LMFAO: Leveraging Machines For Awesome Outreach – #BSEO Talk With Gareth Simpson

21 March 2019

Posted in: Agency BSEO Outreach

Here at Seeker, we don’t really need any more reasons to love BrightonSEO, but our relationship went to the next level with the announcement of our Co-Founder’s talk. Next month at BrightonSEO, Gareth Simpson will be talking about leveraging machines (machine learning, not tractors or combine harvesters) for outreach. I sat down with Gareth to talk about his talk (meta) and get the goss on whether the machines really will be taking over (eek).

What does speaking at BrightonSEO mean to you?

Not to get sentimental, but it means a hell of a lot! It’s kind of the culmination of my career journey so far, and a great way to celebrate three years of running Seeker. As an event, BrightonSEO is brilliant. I have a lot of respect for Kelvin and the organisers: the community they have created around the event is awesome. They also do a really great job of featuring speakers from a wide range of disciplines and perspectives, and we love going en-masse as an agency. Personally, I’ve been going for years and am very excited to be running a training workshop as well as doing a talk.


Why outreach?

I specialised in outreach about four years ago, after having been in SEO since 2004. Outreach is a tactic that I’ve been using for a long time, and it’s nice to see that it’s gained industry traction in recent years. Conferences like Verve’s outReach show that there is a real desire to get to grips with outreach, whether that’s brand or agency-side.

As an owner of an outreach agency, I am in a privileged position to be able to comment on outreach off the back of years of data and ‘in the trenches’ knowledge. (Teaser: expect some of this exclusive insight in Gareth’s talk).

Here are some reasons why I love outreach:

  • Focuses on people as well as systems
  • Powerful tactic with powerful results
  • Hard to do well, so you stand to gain a lot from mastering it.

Why machine learning?

Machine learning and AI are the future, no one can deny that. They’ve infiltrated all types of marketing, and SEO and outreach are no different. I am a big advocate of saving time and energy where possible. Why have people doing tasks that can be automated and run by machines? Why not make the most of technology to do better, faster, and higher quality outreach? It’s a no-brainer.

Is this stuff for real?

It is! I was skeptical myself at first, but actually, there are loads of out-of-the-box machine learning tools that teams can use to help with outreach. This isn’t pie-in-the-sky stuff that you need a developer for, or only possible with expensive custom systems, this is literally downloading a tool and off you go! I am convinced that tech adoption is going to set outreach teams apart in the future. As the market becomes more saturated, we are going to have to work harder.


Isn’t automation and link building a bad idea?

Hey, this is not at all about automated link building! This is about leveraging machine learning in order to put more effort and time into skilled, creative work. Using machines in outreach is all about improving outreach quality and making the most of one-on-one interactions. Using machine learning to do data heavy-lifting means more time for ideation and content creation.

What can people expect from your talk?

A lot of knowledge (or as much as I can pack into 30 minutes!). What I want to do is to open people’s eyes to the possibility of machine learning and outreach, whilst also giving out some actionable tools and tactics people can go away and implement straight away. There may or may not be a freebie or two…


What is the future of outreach going to look like?

This! Honestly, machine learning and outreach were made to be used together. I can’t wait to see how people take on machine learning and use it to make their outreach campaigns even better.

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