YouTube outreach and how it can be used to build your link profile 

Three billion.

Three billion YouTube searches a month.

We know what you’re thinking: That’s a lot of cat videos, right?

Cats aside, YouTube is the second most popular search engine (behind Google). Users are increasingly thinking video-first when it comes to everything – clothes, recipes, sports results, etc.

The rise of the vlogger should come as a surprise to no one. The heavyweights of Zoella and co. – along with the thousands of micro-influencers using the channel – stand testament to this. The benefits of having high-quality influencers talking about your brand are obvious – exposure, advocacy, more sales! – but we’re here to tell you that YouTube offers benefits for your link profile too!

Link building is a must for brands looking to last the fight in the competitive digital sphere. In simple terms, link building can be defined as the pursuit and creation of links on other sites linking back to your website. Good links though.

How do you define ‘good links’? Good question. The chief metric for this is widely known as flow, and this ‘flow’ comes in two forms: Trust and Citation.

Trust flow is basically the value of your site on account of the value of other sites that link to it (in other words, value). Citation flow is the value of your site on account of how many sites link to it (in other words, volume).

There are two types of links – follow and nofollow. Follow links basically pass on their weight as links to the sites they are linking to – specifically, they pass on what is dubbed ‘link juice’. Any way in which you can get these types of links to point back to your own website is a win. 

A nofollow link is just the opposite. It literally tells Google not to ‘follow’ that link. This can be defined more specifically as instructing Google that you wouldn’t like to pass on your link’s juice to the site you are linking to. This can be for a number of reasons. This is handy in situations where a page links to something that has spammy elements to it, for example.

Similar to word of mouth marketing, no follow links are still really important. Keeping a balance between both follow and no follow links to create a natural link profile in the eyes of Google – this is key (always assume Google is smarter than you give it credit). In addition, a nofollow link can lead as much valuable traffic to your site to a follow link – and in turn, valuable traffic can then lead to more follow links in the future. Are you following?

It’s at this juncture that YouTube steps into play. Every link from YouTube content is nofollow. No ifs, no buts.

Outreach is largely based around building authority. Gaining links (ideally follow links) from trusted influencers whose audience will find value in your brand and drive traffic to your site. Using YouTube outreach for exposure is clearly a great way to get eyes on your brand – almost five billion videos are watched on YouTube every single day.

Combine this with the fact that any links included within YouTube content/descriptions are nofollow (to reiterate for those at the back: very important) and it’s clear that making video a big part of your outreach strategy is a no-brainer!

So, make YouTube part of your outreach strategy and don’t shy away from putting it down as part of your link-building activity. 

In a modern world that’s driven by social media channels, influencers have become a marketing staple. Almost every company with their head screwed on is using this tool to grow their business. With some influencers achieving followers into the millions, it’s a no-brainer that getting endorsement from an influencer is a good idea. However, what is lesser-known (and far more effective) is micro-influencers. Here’s why.

A few years ago, the only people that marketed products on social media were celebrity demi-gods like Rihanna and the Kardashians. This was when the concept of ‘the influencer’ was completely fresh and therefore, very effective. The idea that Rihanna would willingly promote a product on her personal social media account made people believe that it was worth buying. However, this changed fast. 

Soon enough, marketing products over social media became the ‘in-thing’ for brands. This led to lesser-known celebrities and social media personalities transforming themselves into influencers overnight. This effect has spread its way across social media to the point where influencer marketing has become mainstream. Any users with six figure followings can now pack in the 9-to-5 job to become an outright influencer. Whilst this is great for them, it presents a problem to brands.   

Unless you’re prepared to enter into a brand-to-brand style relationship,  mega-influencers – or even bigger influencers – are no longer accessible. Influencers (like any other avenue of marketing) require payment, otherwise known as ‘paid partnerships’. If you’re a multi-million pound brand with an enormous marketing budget, this isn’t an issue. However, if you’re an SME (like the other 99.9% of companies in the UK) it really is. Unless, of course, you opt for micro-influencers.

