comments straight in your pitch).

11. Lending two hands for ongoing conversations

Best results in outreach can't be achieved in just one-time conversations. It may take five rounds or more exchange of emails before actually yielding the desired result (partnership, link/mention, brand coverage, etc..).

So it is very important that you offer the best help all throughout the conversation with your outreach prospect to let him feel of the value that you want to provide to that person.

Helping hand tips that you can apply:

  • For content contribution, you can ask the blogger/editor if he is interested to give you an access to his Wordpress blog so you can by yourself create a draft of your article and submit it for review, instead of just sending your finished article with images attached via email and let him do the review and publishing himself.
  • Create customized featured images for all your third-party content. You can find free non-licensed photos here. Add some texts and borders and you now have high quality images for your posts.
  • If it is a link request, send him the date of the post and specific section in the article where you want your brand/content to be mentioned.

Other resources about  helping hand outreach approach:

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Real Life Examples of Blogger Outreach and 7 Lessons I Learned From It

Creating a blogger outreach strategy has been one of my top priorities in link building since I started to focus on this challenging side of SEO. It is also become one of every online marketer’s arsenals for marketing their content, page or website to let everyone know that their online asset exists and it has something of value to offer.

There are several reasons why blogger outreach has become a normal part of content promotion these days. The most common among them are:

  • Earn links (since link building today has become more difficult, most of the brands consider outreach as one of the viable techniques to acquire high quality and relevant links).
  • Build relationships with like-minded people.
  • Increase visits to a website (direct traffic and referred visits from referring link domains).
  • Tap into influencers’ radars and make the website known to them.

With so many benefits of blogger outreach, we often neglect the lessons we can learn from it and further improvements we can do to advance our approaches in this aspect of online promotion.

Here are a few real life examples on how I used blogger outreach in some of my content marketing campaigns and provide you tips on how you can effectively use it for your brand. I will also cite lessons I learned from my almost one year experience in doing blogger outreach.

Crowdsourced Content

With three group interviews I already covered on my blog, I realized that the most significant purpose of creating a crowdsourced content (group interview) is not to add more links to a link profile but to actually help spark connections with influencers/top personalities in the industry.

Relationship building will take you into many places and given that this part of marketing is what most brands are not accustomed to, it could bring you an advantage over your competitors. The more effort you exerted on influencer outreach, the likelihood of earning the biggest share in the search market is higher.

Increase in influence could result to increase in brand signals which will associate additional links and shares to your website.

Publishing group interviews will not always be suitable to every industry, based on the following reasons:

  • Different industries have different levels of competition.
  • Some industries have high numbers of non-participative brands (there are industries where brands are not willing to participate in any community discussions for some valid reasons – e.g. their own branded information are too confidential).

For industries that have active communities, crowdsourced content would be a good topic idea for  a content marketing campaign. To start with creating this type of content, here is a step by step guide that you can follow:

Step 1: Prospect influencers in your niche

There are so many ways and tools that you can use to find influencers in your niche, but the most effective tools that worked for me are Google search and Buzzsumo.

Google search

You can use simple search queries to discover pages/posts that already list down popular websites in your niche.

top-link-building-blogs

See if those websites have an active webmaster/blogger that you can engage with for interview opportunities. If there is real person behind that blog/site, you can list down the name and his/her email address in a spreadsheet.

link-building-experts

Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo is definitely one of the best places to find popular content as well as influencers and journalists that you can contact for your link development campaigns.

You can use any terms/phrase that are related to your industry to discover the most popular/shared content.

buzzsumo-link-building

Click “View Sharers” and filter only the results by influencers.

buzzsumo-list-influencers

Collect all the names and the URLs of the websites of those influencers in the result and list them all down in a spreadsheet.

Other prospecting tools to find more industry influencers

  • AllTop
  • Niche directories
  • Other sites’ resource pages that list down industry’s popular websites or influencers (do a Google search using this advanced search query - inurl:links OR inurl:resources)
  • Followerwonk

Step 2: Gather your influencers’ email addresses

There are useful tools that you can use to help you identify your influencer’s email address. A few of my favorite tools are:

Step 3: Pitch to your influencers

When pitching influencers, the most important thing you must consider is the basis/purpose of your pitch. This should be clear in your entire email message to bait a response from your outreach recipients.

For my first three group interviews, I used two simple email templates to pitch influencers whom I know would be interested to share their personal tips/insights about my content’s theme.

Below are the examples of two email copies that I used for my third group interview (the most actionable link building tip):

For initial outreach:

initial-outreach-email

 

For follow up:

followup-email

 

This approach resulted to:

For the first group interview (creative content marketing):

Target interviewees: 159

# of responses: 50

Earned contributions: 38

creative-content-marketing-statistics

For the second group interview (most actionable link building tip):

Target interviewees: 99

# of responses: 52

Earned contributions: 37

link-building-tip-statistics

For the third group interview (natural link building):

Target interviewees: 108

# of responses: 49

Earned contributions: 28

natural-link-building-statistics

Just imagine if you have a regular group interview published on your blog every quarter (if one piece can earn an average of 80+ links, then in a year, you’ll have 320 additional links).

Well, if you ask me, the first group interview took only 5 hours to complete (2 hours for prospecting and 3 hours for the outreach).

Since the list of participants from the first group interview could still be used for the subsequent outreach campaigns, the total number of hours consumed would have been lower than 5 hours.

Step 4: Consolidate your influencer’s contribution into one big post and publish it

Once you start receiving responses from interview participants, it is very important to note in your spreadsheet which of them had submitted their contribution, those that would need a follow up outreach and those who’re not really willing to participate. This will help your next outreach campaigns to prioritize interview targets who love to participate in such kind of community discussions – group interview.

