What is outreach marketing anyway?

@Kristen Matthews | GroupHigh

Outreach marketing aims to take marketing back to its roots and focuses on a human to human connection and the basics of consumer psychology. It’s a philosophy that aims to fix the damage and confusion that all of the buzzwords have caused and bring marketing back to a simple level and the fact that it’s as simple as connection with your consumers instead of a process of marketing at them.

If we develop a strategy that looks to how humans have always wanted to learn about and hear about new things, our marketing and digital PR will be so much better for it.

Here are the nine principals of outreach marketing that will help you create passionate word of mouth recommendations for your brand.

1. People are wired to trust a third party recommendation more than someone talking about themselves. Whether it’s a guy at a cocktail party trying to promote himself for a date or a brand trying to convince a consumer that they are the best—it’s all the same.

Actionable Tip: Reach out to bloggers who write about the niche your brand falls in to and ask if they want to do a product review. Send them something for free, don’t require a post and see if it elicits an authentic mention in a post.

2. Outreach marketing is all about reaching out to the right people at the right time to help you tell your brand’s story. This can include anyone from individuals with a large social presence who fit snugly within your brand’s niche to the uber happy consumer who takes it upon herself to tell everyone how much she loves your product.

Actionable Tip: Picture your brand with a sphere around it. Inside of your brand sphere, are a ton of people interacting with, talking about or fit in with your brand in some form or another. Make sure you have a way of identifying who is already talking about your brand and communicate with all of them.

3. A giant piece of outreach marketing is bringing consumers and people who love your brand in to your brand instead of treating them like an extension of your brand.

Actionable Tip: Have a list of your biggest brand fans and make sure you keep in communication with them. Email them updates and ask for their opinions. Periodically send them free t-shirts and brand products. Want to take it a step further? Send them something on their birthdays!

4. Outreach marketing ditches the campaign model (in the traditional sense of the words) and embraces ongoing relationships and owning those relationships instead of outsourcing marketing and PR efforts for a “one and done” strategy. 

Actionable Tip: Reach out to new people who have an affinity for your brand but focus just as much time, if not more, on the people you already have that love your brand and foster those relationships.

5. This type of marketing has a strong focus on authenticity and relevance as opposed to number of followers and numerical qualifiers. Things like SEO, rank, social presence and followers all fall in to place as a result of authentic marketing and brand recommendations. 

Actionable Tip: When finding new people to reach out to don’t focus only on reach look at their content, how much they engage with their audience and how authentic their posts are.

6. Outreach marketing involves a quest for the creative ways and people to tell your brand’s story. It looks outside the box to all sorts of people with different perspectives.

Actionable Tip: Interview an employee of your brand who has nothing to do with marketing. Write a fun story about the CEO or interview the farmer who grows the produce you use in your desserts or the fashion designer who makes your jeans.

7. Outreach marketing is about real relationships. Which, put simply, is taking in to careful consideration mutually beneficial relationships. Meaning marketers take care of their advocates and influencers and don’t hesitate to incentivize and reward them for their help. 

Actionable Tip: Don’t let a brand shout out go unnoticed. Whether you send a package in the mail or you thank them on Twitter.

8. Outreach marketing takes in to consideration strategies that span the entire digital realm and non-digital world where people still have conversations about brand and products. When implementing a digital strategy, outreach marketing involves a plan that embraces multiple channels through one person. Or what we at GroupHigh here like to call the one-to-one-to many concept.

Actionable Tip: Bloggers are a great springboard because they can be searched for contextually and more information can be gathered from a blog which makes for an easier and more effective pitching process.

9. Outreach marketing embraces the fact that we live in a grey world and marketing is no exception. This strategy hesitates to draw black and white lines and follow sets of rules.  

Actionable Tip: Trust your gut and if something feels right for your strategy even though you read somewhere “not to ever do xy or z” do it anyway and see what happens!