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6 questions to ask a campaign outreach agency

101 – 6 questions you should ask a campaign outreach agency

Thinking of using a specialist agency for your brand’s content and linking strategy? As you’ll be placing your reputation in their hands, it’s important that they not only have the right blend of skills and experience, but also that they’re a good fit with your business. Here’s a guide to choosing the right agency to bring your brand to life with campaign outreach


Producing branded content and building good quality inbound links are integral your company’s online reach and visibility.

Combining these activities – known as campaign outreach – can be a powerful way to expose your brand to relevant, highly-targeted audiences through the creation, sharing and amplification of branded content (across blogs, social media and other online publications) and develop natural inbound links to boost your search visibility.

But if, like many brands, you have limited time and resources to commit to consistently creating unique content campaigns, as well as nurturing relationships with bloggers and other influencers who’ll share it with their audiences, you may be looking to outsource to an agency.

Here are the key questions to ask prospective agencies when shopping around for campaign outreach services.

1. How much do you know about SEO (search engine optimisation) and link building?

The ultimate aim of an outreach campaign is to create inbound links to your website from the influencers who feature your content. This signals to Google that your site is relevant and useful, and helps to boost your search engine visibility, particularly when links come from high authority websites.

Being able to create content that knocks people’s socks off is important. But a strong, effective outreach campaign and link building strategy in line with your business objectives also demands a solid working knowledge of up-to-date, ethical SEO techniques.

An outreach agency should have a clear understanding of the long game and be able to take your organic search objectives into account when explaining how they can bring your brand to life through campaign activity.

Importantly, check their stance on ethical link-building practices –  it’s not necessarily a case of more is better. Google’s Panda algorithm means that websites with backlinks it deems ‘unethical’ or ‘spammy’ (for example, low quality sites that try to gain an unfair advantage through excessive or paid link building) risk penalisation in Google’s SERPs in an attempt to stop the quality of results returned from being compromised. An ethical outreach agency won’t condone the idea of ‘quantity over quality’ and understand that high risk links in your backlink profile can be detrimental to your website

Ask if they will they carry out an audit of current backlink profile to identify any high risk links in your backlink profile and gaps in strategy.

If there seems to be a disconnect between their creative enthusiasm and their SEO savviness, you should be wary.

2. How do you  identify relevant influencers, and build and maintain relationships with them?

An important stage of outreach is identifying potential bloggers and influencers to approach to become involved with the campaign. While factors such as high Domain Authority (DA) and traffic levels and are important, relevance to your target audience and your brand’s industry is absolutely vital. What tool do they use to do explore profiles and refine their search by keywords, demographics and interests, for example – GroupHigh is an example.

 A good outreach agency will align your brand’s goals with those of they approach and to develop a mutually beneficial relationship that will both maximise your brand’s exposure and cater to a blogger’s content needs. This makes thorough research to identify the most suitable individuals. They should be prepared to invest time not only in this initial research, but also in cultivating and maintaining relationships with their contacts – successful outreach is an ongoing process, not a one-off activity or transaction.

3. What’s your stance on unethical link building?

When it comes to building inbound links to boost your search rankings, it’s not necessarily a case of more is better. Google’s Panda algorithm means that websites with backlinks it deems ‘unethical’ or ‘spammy’ (for example, low quality sites that try to gain an unfair advantage through excessive or paid link building) risk penalisation in Google’s SERPs in an attempt to stop the quality of results returned from being compromised. An ethical outreach agency won’t condone the idea of ‘quantity over quality’ and understand that high risk links in your backlink profile can be detrimental to your website

Ask if they will they carry out an audit of current backlink profile to identify any high risk links in your backlink profile and gaps in strategy.


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4. How do you define success?

Success is based on a number of agency factors, such as the quality of their contacts and ability to put together a clear content strategy, without using a cookie-cutter approach.

The ability to think both creatively and strategically, as well as network of influencer relationships, are essential attributes of an effective content outreach agency. However, external factors such as your industry or sector, your specific business objectives and the competition, need to be taken into account.

You need to be confident that it can deliver solid data that demonstrates the specific results achieved that correspond to your goals, whether that’s to increase brand exposure and engagement, or to boost search engine visibility.

Make sure they can clearly explain how they will communicate the progress of your campaign, their reporting procedure, how your account will be handled.

5. What kind of outreach do you specialise in?

There are a number of strands to outreach, which can include:

  • Blogger outreach, which targets influential and relevant bloggers with a view to them featuring your content (and perhaps collaborating on its creation) and linking back to your site. If your content appears on blogs that are read by your target customers, and offers them something new and interesting, you have the opportunity to tap into a blogger’s existing community, so the brand exposure potential is huge.
  • Social outreach, which involves identifying and developing relationships with relevant and prominent social influencers, across appropriate social platforms. Social outreach enhances your content marketing strategy by distributing appropriate content to those with strong social authority, gaining their endorsement of your content and exposure to a pre-engaged audience.
  • Editorial outreach, which takes a more traditional PR approach by leveraging their connections with editors and contributors to gain you brand exposure through relevant, newsworthy press releases.

The type of outreach that’s right for your brand will depend on your industry, target audience and objectives – this is something that they should be able to advise you on.

6. What’s your track record of success?

Ask for evidence of their ability to achieve results for previous and current clients. Any good agency should be able to show you a portfolio of case studies and testimonials. Look for high quality engaging content they’ve produced for the brand in question, and how the results achieved satisfy the client’s original brief and objectives.

Ideally, an agency would have experience in your industry or vertical and of working with a budget range similar to yours. Most reputable agencies can provide a track record of results achieve in the form of case studies and testimonials from happy clients.

As the emphasis in campaign outreach is on having the right content seen by the right people at the right time – and amplifying its reach through social sharing – an agency should be able to demonstrate a full understanding of what makes a piece of content ‘sharable’, as well as how they identify and target relevant, credible blogs.


What to find out more? Download our eBook and learn the basics of link building through outreach.

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