Once done, you can now consolidate all of your influencers’ contributions into one big post. You can add a cool design if you want but make sure that texts are readable and easy to digest.

actionable-link-building-post

Step 5: Insanely promote the group interview

There are several ways to promote a content asset, and this topic has already been covered on many SEO and content marketing blogs so I won’t need to discuss this in this article.

However, below are a few techniques that you can try to get the word out of your content asset:

  • Make social sharing buttons visible on your page (this may sound pretty basic, but there are several blogs that haven’t done this yet).
  • Participate on relevant community discussions (forums, Q&A sites, blogs, etc..) by answering industry-related questions and link to your post
  • Use linker outreach to promote the page to people who’ve shared similar content and have existing blogs/sites that are relevant to your industry (remember not to ask for a link, if they’re linkers, they already know what to do).
  • Link your group interview from your third party content pieces (e.g. guest post) to attract more readers to it and increase the chances of earning more links and shares from people who’ve been attracted to your page.

More resources to promote your content

Optional Step: Upgrade your successful group interview

If you have a group interview that had been successful in earning brand signals in the past (shares, links, mentions, news citations, etc.), you can upgrade it to a more comprehensive resource content by adding more useful tips/information from other influencers who haven’t contributed to your interview post. They could be from your past list of link targets/influencers that haven’t replied to you due to personal or work issues or had changed their contact email address, which made it difficult for you to reach out to them.

To get started, you can assess your previous list of influencers by identifying their new websites, and/or personal email addresses, to change those important details in your spreadsheet and increase the odds of getting responses from them in your next outreach.

Case study

I’m doing a simple experiment today and it’s quite getting successful.

As part of improving my brand’s content assets, I am currently working on upgrading my previous group interview – the Most Actionable Link Building Tip.

I prospect for more influencers that I haven’t reached out in the past and those that weren’t managed to respond to my previous pitch.

spreadsheet-additional-interviewees

Before doing the outreach, I think of ways on how I can get more responses from my interviewees.

So I spent at least two minutes to identify the influencer’s current status on the web and include it to my email pitch.

Below are a few basic information I considered to add to my email copies:

  • The influencer’s latest blog post and my personal take on the article (based on the value that it provides to its readers).
  • The influencer’s latest status updates on Twitter (I used AllmyTweets or Twitter’s list feature to make this scalable).

These two basic things are enough to evaluate my influencer’s status, which I included to my blogger outreach pitch.

Email to Adam Connell

email-pitch-to-blogging-wizard

Email to Aleyda Solis

email-to-aleyda-solis

Spend at least 15 minutes to identify your influencers’ status updates on Twitter in a regular basis. This could help you make your pitch more personalized and catchy to your targets.

Guest Blogging

I already covered this link building technique last month, but just a recap of the process, here is a short step by step guide that you can follow:

  • Prospect both for horizontal, vertical or local-centric guest blog targets (use advanced search operators when doing Google search to ease the process of finding them).
  • Qualify your list of domains based on authority and brand metrics (domain authority, ave. # of social shares, ave. # of comments per post, etc..)
  • Collect important details from the domain (site/blog name, categories it belong, three topic suggestions for the blog, name of the contact person, his/her position and his/her Twitter profile).
  • Use email templates (one for outreach specialists and one for agency marketers), send three topic suggestions and let them choose the topic that they want you to write for them.
  • When you get a response, you can now create the guest article based on the level and type of audience, and the type of content that is prominent on the blog.

To make this more scalable and more effective in getting higher response and link acquisition rates, I added a few tips/insights that you can consider.

Ask to whom you should send your topics

The most crucial part of a guest blogging process is outreach, seeing that if you won’t get a response or even catch the interest of the blogger to let you write an article for them, you would need to find another way to engage with him (which will take another minute of your time to reach out to that person).

Perhaps, one of the most common issues when sending emails to outreach targets is not having connections with the right contact person.

When gathering email addresses of bloggers using tools, there’ll be times that the only available contact emails are support/info email addresses (e.g. support@domain.com or info@domain.com)

These email addresses don’t have any specific names attached, therefore, you don’t have any idea of the contact person that you’re trying to reach out. If this is the case, asking to where you should send your email pitch is the best way to do.

email-pitch-to-support-email

Take note that you still need to clarify your intention of your sending your email to get them send your email pitch to the right person (e.g. blog/content manager)

When done right, you should receive a positive response like this example.

pass-to-blog-department-email

Use branded email signature to your email to add credibility to your pitch

Email service providers have their own features of allowing users to change their email signatures. These email signatures are the last few texts that your recipient will read yet it will add credibility to your pitch and to you as the sender.

branded-signature

Here are a few things you can add to your branded email signature:

  • Complete name
  • Position and your company
  • Website URL
  • Personal picture
  • Social profile links (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc..)

Providing these basic personal details to your pitch would allow your recipient to know more about you and your brand (which will make it easy for them to know whether or not your pitch deserved to be replied).

Getting interview coverage from relevant blogs

Mentions that describe and discuss more about your brand are probably one of the important links that every brand must be able to acquire for their websites.

Initiating interviews to bloggers who had successfully published individual and group interviews in the past is one effective way to add more branded links to your site’s link portfolio.

A few months ago, I connected to a few bloggers in the internet marketing industry and ask if they would like to conduct an interview with me, ask me questions and publish the interview on their blogs.

