What is Outreach Marketing? How to Create a Strategy That Will Grow Your Business

In its simplest state, outreach marketing is a form of marketing that aims to focus on human connections. This kind of marketing strategy taps into the simple psychological preference of word-of-mouth recommendations.

Most commonly, outreach marketing is used to enhance:

  • Brand Building
  • Content Promotion
  • Referral Traffic
  • Social Media Engagement
  • SEO
  • Lead Generation
  • Sales Generation

Outreach marketing is not about marketing at your customers. Instead it’s about connecting with your customers. An effective outreach strategy allows customers to make buying decisions organically.

Why Should Your Business Develop an Outreach Strategy?

The biggest benefit of outreach marketing is that it is far more powerful than other forms of marketing.

In fact, influencer marketing is 11x more powerful than other forms of digital marketing. Beyond that, 74% of people now turn to social media for purchasing guidance.

Creating an outreach strategy for your business is simple and straightforward: all you do is target the right influencers and get them to market your product or brand for you. It all plays into word-of-mouth marketing, which is based on trust.

What makes an influencer, an influencer, is the high-level of trust they have with their followings.  Tapping into that influence is a quick, easy way to boost your brand. 

Not to mention, outreach marketing is pretty cheap to utilize. Most of the time it can be done for free if you know how to play your cards right. We promise that you don’t always need to throw tons of money at an influencer to have them promote your company.

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Types of Outreach

When it comes to utilizing outreach marketing to promote your business, it can take many forms. From podcast interviews, broken links, and expert roundups, there are countless ways to reach out and market your business.

6 Opportunities for Outreach:

Guest Posts

This kind of reaching out to relevant blogs or websites to publish your content on their site. Guest posting enables you to build new relationships while exposing you to new audiences. Plus, it can be a major boost to your SEO and help you increase the ranking of your site on search engines.


Reaching out to podcasts that your customers are listening to converts listeners to visitors (and then hopefully visitors to subscribers and customers). Appearing on podcasts will build a personal connection between you, your business, and your customers. Additionally, this will usually open doors to new speaking opportunities which will only further increase your exposure.

Expert Round-Up

An expert round-up will quickly create more exposure and visibility for your brand. Reach out to the experts and influencers in your niche to gather their thoughts on a certain topic that will deliver value to your readers.

Content Promotion

Content promotion outreach is a strategy to encourage distribution of your content through paid or organic channels such as social media, influencers, etc. This will greatly increase visibility and engagement with your target audience. Not to mention, this route can generate tons of inbound links, organic web traffic, and a high chance of converting visitors into customers.

Link Building and Broken Links

Link building is reaching out to external blogs or sites to link to your site. This is a great strategy to build your SEO which will improve your organic web traffic and authority. Plus, getting links on high authority or popular blogs will easily establish trust and authority to your brand.

Influencer Product Review

This outreach opportunity relies on reaching out to influencers in your niche to get them to review your product or service. They can share this experience and their review on their blog or social media platforms. It’s a surefire strategy that will capitalize on the power of word-of-mouth recommendations. You’ll be exposed to a new audience with a high chance of attracting customers with a genuine interest in your product or service.

influencer marketing

​Above is a photo I shared with my audience after contacted by a company to review their product. For them, it was a small expense to send me a few free samples, and for me, I had a cool new gadget to share with my audience. Below are ​a sample of the responses from my followers.

outreach marketing strategy
outreach marketing strategy

Prospecting Influencers for Your Outreach Strategy

Prospecting is simply finding websites or influential people (influencers) that have clout with your target audience. The aim is to find those that you can collaborate with to generate more traffic, leads, and sales for your business. Prospecting also requires collecting influencer data such as traffic, follower count, engagement levels, contact details, etc.

Prospecting isn’t too hard once you identify your target niche and keywords, and it can be done for free using Google. All you need to do is head to Google and search for your keywords and collect data from the results that are listed. The downside to using Google for prospecting is it requires you to develop your own data organization system from scratch.

If you’re looking to simplify the prospecting part, NinjaOutreach, Moz, Ahrefs, and BuzzSumo are great tools to lend your outreach campaign a helping hand.

When you’re prospecting potential influencers to connect with, you will need to gather several points of data to evaluate their true ‘authority’. Data points to consider, include:

  • Email
  • Domain and/or Page Authority
  • Traffic Numbers
  • Alexa Rank
  • Social Authority (FollowerWonk is a great tool to use here)
  • Social Media Engagement Levels
  • Social Media Follower Count
 followerwonk example

Just a small sample of the data Followerwonk can pull from any Twitter profile. Here is an example of MailChimp's Twitter presence.

Once you have all this data organized, you can analyze your list and filter through to find prospects with the best metrics. Verify their contact information is correct and that their branding/messaging fits with your company’s voice before “finalizing” them as part of your campaign.

Creating Outreach Campaigns

Outreach campaigns come in all shapes and sizes, and an effective campaign will bring awareness and exposure to your website or brand. Getting started is easy when broken down into the basic steps.

First, define your campaign goals. What is the purpose of this campaign? What do you want to achieve? Answer those questions first before moving forward with building an outreach strategy. Your answers here will set the tone for the rest of your campaign.

Next, you’ll want to identify your target audience. Drawing up an audience profile means you’ll know exactly who you are speaking to. It’s the key to having a clear and focused outreach campaign.

Then, you’ll want to identify the right type of campaign you need to achieve your goals and reach your target audience.  There’s plenty of options for what you can do, and you can even use a combination of outreach types.

Now it’s time to identify the right influencers to reach out to. There are several great prospecting tools that can help you at this step. Regardless of which tool you’re using to identify top influencers, consider these factors:

  1. Relevancy to your brand or company’s messaging
  2. How is the engagement from their audience?
  3. What is their social reach and follower count?
  4. How authentic are they and their posts?

Finally, it’s time to plan your outreach. Many parts are involved at this stage to make a great campaign, but one of the biggest decisions is whether or not to use a template. An outreach template is the key success, but there is no one-size-fits-all solution at this point. You can, however, create a unique template for each campaign, industry, outreach type, and group of influencers.

Structuring these outreach templates is pretty straight forward. All you need is:

  •     Subject line that summarizes what your email is about.
  •     Personalization and use of your prospect’s name.
  •     A short, but sweet introduction to establish credibility.
  •     Simple, and concise body that is easily scannable.
  •     What value they will get.
  •     And a clear call-to-action on what you want them to do.
linkbuilding outreach template

Here is an example of great (and effective!!) link building outreach email Campaign Monitor sent us recently.

Next Steps

After reaching out to your prospects and influencers, you will need to do follow up to either thank them for helping or to ask again if they would be interested in collaborating.

There are various online tools you can use to help you manage your outreach and automate your follow-up emails. Most of them connect to your email service provider, usually Gmail, to easily sync your data across different platforms. Some of the most popular options again include Google Sheets, NinjaOutreach, or Boomerang for Gmail, a free add-on tool.

Now this is by no means a comprehensive guide to outreach marketing, but it is a great guide to get you started thinking! Have you thought about using influencer marketing for your business? Let’s keep up the conversation, share your experience with us in the comments!


Caitlin is an Austin-based digital marketer and writer with a passion for content. She is the newest member of the Performance Marketer team and brings years of marketing experience, as well as the best recommendations for where to go for lunch.


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