As the marketing landscape has waxed and waned over the years and gone through various phases of peaks and troughs, one thing has always remained true: the need to promote your brand as completely as possible. While most marketers and online businesses have managed to keep up with current trends, one option has remained somewhat elusive to the average marketer. Help A Reporter Out, otherwise referred to by its abbreviation of HARO, has been a boon for those businesses willing to put in the effort to attract a range of very high-quality backlinks and brand exposure. This post will take a look at what this service is, how it can benefit your brand, and some of the downsides, and finish up with a few techniques that make HARO an impossible choice to pass up.
What Is HARO?
HARO is a platform that has been around for around 15 years and began life as a Facebook group, believe it or not! It was conceived on the notion that journalists with limited knowledge in a certain field could connect with those who are excerpts and allow the dissemination of knowledge for their articles. In return, the journalist would reward the expert with a brand mention and possibly a backlink to their website. In most cases, it is a win-win situation for all involved. The reporter gets to write a well-informed article using information from those in the know, while the experts gain brand exposure on some pretty hefty publications, which often number their monthly viewership in the millions. Nowadays, it has evolved past its humble Facbeook beginnings and has become a fully-fledged platform in its own right. It enables people from all walks of life to create an account and specify who they are, what they might be considered “experts” in, and what industries they want to be notified about when an opportunity comes along.
Why Has It Become So In Demand?
The number of users has steadily increased as the demand for both exposure and high-quality backlinks has grown exponentially. Moreover, as website content becomes the primary way for businesses to reach their desired audience, there has been a noticeable demand to be included in credible and trustworthy publications. In addition, it enables the average person to acquire links from sites that were previously only accessible to those with extensive resources to spend on outreach or deep connections in the journalism industry…or, in other words, a very select number of people. Consequently, as long as you know how to craft the perfect pitch and understand the rules of the game (or hire a HARO agency which does), you can land some fantastic mentions in leading publications that, more often than not, result in a flurry of traffic to your website.
What Are The Downsides Of Using It To Build Links?
Like any system predicated on quality, there are a few downsides that you should be aware of before dedicating all of your efforts to it. For starters, it is highly selective regarding who the reporters deem experts. This means that unless you have something truly remarkable to provide, you will likely be ignored in place of the reams of others who have also pitched. This also leads to the second relatively significant disadvantage: it simply isn’t as scalable or convenient for some brands as other techniques, such as standard outreach. Nevertheless, for those who have the patience, are willing to spend money on a HARO outreach service, or have a team of people crafting proposals, the rewards far outweigh any downsides that might exist. For instance, once you have acquired a handful of links or mentions from various publications, you will discover that your trickle of traffic can turn into a flood reasonably fast. When combined with a quality website and effective lead-capture methods, a small investment can be transformed into an opportunity that will last.
How To Get The Best Results
As you have probably gathered, HARO outreach is unlike any other form of outreach you have probably encountered before. It demands a more controlled approach involving an understanding of your niche and how to create a proposal that will get the attention of a busy reporter on a deadline. Some of the best ways to ensure success include:
- Being clear on what you hope to achieve
- Tailoring each response to the situation
- Getting an understating of what the reporter is after and being as concise as possible
- Quickly responding (there’s a lot of competition, so you have to beat the rest to the punch)
- Getting au fait with the platform and signing up for notifications
- Establishing a relationship with the sources
There are plenty more ways to achieve your desired results, but as long as you stay on top of your inquiries and avoid anything that resembles spam, even in the slightest, you should; find tremendous success with HARO.
Once you become familiar with how HARO works and what the reporters expect from their sources, you will find unbelievable results. Not only can you build your brand off the back of the exposure, but you will also gain trust and reputation from new and existing users of your site.