The process is simple. I searched for blogs/domains that are regularly publishing interviews with influencers/experts in the internet marketing niche (a simple Google search will do).

internet-marketing-interviews

You can also reverse engineer your influencer’s website and identify those domains that provide him links through interviews. CognitiveSEO and Reverse Image Search are good link prospecting tools for this activity.

reverse-image-search

After building your list of prospect blogs, you can now start creating an email copy. Here are a few tips for creating a personalized and targeted email copy for your outreach:

  • Make your message clear and straightforward.
  • Ask if he/she is still looking for interviewees coming from your industry.
  • Provide proofs that you’re capable of answering in-depth questions that are related to your niche (in my case, I used my guest articles).

Below is the exact email that I used for testing this approach:

interview-link-building

After sending 10 personalized emails, I got three responses (30% conversion rate) with one that is interested to ask me questions for the interview.

This approach resulted to an interview link from Eric Gati.

the-daily-interview

Testimonials

Testimonials add credibility to the unique selling point of a product/service, which encourages other potential customers to buy/use it.

Providing testimonials about the products or services of other brands is a good opportunity to build relationships with the owners and net a few links from this approach.

Since I’ve been blogging for the past one year now, I already have a list of influencers, mostly comprised of agency marketers who sell SEO tools in the market. These influencers have their own domains which I already targeted before for content placement and interview opportunities.

So what I did is to assess their domains and look for more link opportunities (either mentions or simple citations on a single page). Then I’ve found out that most of them have press or testimonials pages that have a few product/service testimonials from SEOs and internet marketers.

testimonial-cognitiveseo

This mention happened just after I reached out to Razvan (founder of Cognitive SEO), asking if he is still looking for additional testimonials for his product.

You can do the same by creating a list of all the industry tools that you used before.

Populate your list by prospecting for testimonial or press pages on Google search.

testimonial-search-query

Filter the results by those domains that are connected to your business and you know you’re capable of providing testimonials.

Reach out to them and ask if they’re still looking for additional testimonials for their products/tools. There are high tendencies of getting responses using this approach because they themselves will definitely benefit from it.

10 Lessons I Learned from Doing Blogger Outreach

Lesson #1: Spend time in identifying your main audience before performing your outreach

This is the most basic part of blogger outreach but the most overlooked aspect when prospecting for outreach targets.

Highly targeted prospects are people that are capable and are more likely be interested to your pitch. These are the audience that your brand should start engaging with given that there might be some of them who’ll start to follow your brand and become your brand loyalists.

As an example, I had a client where his main business is to offer personal injury services to local businesses in US.

The niche where he belongs is very competitive, meaning that most of the possible linkers in the space are all his competitors (which we know, most of the time, competitors are hesitant or are less likely to link to their competitor’s domain - your domain).

So what I did is to identify the site’s target audience level and type and find the industries where they are actively participating.

Instead of focusing on law-related blogs, I target sports blogs and car driving websites that are definitely part of my client’s target audience (since my client is primarily offering personal injury and auto accident/injury services).

Some actionable tips

Always spend time in identifying your main audience (those that would really convert to customers/clients as soon as they landed on your website’s page).

Widen your reach and tap into industries that might potentially bring you significant traffic if you’ve been participated in their communities.

Lesson #2: Use the blogger outreach tool that are most convenient to you and to your team

Outreach tools could be your life’s saver if you know how to use them to speed up your processes and get more good results for your online marketing campaigns.

So it is very important to take consideration the usefulness of the tool and how it can make your campaigns more efficient.

I personally use Right Inbox as my outreach tool, basically because it has an option to be paid through Paypal (well, I don’t have credit cards. :D). Other outreach management tools like Buzzstream and Yesware don’t yet offer Paypal as payment options.

The main point here is to always consider your budget, your payment system and the utility of the tool before you start purchasing it for your outreach campaign.

Lesson #3: Follow up people to track the progress of your outreach campaign

Performing a follow up outreach to your targets gives you a second chance to receive more responses and achieve the goal that you set beforehand for your blogger outreach campaign.

The main benefit of doing a follow up is that it allows you to identify issues that caused your recipients not replying to your pitch (e.g. problem/error issues in the email service provider).

Another benefit of follow up is that it helps you to filter out prospects in your list that don’t really manage to respond to your first outreach, which will help you prioritize participative recipients in your next outreach campaigns.

Lesson #4: Test other techniques to bait your link targets

We all know that search marketing as well as online marketing in general, is a fast-paced industry, wherein online marketers should be able to adapt quickly to the changes that search engines are constantly doing to improve the search experience for users, and to become more reliant to what users would want to see and consume from various websites and from the web.

Given this, you’ll have to make sure that you always come up with new techniques to capture the interest of your users and your link prospects (if it is for link building). This would not only make your outreach campaign evolve in nature, but actually allows your team to see better results in terms of response and conversion/link acquisition rates.

I’m testing a new link building technique in the law niche, but haven’t been successful in terms of getting responses and links. Though it may seems to be failure at times, it only proves that I really have to think another problem that webmasters or bloggers are facing today and try to come up with solutions to offer to them, which will open doors of link opportunities.

In link building, your aim is to come up with solutions that will help solve other people’s problems. With that mindset, you’ll always come up with new strategies and techniques that will produce links, shares and mentions to your website or to your clients’ domains.

This old post by Jason Acidre is a good list of alternative approaches that you can try for your link development campaign.

Lesson #5: Make your process scalable and easy to understand by your team members

SEO processes, particularly link building processes would always need proper planning and implementation to make everything flow smoothly and to adapt to certain changes Google had implemented and will still launch in the coming days.

Though this topic would need another blog post to cover, here are a few insights that I’d like to share about creating your own link building process:

  • Start with an end in mind. What are you trying to achieve? Always start your document with objectives that will give proper direction to users who will read it.
  • Make your tutorial a guide by listing down the step by step process on how to do it. Include screenshots and ensure that it is easy to understand and apply.
  • Test the process by yourself or look for someone who’re new in the industry and let him follow the process. If he applied it correctly, then it could now be part of your link development documentation processes.

