Not every business has a massive outreach market.
If you work in B2B content marketing or feel like you’re recycling the same topics year over year, our recent Content & Links episode explains how we solve for this problem. We share tips that don’t focus on trying to “go viral” or hit themes that don’t relate back to your brand.
Today we’re going to talk about what you should do if you are in a small outreach market. We have clients that come to us that serve very niche industries. And if we’re trying to brainstorm a link building campaign for them, we’ve found that they might’ve hit a wall really quickly because their industry and the types of publications that they want to be placed in is very few and far between.
So there’s two challenges to this:
- The topics that are on brand for your business are very small. So you’re just limited in the type of variety of content you can create. An example of this might be, if you’re an auto insurance provider, you feel like you’ve already exhausted topics around driving safety.
- Another example is that if you’re in a really niche like B2B or trade based industry, like construction, the trade publications in your industry is also really small.
Maybe there’s only three to five relevant publications that cover your industry consistently, and you don’t really want to exhaust those publications month over month. Also getting the same links from those same domains month over month isn’t super valuable in Google’s eyes either.
I’m going to walk you through some tips on how we address a small outreach market with a client so that we can keep a healthy monthly link campaign going.
Tip #1: Broad vs. Niche Topics
The first step that I recommend is figuring out what broad topics are on brand for your business and what are the niche topics that you also want to discuss.
Then figure out a content plan to address both an example that I’ve referenced in the past with training is Procore they’re in the construction software industry and you’ll see on their blog that they do a good job of mixing in broad topics that are still relevant to their audience.
In addition to really niche topics that their customers are gonna want to learn about too. One example of, of broad post on Procore’s site is that is a mentorship article that I saw. They’re usually marketing to the C-suite or higher level management. If [a reader is] in that management level position, they might be interested in learning about how to be a mentor or how to find mentees.
And Procore will spin it as it relates to construction, but it’s still a much broader topic that if done well, they could even build some links to it potentially outside of their construction market.
An example of a really niche article is an article on job site safety analysis. That is very specific to their industry. They’re probably, if they do try to link build to it, only going to get a few links to it for people in the construction industry who really care about that topic.
My advice would be look to your audience and figure out what are the broad topics that they could be interested in that still makes sense for you to talk about. And then what are the industry specific topics that you also need to tackle and understand that you can have that two pronged content approach on your blog if done well and organized.
Tip #2: Hit Multiple Outreach Markets
The next tip I have is to expand your broad content into as many outreach markets as possible to get as much link leverage as possible. If you’re going that broad topic approach, then look to see how that piece of content can hit as many markets as possible, because if you’re going to go broad might as well get as much potential out of that one piece of content as you possibly can.
My colleague Vince has a really great article and corresponding video on just this, about how you can map one piece of content to multiple outreach markets. In summary of that video, look to how you can create content that’s still on brand makes sense to the audiences that you’re pitching and get links out of just one piece of content.
Whereas if you were just pitching one piece of content, that’s geared towards just one audience, you might exhaust that audience really quickly.
An example of this is if you go to Lawn Love, which is a landscape design and lawn mowing company, they have a blog and they have a couple of different posts that are trying out this multiple outreach market attempt.
One example is their post on the best gardening zones or what are gardening zones. This could go a few different angles for them. You could pitch gardening blogs, you could pitch sustainability bloggers. You have a little bit of leeway amongst the different markets.
Another one that I found was top parks in the U.S. post. That’s a little bit broader related to outdoor and hiking blogs. You could even do some mention outreach to those different parks that you highlight.
I would say Lawn Love still has a lot to learn in terms of what content is linkable, because I don’t think these articles as they stand work well for outreach, but you can see at least from a topic and brainstorming level, the potential to pitch it to a couple of different markets.
Tip #3: Prioritize Largest Link Earner
My next tip is to focus your broad content on the largest link earning potential. So we have talked about the potential for content to earn passive links over time. And that is a huge goldmine for clients, especially if they are in very niche or small outreach markets.
If you can focus on topics that you still have confidence that you can rank for that have that passive link potential, make those pieces of content as early in the process as possible. Because once they start ranking in the top three, you’re going to see that people are going to passively link to that and build that pipeline for you over time.
So that in months two and onward, you can rely on the work that you did in month one that’s earning those passive links and then do the harder active outreach in other months and have at least a good foundation built with that broader high ranking passive link topic.
Tip #4: Adjust Cost Per Link
My final tip is to understand your cost per link. When it comes to your small niche outreach market versus your broader topics.
We have clients come to us sometimes and they want to change up the outreach strategy and the types of markets they go for halfway through the contract, and that’s totally fine. But then we have to communicate to the client that, look, your cost per link may change based on this strategy.
So at a high level, your niche topics that are very on brand, very focused on your industry are likely going to get fewer links. That may be okay, actually, if your cost per link is $800 or greater, but the links that you’re getting from that publication are super high value. So you’re willing to make that investment there.
If you are creating broader topics that are still on brand, but maybe less tied to your product line, you’re able to get a lot more volume on that side and your cost per link is going to be lower.
Plan where you have two different cost per links, one that’s maybe in the $800 or greater range, one that’s in the $400 or lower range. Then you can still compare topics within a broad or a niche audience to see what’s successful versus just setting a blanket cost per link across all content.