distribution and promotion of your content is essential not only after the content is created but before and during as well. To quote the knowledgeable Larry Kim, “If your content doesn’t show up in users social media timelines or email inbox, was it even created?” You should constantly be active in online communities and touching base with recipients of your email list. With the shrinking world of organic reach via social media platforms, you’re well aware of the “pay to play” nature of the space. But, there’s another aspect of content promotion that is vital to success in distribution. You need a tactic that better increases your chances of showing up the ever-important user social media timeline or email inbox.

Content Outreach & Link Development

Algorithm changes by Google as far back as 2013 began to target low-quality links and put emphasis on high quality, natural linking strategies. While this did translate into a higher quality user experience, generating quality links takes a lot of manual work on the part of the marketer. The process involves prospecting, building relationships, creating valuable content, and then ultimately securing the link.

A Look At The Statistics

When your outreach involves building relationships with influencers in your industry, you set your content up for maximum growth potential. The experts in synthesizing and making sense of millions of pieces at content, BuzzSumo’s team found the following when it comes to influencer impact on content visibility. [caption id="attachment_2895" align="aligncenter" width="599"]Influencers and content shares Image Courtesy of BuzzSumo[/caption] From the above graph, you can clearly see the near exponential impact that influencers have on content shares.

Tools Of The Trade

To perform content outreach and link development, you need to flex both your technical and interpersonal skill set. Specifically, you need the right tools and the right approach to fostering relationships.

The Best Link Development & Prospecting Tool

It’s worth restating that the process of link development is intensive. But, there are tools available to make the job much more efficient. My favorite tool for performing link prospecting and outreach is BuzzStream. With BuzzStream, you can keep track of prospects, link building, and outreach all in one place. The tool offers capabilities to prospect links and efficiently perform outreach. You can find an excellent video tutorial that walks through using BuzzStream for link prospecting on YouTube. There’s also a great comprehensive walk-through of using BuzzStream for outreach on the Point Blank SEO blog. But just as with holistic content promotion, there’s more to outreach than simply using a tool. 

How to Reach Influencers & Bloggers For Link Development

There are many tools that are available to help you find email addresses and reach these influencers, bloggers, and journalists. One tool that can drastically reduce the time spent on building a list and finding an email address for those connections is Voila Norbert. With Norbert, all you need is a prospects name and company domain and in return you get a verified email address. Finding accurate and reliable emails can be a lot easier with tools like this. Now that you have their email address you’ll need to reach out to them.

Tips for Reaching Out to Build Links to Content

When doing outreach to publishers, you need to be aware they potentially get 50+ emails in a day asking about collaborations, adding links to a post etc. You need to connect with bloggers, journalists, and people in general in a meaningful way so that your email gets opened and you can start a conversation. The goal in building these relationships should be rooted in a genuine desire to connect with like-minded individuals. The auxiliary benefit of these relationships is the potential to cross-promote each other’s content since you have a similar audience, which will increase linking root domains and ultimately increase search engine rankings. Some tips to keep in mind as you reach out to these individuals include:
  • Keep your email short and to the point. Here is an example of a template to use for outreach:

Hello [Name],

My name is [first name] and I’ve really enjoyed reading your post [title and link to their post].

I work with [name of company], who specializes in [brief description of what you do]. We

recently wrote [title and link to your blog post] and think it could provide great value to your viewers.

I would love to help promote this blog post through my social channels as a thank you.

Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with, [first name].



  • The content you’re providing needs to be relevant and useful to their audience. Don’t pitch a resource on the perfect throw blankets for the beach for a post that is about the best hot chocolate to go to on your next ski trip.
  • Make sure the author will be able to naturally fit your link into the post with the least amount of adjustment.
  • Offer to help promote the content through your company’s social channels
  • Only follow up once or twice at most

Adopt A Holistic Approach

In order to effectively carry out your content marketing efforts, you must include outreach and link development alongside your existing promotion strategies. Have these approaches helped you reach your content marketing goals? We’d love to hear about it in the comments.]]>

Greg is the founder and CEO of Stryde and a seasoned digital marketer who has worked with thousands of businesses, large and small, to generate more revenue via online marketing strategy and execution. Greg has written hundreds of blog posts as well as spoken at many events about online marketing strategy. You can follow Greg on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.