For a more through post about creating business processes, here is an awesome post from Grant Merriel.

Lesson #6: Never forget your past linkers when looking for outreach targets

When starting a new link building campaign, the most common approach is creating a new list of link targets that are relevant and could provide significant value to a certain website (in terms of bringing that website referred traffic, assisted conversions and etc..)

Though there’s no wrong with that approach but it would be much better if you first take a look at your website’s existing referring linking domains and assess whether they would still be open again for link opportunities for your brand.

The main why you need to start first with your existing links is that there is a high potential that you’ll acquire links from your site’s current linking domains given that there is a history of linking and because there is already established connections with them.

Lesson #7: Understand the reason why you’re doing outreach and insanely be good at it.

In every business activity, it is very important to understand first the purpose of performing it than just doing it straight. In blogger outreach, it is very much the same. If you don’t understand the reason why you’re reaching out to a target, you will always come up with sub-par/low quality results.

I’ve been doing guest blogging for a few internet marketing blogs for almost six months now. And my main purpose of doing it ever since is to increase my site’s visibility on the internet marketing niche, SEO in particular, and to establish relationships with authorities and industry influencers.

This led me earned several link opportunities that I only wished way back when I started blogging.

Links from SEMRush resource page:

links-semrush

A link from DejanSEO page

dejanseo-link

If you liked this post, you can subscribe to this blog or follow me on Twitter and Google+.

 Image Source: 1


how-to-promote-your-content

Infantry Square to Promote Your Content

infantry-square

Promoting your content is like bringing your military troops in front of your enemies. It’s either you lose or win the battle. Whatever the result will be, you have to prepare yourself before entering into the war of content marketing.

Part of the preparations is creating your own solid following base. This comprises your own troops and your allies. Designing your content strategy in this approach would help you build a competitive advantage over your enemies because some of them focus only on building low quality links (blog networks, low-quality guest posting, buying links, etc..) which would only bring down their chances of winning the battle (especially now that Google is targeting sites that are engaging in aggressive webspam tactics).

Content that is designed to satisfy user’s intent is what matters most in today’s online marketing. However, creating a content piece does not guarantee your victory. You have to get in front of your target audience with the content that you have and entice them to take necessary actions for your brand (signing up for your newsletter, follow you on social networks, buy your product/service or whatever conversion goals you’ve setup beforehand). This makes content promotion evenmore complicated given that there are lots of effective promotional tactics that your competitors might be using for their own content strategy.

How to Promote Your Content Using the Four Core Principles

In this post, I cover the four principles of a robust content promotion that will differentiate you from others and will certainly enhance your brand experience towards your target audience (customers and influencers).

infantry-square-to-promote-your-brand

 

1. Content Optimization

Content that is not optimized both for search engines and end users would leave you behind the battle. The reason is that people would not be able to find your content unless certain web elements are present on it. Some of them are:

Page title

Using your target keywords in your page title would help your content improve its performance on search rankings. However, you should not optimize it for the sake of keyword density. Rather, ensure that your content matches to the keyword you’re targeting for by satisfying your user’s intent on clicking that page.

Applying actionable page title is also one of the best implementations you can do for your content because this can entice searchers to click through your content as they see it on search results (people are now looking for “how to” content pieces rather than the “what and why” of a topic).

page-title

 

                                                                    How to Find Resources for Your Content

Google+ Authorship

Google is now favoring pages with authorship markups on them as they are more likely to indicate credibility and authority on the web. Making sure you implement authorship on all of your content pieces would give you a cutting edge over your competitors.  This can also increase your social following on Google+ since people can directly click your Google+ page right on the search results.

google-authorship

Internal Linking

Linking to your site’s other pages would retain users on your site given that you’re giving them reason to read more of your other content pieces. Using a well-planned anchor text strategy for your internal linking would also help improve your site’s performance. Longer anchor texts are more receptive to clicks from users than the usual strategy – exact match anchor text. The reason is that it looks more natural for the users to see longer phrases/terms that link to your site’s other pages.

Substance of Content

The more useful, significant and comprehensive your content is, the more likely your users would want to share or link to it. Bloggers want to link to comprehensive content pieces on their articles as these can give more value to their readers.

Another strategy you should now start implementing for your site/brand is the use of freshness for your content. Rand Fishkin discussed this topic in his recent Whiteboard Friday. He noted that freshness is one of the ranking factors that Google is now using to give favor to content pieces that are up-to-date and high quality. Using this for your own advantage would help your content get easy wins in the battle.

You can do this by simply entering your target keyword in Google search. By looking at the dates of each content listed on the search results, you now have an idea if freshness greatly impacts ranking results in your niche.

substance-of-content

 

For more useful tips, you can check out this post on Kaiserthesage on how to optimize content for search engines.

2. Alliance Building

If you are a small brand, you cannot win the game without the help of content allies. Building an allied force would not only indicate a strong brand community but would also help you amplify the reach of your content. Each social share by your ally would significantly affect your content’s performance on the web (especially if your ally targets a strong group of people whom you can become your followers in the future).

Here are some tips to build your own allied force:

  • Create a list of mid-level bloggers whom you think are targeting the same type of audience as yours. Understanding how they write their content (length/form) or how they interact with their readers would give you a feel of what approach you’ll be using to penetrate to their community. A list of bloggers on a spreadsheet that also contains their contact details and/or some information about their blogs is a good starting point to alliance building.

