Outreach marketing is more than engaging influencers, and it extends way beyond link building. While your outreach marketing might tap into either of those tactics, its real power lies in building your brand.
When you build relationships with like-minded people and companies, you can both benefit. Nobody knows this better than SEO Advantage, the company that owns legal services website Enjuris.com. The relationships the SEO company built for the website through outreach marketing helped it grow from 883 pageviews per month to 101,985 after three years. Now it has staked its place in a tough market and helps connect thousands of people looking for legal help.
We’ll show you how they did it and how you can, too.
What Is Outreach Marketing?
Outreach marketing refers to building relationships with individuals and organizations that align with your mission to grow awareness and reputation for your business. You do this by reaching out to others who care about relevant topics in your industry and proposing activities that carry a mutual benefit.
Outreach marketing often starts with an introduction via email or social media. Then it taps into social media and other marketing channels to amplify a message. It can help build links, boost reputation, and grow site traffic.
How SEO Advantage Used Outreach Marketing to Build a Brand
Three years ago, few people had heard of Enjuris. Now, the site brings in over 100,000 pageviews per month, helping connect thousands of searchers with information and legal help. The site is also the foremost source of data on where women attend law school.
The Problem: Securing Traction in a Saturated Market
SEO Advantage wanted to grow Enjuris from a bare-bones directory of law firms to a useful, trustworthy resource that could also support its work with clients. Although the domain name had been around since 2011, the site had no established brand and had very little to offer that was different from the thousands of other websites publishing legal information.
The Solution: Outreach Marketing to Boost Content
The team pursued a three-pronged strategy:
- Build a unique brand identity.
- Publish long-form, authoritative articles optimized for search (SEO).
- Accelerate growth of content via outreach marketing.
Enjuris led with designing its new brand identity. The team determined after surveying the competitive landscape that a strong identity would be a contributing factor to the success of its content and outreach efforts. At the same time, it put in place the infrastructure to create and publish content optimized for search, with a target of 30 new pieces per month.
Next, the team pursued outreach marketing to boost the content and accelerate results.
4 Outreach Marketing Activities That Worked for Enjuris
The website tried a number of different tactics involving outreach. Here are some of the most effective and why they worked.
1. Yearly Report on a Hot Topic
The editorial team uncovered a hot issue that was unfolding: female enrollment at law schools had just surpassed 50% for the first time.
While that fact had gained some media attention, no one was looking at which schools women were attending. Furthermore, data was readily available from the Bar Association’s public database. So Enjuris analyzed the data and put together a report.
Next, the team gathered contact information for law schools, associations, and members of the media who might be interested in the report. They started a spreadsheet in which they could continue to add contacts over time.
Then they put outreach marketing into action. First, emails went to each school to let them know of the report and allow them to confirm their data if they wish.
A few days later, a second email went to the schools, letting them know when the report would be released and encouraging them to promote it.
The next wave of emails went out to law-related online publications.
And, finally, more emails were sent to niche sites with a feminist focus.
The website saw such success with the report that it has continued to produce it annually, refining it each year.
The SEO Advantage team working on Enjuris takes note of what seems to gain the most attention, then adapts the report and its marketing outreach. For example, the team timed the second year’s report to come out during Women’s History Month, which gained more enthusiastic promotion by the schools mentioned. They also dug deeper into the data regionally, reaching out to state-focused news sites with data on law school enrollment by state. The report gained coverage in a journal that was handed out to every lawyer admitted to the Bar in California.
2. Partnerships with Other Organizations That Have a Similar Audience
Enjuris also considered opportunities to partner with other websites that overlapped in the same space. Because the website dealt with injuries, safety and injury prevention seemed a natural fit.
But where to start? With the summer approaching, the team decided to dig into swimming safety first. It turned out that PoolSafely.gov was actively recruiting partners and had a sizable following. The page Enjuris created featuring its new partnership landed a link, a feature in the organization’s newsletter, and ongoing social media mentions by Pool Safely.
Enjuris also co-branded its materials for partners, such as this daily medication log also featured on DrugWatcher.org.
Partnership opportunities brought the following benefits:
- Sharing resources with each others’ audiences to gain a bigger reach
- Tapping into domain authority when the partnership included a link from an authoritative site
- Establishing a stronger brand reputation thanks to aligning with other, bigger brands
Let’s see how you could tap into partnerships for your website using Alexa’s tools.
Pro Tip: How to find partnership opportunities
Let’s say you want to find potential partners in the pool safety industry. You can use Alexa’s Site Screener tool to find websites that meet your selection criteria. Just enter a keyword to get started.
You can then use the sites found in Site Screener to find more potential partner sites related to pool safety by entering one or more of those sites into Alexa’s Audience Overlap tool.
This produces a group of websites that are related by audience and keywords to check for potential partnership opportunities. You can find both of these tools in an Alexa Advanced plan. (Try it free here!)
3. Publishing Customer Stories
Hoping to tap into the power of user-generated content, Enjuris published guest posts and interviews with accident victims who wanted to tell their stories.
The team initially sought out people through personal connections, documenting their stories. The first collaboration brought over 500 shares on Facebook and 30 comments on the blog. Not too shabby for a website with virtually no established followers or traffic.
