Outreach is a way to increase exposure beyond traditional search engine optimization and social media engagement. It is an active form of marketing that takes both time and effort. If you'd like to expand your target market and develop new projects based on collaborations and strategic partnerships, then an effective outreach plan can definitely provide that for you.
Whether you're just starting a new business or already have an established company, effective outreach is a crucial component needed to keep producing new leads and drive sales at the same time. Throughout this series we will be discussing advanced topics in outreach including guest posting, email marketing, and acquiring new leads. But first, let's talk about the different types of outreach and how your business can benefit from them.
Single Event Outreach
This is a onetime deal. Outreach activities in this category are meant to do a whole lot all at once, and rarely to do they involve establishing personal relationships right on the fly. Instead, this type of outreach consists of an immediate attempt to target a specific audience group at a large event.
Your immediate goal in this situation is to introduce your business, in other words just get your foot in door. When you have adequate resources available to target people on a large scale, then you benefit from creating a generalized message about your company instead of a customized one and you can implement an event like this anytime.
The downside to doing a onetime, large scale outreach event is that it will definitely cost a lot compared to what you're used to. You're also providing very little information to your target audience about how your products and services can specifically benefit them, and you're also limited to how your message is ultimately represented.
You're relying here solely on the statistical success rate of massive scale marketing. But when increasing output and driving sales figures is an immediate must, single event outreach delivers the quantity over quality. This type of outreach includes most (if not all) types of traditional print and broadcasting media.
That means newspaper, television and online paid advertisements. Newspapers typically display ads that are relevant to the section where they're placed, although they do also appear in dedicated sections such as the classifieds as well. Typically they're priced according to the size of advertisement.
Television commercials are typically very expensive but can also be a little more affordable if aired just on local stations. This also includes radio ads as well. Since radio listeners can't actually see your logo or products, it's up to you to replace this with engaging copy and colorful language.
Online ads include search engines and social media for the most part, but do include spots on private sites as well. Typically these are priced according to size, frequency, and the duration of the ad on their platform.
Billboards and street ads are also primarily considered single event outreach. Sponsored blog posts, newspaper articles, and featured sections in community newsletters as well. What all of these have in common is that they're engaging an unknown audience and primarily place their bet on sheer numbers instead of the quality of their outreach. This is usually effective if you need a little boost in your marketing efforts but can never replace a long term marketing campaign.
This type of marketing plan is typically implemented for the short term. You can do this regularly or on-and-off depending on what you're doing. Personal outreach provides you a chance to meet one-to-one with an interested party. Your goals here are to reach a targeted segment of your intended audience and let them know how your company products or services can help them specifically.
The great part is this is relatively inexpensive and requires a minimal amount of time on your part. The problems here of course are that it's still a relatively short term impact that usually has minimal success that is highly dependent on the circumstances.
Typically this would be something like having a booth at a trade show or similar event. At these venues you usually hand out printed materials or promotional items like usb drives that encourage the audience to look up your company post-event. Since you're also able to meet face to face with customers, you can establish a much more personal relationship that could possible lead to a future partnership or repeat business.
In the past, personal outreach really involved hiring the door-to-door marketer to go around handing out brochures or pamphlets to the community about your business, possibly even making a sale right then and there. However this has moved up to online "door-to-door" outreach nowadays.
This involves actively looking for sites, bloggers, and webmasters that are willing to work with you to promote your business in exchange for something. Guest posting is usually a popularly one with most bloggers. The idea being that you provide quality content for their blog in exchange for a link back to your company site or your own blog. For other webmasters, they prefer that you also promote their business and are usually willing to work with you if the benefit is mutual between both parties.
This type of outreach is usually ongoing throughout the week. Consistent outreach usually helps during the slow period and maintains a constant marketing outflow. This is marketing that takes its time. High priority targets are usually always in this category. The idea being that you look at the long term impact of things instead of an immediate gain.
Personal outreach can become consistent, but does not necessarily have to be. Instead, consistent outreach requires a commitment from the company. In other words, this must be a part of your daily company activities and will require dedicate time from either yourself or your employees. Although it is relatively inexpensive, it will be very difficult to be successful in this area, so it is important that you put forth the most effort into this kind of marketing.
For this type of outreach you mainly have email marketing. Most partnerships and network building is done now through email communications, so your strategy for pitching an idea or the advantages of your product have to be on par.
You also have your social media platforms as well. Here you're talking directly to your customers and possibly even addressing complex situations or complaints as well as announcing new features from your business.
Your customer service is also a vital component to this type of outreach. How you deal with customers and the service you provide them consistently will naturally provide them with a sense of trust and possibly loyalty with your company.
Always keep in mind that in order to be successful as a company, regardless of its size, consistent outreach is crucial. Moving on from here, we discuss personal outreach strategies in more detail, providing you with an outline for how to successfully implement these practices with your business.