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“In a modern world that’s driven by social media channels, influencers have become a marketing staple. Almost every company with their head screwed on is using this tool to grow their business.”

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Generally, users believe that micro-influencers are being genuine with their opinion or review. This makes sense: unlike mega influencers, there isn’t a massive wodge of dough to have their mind made up for them. For this reason, micro-influencers command a more committed following than big influencers and this is extremely valuable for brands.

The followers of micro-influencers are an extremely valuable resource. If you consider the fact that 82% of consumers would follow a recommendation by a micro-influencer, this value becomes clear. Let’s say you send 50 products to 50 micro-influencers with 250,000 followers combined – your product could be recommended to 205,000 people. Take your budget into account as well and the benefits become even clearer. Why? Because micro-influencers work for free. 

This all seems very clever, doesn’t it? Well, you would think so. However, many brands are yet to recognise the effects that micro-influencers can have on their business. We’re not sure why this is but what we can be sure that it won’t stay that way for much longer. The fact that micro-influencers are accessible, cost-effective, reach specific audiences and are trusted by them, is too obvious to stay a secret. Our advice is to strike while the iron is hot before everyone else has caught on.

Thinking about running an effective outreach campaign? Outreach is simply the process of selecting influencing people to tell your brand’s story in their own words. But how does one maximise their outreach campaign? Fear not! We have five easy steps you need to follow (you can thank us later):

  1. Define your purpose: Every outreach project starts with the same question: What’s our aim here? Link building? Awareness? Conversions? We get it, it is a little daunting – but, it doesn’t have to be hard. Are you looking to raise awareness or change perception? Are you just looking for promotion or do you want to educate prospective customers about your project? Work this out sooner rather than later.

 

  1. Identify your target audience: The first task you must complete is to identify your target audience. Creating a customer profile is key. Knowing their age group, gender, interests and social media platforms of choice will allow you to shape your campaign so that you best target these people with your outreach. The most important of these to identify is which social channel they use the most and how much time they spend on it. Knowing this will allow you to find the right influencers with the right content to engage your target audience.

 

  1. Audience engagement: Design a strategy that uses various digital channels to spread awareness of your brand. But be smart! Nearly all digital channels used for outreach will have an analytics tool allowing you to track influencers and engagement with your brand. Rank the channels from most to least in terms of customer engagement so you know where to focus your efforts to yield the best results.

 

  1. Research: Research is key! Finding influencers who speak to your target audience is the first step. Be vigilant! More influencers than you think buy followers, a big no-no. Prioritise engagement over follower. Work out what you are willing to pay per engagement and the most cost-effective way to achieve this. For example, it may be cheaper to give out a one-time 100% discount code so that they can order through your normal delivery network rather than sending them a product separately. Also, keep an eye on how long an influencer has been active: the longer, the better!

 

  1. Overall planning: Remember to go with the flow! Work of this type is time consuming and requires a good amount of patience. Identifying and contacting influencers is no small task. Keeping at it and not giving up is the way to go. When contacting influencers, customisation is important. If you send them a customised message showing that you know about their channel, they are more likely to reciprocate this individual touch when posting about your brand, making your campaign seem more authentic, as if they came across your product by chance. Cutting corners in this area will significantly reduce the results of your campaign.

The most basic concept behind outreach is getting the right people to talk about your brand. As long as you put in the research from the off, your campaign could really take off and showcase your brand to previously-untapped audiences. However, at the end of the day, it’s important to remain flexible – no overly forced messages, no unreasonable time constraints – and keep things fun!

One of the best ways for brands and influencers to connect is through a blogger brand ambassador program. It’s a collaborative agreement where you hire an influencer to promote your content, in order to ensure advocacy. As your brand will be connected to influencers, this creates more trusted advocacy, so your brand’s message will spread more significantly.

Keep reading to learn about the steps to creating a successful blogger ambassador program.

