How to Set Up an Effective Outreach Campaign with Gareth Simpson @SimpsonGareth #vcbuzz

How to Set Up an Effective Outraeach Campaign with Gareth Simpson @SimpsonGareth“Build it and they will come” tactic doesn’t really work, unless you “built it” on already well-discussed well-known brand.

To get people talk about and link to your content, you need a carefully-set up outreach campaign for each of your assets.

Let’s discuss how to do that!

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About @SimpsonGareth

@SimpsonGareth is co-Founder of outreach agency @SeekerDigital

@SimpsonGareth is also running an advanced outreach and link building training course at @BrightonSEO in April 2019

Connect to Gareth on Linkedin

Questions we discussed

Q1 How did you become a digital marketer? Please share your career story!

I first started doing SEO back in 2005 when my father handed me one of the only books around on ‘internet marketing’ — he said ‘this SEO thing is going to be big’, guess he was right 🙂

I started my career in IT. I was a network engineer then transitioned to the web industry. SEO was a natural fit with its focus on data, networks, and systems. I also liked the fact that I got to work with the more visible elements of a brand.

I’m fascinated by complex systems, SEO allows me to build and interrogate systems whilst also satisfying my entrepreneurial side.

Q2 How to set up a successful link acquisition outreach campaign (step-by-step)?

First, identify your objectives. Look at your goals and what you want to achieve with your outreach campaign: think about volume, types of coverage, team setup, budget, timelines. Bad planning is planning to fail in outreach.

Look at search data to help you ID outreach target pages. I like to do a competitor gap analysis to figure out how much outreach we’re going to need in order to close the gap. Look for pages that are going to be easy to push up & pages that drive conversions.

Profile the types of sites you want to get on: think about what you need to do to get onto those sites. Create a seed prospect list and grow from there. Tier your outreach prospects and organise by theme & location.

Run an ideation session to get to grips with the target pages and identify any niche crossover. People don’t think broadly enough when it comes to outreach: be creative. Find all the different angles you could use and identify your outreach value proposition.

Choose your channels for pitching. Email is good, but social media is also another great relationship-building building channel for outreach. Try to break the mould and do something different like your subject line or using GIFs.

Yeah it’s surprising how bad most pitches are! The biggest mistakes I see are being too selfish (no value) and not being legit, like you say.

Pitching is essential for a great link outreach campaign. Put a lot of effort into creating super targeted, high-quality pitches. Know what they want to hear, then deliver on that.

Follow ups are important, but focus on building a relationship, not just bugging people and asking for a link. This has to be about value. Campaign lifecycles can be long, so be patient and be ready to pivot.

Q3 What are common outreach mistakes and how to avoid them?

Bad data and targeting: you lose 100% of the pitches you make to the wrong people. Find the best person to speak to before you waste your time. Get the data pipeline sorted.

An unclear value proposition will confuse people (and not having one is a big turnoff). Be clear on what you’re offering & why. We actually wrote about this recently 😉

Bad reporting and not being clear on outcomes make for a bad client experience. Not getting buy-in from clients sucks. Build good systems and use clear communication from day one. Constantly communicate value and use data to justify outreach efforts.

Being too selfish: don’t fixate on the links. Losing sight of the human aspect of this work is dangerous. Listen and be genuine

In outreach, I find people aren’t being strategic enough when it comes to reading a situation. Zoom in on outreach convos to see what’s going on. Even if it’s not going your way, cultivate vision & you’ll find a route in with a 2nd approach. Don’t give up!

Q4 How to develop relationships with your linking prospects?

Links come from good karma! Think about how you can help other people achieve their goals. Offer something in return, or find out what makes them tick.

Have empathy for their position. Don’t just push a one-sided agenda. See if you can change what you’re offering to better suit the site at hand. Change your pitch as the conversation evolves if you need to.

Show up on their radar before you show up in their inbox!

Depends on the site and prospect. Mirror their language and keep it direct but friendly. If you have done your prospecting right, your pitch should be bang on the money for them. Show up on their radar before you show up in their inbox.

Let’s stop with the link building stigma! The web is built on links, they are a channel in their own right, (called ‘Referral’ in Google Analytics). It’s ok to ask for a link 😉

Q5 What are your favorite link building outreach tools?

For the logistics of outreach, I just love – it’s got everything you need in one tool. The recent integration has been a game changer for us as we automate the data heavy lifting.

For data, I like : it is a data powerhouse for link profiling. And it integrates with .

. is great for influencer and content marketing – it’s also a great campaign ideation tool. looks cool.

There are also some classic tools like which are super powerful.

However: tools are there to HELP with outreach and build relationships that might then lead to links: they WON’T do your link building for you. You can still do great outreach with an email client, a spreadsheet + Google search.

This is a tough one! If I had to choose one, well you can’t do much without good data so it would have to be for me. It offers the most bang for buck imo.

Our previous link building chats:


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