If you’ve read up on outreach marketing and think it’s a strategy that would work well for your brand, here are the 3 stages you need to follow to implement a mind blowing outreach marketing strategy…
Identifying the right people at the right time is an essential component of an Outreach Marketing program. There are many types of influence and therefore many recruiting strategies to find people who are ready to align themselves sincerely with your brand.
- Opt in option- Make it easy for people to sign-up to work with your company such as being very communicative with your network on Twitter or having a form on your website where brand fans can opt-in to work with you.
- Easy Recruitment- Aside from making it easy for existing brand advocates to sign up to work with you, make sure you have a monitoring system in place to identify consumers who are taken it upon themselves to talk about and recommend your brand. Reach out to them, thank them for their brand support and start the process of a continual relationship these existing brand fans.
- Active Recruiting– Some of your best people don’t know they’re your people yet. Using tools to identify those who fit in to your brand’s niche and do “cold outreach” can be time-consuming but the upside is tremendous.
- On-going– Unlike the campaign mentality that has been traditionally applied to outreach marketing activities you must put in place a process to continuously add new recruits.
Initialize and Grow the Relationship
Once you’ve began identifying the right people, the next step is to solidify a mutually beneficial marketing relationship.
Some of the most important concepts during Initialization include:
- Personalization– In order for recruits to trust you and offer authentic brand recommendations, they must feel a personal connection to you and your brand. Use personalized outreach instead of mail merges when you’re introducing yourself and your brand.
- Initial Give– When a person joins your network, what are you offering them in exchange for their valuable word of mouth brand recommendations?
- Brand Integration- Instead of making your recruits feel like an outside part of your brand make them feel like part of your brand by integrating them in to your sphere. Ask for their input on products, communicate continually and implement their feedback.
- Qualification– You must qualify and score your marketing contacts much like you would sales leads. While all of the contacts you are identifying can provide value, it’s important to know who the best fit for a particular initiative is. Be careful of putting too much weight in to numeric qualifiers. A snug contextual fit should always be first priority.
- Track Relationship– Know when your network is talking about your brand and how much their own audience trusts them.
It is important to put in place a process that ensures all of your marketing relationships receive regular check-ins, updates, and opportunities to engage with your brand no matter how big or small the opportunity.
A nice blend of network community updates such as a monthly brand ambassador newsletter and personal communication is ideal. Always keep your relationships in the know and the more they feel part of your brand, the more they’ll want to talk about it and the more their audience trusts their recommendation.
Some of the best tools for nurturing and maintaining your relationships are:
- Content Drips– Produce how-to’s, infographics, or snippets of content that your contacts can easily share socially or include in an upcoming article.
- Ask for Feedback– One of the most underrated benefits of building a network of marketing contacts is using them for feedback on your brands activities, products, events, and even content. They will be glad to share their input and their feedback is a valuable asset to your brand.
- Swag– If sending product makes sense for your brand, sending free things from your brand is a great way to give a contact a thank you.
- Elicit Product Reviews and Mentions– When your brand develops something new, send product to your network with no strings attached. This will elicit sincere and positive product reviews and mentions in an organic way.
- Research– Put together polls on industry trends, thoughts, or ideas. Your contacts are very often thought-leaders and the ones that are like to participate and offer their opinion. Share you results with them to integrate in to their own content.