  1. Identify the relevant bloggers in your niche

A modern brand ambassador is a real person, someone with an authentic connection to the brand. They used to be high profile people paid to align themselves with the brand, but now it’s more important to find micro-influencers who genuinely love the brand. You must identify the right influencer, who is interested in your niche and has an incentive to work with your brand, such as receiving compensation for recommending a product. Create a win-win situation where both sides gain value.

  1. Clearly define your goals

Know your goals from the start. The quickest way to fail is not understanding your brand’s objectives. If you don’t have a grasp of your core message, then how can your ambassadors? It’s essential that your ambassadors know exactly what your brand is trying to achieve. Once you know your core message, it’s easier to find the relevant bloggers you need and create ideas for specific purposes. For example, some of your ambassadors could be working on brand awareness, while others work on promoting your products. Knowing your goals helps you build a better strategy.

  1. Build the structure of your ambassador programme

Make sure your ambassador programme has a clear structure, complete with milestones, benefits, goals and rules. Having a code of conduct for your ambassador programme will help your ambassadors understand your ideal strategy, but it should make them feel empowered to act independently. You should let your ambassadors know where you want your brand to be promoted, so they don’t publicise in places you don’t feel comfortable with. Also, you need to decide whether your programme is going to be exclusive or inclusive.

  1. Ensure success

Once you have laid the groundwork for your program, you need to ensure long-term success. You need to keep your program exciting, with the ultimate goal of building a community and creating meaning around your brand. The best ways to do this is by keeping your ambassadors engaged. Give them opportunities, like access to private events. Be sure to set up a page on your site dedicated to your ambassadors. Always find new ways of giving your ambassadors value and recognise their achievements.

When we think of influencers, we immediately think of famous names with huge fan bases. But marketers looking to connect with social influencers as a means to promote a product or service, should recognise that partnering with influencers who have a modest following, can drive more effective results.

Marketers should look beyond the size of a following and instead focus on micro-influencers, who have a niche influence and an exclusive audience. Unlike celebrities and public figures, micro-influencers are regular people who typically have up to one hundred thousand followers. They share content about their interests. Their content can feel authentic and real, and they often have better levels of engagement than macro-influencers.


The value of micro influencers can’t be understated. Their importance lies within how brands can partner with them so they can connect to a smaller, but far more engaged audience. This allows brands to reach people who are actually interested in their product or service. In that respect, celebrities and micro influencers are very different. An influencer has built an audience of people that are interested in them as a person, but they also trust their recommendations. On the other hand, people typically follow macro-influencers because they are a fan and don’t care as much about products they promote.

Out of all the industries, the fashion industry is most driven by influencer-marketing. Social media, particularly Instagram, has paved the way for an exciting level of transparency for the fashion industry. Fashion influencers are influencing what consumers choose to buy, so marketers can work with influencers to raise brand awareness and bring attention to their products. Fashion influencers like Sophie Hannah Richardson and The Lipstick Fever are great examples of individuals who have who have built up strong followings.

We could see a future where micro influencers hold more power than advertisements. 92% of customers make purchases based on recommendations from their trusted, immediate networks. Those who follow influencers have established a connection with them and in their eyes, they are more genuine and trustworthy. With the rise of micro influencers, they could be key tools for brands aiming to sway consumer behaviour.

Blogger is more popular than ever. More and more people are taking to the internet to express their opinions, spread awareness and discuss topics with one another. As blogging becomes more popular, networks between bloggers are developing and ideas/styles are being shared and mimicked.

If you take fashion bloggers, for example. The large majority of the blogs share very similar layouts, fonts, design elements. Similarly, the content between them is often indistinguishable. Cameras on smartphones are improving constantly, blogging platforms such as WordPress are becoming easier to use. The problem: it is no easy task to spot whose influential and who isn’t anymore. Anyone looking to build their brand through blogger outreach methods, must do so diligently.

