Influencer outreach is all about building positive, long-term relationships with bloggers and journalists. Long gone are the days of sending out a ‘Dear nameless’ email to the world and beyond, expecting your press release to lead to something.
Building up contacts and working on outreach takes time. But once you’ve gone to all that effort to gather direct email addresses, topic interests and submission instructions, you need to make sure that your contact details are secure and well-organized.
So here’s where an influencer outreach funnel comes in. Using a MeisterTask project board you can visually display all of your contacts in one place, then organize, filter and tag contacts depending on their interests, accessibility and relationship with your company.
So without further ado, here’s some insight into how we organize our contacts and influencer outreach at MeisterLabs.
Setting Up The Funnel
Once we’ve created a new project on MeisterTask and named it (creatively) PR Funnel, we start setting up the different sections, categorizing our contacts by our existing relationship with them.
The sections in our PR Funnel include:
- Potential lead = someone who’s written about topics related to our tools previously
- In contact = we’re currently communicating with them about an article
- Due to write = they already have an article about us in progress
- Wrote about us = unsurprisingly, they’ve written about us previously
- Ambassador / friend = they’re an advocate for the tool and write about us without us asking them to
- General news / tips / submissions = details for submissions to columns, blogs, OpEds etc.
Turning Your Contacts Into Tasks
The next step is to start filling out your funnel so we can use it for influencer outreach.
We begin by adding new contacts to the ‘potential lead’ section unless we’ve already gotten in touch with them.
We then add all of the relevant details to each contact, as a reminder to ourselves and to make sure that the rest of our team are on the same page. These details include:
- Task Title = contact name and publication if appropriate
- Notes = email address, short author bio including details of what they like to write about, information on how to pitch and relevant links e.g. where they’ve previously mentioned us
- Tag = tags can be used to filter contacts by topic (e.g. education, productivity, startups), language spoken (EN, DE) and product which they are or could be interested in (if you have multiple products)
- Assignee = potential leads can be unassigned but if a specific team member is already in touch, make sure to assign the task to them so that other members of your team won’t cross wires
- Checklist = use a predefined checklist to ensure you follow the necessary steps to build a relationship with the person (more on this checklist later) or pitch an article.
You can easily move contacts between the sections as your relationship with them changes. For example, if a potential lead writes an article about you, you would move them into the have written section. Or if the lead mentions you a few more times in their articles, praising your product and stating that they use it regularly, perhaps it’s time to move them into the Ambassador section.
Grow Your Influencer Outreach
It goes without saying that it’s always great to reach out to new contacts and build new relationships with journalists and bloggers.
In order to reach out to new contacts, we use our potential lead and general submission sections.
There are many ways to find potential leads. One way is by reading articles about other companies in the same sector, or posts on similar topics to our product area and/or content focus. We then have a look at who wrote the article to see if the author could be interested in writing a piece about our company or product as well.
At MeisterLabs we have five steps that we follow when doing influencer outreach, so we include these as a predefined checklist within each contact task. You can set this up in your project settings.
Our checklist includes:
- Following on Twitter
- Favoriting and retweeting 3 of their tweets
- Commenting on 2 of their articles
- Reaching out via email
- Following up via email if we don’t receive a response.
We also tag our contacts by which of our products, if either, they’ve previously written about, so we’re able to reach out about our second product too, asking if they’d like to try it.
Offer exclusives! We’ve created a Top 10 tag in our funnel to categorize the contacts we gain best coverage with. This means that when we have a large story to pitch, we’re able to filter by the Top 10 tag and target these contacts, or perhaps just one contact in order to offer an exclusive.
In our experience, this sort of targeted influencer outreach works a lot better than sending out blind emails and potentially ending up in someone’s junk folder.
So there’s a bit of insight into how we conduct infuencer outreach here at MeisterLabs with a PR funnel to organize our contacts and plan our future outreach, using MeisterTask.
As always, feel free to ask questions and let us know how you get on in the comments below.