 Click here to see a sample list of bloggers

  • Outreach to them with the intent of giving them value four times of what you’ll be getting from them (link/share).
  • Consistently engage with bloggers and provide valuable content on social platforms. Promote others’ content pieces on social. Show appreciation to someone who shares your content (whether or not he’s included in the spreadsheet).
  • Include other bloggers’ content asset (article, slide presentation, video, etc..) on your own content piece. Always give attribution to the content creator by linking to the external source. Pitch the blogger and let him know that you mentioned him in one of your posts.

So where’s the content promotion by building your allies? If you started to build relationship with the blogger, it would be easy for you to promote your content. Asking for a link/share to someone you’ve started to build relationship with would not be as difficult as to asking for a favor to a stranger. This would increase your email response rates every time you do your outreach.

3. Influencer Outreach

It’s difficult to reach out to influencers because they have their own agenda and they get tons of emails in their inbox daily. They do have their own spam filters to determine whether or not your email has the right get a reply. This makes it difficult to be on their radars (and get them following you on your circles).

Before you write personalized emails to your influencers, you need first to identify them (to lessen the difficulty of finding influencers who are not related to your niche). Who are they and why are they worth following to?

How to Find Industry Influencers?

Followerwonk

This is one of the effective methods to find influencers who are working in the same niche as yours and have a huge social following on Twitter based on social authority.

Type in the niche that you are targeting on the Followerwonk’s search bar and sort the results based on social authority. The reason you want to sort it by social authority is that you want to get a list of influencers that have a decent amount of Twitter followers and who get a lot of retweets in their recent tweets (this is how social authority is calculated).

Getting in touch with highly social influencers would help your content to get in front of a larger audience and obtain tweets and/or retweets over time.

followerwonk-1

 

GPlus Data

Type in your industry in the search bar of GPlusData and you will see the top 10 Google+ influencers (based on the number of followers and the engagement they’re doing with their circles.

Group Interviews

I’m sure that there’s at least one solid group interview in your industry. Find those group interviews by doing Google search and typing any of these search queries:

  • “your industry” + share their most
  • “your industry” + share their best
  • “your industry” + group interview
  • “your industry” + expert interview

Twitter Lists

You can also use this to find influencers in your niche. Just type this search query (inurl:/list site:Twitter.com + "your industry”) and you’ll be able to see great list of influencers.

twitter-list-1

Pages that rank higher on search results

Type a keyword on Google search. You will see tons of results (from page 1 up to the last page). Use the search settings and filter the results per page by 50 or 100 so you when search for a keyword, you’ll get plenty of results right on the first page.

Get all the needed information to reach out to the owners of those websites listed on the first page. Collect their contact information, country where they are living in (so you know the best time you can send them emails) and form/type of content they usually publish. (You can use the same spreadsheet I shared above, just rename the document title with “influencer outreach”).

When you do your outreach to influencers, you can apply any of the above tips on alliance building. The most important tip in the list is to give value to bloggers you want to get connection with.

Let’s look at what you can offer to people.

What value can you give to mid-level bloggers and/or influencers?

Create an audio version of a group interview

There are tons of group interviews you can see out there. Some of them are long form text-based content which is boring to read (especially if there are no quick links on it and you have to scroll down the page to read each answer). You can use this as your angle to pitch to bloggers who do group interviews. Tell them the reason why it’s important to have an audio version of the group interview (it would be easy for readers to just listen to every answer in the interview rather than read each of them).

In exchange for your service, you can ask for a link pointing to your latest content piece (which should be relevant to the topic of the group interview) or a description about your website or any of your offerings (product/service).

I’ve found this value on Pointblankseo’s list of creative link building. There’s an audio version of the group interview which you can download and listen to it in your most convenient time.

You can do the same for your outreach campaign. Create the audio version by yourself or hire a talented transcriber on Fiverr or Odesk.

Transcribe a video or audio

Offer this kind of help to bloggers who created content in a video or audio format. This angle would increase your response rates when you pitch them given that most of the bloggers don’t have much time to create a text version of their content asset.

Create an infographic version of an existing content piece

Turning a content piece into different versions is a cost and time efficient strategy given that you don’t need to do a lot of research to find resources/data for the content (which would give you more time to do your outreach).

It’s important that you find an existing content asset that is already ranking for related industry terms/keywords that you targeting. The reason is that earning links/shares for your infographic would be easy given that you can pitch the linkers of the existing content piece and ask them if they can link/share to its infographic version.

One example is the infographic version of the 200 ranking factors of Google by Brian Dean.

You can find a high-performing content asset in your industry by getting on the radar of authority sites. Adding their blogs on your RSS feed (Feedly) would help you track pieces that are gaining natural links and are receiving positive feedbacks/comments from the community.

Offer to promote their service through your mailing list

If you have a weekly/newsletter or you are using a mail service provider, you can make this as an angle of your pitch. Ask your prospect site owner if he wants to promote his product/service through your newsletter/mailing list. Mention in your email template that you have a large number of email subscribers and promoting their offering(s) would give a boost to its promotion.

It’s important that you don’t ask immediately for a link/share to your content piece. This would only give them a reason to ignore your pitch. Wait for a few weeks to ask them for a favor.

Help Authorship Markup

If you’re working as an SEO professional or you know someone who is an expert in the field, you can offer to help bloggers implement authorship markups on their sites. This tip came from Jason Acidre’s post about alternative approaches to improve blogger outreach. You can also check that out after reading this post.

To obtain higher response rates for your outreach, you have to include in your pitch the importance of installing authorship markup on a site (increase in click through rates (CTRs), improve their site’s search rankings as Google is now giving favor to brand/site with installed authorship markups). By mentioning this in your pitch, it will surely catch their attention, seeing that there’s a value in it – enhancing their site’s performance.

To find blogs that haven’t installed authorship markups, simply do a Google search (type in “your industry” blogs or inurl:/blogs + “your industry”) and build a list on a spreadsheet.

