Sunday, February 19

How to Handle Your Own Outreach as a Small Business

This is Max from Anderson Transport Edinburgh. Outreach is one aspect of online marketing that we've really struggled with since deciding to amp up our online presence. We know that people have to be talking about you online if you want to create a buzz around your business, so we've always understood the importance of outreach. Firstly, we tried to outsource it to an agency, but found that they weren't really representing our business in a way that we thought was reflective of how we operate. So we decided to do it ourselves! The only problem that we faced was that the agency had created all of the content that they were using for outreach, and we didn't have the same resources to create similar content. The type of content that they were creating were large guides and informational pieces which not only took hours to produce, but also cost money to research properly. Luckily, we found a type of content that we could produce quickly and for free. 

Infographics are so 2013, or so we were told by the agency when we asked them if they would ever want to use them as part of their outreach strategy. But after we dropped them, we decided that we would try to produce our own and use it for our own outreach efforts. We found a free online tool that allowed us to quickly produce an infographic for free, all we had to do was decide what to create the infographic about!

Whenever we're planning a website change, we always consult the Google Keyword Planner to ensure that any changes made to the site will match up with the keywords that are relevant to our business. If you're a business owner who has never used this tool then you're missing a trick! Not only is it completely free, but it can help you to learn about how people find your business online.

However, we decided that we wanted to use the data from the keyword planner to help us create an infographic which we could use for outreach purposes. We searched for keywords related to the services that we provide (like 'removals' and 'man and van'), and took note of how many people in the UK were searching for these services every month. We then organised this information into an attractive infographic, which we designed ourselves using the free tool Venngage.

It's definitely not a masterpiece, but it's something that we were able to put together in a matter of hours with a free tool and free information from Google. We then looked to see where we could promote the infographic, and the obvious place to start was Reddit, where these types of informational content pieces tend to perform very well. We quickly generated a few hundred views and lots of positive feedback.

We then looked for news websites and blogs in our niche, where we could promote our content. Using simple Google searches like 'removals news', we quickly found a good list to send our infographic to. The email wasn't too complicated, we simply told them what we had and asked if they'd be interested in using it for their site. To our delight, many of them did.

Companies will pay thousands for agencies to create and promote content for them, and it's understandable. The entire process can be very daunting. But hopefully we've proven that you can handle outreach yourself and still get good results without paying lots!

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