In the world of digital marketing, traffic is the name of the game. Generating a lot of traffic usually means successfully promoting your content for links and social media shares.
But even the most famous bloggers sometimes struggle with this. seriously. Believe it or not, sometimes even the most celebrated digital content creators with the most engaged audiences struggle with getting the engagement they need.
If you’re running a smaller blog, this can probably be frustrating.
After all, if Seth Godin had it supports Which is not being shared, what hope do you have of going viral with your grandmother’s cheesecake recipe?
Sure, it’s the best cheesecake in the history of the world, but how do you get people excited about it and share it with their social circle?
Let me introduce you to a little tactic known as the pre-sensitization strategy.
What is this, you ask? Your work before the content drops pays off after you are released. She builds relationships with players in the industry, journalists, editors, and other bloggers.
Usually, this is a two-way street, where you will partner with someone to promote their content, and in return, they will promote yours.
And the really cool thing is that it’s not limited to blogging. You can also use pre-awareness to connect your email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), influencer marketing, and social media marketing campaigns.
If your previous outreach strategy was effective, your traffic increase will be consistent, even when you don’t release new content.
Sounds great, right? Next, let’s dive into how to create and implement a pre-outreach strategy that can generate links and shares for all of your content.
Before we begin, one thing you need to know: If your business lacks vision, a pre-awareness strategy may not be the best use of your time.
Instead, it would be better if you first focused on improving your profile. Once you do, you should reconsider your pre-sensitization plan.
Start by checking your circuits
I always start all pre-awareness campaigns by compiling a list of experts and partners I regularly collaborate with to promote content.
This is a quick and easy task if you use CRM systems like Nimble or Pitchbox or have a spreadsheet of their names and contact information.
I recommend checking your current list of subscribers and social media followers. There is a good chance that they will include some people who might be interested in sharing your content.
After creating this spreadsheet, I separate all my contacts into two lists.
- The first list is the people I would ask to give my article some love and endorsement through their channels.
- The second list of people are those I will be reaching out to about possibly re-engaging.
Either way, I never forget that I am asking for a favor, so I need to be sure that it will be easy and helpful for them to help me. No one likes to do a favor for someone who makes it difficult or doesn’t do anything in return. I always ask if they want me to promote anything.
Some people think the best way to get links is to email people you may not know. I do not recommend this.
A recent study showed that cold contact emails have a range Response rate is only 1-5%. My personal experience confirms this figure. It took me about 40 cold emails to get a single link.
My rule of thumb is to only ask people if they can refer back to my article if I know them and have been involved with them previously on the link building aspect.
thanks for the beach boxI can easily filter out contacts I haven’t linked with from my pre-awareness list.
Although I sometimes use automated email contact paths to reach out ahead, I prefer to do it manually. This allows me to double check that I’m sending it to the right person and add a bit of personalization to each email.
Another thing that’s good to mention is that – thanks to the Digital Olympus conference – I have a great number of digital marketing influencers who are always willing to help me spread the word as soon as my post is out.
So launching your own event or even a podcast is a great idea, as this can help you build relationships with industry leaders.
Another example I will give you is Jason Barnard’s podcast. Covering SEO, copywriting, and more, this platform allows him to promote his content effectively by engaging the people he invites as guests to his show.
Finally, if you are lucky enough to have close relationships with companies that send bulk emails to their subscribers, this could be a gold mine.
The logic is pretty simple: ask to be featured in bulk emails and, in exchange, offer to mention their posts in your email marketing campaign.
As you can probably tell, the more people you have a good working relationship with, the better your chances of getting social links and shares.
Now let’s see what to do next after accessing all your contacts.
Go beyond your circles to secure the links
Reaching out to people outside of your contacts is essential to getting enough links. This is a great time to use pre-awareness to “warm up” people and build relationships with them.
The trick here is to provide the contacts with whom you are going to pre-communicate with value and benefits first, so that they feel indebted to you.
However, it should be noted that if you are not familiar with your industry experts, this can become a time consuming exercise.
These are the steps you should take:
Look for experts who regularly post guest posts across different blogs
To compile a list of contributors, you can start by checking out which sites accept guest posting opportunities.
Optionally, you can go to BuzzSumo and run a report using the Top Authors tool, where you can search across any keyword relevant to your pre-awareness content.
Next, you need to look at the list of authors and find contributors who write across multiple blogs.
Create a strong value proposition
Most of us aren’t as popular as Rand Fishkin or Matthew Woodward, so creating a solid value proposition is essential.
In our case, the easiest way is to ask potential links to:
- Add their quotes (if they’re interested and have time for it).
- Share your final draft and see if they have a post they’d like to refer back to.
Both options provide them with value and help you create a meaningful relationship.
Also, I highly recommend checking out this post, which can help you increase your email communication response rates.
NB: Recently, I was doing a report with several experts when I realized that my new post would be published soon. So, I asked contributors to consider linking to my last article. She immediately got ten links because she wanted to be useful, which would complement our collaborative relationship.
The secret to working with people you don’t know is to give them value.
Cold emails may seem easier, but investing your time and energy in building relationships with experts will pay off. They may even become link building partners in the future.
Start building rewarding relationships
So, now that you know exactly what a pre-awareness strategy is, all you need to do is put it into practice.
Unfortunately, as you’ll soon find out, it’s not as easy as it sounds. In fact, you’ll run into a lot of dead ends, where your seemingly ideal hookup partners don’t respond to your emails, or you don’t get the engagements you were expecting.
Don’t be discouraged. You are playing the long game. And provided that you approach each person with a proposal that benefits them, you will build the network and generate the exposure you need.
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