Asking bloggers to become your affiliate marketers

David Sottimano wrote an awesome post explaining the perception of bloggers today towards pitches from SEOs. In his article, he surveyed less than 100 food bloggers and asks them the first question, “Do you make money for your blog”.  Eighty-five percent of the respondents said yes to that question, which only means that there are several blogs that earn money through selling affiliate products, or advertisements (e. g. Google Adsense).

By asking a blogger to become your affiliate marketer, you give a chance for your product to get a review about it or be included in the resource page of the site. Jon Cooper wrote a product review for Buzzstream in one of his posts. It does not only describe the features of Buzzstream as an outreach tool for link builders but also make it as a useful resource for those who are looking for guides for blogger outreach.

You should include in your pitch the value that they’ll be getting from promoting your product. You can mention the commission rate that they can earn once a person buys the product using the referrals on the site (product review or inclusion in the “resource” or “useful links” page). To encourage your blogger to accept your offer, you can increase the usual commission rate an affiliate marketer earns from your product (e.g  3 % to 6 %).

The advantage of using this approach is that it is not a one-time promotion you commonly use as an angle for your blogger pitches (e.g. product review), which means that the blogger can continuously include your product in one of his content distribution efforts (e.g. guest post). This would bring your product into its longer promotion on targeted sites given that product reviews are sticky when they are included in a “tutorial” page/category or the product itself is embedded on an advertisement above or below the fold of the page.

buzzstream-affiliate

Using the above list of approaches for your outreach can significantly affect the results of your content promotion campaign given that bloggers would not ignore benefits/values that you will offer to them.

4. Content Distribution

Consistently promote your content piece into your different content distribution channels would help your brand/site to become known to your target audience. Here are some content distribution channels where you can mention/promote your content piece:

Interviews

If you have built authority in your niche, you probably receive interview requests from bloggers, where you can take advantage of. Reference your content on the interview where it is appropriate (the topic of the interview is thematically relevant to your content piece).

Online Communities

Participate on high-traffic online communities such as forums and blogs where you can mention your content as a resource. Don’t spam every blog post on authority sties but add value to each conversation so you can get clicks going to your site from blogs where you contribute insights to.

Guest blogs

Never underestimate the power of guest blogging as one of your content distribution channels. By creating a high quality post on someone’s blog and including your best content pieces on it, you do not only get a link and traffic from the target site but may also increase your conversions (which would vary depending on your goals).

Tip: Use long tail keywords on your guest posts. The moment your post rank high on search results for a certain long tail phrase, the chances of being mentioned by other bloggers and brands on their sites/blogs are higher.

I wrote a guest post on Search Engine Journal few months ago about building a strong brand identity. This post is still ranking for the keyphrase “how to build a brand identity”. This also got some attention from brand owners particularly those who are searching for industry guides (how-tos) to use as external sources for their content.

value-of-guest-post

Last month, the post was mentioned in one of the top (offline) newsletters in Minnesota, USA which brought brand exposure for my site.

focus-magazine

 

This is only one of the opportunities that are possible to attain when you contribute high quality guest posts (articles where people can learn and get value from).

Social

Do you still remember the list of influencers on your spreadsheet? Use them to promote your content.

Below is an email template that you can use to promote your content to social influencers (make sure you offer an awesome content).

Hey [Site Owner],

[Personalized this part]

By the way, I published a group interview this week entitled, "The 38 Creative Ideas I've Ever Seen" - it's a compilation of creative content examples from famous content marketers including Rand Fishkin and Neil Patel.

Here's the link to the interview – [Url]

I know that your readers/followers would love to see this great content piece.

Please let me know your thoughts,

Kind regards,

Venchito

Boom!

Mark Traphagen shared one of my posts (creative content marketing) in his Google+ which exposed my brand to thousands of Google+ users (knowing that he has 60K+ followers!).

Online Newsletters

There are several niche-specific newsletters where you can contribute your content to. Contact the newsletter owner and give him a shot of your content piece (you can use the above approaches to give value to these newsletter owners).

Conclusion

Promoting your content is not as difficult as you think it is. You just have to connect with the right people and give them value more than what you can get from your content promotion.

Feel free to add your content promotion techniques below. Email me at venchitotampon [at] gmail [dot] com if you have any questions or suggestions for my future posts.

If you liked this post, kindly share it to your circles/networks and follow me on twitter @venchito14.


outreach-marketing

How to Build a Brand Online With Email Outreach

This entry is a guest post by Brian Dean, the Founder of Backlinko.com. Follow him on twitter @backlinko. 

I get some version of this email on a weekly basis:

"Hey Brian,

Dude, you're everywhere! I just saw your guest post/interview/guide published at ___.

I'm getting like NO traffic to my site. How do I get lots of visitors?"

My reply has nothing to do with "creating a holistic brand", "publishing great content" or "get active on social media" (although those are all important).

Instead, I tell them to find the influencers in their niche and reach out to them. In other words, good old fashioned email outreach.

And today I'm going to show you how I used email outreach as part of a campaign that took Backlinko from 724 unique monthly visitors to 24,553 unique monthly visitors in just 3-months.

outreach-opportunities

The Big Lie That Keeps Sites From Explosive Growth

There's a big lie that keeps hard-working people from getting the traffic they deserve:

"Post great content and the links, traffic, and social shares will follow".

I really wish things were that way, but they aren't.

If you're serious about growing your site, "great content" is just the cost of entry. To do well, you need to work your tail off and get the word out.

But publishing on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites is a shotgun approach that rarely works: what are the odds that the top people in your niche will ever see your tweet?

Compare that to the odds of success when you send an email directly to that person. It's night and day.

Which leads me to step #1 of my little tutorial: how to find the people that can share your content and spread the word about your site.

