Want Better SEO? Influencer Marketing is the Answer
*Originally published on my personal website Hunting The White Whale and updated here.
Whether you like it or not, the competition for attention has never been greater – and its not getting any easier.
That’s why you need to pay attention to your digital strategy and HOW you are going to cut through the noise.
What methods are you using to boost your SEO by getting more backlinks?
Though most people recognize the terms “Link building” and “SEO”, they often regard these measures as complicated and requiring technical expertise.
They don’t have to be and influencer marketing is a great example.
Influencers provide connections between businesses and consumers and establish relationships more directly and on a more personal level.
But there’s more:
With influencer marketing, you gain access to new angles for your content, new audiences, and a level of true transparency that your customers are bound to appreciate it.
In this post, you’ll learn how influencer marketing can do all that.
It will help you reach new audiences and cut through all the noise.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
In every industry, there are people who can be referred to as influential figures, authors, or personalities.
Whether you’re involved in fashion, food, entertainment, or business, somebody on the web today has already built a relationship with your ideal audience.
Influencer marketing means reaching out and forging relationships with those individuals and exchanging value.
You provide value by supplying them with a product or sponsoring content or some other exchange of value.
Another way to think about it is “word-of-mouth” marketing.
Marketing like this enables consumers to learn more about your, your company and its products through a trusted source (the influencer).
Research backs this up:
92% of consumers will believe the recommendation of someone that they trust over any other form of advertising, and the benefit of influencer marketing is that you’re not just asking a friend to tell another friend about your product.
Instead, what you’re doing is asking that friend to share the value of that product with thousands of other people.
It is that simple.
Influencers, therefore, are important because they are trusted and they can encourage their audience to take action.
Link building is a crucial part of SEO, and the process involves acquiring hyperlinks from other websites that lead to your own.
A hyperlink, or back link is used by search engines to crawl the web, and they are essential when a search engine attempts to determine where a particular website, or page should be placed on the rankings of search results.
While there are numerous methods that webmasters can use in order to build links, SEOs tend to agree that link building is critical.
If you’re beginning to think that ranking your website higher in the search engine is too much of a hassle – it may help to know that relationships appear to be the best, and most natural way of gaining links from authority sites.
Of course, relationships can’t exactly be built with the website itself – instead, your aim will need to be focused on building a relationship with the authority (influencer) behind that site.
When you form those relationships, it has a huge impact on your ability to cultivate beneficial back links, and improve your SEO ranking – leading to better trust from consumers, and up to ten times bigger conversions.
For a long time now, backlinks have been seen as a vote of confidence from third parties about the quality, and reliability of another website.
Users believe that if an authority website includes a link in their post to another domain, they must believe that the domain they are linking to is legitimate, and worthy of consideration.
However, in the past, many webmasters abused the value of the back link by purchasing spammy, low-quality links as a way of boosting their ranking – meaning that major search engines like Google have had to put more effort into assessing the value of back links.
We are all paying the price for their black hat methods.
While one of the main components of successful SEO continues to involve link building, updates in the current algorithms mean that people can’t simply obtain links from anywhere – instead they need to generate back links from respected, authority influencers who have content on their website that relates to yours.
By reaching out to influencers within your specific industry or market, you can obtain those relevant links without having to resort to black hat measures.
Influencers can develop back links for you in a variety of different ways, including:
- Sharing your website on social media (Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn) although these will be nofollow links
- Allowing you to write guest posts on their websites that link back to your landing page or website
- Writing “unsponsored” posts that link back to your website (because they value your content)
- Including your content in a round up post or list post
Keep in mind, however, that any sponsored or paid links that come from an influencer’s site may be regarded a “paid link” by Google, and as such will not be counted towards your SEO ranking.
Here’s the deal:
That doesn’t mean that there is no value in reaching out to influencers and asking them to write about your product however – even if you do need to pay them.
Simply asking an influencer to talk about you may be enough to direct traffic back to your site, and ensure more people learn about what you have to offer.
You must create a meaningful connection with them.
Improve Your SEO
In today’s modern world, online search plays a significant part in the purchasing journey for many buyers in the United States, and indeed across the globe.