The material seemed to resonate with site visitors, as many took the time to share their own experiences in the comments. Outreach marketing, in this case, provided a springboard into user-generated content in the form of comments that continue to add fresh content to the page. Enjuris staff members replied personally to each comment. This also gave Enjuris team members a lead-in to refer them to directory members.
Want a good way to discover outreach marketing opportunities to try? Use Alexa’s tools to see what others are doing.
Pro Tip: How to find topics that are important to your customers
You can use Alexa’s Competitor Keyword Matrix to find topics that are important to your audience. Start by choosing 10 sites that you discovered in the previous tip, or you can also use competing websites. Then pull the most common keywords that drive traffic to them. This will show you what people want to know more about, to spark new content ideas.
Then, you can dig deeper to reveal the content that is most successful on Twitter for a given topic using Content Exploration.
This analysis will help you understand broad topics of interest among your audience and the content that stands out for those topics.
4. Outreach to Members of its Directory
The Enjuris team looked for ways to get law firms in its directory more involved. Because many of the directory profiles were managed by SEO companies working for law firms, the law firms themselves were unaware of Enjuris. The team began marketing outreach to let members know of content and partnership opportunities to grow their business, putting together a newsletter for interested firms.
While the first few newsletters received little attention, one offering an opportunity to participate in editorial seemed to resonate. Ten lawyers immediately offered their tips for the article How to Find a Personal Injury Lawyer. The participating lawyers helped promote the page, too, which eventually earned backlinks from 33 domains.
Now Enjuris had an example to show members to help snowball future outreach efforts.
Results at One, Two, and Three Years
Organic traffic growth was slow at first. In May 2016, when SEO Advantage started devoting more resources to the Enjuris site, it was receiving 883 pageviews per month. Six months later, it had only reached 1,190.
Though the team had engaged a few outreach techniques in its first year, the biggest impact came from the report, which launched toward the end of year one in the spring of 2017. Soon after, the site was consistently above 5,000 pageviews monthly.
After two years of outreach marketing programs, the number of monthly pageviews had risen to 32,078. In May of 2019, after three years, it exceeded 100,000 with 101,985 pageviews per month.
The team had consistently added optimized content to the site, and outreach marketing had served as the accelerator to kickstart compounding traffic growth.
The Key to Success in Outreach Marketing
Once you’ve identified and established who you are as a brand, then your outreach marketing can be 100x more powerful.
The SEO Advantage team knew that Enjuris needed backlinks. But it also knew that outreach with the sole intent of building links is not as powerful as outreach with the goal of furthering an important cause. Its brand image had to align with all its activities.Outreach with the sole intent of building links is not as powerful as outreach with the goal of furthering an important cause. Click To Tweet
Enjuris demonstrated its commitment to accident survivors and the legal community in their content and throughout their site so that it was apparent the site was living its message, and not just trying to gain immediate benefit for itself.
Have you defined your unique brand, and does your website back it up? If so, you might be ready to crack into outreach marketing yourself.
17 Outreach Marketing Ideas
Check out these outreach marketing ideas. You can try one or two to get your business started.
- Sign up for HARO and respond to any media requests that fit your expertise.
- Develop a list of “friends” of your brand and plan to stay in touch. (Hint: use an email list separate from customer marketing.)
- Start a group on a social media platform and reach out to other group leaders.
- Send product samples to bloggers.
- Join the conversations of those you admire in your industry.
- Engage influencers formally.
- Produce content that features influencers, then tag them when you promote it on social media. (Better still, get their input upfront!)
- Encourage customer reviews and reach out to users.
- Reach out to unhappy users, too!
- Interview a customer for your blog.
- Profile an employee.
- Thank anyone who mentions your brand online. (Set up a Google Alert!)
- Provide testimonials or participate in case studies for products you use.
- In your outreach emails, include a prepopulated social post or other action – make it easy for the recipient!
- Ask to be included in existing lists you come across online (when you truly belong in them).
- Include “how to embed” code with infographics.
- Include “click to tweet” in your content to make it super easy to share.
Keep in mind that it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that you’re building relationships with outreach marketing. When you send an email, the goal is to connect with another person.
Influencer Hiten Shah, co-founder of FYI and seasoned startup advisor, receives hundreds of emails from people every week. He says the subject line is key to getting your email opened, offering this tip: “Be as human as possible. Try collecting emails on your area of interest in a separate email box. It’s really easy to get inspired by other email you receive and you may run across some good subject lines.”
And finally, be patient.
The Hardest Part: Being Patient
The results came for Enjuris, but it took authenticity, patience, and learning.
The SEO Advantage team working on Enjuris felt deeply about their subject matter. That authenticity showed in their marketing outreach and helped to build connections, which were crucial for understanding what it could provide its audience, especially in the early days.
Outreach marketing is great for learning about your customers and your industry, and those learnings will improve your business in ways not immediately reflected in metrics like traffic and shares. So absorb and learn, find what “works,” and then do it better the next time.
You can use Alexa’s tools to learn more about your audience, competitors, and potential marketing strategies that can help you get started with outreach marketing. Try Alexa’s Advanced Plan today!