Step #1: Build the Foundation

You can get the emails of the your industry's most influential people.

You can find out their birthday, their dog's name and what they like to eat for breakfast.

And you can use that information to do the best outreach in the history of the internet.

But unless you have an awesome site, you're just wasting your time.

Before you follow the steps below, make sure you have the following in place:

If you want a practical guide to creating a site that commands attention and respect, check out Jason Acidre's amazing guide to becoming an influencer online.

Step #2: Find The Influencers

Whether you're in the weight loss, pottery or DIY niche, there are a handful of power-brokers that dominate. They're the ones with all the traffic, the social media followers and the PR.

In the internet marketing world, sites like Moz, Social Triggers, and QuickSprout have the lion's share of traffic and influence.

Those are the sites you want to form relationships with.

And while it may sound difficult to form relationships with important, busy people. And it is.

But it's MUCH easier than pumping out reams of articles and guest posts, hoping that one of them "goes viral" and propels you to stardom.

In my experience the best way to identify and organize your "hit list" is to use AllTop.

Just put in a keyword or two that describes your niche:

AllTop Results

And see which sites seem like good fits:

AllTop Results

You can use a similar process using FollowerWonk.

Webmaster's Note: You can also check out my definitive guide to engagement marketing.

Step #3: First Contact

You only have once chance at a first impression, so don't mess this up.

When you find someone you think would appreciate what you're all about (in terms of content and as a brand), reach out.

Make sure that your initial contact doesn't ask for anything. Either offer something of value ("I found these broken links" or "I just made this diagram to illustrate your post") or just give them an authentic complement.

For example, when I first emailed Neil Patel, I just told him that I loved QuickSprout (which I genuinely do).

I thought there was a 1% chance that he'd get back to me. But sure enough -- because I was honest and non-needy -- he replied.

You can also reach out to people on Twitter, Facebook etc. I've found that Google+ is a good place to build relationships because there's less noise than on other social media sites.

Step #4: Let's Make a Deal

A good rule of thumb that is to give four times before asking for anything.

Actually, if you provide value to each influencer, you'll never have to ask for a damn thing. Just keep providing value, value, and more value until they offer you something in exchange.

And if they don't?

That happens. It's no biggie. You helped someone else out and probably learned something along the way.

In my experience, these influencers get to where they are because they're cool and empathetic. So they're not going to use you just to get a few free hours of programming help.

Closing Thoughts

There's obviously more to growing a site than emailing a bunch of people and doing them favors.

But it's a surprisingly effective way to fast-track your site's growth.

Yes, you'll have emails ignored.

Yes, you'll get rejected and feel like a loser.

But in the end, you'll end up with an online presence that's much stronger than if you decided to go at it alone.

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the-definitive-guide-to-engagement-marketing

The Definitive Guide to Engagement Marketing

Consumers are becoming more sophisticated in choosing the right brand that will satisfy their needs and exceed their expectations.

Great content and catchy design are not enough to achieve business-related goals (profit, social, growth, etc..) Customers especially those first hand are seeking out for involvement and interaction with the brand (first two elements in the customer engagement cycle). Given that users/consumers are innate to engage with other people, brands should establish a humanized approach in their inbound marketing campaigns through the key principles that I will share later on. customer-engagement-cycle  As Wikipedia says,

Engagement marketing is a marketing strategy that directly engages consumers and invites and encourages consumers to participate in the evolution of a brand”

To better understand this definition, you have to consider the following elements that will increase your chances of engaging with your consumers.

Transparency

All brands have their own flaws and therefore, they can’t provide 100% quality of service.

Consumers don’t trust a brand if there is something they have to hide. Whether it’s a failure on a product they sell, or on the system/process of their operations, authenticity or transparency should be a vital part of the brand’s core values and principles.

Create a unique brand identity that focuses on how your consumers/users should be treated. Look at how Zappos attached the word “family” in its brand name and created a fun and engaging culture through music videos.

Immediacy

Brian Massey wrote a notable post about the correlation of engagement and conversion. He mentioned that an additional component (video, image, logo, etc…) can either be a distraction or engagement to a customer/user. It can be determined through the level of emphasis of the element in the site that is shown to the consumer.

The more emphasis on the component rather on the call-to-action can be a distraction and thus, decreasing the conversion rate of the site. If the user’s intent is not satisfied by the hosted landing page, chances are they will go back to the search results to look for another site.

Emphasize your call to actions in your product/service landing page(s). Make it easy for your targeted customers to act intently as they visit your site. Remove any barriers that can hinder them to take their actions.

Resources:

Facilitation

Finding the right audience based on your brand’s message, product/service and business-related goals can help you determine what form of content is best suited for your targeted customers.

In addition, the more you understand your customers’ needs, the likelihood of engaging them with your content (and other important elements of your site) is higher.

Look at how Jon Cooper redesigned his blog to improve user’s experience that is specifically targeted for both beginners and experts in link building.

pointblankseo

You can check out this post by Mark Acsay about the effect of design elements to user experience.

User Experience

All the three elements I mentioned earlier (transparency, immediacy and facilitation) comprise a brand experience that every customer would want to feel as they visit your site. And how customer’s experience affects engagement and conversion?

When someone had an intention in mind even before he visits your site, it’s easy for him to take an action (buy the product) as he lands on your page because of the needed elements for conversions (call-to-actions, sign up buttons, etc..) are all present in your site. Intended keywords (e.g. buy SEO book) should also match the content and design of your site.

For instance, if your targeted keyword is “SEO book reviews”, there should be at least one content that covers all SEO books. It can be in a form of group interview (industry experts sharing their recommended SEO books) or a comprehensive blog posts featuring top rated SEO books.

