Everyone gets it, whether it’s just somebody contacting you and pretending they know you, or better yet- the spam that makes no sense about oil in the desert with jet planes that are on fire.
Or, someone with terrible grammar and spelling trying to get my bank info.
But email spam is a dying breed, and so is the outreach that can be associated with it. Blogger outreach, when done the wrong way, can really make you want to gouge your eyes out. I’ve gotten outreach emails before that were very poor, and then I’ve gotten some that actually made me a little happy inside- like this one. I took out the part that can’t be shown, but you can get an idea of why I liked this.
Someone ACTUALLY took the time to get to know a little about me, and my blog, and then contacted me. While yes, this is considered “spam”, it’s coming with good value and shouldn’t be treated like junk. It made me respond and actually exchange a few emails with them.
Blogger outreach is slowly moving and shifting with the social media landscape, and it’s important that we start learning the proper ways to do BETTER blogger outreach, instead of more, and also how to tie in social media with the mix. There’s a never-ending value taking some of the weight of your outreach completely off email.
Email spam will (unfortunately) never die completely because there is some great value that come out of things that are considered spam. Think about it.
Spammy spam is?
- An email from somebody you don’t know about something you aren’t sure you’ll care about
- Unsolicited information about a product or service
- Unsolicited attempts to sell you something
- Absolute random crap that makes no sense at all
But how many times have you opened these anyway, and actually been appreciative of what you found? I know if it’s numbers 1-3, I’m generally a little intrigued because they’re usually targeted to my likes and interests.
Who is guilty?
We’re all guilty.
That’s right. You, you and me. Not of the above, but whether we like to realize it or not, when we’re trying to build our personal brand we may be doing a little unsolicited emailing. Better yet, when you’re working for a company and need to get in contact with somebody new, you’re also guilty of it.
So let’s forget how horrible old outreach tactics were, embrace our current tactics, and tie in social media with our email outreach for a better all around strategy and to help reduce the annoying spam that flies around our inboxes.
The Outreach Basics
Yes, this may be a little elementary to some who are reading this blog, especially if you’re in the Internet marketing field. But there are others who haven’t worked with outreach before, so I think it’s important to go over some basics before jumping into the social media aspect of things.
Why is outreach beneficial?
If you’re building your personal brand, there is nothing better to leverage than yourself. Likewise, if you’re working for a company, you’re representing them and need to approach people the right way. And let’s face it- sometimes you need to start doing outreach and you really want to do a great job and reach a large number of targeted blogs that might find your information useful.
BUT! If you’re able to reach 100 people in the click of one button, then you’re doing it wrong. Sending the same email to 100 people on a list because you think quantity is better than quality is completely W-R-O-N-G.
Take the time, do some research and really find out what blogs you want to target. What do you need to do?
1. Find out the general idea of their site. This is kind of a no-brainer, Make sure that what you’re trying to get in contact with the blogger about actually is something they believe in. IE: Do not try to contact a foodie blogger about something carnivorous when clearly they’re a vegetarian.
2. Find out about the person. Look at their “about me” and whatever else they have around. What is their name? No one likes to be emailed and called, “Hey, you!” and they’re 50% more likely to respond if you actually address them by their name.
3. Since you’re taking the time to check out their site, talk to them about something that you found interesting. When I’m doing outreach and getting familiar with a blog, I take the time to read a few articles over the course of a few days. If i find something humorous or awesome- I let them know.
4. If you have the time work on visiting the blog and engaging the blog owner. And don’t just do it a few times, even after you get in contact with them for outreach purposes, keep visiting and occasionally sharing their content. Remember, you scratch my back, I scratch yours.
5. If they do help you with a products/service/article, make sure you help promote it.
6. Make sure you keep track of who you’ve had success with. Nothing is more embarrassing than contacting somebody and not remembering them after you’ve exchanged a few emails.
How Do We Shift Our Complete Email Dependency?
Outreach needs to evolve and move away from the association with mass mailing lists and impersonal spam messages. One way to do this is by integrating social media into your outreach mix.
Social media has been valuable in the past, and is slowly becoming more and more valuable as the days go on.
