A Free Strategic Marketing Plan: #5 Outreach & Digital PR

You’ve put your strategic marketing plan into place. Personas identified–check. Content created–check. Site optimized to capture and then nurture leads–check and check.

But there is one more piece of the puzzle to address. Because putting the system and strategy in place is the first step, but after we do all of the above, we might be faced with challenge of no one knowing that it’s in place. No one knows Safety Inc. is there.

Which brings us to the sort of bonus step 5: going out and getting new eyeballs for the business.

Step 5: Outreach and Digital PR

Since we have a clear idea of who Fred is, what his needs are, and how we’re going to help solve them, our next point of action will take us to where Fred is hanging out online, what he’s doing when he’s online, and how Safety Inc. can meet him there.

We’ll get familiar with industry sites, forums, and online magazines—sites that are part of the facility management safety space—and look for ways to get in front of Fred when he’s on those sites. He knows those sites, but he doesn’t know Safety Inc. So we need to slide into where he already is online, and create a moment of discovery for him where he gets to find out about Safety Inc.

One way of doing that is guest posting, which is purely about serving the buyer persona where they are. We’re taking the same relevant content that’s on Safety Inc.’s website and blog, and putting that ability to serve through knowledge in a place where Fred is spending his time. We mentioned industry sites and blogs, but another great resource is industrial consultants. They’re always looking for content to share with audience, and value to add to their audience. Plus we’re meeting them as a potential tool through which they can refer more clients.

One thing that’s important to remember when talking about outreach is to make it a win-win. We don’t just send emails that say “Can I write a guest post, or post this on your blog?” There are issues of spam and SEO with guest posting, and such requests raise major red flags.

Instead, we’ll establish a relationship with these people. We’ll use LinkedIn to find relevant connections, and then reach out and build a relationship without asking for anything. Once there’s a relationship in place, we’ll create the win-win for them. For example, we’ll offer to interview them or feature them as a guest writer on Safety Inc.’s site.

We’re not only creating more valuable content for readers, but also crafting a piece that the consultant who we’re featuring would share with their own audience. Everyone loves to be featured, and then share with their circles that they’ve been featured, so this is a great approach.

After we’ve given, we can ask to take. We’ll ask if it would be possible to share a guest post with their site. Note that this is NOT an opportunity to pitch. We’re not filling that guest post with how great Safety Inc. is, its features, and the number to call for more information. In fact, we won’t mention Safety Inc. in the blog post at all until the About the Author section at the bottom.  We’re coming at this through a place of serving, of being valuable and helpful, of creating content that truly makes a difference in lives of facility management and safety managers.

So outreach is all about leveraging other, large sites in a way that’s helpful for all. We’re telling them you have the traffic, we have the content and expertise—let’s work together and create something valuable. And over time, as we get Safety Inc. out in front of their personas through other sites, and build brand awareness, it’ll start building up traffic to their own website.

Part of that circle comes from building up thought leadership. We always like to have one person in the company become the public face of the business’s thought leadership.

Maybe a marketing or sales person, or someone we can give the title “Facility Management Consultant.” This is the person who will be given as the author for all published content, and who will show up on guest posts.

Then this one person’s face, name, and experience are being seen around the web, and Fred is running into it multiple times, creating a relationship whereby Fred starts to see this person as expert in space. That means his ears are more open more to listening, he respects this person, trusts this person, and is eager to hear what this person has to say. It creates these invaluable sales signals in the relationship between Fred and Safety Inc. before Fred is even in sales funnel.

And that’s what it always comes back to. Inbound marketing is about creating this place where you don’t have to sell or market anymore. You just have to serve and be valuable to others in this specific strategy, and then everything kind of happens and flows the way it’s supposed to.

The plan that we’ve laid out over these several posts is a way for you to visualize how we go from inbound methodology to an actual play-by-play of what an inbound strategy would look like for a B2B company. These are steps that will be useful in your business, and that you can directly integrate into your strategy of serving your customers long-term.

So we encourage you to take the above plan, plug in your business name wherever it says Safety Inc. and see how effective it can be for you!