Outreach marketing: The secret sauce to increasing your leads and making more money

My newest rap song: "Mo' Outreach Marketing, Less Problems." Thanks for the inspiration, Biggie!
My newest rap song: “Mo’ Outreach Marketing, Less Problems.” Thanks for the inspiration, Biggie!

I love marketing. Seriously, I nerd out over it. On a crazy Friday night, you can find me wrapped up in books about marketing ecosystems, qualified vs. unqualified leads, and funnel optimization. Enjoy your crazy parties, and I’ll enjoy my latest strategies on decreasing cart abandonment and increasing ROI.

Much like how the award-winning design firm Digital-Telepathy says “we’re all designers,” I think we’re all marketers.

Don’t believe me? Well, Smarty-Pants, I’m about to prove you wrong…

Ever had a job interview? Yup, you’re marketing yourself to your interviewer in hopes of getting your new dream career.

Been on a date before? Uh-huh. You’re marketing your uniqueness and why the lovely lady across the dinner table should choose you over the other guys she Swiped Right. (And you’re watching how they market themselves too — in marketing lingo, you’re qualifying their lead!)

At its core, marketing isn’t just a nerd like me sitting behind a desk, crunching metrics, and loading Pivot Tables. Marketing is showing the world what we have to offer.

It can be business, like generating newsletters sign-ups for my super awesome blog so I can make money (look to the right!). Or, it can be in my personal life where I’m trying to present myself in a job interview so I get my dream career.

Marketing is EVERYWHERE. And I want to talk about a hot new marketing tactic called outreach marketing. Ready? Let’s dive in.

The hot word on the street these days is inbound marketing. Heck, there are entire awesome, profitable companies dedicated almost entirely to the inbound marketing process.

Don’t understand the words coming out of my mouth? No worries, I’ll let the almighty Wikipedia explain: “Inbound marketing refers to marketing activities that bring visitors in, rather than marketers having to go out to get prospects’ attention.”

To give examples — blogging, SEO (search engine optimization), landing pages, and social media are what you might see in an inbound marketing chain.

And I LOVE blogging, SEO, landing pages, and social media, I really do. There’s nothing like creating an awesome blog post, getting readers on an email list, and qualifying leads to see if they need marketing help. (Wink, wink!)

But as awesome as those strategies are, I have a new crush…and her name is outreach marketing.

Outreach marketing? Eh, we'll roll with it.
Outreach marketing? Eh, we’ll roll with it.

To put it simply, outreach marketing is freakin’ dope. It’s like old-school proven outbound strategy had a rendezvous with hot new inbound marketing strategy and they had a baby.

In marketing terms, outreach marketing (also sometimes known as “community outreach marketing”) is a way to reach out to influencers to support your brand. Marketing can be sleazy, with a lot of fancy words and swindling, it’s tough to know who to trust.

As the Outreach Marketer writes about, “people are wired to trust a third party recommendation more than someone talking about themselves.”

Instead of pushing the company’s shill, outreach marketing “brings consumers and people who love your brand in to your brand instead of treating them like an extension of your brand.

What a novel concept. Speaking with customers instead of at customers…hallelujah!

For me, it’s a bazillion percent true. Here are some examples of how I use outreach marketing as a buyer:

  • Before buying anything on Amazon, I check the reviews. Anything less than 4 stars? Almost definitely a pass. Next!
  • If I want to try a restaurant, I’ll check Yelp first. Low Yelp rating = prob gonna get food poisoning = no thx
  • When cool new technology or video games come out, I watch normal dudes like me play the game on YouTube. Tinfoil-hat me says I can’t fully trust big tech sites because they might have company pressure to give good reviews. Joe Schmo on YouTube is probably more honest

How about you? How do you use outreach marketing as a buyer in your own life?

Now, I know what you’re saying: “cool, David, that sounds great in theory! But how can inbound marketing actually help me as a marketer? Show me some examples, dammit!”

My response: Damn, you’re direct. I like that.

My second response: Let’s do it. Let’s dive into some examples of AWESOME outreach marketing

Outreach marketing! ...I can put this up again, right?
Outreach marketing! …we’re all cool if I put this up again, right?

Outreach Marketing Example #1 – GoPro

Have you seen GoPro’s YouTube channel?! I mean…have you SEEN GoPro’s YouTube channel!?!?!? My gosh, it’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen.

Instead of constant TV commercials about the GoPro’s cameras tech specs or some Old Corporate Guy telling me why I should buy the camera (bro, you’re 60 lbs overweight and clearly don’t do anything active), GoPro puts the camera in the hands of their customers, the customers do baller things, and then GoPro slaps their logo on the video and cross-posts it to their YouTube channel. It’s so beautifully simple I’m cackling like a crazy person.

Seriously, take a look at the video below (which has been seen 27 million times, by the way).

Compare this to the old, tired model of “company pitches directly to consumer begging them to plz plz plz buy product.”

Empowering your users is so much better. And sometimes, GoPro makes it even simpler and doesn’t even cross-upload to their channel! Search for “filmed on gopro” on YouTube and you’ll see 52,000+ videos filmed on GoPro’s camera, without any affiliation with the GoPro company.

What can you learn? How ’bout empowering your damn customers! GoPro’s strategy works because they understand the power of outreach marketing (and yes, they have a great product, but so do you!). If you’re a Design firm (oh hai again, Digital Telepathy) maybe you can ask your customers to record a short “before-and-after” web video of their previous design, new design, and any ROI they saw with a quick “built by design company xyz” three-second blurb at the end. If you sell physical products, maybe you can discount your product to social media influencers in return for a short tweet if they like the product.

The world is your oyster, friends! Now go get it!

Outreach Marketing Example #2 – HTC Vive

The HTC Vive is interesting because it was released just this month. It’s a brand-spankin’-new product with a pretty damn high price tag (799 bones — say goodbye to eating this month!) in a brand-new market consumers aren’t familiar with (virtual reality).

So what does HTC do?

Out. Reach. Marketing. BOOM!

They went to the most-viewed YouTube gamers, gave them the system, and told them to record a YouTube video. How’s that for trust?

Seriously, check out all these super popular gamers who have used the system:

What can you learn? Are you serious? I linked to three YouTubers who brought HTC 11 million views on YouTube for free!!! Just get social media influencers to shill your stuff already, weird Internet reader.

Outreach marketing: yes or yes?

Above, I walked you through what marketing is at a high-level. Then, we talked about outreach marketing. And last, I showed you two amazing examples of how companies are using outreach marketing to reach more potential customers (cheaply!) today.

The key lesson to take away is: outreach marketing can help you MASSIVELY.

On a budget? A large company? In design? Consumer goods? It doesn’t matter — it can help.

Sound the alarms! Sound the alarms! Marketing outreach fanboy spotted!
Sound the alarms! Sound the alarms! Marketing outreach fanboy spotted!

To get you started, here are some questions you can ask:

  • Who are your influencers for your product or service?
  • How can you empower them to show your product to other potential customers?
  • How can you give them freedom to create something amazing and unique for your potential customers?

Remember, marketing isn’t about being sleazy or deceptive. It’s about showing the world what we have to offer.*

QoD: How can you use outreach marketing in your own business?

* Yeah, yeah, I know I’m simplifying the process and leaving out qualifying leads, optimizing funnels, and more intermediate-to-advanced strategies…that’s for another time.

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