Around 89% of internet users rely upon online searches to help them make purchasing decisions, and as such, maximizing your SEO efforts can be the number one way to improve your success online, by generating increased amounts of traffic, prompting further conversions and building a better ROI.89% of Internet users rely on online searches to help with purchase decisions. More here: Click To Tweet
Most experts suggest that content generated by influencers can be one of the most reliable ways to enhance your online search results, for a variety of different reasons.
For instance, the eBook, “Marketing Through Trust” suggests that:
• 93% of potential customers use searches in determining which company they should purchase from (Regardless of price)
• Over 90% of the click-through statistics taken from search results come from organic results
• Only a meagre 8% of the CTR (click-through rate) from search engines comes as a result of paid advertising efforts.
Using this you can impact those all-important organic search results by changing the way that your audience sees you on a deeper level, and improving your brand image.
But here’s the real kicker:
Influencer marketing can improve your chances of converting audience members into loyal customers (sales).
Influencer-Generated Content Gets Better Search Results
So how can you use influencers to boost your SEO, aside from link building?
Most brand influencers are well-known for creating content on their own platforms, via social media, blogs, videos, and more.
By creating content that mentions your specific brand or product, influencers can encourage the audience members that are in your target market to seek out your company and consider purchasing from you.
After all, consumers are more likely to trust peer content over brand advertising, meaning that influencer marketing will give you better results through reviews, guides, endorsements, how-to’s, and even content regarding personal experience with your service or product.
So what’s the bottom line:
Developing a relationship with the influencers in your market or industry means that you can encourage honest product reviews that show your company in an ideal light towards people who may be unsure about whether or not to give you the chance you need to shine.
Look at it this way:
For example, chances are that if you open a restaurant and don’t have any reviews, your customers may think twice before eating with you.
On the other hand, if your restaurant has a review from one of the most famous culinary bloggers around, then there’ll be a host of individuals desperate to taste your dishes in no time.
Wherever you have the opportunity to gather guest posts, or expand your social reach by posting guest entries on popular websites, take advantage and use it as a way to build opportunities for back links, and get your name out on the social sphere.
Working With Influencers
This is where most people fall short so get my free Blueprint about working with influencers so you never go wrong again.
Influencer marketing for the purpose of SEO, backlinks, and link building will only work if you know how to reach out to the right people in your industry.
Simply contacting people that you consider to be authoritative and begging them to write about you or share links on social media is isn’t going to get you the kind of attention that you want.
So, what do you do?
Instead, you need to research those influencers and reach out to them in a way that will help them to feel connected with your brand so they want to work with you.
For smaller, less-known businesses, it’s usually a good idea to start by searching for mid-level influencers who have a smaller target audience, but still a significant social following.
Micro influencers is the term used these days.
A micro influencer is usually someone with between 2k and 25k in followers, who can make waves for your business, but may not be able to break you out of anonymity on a global scale.
Once you’ve found someone like this, be sure to get noticed by commenting on their blog posts and following them on social media.
A large percentage of the influencers with higher profile followings are likely to be approached by businesses continually.
So it’s not likely they will pay attention to you.
Micro influencers are a better avenue to pursue.
Make the Most of the SEO Benefits
At the end of the day, combining SEO strategies with influencer marketing, link building, and backlinks, is all about developing relationships.
Don’t forget that.
This mean developing relationships with the influencers that you want to work with.
It also means improving the way that you communicate with other businesses in your industry, partners, and of course – those all-important customers.
To get your influencers’ attention, you’ll need to focus on delivering quality content that people will want to talk about and share.
- Ask influencers to do an “unboxing” video
- Ask several targeted influencers to review a product or service
- Suggest a guest post on your blog (or theirs) or a series of guest posts
- Suggest a side by side comparison of your product versus a competitor’s
Fortunately, the power in the marketing world has shifted to the consumer.
Remember that no matter which influencers you have access to, your main goal is to provide serious value to them and your consumers.
Be sure that you connect with influencers on a regular basis using as many different platforms as possible.
The more you do this, the less upfront effort you’ll have to put into working with other influencers.
With Influencer marketing bound to get even more popular in the coming year, you’ll want to get ahead of your competitors and start making a splash in your industry.
So get started now.