How to leverage influencers for SEO
Columnist Benjamin Spiegel says incorporating the right SEO tactics in your influencer campaign can be a big boon for your brand and ROI.
Influencer marketing has been gaining tremendous interest over the past few years as marketers across all categories, sizes and regions are looking to increase brand awareness and ultimately drive more sales using this “new” tactic.
Why influencer marketing?
I believe this heightened interest is driven by several challenges in today’s marketplace.
The first is the struggle that brands experience when it comes to content creation. Most brands are just not creators; they are brand builders, which often leads to a slew of overly branded content filled with people spouting copy points they would never say in real life.
The second is the continued (some might say, growing) mistrust that consumers have in brand messages.
The third major issue is the decrease in organic reach across social media platforms. True influencers can still reach consumers organically, with content their followers want and believe; brands can’t.
The influencers’ connection to organic search
Organic search continues to be a challenge for many brands. While marketers have gotten better at understanding the value of a well-structured site with relevant, quality content, that is no longer enough to dominate the search engine results pages (SERPs).
- The SERP has evolved. The addition of shopping ads, more paid ads, social results and more have made grabbing the user’s attention a bigger challenge than before.
- In addition, consumers have evolved in the way they search for information. Formerly, they searched for a brand, then visited the brand site and looked at the product descriptions to make a purchase decision. Today, consumers use search engines in a more advanced manner: they search for “Product Name reviews,” and instead of trusting the brand, they scan the results for third-party reviews to guide their purchase decisions.
- In addition to shelf domination, you also need to have high-quality links pointing to your site. While linking through paid posts is frowned upon, there are still ways to leverage the power of the influencer.
- Therefore, having multiple results (brand and influencer content) on page one will ensure that you connect with as many consumers as possible.
On social media, meaningful organic reach has become nearly impossible for brands. With influencers talking about products and services on social, these creators provide valuable connections with their followers that help bridge the gap between brands and consumers organically.
So where does SEO come into play?
Winning SEO tips for your influencer campaign
Thanks to content creation from a trusted source, there are many ways to leverage influencers to win in search. We have seen amazing results when search and influencer agencies partner on the activations and create integrated strategies. Here are some of the SEO opportunities:
- Include keyphrase research and recommendations in your influencer brief.
Look for terms that drive desired traffic to your brand site, or those that might be triggering less-than-positive content, as well as opportunities for your influencer’s content to push a competitor down in search results. Your influencers (who are usually not search experts) will appreciate the extra traffic that well-selected terms can bring them, too.
- Diversify links.
Don’t have the influencer link only to your brand’s page; have them diversify the links instead by including other brand-owned assets that can benefit from increased link juice. These may include the brand’s YouTube channel or Amazon SKU.
- Recommend topics based on search trends.
You know your consumers best, so give the influencer theme ideas that are aligned with your products, category or seasonal trends that will ensure maximum success and gain the benefit of increased search volume.
4. Audit the influencer’s spam score.
There’s nothing worse for your SEO than links coming from a spam site. Make sure your influencer’s blog or website does not have a high spam score. You can use tools like Moz or Ahrefs to validate that.
- Amplify their content.
If the influencer posted a great piece, use your own social channels to amplify it. Share it, tweet it, and if possible, use some paid media to support it. The better their content is performing, the better the long-term benefit to your brand will be.
- Rethink the way you select influencers.
When you are choosing your influencer, don’t just use the list from your selection tool or agency; start with search first. We have found some amazing niche influencers just by looking at who is already ranking for specific terms.
Influencer campaigns, when done right, can have a powerful impact on your business. When you incorporate SEO tactics well, you’ll help your influencer achieve maximum ROI for your brand. What are some of the ways you’re using SEO to boost an influencer campaign’s effectiveness?