Last week, I listened to a webinar called Landing Big Links With Your Outreach, featuring Lisa Myers, founder and CEO of Verve Search. As you’d expect, I’ve listened to many, many webinars during my time at Impression but this is one that I felt I could truly resonate with, and I came away feeling inspired. The recording is now live on Linkdex and we’ve embedded it for you below too. I wanted to share with you, and comment on, some of the key takeaways.
Lisa started her talk by reiterating the fact that the industry has gone through one of its “most busy times” over the last few years, with a number of changes to Google’s algorithm changing how we do link development.
As a result, we’ve seen a huge increase in people using content marketing to generate links, and in Lisa’s words, “the internet is now overflowing with content and it’s becoming more difficult to stand out”. That’s why she recommends that we – PRs and SEOs – need to push ourselves and push the limits when it comes to content strategy.
Think big… but keep it simple
Sometimes, Lisa says, it can be a case of David and Goliath – “think smarter, not bigger“.
Having a smaller budget, or a smaller team, doesn’t mean that you’re any less likely to come up with a great idea or concept.
To support this, Lisa gave a few examples of ‘simple campaigns’ her team have done – all of which resulted in an impressive amount of coverage/links. Full details can be found in the webinar but I wanted to touch upon the fact that, in the first example, Lisa attributes some of its success to having an emotional hook that people really cared about.
“It meant that it really hit that mark of engaging with people which I think is a much safer and much longer term strategy to take. And again, it wasn’t expensive, or huge, it was just clever.”
In one of Verve Search’s campaigns for Expedia, they created a piece of interactive content where visitors can take a ‘virtual journey’ along the Flåm Railway line in Norway – using their mouse to rotate the camera to view the scenery from all angles.
Lisa explained that while they didn’t have the budget to pay for the video production and editing of the footage, they were able to collaborate with a small video production company in the UK to do the filming for free – which made a good case study for them. They also collaborated with the Flåm tourism board to help with travel and accommodation costs for the camera crew.
“You have to be willing to do serious project management and serious hustling and negotiating because that is what will get you those really high-value campaigns,” she said.
The results? Around 105 international pieces of coverage.
This is something we’re very keen on at Impression, and where possible, we even encourage our clients to collaborate. Just last year our clients Greenvision Energy and Fairview Estates joined forces to create an infographic informing landlords on how to improve their property’s EPC rating to an ‘E’ or above, ahead of the new regulations that are coming into force in 2018. Accompanied by editorial content, this was picked up by a number of industry publications.
The key to success? Your people
GRIT (passion + perseverance) – that’s the thing that Lisa believes is one of the most important mindsets to have to be able to be good at outreach. People who have GRIT are less likely to be demotivated by a lack of replies and will think of different ways to pitch the same campaign.
Lisa also stressed that you should allow people to be themselves. An example she gave is when her team are outreaching, some send very long pitches (sometimes equivalent to a couple of pages!) and some very short.
It has to coincide with your personality. I have a very broadly different outreach team. I have people who send literally hundreds of emails a day and I have people that send 20 emails a day and they get the same results. What’s important is that you give people the opportunity to come up with their own style.
In conclusion then, there is no optimum way of writing outreach emails. This is something we’d echo at Impression – we also have a varied team, all with different personalities and different writing styles and no one person have the ‘magic formula’ to outreach success (although I wish we did!).
If you enjoyed this article then check out our blog on Google Updates Link Building Guidelines for Webmasters.
Check out the full webinar here: