As you are already well aware, when it comes to content marketing, creating the content is only half the battle. The real work comes when you promote that content to get more eyes on it. After all, even the best content will often go unnoticed if you do not have a solid promotion strategy in place. How you go about promoting your content depends on your preferred strategy. Social media marketing often plays a big role, but of you really want to supercharge your content promotion, use other people to do the work for you.
Influencers are well known in their niches, and they often have a large number of contacts and thousands of people who read their blogs and follow their updates. But you cannot just get influencers to start sharing your content and raving about it immediately. It takes some time to build up relationships, and part of that involves writing effective outreach emails.
Outreach emails have two purposes:
- The first is to get the result you want, whether that is more exposure for your blog post, a link to your content, etc.
- The other is to grow your network. Once you start sharing content, you have a new person in your network who can help promote your future posts. Just imagine having 20, 50, or 100 influencers in your network to share your new content.
Emails are also free—all they take is time. That makes them a valuable option for promoting your content. Outreach emails are the way to get more shares for your content, more links to your posts, and more guest post opportunities. You might also use them to send to potential clients to win new business, but we’ll stick to content promotion for the sake of this blog. Here’s what you need to know to make your emails get noticed and get traction for your content.
Bad Outreach Emails Are a Waste of Time
First of all, let’s just clarify that there is no point at all in sending out bad outreach emails. We’ve all received these, and you know the sort: “Hello sir, I really liked your last post on PPC advertising. I have also written a post that I think your readers will love, please link to it here.” I delete a few of these every week, sometimes even every day. Don’t waste your time sending these types of emails, even if they are not quite as bad as the made-up example. Here are a few steps to take to get better results.
Know Who You’re Writing To
It should go without saying that you should write to a real person and address them by their first name. This is not a formal letter. You want to address them as a real person and start building a relationship. But it goes beyond this. Look at how they refer to themselves. Check their LinkedIn profile and other social media profiles. Do they shorten their name? How to other people refer to them? Getting this right will immediately get you off to a good start. Also, make sure they are people who would be interested in the content you are promoting. Why should they care about it in the first place? If they wouldn’t, don’t bother wasting their time.
Warm Them Up First
By their very nature, outreach emails are cold. You are sending an email to someone who has not received an email from you before. You are effectively a stranger. But it does not have to be this way.
To make your email warmer, find out more about the influencer, including:
- Their work
- Their blogs
- Their updates
- The things they write about and comment on
- The campaigns they are running
- Things they feel passionately about
Do this by:
- following them on Twitter
- following their blog on Feedly, which the best way by far to keep track of all your blogs in one place
- signing up to their newsletter
Once you have been following them for a while, start making contact. Do this by retweeting their content and leaving insightful comments on their blogs. One of my favorite techniques is to reply to their email newsletter without sounding like you are promoting yourself. It’s a good way to start a relationship going because you are instantly in a conversation rather than reaching out to them cold. Keep it very casual, and do it a few times over the course of a month or so. This can also be a great way to get guest post opportunities. Just highlight something about the email you found interesting, then pitch a way to expand upon it. You could also review their products, like their books (people love good reviews).
Doing all of this will make your outreach emails more effective and more authentic. It will sound like you actually care about what they are doing rather than just wanting them for their connections. At the very least, when you reach out, reference their recent blog post or tweet or guest post, and don’t just say you liked it. Spend a bit of time coming up with something interesting to say, or even ask a question.
Write with a Specific Purpose
You don’t want to write to someone asking them for lots of things in one email. You might want a link, a share, a guest post, and more, but keep it to one request. To that end, it makes sense to keep it short. This should be easy, but it’s amazing how many people provide too much information. Long emails are going to be put aside for later until they get forgotten or just ignored. People will read long emails when they have valuable information, but not when you are looking for promotion opportunities.
Provide Something of Value
You want to provide your contact with something of value in your email. If you’ve written a new blog that you want to get shared, make sure you’ve put real effort into your post, so that it becomes something that will genuinely help their audience. It has to be something good worth promoting, and that’s where good blog writing comes into it. At the end of the day, you could do everything right, but no one with a good reputation is going to want to promote your lame blog post.
If you can find a way to make it worth their time promoting your content, so much the better. For example, a post highlighting the top blog posts of the month in your niche, with their blog being part of the list. Or the top people in an industry, with them being one of them. Flattery is a great way to make friends.
Make It Easy to Take Action
Don’t make it hard for the recipient to act. For example, if you want them to link to your post, provide a formatted link they can paste in directly. Don’t make them have to work out what they need to do. People are busy, and the recipient is effectively doing you a favor. Lots of other people will be doing the same as you, so don’t let your email be ignored purely because you are asking too much.
The Investment Pays Off
Writing effective outreach emails is a lot of work, as you can see. That’s why it’s so easy to fall into the trap of just sending out quick but irrelevant emails, then being disappointed by the results. But this is one technique that really does pay off when you invest the time and effort in getting it right. Not only will you promote your content further, but you will also build your network. And the great thing is that it becomes easier and easier over time. After all, the more authority you get in your niche, the easier it will be to encourage other people to share your content. So start up an outreach strategy and see how much more traction you can get for that content you have spent so much time creating.