Think about it- if someone is reaching out to you, would you be more likely to take the time to write a blog post? Or would it be easier to send a quick tweet or post it on FB to reach your audience?
On the flip side, if you see someone with an interesting blog post, are you likely to write a blog post about it and integrate the link, or just click the handy dandy social sharing buttons (that I hope they have) for instant gratification and sharing with your audience?
Unless you’re looking for product reviews, it’s going to become more and more likely that bloggers are going to want to share your link/product/service through their social networks.
Even Tumblr, our new little rockstar, is becoming a popular way to share now- because if you find something on Tumblr you like, it’s easy to hit “reblog” or heart it.
Because of this, we need to let social media work for us. As you’re reaching out to various sites that you’re done research on, make sure that you’re also following them/liking them/engaging with them.
The Love of Influencers
It’s not new news (anymore) that even though link equity for social media is still evolving, social sharing on Facebook is being pulled into personalized Bing social search.
Don’t forget that if you’re doing outreach and someone shares a link on their Facebook page, it’s extremely likely that others will share it as well and it’ll start appearing in their friend’s personalized Bing searches if they have it enabled for social.
The power of utilizing social media is not something that should be overlooked, especially now from a search perspective. Reaching influencers in the vertical that you’re reaching out to is absolutely necessary.
- Klout- Categorizes you into different segments of influence allowing you to see your (and other’s) true reach and amplification level. Klout score is actually now integrated into Seesmic if you use that to manage your Twitter accounts.
- TweetLevel- Another tool to allow you to find influence and engagement information on yourself and others.
- SocialSeek- Great social monitor that lets you track and find buzz around your brand, other brands, topics, etc so you can find out who is really influential and can reach a wide audience when sharing.
There’s tons more. Maybe that would make for a nice next post :)
Furthermore, the ability to reach out and have these influencers find interest in the product or service you’re reaching out around has the ability to act like a megaphone and reach a huge audience very fast- you know that when they’re influential, their audience is extremely likely to check out something that they share or put out there, and also likely to share it themselves.
Make Social Media Work For You
Aside from just randomly finding influencers and engaging them directly, why not start making interesting lists that others can follow which include these influencers? Make a list of your favorite bloggers, or your favorite financial gurus- and make sure it’s public.
Help bring value to their already influential accounts and let them know you find value in them too. Then start engaging and sharing with them.
Also, with more and more brands moving onto social networks and making Facebook tabs and applications, participating in Twitter chats, etc, it’s important that we can be stealthy like a ninja and ride the social media wave. You’ll be missing out on a lot if you don’t harness the natural power of engagement.
So Why Keep Some Blogger Outreach Through Email?
While it’s true that social media happens like an explosion, it’s good to have residual effects from blogger outreach that can keep the buzz alive since the very nature of social media is that it happens fast, and often times it happens all at once. And don’t forget, much like how email outreach can look spammy when done poorly, Twitter DMs and Facebook messages can be the same way. Don’t get me started on auto DMs…
Social media is an excellent complement and direction to take your outreach and it needs to move that way, but at the same time, you don’t want to neglect traditional blogger outreach- no matter how exciting and quick sharing with social media is when you find and build relationships with the right influencers in your vertical.
Blog posts can be searched and read multiple times and not get lost or pushed down quickly in the shuffle- often times staying on the front page or sidebar for a good amount of time.
The end of Email Spam?
If you’re thinking in terms of receiving an email that 100 other people receive, that isn’t personalized at all, then YES! I hope email spam is ending and will never rise again like a phoenix from fire and ashes.
But if you’re talking about blogger outreach, then no, it will never completely end. There is much value in blogger outreach and email is a great vehicle to get this done.
We all do a little spammy spam from time to time and chances are we don’t completely know who we’re reaching out to. How can we? It’s the online world. We can only do the best we can to build relationships off what we know, and hope the blogger is open and receptive to us with warm and loving e-arms.
In moving forward though, we also have to consider and integrate the effectiveness of social media. There’s a whole big audience out there just waiting to hear what you have to say, and ready to share it.
If you’re interested in sharing this article, it’s probably really easy to click the “like” or “retweet” button up top. See how easy that is?