Using metrics such as trust and citation flows offers a way of separating the bloggers worth working with from the ones who aren’t. Although this can be an additional, time-intensive step it is worth it. There is no worth in spending hours developing relationships with bloggers only to receive very limited exposure and poor quality link building. The reality of blogger outreach is that it’s a highly time-intensive method from start to finish.


One of the biggest temptations is to bulk-email long lists of bloggers with a stock email. Successful bloggers receive a huge amount of emails from prospective brands looking to work with them. You can guess which emails are chucked into the trash first.

Take the time to research each blogger, and tailor your communication with them. Mention that you liked their last review, or that you had always wanted to visit that city they recently went to. Simple but effective. Blogger outreach is primarily an exercise in building relationships, so make the effort to introduce yourself properly.

Having distinguishable objectives is a vital component in any blogger outreach campaign. If the aim is link-building then make it clear in your communications with bloggers that you would like X amount of references to your home page, or product page. If you want to generate attention around a new product, offer them out for review. If you want to grow your mailing list, or gain more followers on your social media channels, make that clear in your communications. Blogger outreach is far more beneficial when it can be measured and quantified.

Although blogger outreach can seem tedious and time-consuming, it’s worth making the effort. Valuable long term working relationships with bloggers that can be utilised multiple times are far superior to poor quality link-building exercises sustained through mass-emailing.

Or, in short, to borrow Hunter S. Thompson’s words: ‘Anything worth doing, is worth doing right…’

Vloggers are a great way to increase brand awareness in the digital space. Like blogger outreach the first task is identifying your target audience and finding bloggers that have a similar target demographic.

To find vloggers, search on YouTube for whatever type of vloggers you are searching for. The things you need to look at for these ones, are subscriber count, depending on what kind of vloggers you are looking for, you ideally want 100+ if it’s an FMCG brand or 500+ for fashion & beauty brands.

Another way of finding vloggers is to search for competitors brand terms in YouTube and click on “”Filter”” and “”This Month”” . You will now have a list of all the videos that have the competitor term used in the last month. This is a great starting point for brands who are catching up with competitors in the first instance.

You should be able to find their email address from their about section, if not, have a look on their other social media or see if they have a website that might have an email address to contact. Failing that, try and contact them through YouTube message via the brand YouTube channel.

For all blogger outreach, make sure they have an email address to contact before adding them to the vlogger list. There’s no point adding them to the list if they don’t have an address to contact.

The first task before starting blogger outreach is to understand the target audience that you are trying to communicate with. The next task is to make sure that you contact only trusted, authoritative sources that communicate daily with your audience.

The easiest way to stat to find bloggers is one of the follow three ways; simple use Google search for industry related blogs, use the backlinks tab in Majestic SEO when looking at competitors websites or using the website followerwonk.com. 

Before you start create a Google Doc, as you can share this with other to edit and access it from anywhere. Once you find a relevant blogger put their name in the document with the all relevant information about them. I normally create name, URL, trust flow, citation flow, domain authority, contact details, Twitter followers, Facebook likes, additional info

Google Search – If you are using Google search, type in the type of blogger you want to look for and then the word ‘blogger’ e.g. “lifestyle blogger”, “gaming blogger”, etc. Click on all the blogs that you think are relevant to your brand and add them to the excel sheet.

Majestic SEO Backlinks – Copy and paste the URL of the competitors website into majestic SEO and look at the backlinks tab to see that entire websites links. You can then export the backlink list, by clicking on the ‘download data’ button. This will download a file that you can open up in Excel and filter out the links that aren’t relevant. I normally filter by trust, as I think this is the most important factor for building a good link profile.

Followerwonk.com – You can use follower wonk to search through peoples twitter bio’s and competitors and find any bloggers that blog around the subject you are outreaching for. Click on search bios and change the drop down menu to search bios. You then just need to look at their twitter profiles and try and find links to their blogs. This is the most underrated way of finding new bloggers but the most effective in my opinion

Once you have found a list of bloggers, check their trust flow, citation flow and their domain authority. We want ideally 15+ for trust flow to get a decent quality backlink for your brand.


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