Where is the engagement? As the site satisfies the need of the customer, immediate action from the user happens. He can directly buy the SEO book from your site or subscribe first on your blog (to learn more about the basics of SEO, and later convert).

The former is a case where your customer is ready to buy the product and since he is already satisfied with the content that you provide, conversion in this part is higher. The consumer jumps in the marketing funnel from consideration to purchase.

The latter is the usual process gone through by the consumer (Awareness-Opinion-Consideration-Preference-Purchase). The conversion is still high in here especially if you created a content that converts but takes a long process on the part of the buyer. The reason is that the potential customer may want first to know the different elements of the product (price, benefits, features, etc..) before he makes his decision to buy it.

Engagement starts when someone (brand or consumer) initiates the interaction. The best tip here is that the brand should be the initiator in the marketing process, given that it is the one that needs the conversion and exposure. If the consumer initiates (email, phone call, etc…), the brand must have a proper plan to immediately respond to the consumer’s action.

The Content that Engages

content-ranking-cycle Content is not king if the context is not directed to the goals of the business.

The above image is a content cycle that can only happen if the content is specifically targeted to the right audience and users’ needs. I shared some tips on my post on e-koncept on how engagement can be done in the content.

Look at how Kissmetrics targeted the behavior of its users/consumers through infographics, case studies and marketing guides.

How Colors Affect Conversions Source: How Colors Affect Conversions – Infographic

Kelsey Libert gave strong key points in her post on how to go viral from content marketing campaigns:

  • Identify the top (viral) forms of content in your industry (infographics, memes, animated gifs, tweet curation, bubbly content, etc..)
  • Create emotional triggers on your content through emotional identification elements (visual, interactivity, personalization).
  • Semi-automate your content promotion for longer engagement through customization and creativity.

Forrester allows content customization in their home page that is designed for users’ preferences. It develops their brand experience and narrows the focus on even further details.

forrester-marketing-leadership Use content-personalized tools like Smart Content and Gravity to define a specific audience and delivers an easy-to-use content for users.

Other Ways to Engage

Create relevant studies or research

Using surveys like Survey Monkey to get relevant information and create valuable studies/research can be your content marketing tools which are hard to replicate by your competitors. Sample Studies or Researches:

Leverage your players through interactive platforms

Relevant discussions are best sources of links and customers, seeing many of these highly-engaged platforms have high involvement of users and can be a competitive advantage of your brand to build its identity.

The continuous engagement in forums allows the brand to identify problems on services/products and develop improvements which may come from a single idea of an engaged customer.

Recognizing every user in the community through rewards or prizes (t-shirts, swag package, etc..) showcases the brand’s social awareness.

Look at how Moz created a community page that garners tons of referral links and shares given that it establishes its identity to communicate to a specifically targeted audience.

moz-communityCommunity can earn editorial links with or without the need for email outreach. Satisfied and happy customers who were rewarded by your brand and have their own blogs could write a blog post about your company (stories, product reviews, etc..).See Community Building Ideas Cracking Moz Community by Moosa Hermina.

Increasing brand evangelists must be the aim of every company given that having a loyal customer, if he is satisfied, is more likely to share his experience through product reviews and/or word of mouth marketing.

Give more weight on social networks most commonly used by your users

Not all strategies fit in one brand. The same thing happens in the social community. A brand should know which social network is best suited to its marketing campaign based on the nature of the business, behavior of its audience and customers’ needs.

Each industry has its own top social networks that will catch the interest of its users. Jayson Demers wrote a post on how to determine which social media platform  fits for your business. social-media-examiner

Manage the flow of conversion

Customers need the right path or flow in your site (from the landing page to the thank-you/confirmation page) to make their purchases easier.

Creating a smooth flow for your customer’s purchase journey helps increase the engagement level even before he reaches the confirmation page. As he lands on your homepage, he will be interested on the content you’re producing and so, he may subscribe on your blog and/or bookmark your site.

You can check out the following resources to understand deeply the consumer’s flow and how to gauge its success using Google Analytics.

Develop rating platforms through incentivization and creativity

Integrating rating platforms on your site isn’t enough. Pages bombarded with product reviews (ratings, comments, etc..) are best to serve its audience when they are highly moderated.

You can start by leaving lengthy reviews on products that have actually used your team (employees in your company). Set the tone of leaving useful and accurate reviews on every product or item listed in each page of your site.

To increase engagement in rating events, you can start by creating content that will incentivize those users who made a review on a particular product.

Partnering with other manufacturers or companies to get free or discounted product as a give way) can increase the chances of getting referrals and loyal users/readers/customers.

trip-advisor Be more creative on getting reviews for your product. Do more than just rating the product using stars as an element. Add some questions that are fit for the product. For instance, you can ask, “how did the product fit? or “Would you recommend this product to a friend who needed on as well?”. These questions can give a boost in the usefulness of the product or service.

Thanks for Kane Jamison for this short tip.

Look at how Thumbtack made their site more credible by adding more questions relevant to the needs of its users. thumbtack

How to Measure Engagement in a Marketing Campaign

There is no exact tool to measure the engagement level of your marketing campaigns. However, identifying how your consumers/users behave as soon as they visit your site can help you improve your site’s performance.

In-Page Analytics

You can use this tool to track your site's usage (average time on page, bounce rate, etc...)

in-page-analytics

Understanding their needs will help you decide your next step in your marketing campaigns (content, design, conversion, etc..)

branding-strategies

Pagination

By just looking at the metrics (average time on page and bounce rate), you’ll identify whether or not you are providing engaging content. Lower bounce rate means search uses’ need are addressed by your content and so, they’re not bouncing back to the SERPs and search for another query. Other Resources:

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