Influencer marketing is not directly known as an SEO strategy. But if your digital marketing agency is savvy and hyper innovative, it can be.
Whether 2018 was a great year for business growth, or you fell short from hitting your revenue targets, influencer marketing synchronized with a modern SEO strategy can improve your website traffic, grant valuable data to help your other marketing strategies, and increase sales in the new year.
This article will focus specifically on SEO within the context of influencer marketing–a strategy that most internal teams ignore, and one that the best SEO agencies from Boston to Los Angeles do extremely well.
Right now your executive marketing team may be wondering in influencer marketing is an ideal fit for your brand or organization. Last year, mass amounts of evidence surfaced revealing just how effective influencer marketing is when ran alongside other digital marketing strategies, especially SEO. According to an eMarketer’s survey, more than 80 percent of marketing agencies that launched campaigns utilizing industry influencers saw significant increases in awareness, engagement and sales.
So What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencers are individuals with large online followings on their social media platforms and blogs who have built a reputation and demonstrated authority within target audiences. Influencer marketing involves building relationships with influencers to grow brand awareness and increase sales. Every influencer has constructed a specific niche by sharing and publishing content that captivates their followers and plays a direct role in impacting their engagement and buying behavior.
Influencers help other brands acquire prospects, generate leads, shine the spotlight on various products and services, and encourage buying decisions. Most influencers fit a certain profile; most are either product reviewers, industry-focused authors, popular spokespeople and known thought leaders specific to their niche or industry.
Is Influencer Marketing for a B2C or B2B SEO Strategy?
Obviously, influencer marketing is ideal for most B2C relationships. But it can also work extremely well in the world of B2B. According to a surveys by Linquia, Quora, and the Nielsen Group more than 90 percent of marketing agencies in 2017 said that influencer marketing made a big difference in helping them reach their ideal buyers. These surveys also found that influencer content generated an ROI almost 12 times higher than the average display ad after one year. Finally, companies that ran SEO alongside influencer marketing saw increases in rankings and organic engagement by more than 62 percent in a year’s time. Ultimately, B2B influencer marketing is successful for the same reasons B2C influencer marketing moves the needle.
Influencer Marketing Provides Audience Targeting Insights for SEO Keywords
Now back to influencer marketing the specific context of SEO
Because influencers know their audience better than anyone else, they know your consumer’s deepest pain points, needs, and how people view your products as solutions to those needs. Usually, influencers know a brand’s customers better than the organization themselves, and more than their marketing team.
This means your SEO agency can gain valuable insight from influencers, learn more about the search phrases and common keywords that appear in their queries, discover the kinds of content they engage the most, and engineer a search optimization strategy to rank highly targeted content to the right buyer audiences. In fact, most organic search strategies don’t even include this in their proposals. The best SEO agencies offer additional growth marketing benefits such as influencer marketing, to improve the quality in the crowds they attract.
Here’s an example: Let’s say a company that sells fitness products want to run a campaign to sell more meal planning lunch bags. They have a goal to increase sales from organic traffic by 20 percent. The brand has a relationship with a well-known personal trainer in Los Angeles with a massive following, and who has mentioned meal planning in multiple posts. The SEO strategist can gain insight from the influencer such as what the most desired features are in meal planning bags, and what topics surrounding them get the most engagement.
If the SEO team learns things such as buyers often seek out bags with glass food storage containers as opposed to plastic ones, they want a streamlined build, and bodybuilders engage the topics the most, they can harvest buyer-focused keywords and blog topic ideas. Here are some acceptable examples:
- Bodybuilder meal planning bags
- Meal planning for bodybuilders
- Meal prep bags for bodybuilders
- Bodybuilder meal prep bags
Of course to convert readers into buyers, the content that ranks for these search terms needs to provide a solution to the consumer’s needs. That said, blog topics can include:
- Why Bodybuilders Choose Meal Prep Bags with Glass Storage Containers
- Glass Storage VS Plastic: What Bodybuilders Should Know
- 5 Things Bodybuilders Should Demand in Meal Prep Bags
A savvy SEO agency will find the latest topics the influencer is talking about, and weave their clients content into its topic or context in order to increase engagement, which sends engagement signals back to Google thus increasing the site’s domain authority and improving ranking.
Influencer Content is Viewed by Actual Customers Who Want to Buy Your Products
Remember, the purpose of SEO isn’t to rank content and hope something sticks when thrown against the wall. Your goal for using organic search strategies should be to rank highly-targeted content for specific groups of buyers most likely to convert to leads (or into direct purchases, depending on the sales cycle). Because influencer marketing
Influencers are already interacting with your ideal buyers. This in of itself is powerful because it means their target audience is also yours. Tapping into this pool has a plethora of benefits. First, they have already done a bulk of the work for you, as they have made efforts to attract and retain audience members. Influencers therefore give you direct access into your target audience without the hours of research to give you a list of your potential leads and clients.
So what does this mean for SEO? First of all, you get a bird’s eye view of what highly personalized messaging and content looks like in wide-ranging contexts from brand promotion to lead generation, and from social media posts that have a set tone that isn’t too sales focused. This information can help SEOs improve content designed to rank for the right buyers, using a tone that converts as opposed to one that isolates readers with high CTRs that come with equally high bounce rates.
Most people are visual, and this is why YouTube is such a valuable tool used by industry influencers. So when it comes to putting your products in the faces of people why want to spend their money on your goods, an influencer’s YouTube channel can not only hike up sales but increase your SEO and ranking. Ask the influencer to imbed a link to your site in their channel. If you want to get some really amazing organic improvements look for main key phrases you rank for on page one of Google, ask the influencer to tell his followers to search for a specific phrase followed by clicking on your link. This is more valuable that the first suggestion because it sends signals to Google that people are entering a phrase expressing their needs, and are choosing your link as the best result. And with this behavior comes an increase in domain authority and rankings. I’ve done it before.
Influencer Marketing Helps Your SEO Strategy by Showcasing Buyer’s Voice
Influencers get tons of engagement, and with that comes lots of comments, public questions and social shares. One way to improve SEO keywords, audience targeting, web page content, and blogs are to pinpoint who the people are making public these remarks (look them up on LinkedIn and Facebook to learn more about their identity) not the pain points, topics, and goals when reading in between their lines. Remember, Google is only improving in its ability to understand search intent, and since buyer’s are making their intentions loud and clear while commenting within the world of influencers, there is ample room for buyer-focused SEO improvements across the board.