To position an outbound marketing program for maximum ROI, strategic planning and set-up is essential before the execution phase.
- Start with a clear definition of your client’s goals and budget.
- Identify audience segments and channels where they live.
- Conduct an audit for keywords, phrases, hashtags, competition and thought leaders by vertical.
- Initiate an ongoing listening system for content farming and social signals that uncover opportunistic engagement (or mitigation).
- Optimize or build social assets (channels, branding, SEO, PPC, etc.).
- Finally, consider a UX review and content audit of an existing landing page to optimize conversions.
This is not meant to be an all-inclusive list, but during this infrastructure-building initiation phase, consider up-front what tools you plan to use to accelerate results and data collection.
There are a vast number of tools to choose from for a variety of uses, but I want to showcase one that I’m sure you’ve heard of in the past few weeks from WSJ to TechCrunch. Little Bird by Portland’s Marshall Kirkpatrick is in beta, and I was intrigued by Joe Chernov’s post in CMI to review it for myself.
Little Bird produces a mashup of top influencers and experts on any subject based on Twitter engagement. Some are well-known and others, not so much. This is where it gets interesting. Little Bird slices and dices these “Insiders” in some novel and meaningful data sets.
Joe wrote through the lens of content marketing and identifying affiliate topics. My POV here is on selecting a tool to create a more robust outbound marketing program.
Start by entering your report topic. I selected an existing report: Startups (a highly relevant topic for Portland). Then enter a portal to a marketer’s nirvana. Rather than making this a run-down of the application, I’ll hone in on some intel that especially pops off the site as opportunity.
Insiders Most Followed by Topic Insiders (read: topic influencers who are followed by the most influencers of that topic).
The leaders are no surprise, but as Joe mentioned for mining content, the payola is discovery of lesser known but relevant topic experts. In outbound marketing, the opportunity is additional audience segments. As you navigate further down the list, the more topical nuance you will find that can lead you (and your client) into divergent but related pockets.
I give the next report a full-on +10: New Accounts Followed by Insiders, or emerging leaders. Get in on the ground floor and ride up the influencer rail together. It’s easier to build sustaining relationships at this stage. Can your client’s brand offer reciprocity to a rising star?
Most Active Accounts – you know if you connect with these heavy hitters that your client’s reach and impressions will spike. Review the tweet stream for relevance and tone to ensure it’s a good match or complement to the brand you represent.
Next, I left the Insiders page and from a drop-down menu, found other enticing feeds.
Hot News reports on what Insiders/Influencers are reading. This can be used to educate the marketing program’s community manager on language, trends and information sources to engage authentically. Are there hashtags your client’s brand can adopt to work into, and be discovered by new communities?
What the Experts are Sharing: similar to “reading” above but rung up a notch; this content is relevant or provocative enough to share, and likely with a thought leader comment.
Top Blogs by Inbound Links not only opens doors to new verticals, but offers a ready-made list of SEO-rich links. Consider embedding in website and YouTube content.
Spend some time doing your own analysis of Little Bird – how else would you use this as a tool for outbound marketing?