5 Ways That Influencers Can Boost Your SEO & Content Marketing
One of the best things about influencer marketing is its flexibility. We’ve been helping brands roll out influencer campaigns for years and have seen first hand the changes that Kyle Wong forecasted for 2015. Yes, sponsored content is still at the heart of most influencer programs, but since content is king, and comes in so many shapes and forms, this leaves us with even more ways to incorporate influencers into our SEO, content, and social media strategies than we even have time for. But that’s just the point isn’t it, partnering with influencers can save you time, boost your content creating power, and amplify your message to not just new audiences, but the right audience.
Influencers, otherwise known as content creators, publishers, social partners, Youtubers, Instagrammers, Viners, etc. are experts at two main things: 1) They are great at creating content around their niche, and 2) they are excellent community managers. They are consistently sharing and talking about interesting things. That’s why people follow them. As everyday consumers we appreciate them because they entertain us and teach us new things. As marketers we appreciate them because we know just how time consuming and difficult this can be. We also know that when it comes down to it, great content that generates high engagement is where we see the best ROI.
Before we get to those examples of how you can incorporate influencers into your marketing campaigns, let’s dive a little deeper into why creating great content that produces high engagement is so important to our success.
I read a really interesting article recently on Marketing Profs by Larry Kim that talked about the four online marketing metrics that actually matter. I highly recommend you read it as well. In Part 1 he talks about ousting those vanity metrics that most of us marketers still cling to, like number of Facebook Page Likes, Display Ad Impressions, and Keyword Rankings (maybe the hardest one to give up). I bring this up because what the four metrics that matter most have in common is that they are all proof that people actually like your content and your product. That’s what it all comes down to. That’s what will give you a clear measure of ROI, and give you useful insights to improve it.
So now that we’re all on the same page and we’re looking for ideas to grow our Social Media Post Engagement Rate, and the Engagement Metrics in Content and SEO, let’s talk about some ways that you can achieve this by partnering with influencers…
1. Create content for your blog and social networks
This is simplest and most classic form of influence marketing, but it is still wildly effective (when you follow these basics) . It kills two birds with one stone. When a blogger creates a piece of sponsored content that they distribute on their blog and social channels, they are 1) creating engaging content in a format that they know will resonate with their audience, and 2) they are putting your brand message in front of a whole new audience.
Just like you, influencers sometimes get stuck in a content rut, so the opportunity to partner on projects gives them fresh ideas to work with. Posting sponsored content directly to their blog also helps you cut down on some of the time you’d usually spend on outreach to promote the content you just created.
2. Link Building
One of the most important parts of content marketing is content promotion. What’s the point of creating great content if no one knows about it right? I’m not suggesting that you go out there and pay influencers simply to hyperlink to your site or blog posts (Google bots don’t like that much), but rather I’m highlighting that one of the benefits of influencer outreach is that you can build genuine relationships with people that are mutually beneficial. If for example you are the brand manager for a clothing brand, and you recently did an influencer campaign with fashion bloggers who wrote about your spring/summer collection, continue to communicate and share information and content with your outreach partners even if you are not ready to roll out your next campaign for Fall/Winter. Go check out their latest posts, and share a specific outfit with them that matches their style. Who knows, they may like it so much that they’ll mention it in their next blog post!
3. Encourage Honest Product Reviews
Say you’ve just launched a new restaurant and you don’t have any Yelp reviews yet, you might consider inviting them to come dine free at your restaurant in exchange for an honest review or feedback survey. Chances are that if you invited foodie bloggers that they’ll be blogging about the experience the next day. If worse came to worse and you received an unfavorable review, seize the opportunity to show the influencer and their community that you care and resolve the issue or improve the experience. Either way it shows the community that you are listening and care.
4. Create Buzz Around An Event
Nothing gets fashion & beauty bloggers more revved up than the red carpet at the Met Gala, so why don’t you pull them in to talk about your own event on social? If it’s an open event, make sure to include freebies (swag bags or free food is always a bonus) and then arm your social partners with sharable jpeg invitations to help them spread the word.
5. Growing Your Community of Brand Advocates
Brand advocates are an important part of any marketer’s social media strategy since they make up the majority of the people who follow your owned channels and extend your voice offline. They are your fans and followers, but most notably, they are your existing customers. Brand advocacy programs help you build a community around your brand so that your customers remain loyal. By targeting specific influencers and engaging them in your advocacy program, you can grow your reach. If you succeed in converting an influencer into a brand advocate, then that’s one powerful partnership!
At the end of the day
These strategies come down to creating great content and great experiences that people will love to share and talk about. Thanks to social, the power has shifted to the consumer, and that’s why what people are saying about you online, and who is saying it, is more important than ever. Do date the best indication of campaign success and what will help improve your content’s SEO are high engagement rates on your content and social media posts. This starts with great content, and active online communities. Working with influencers to help build your own community is an effective way to boost your content creation resources, increase your engagement on social, and get in front of new relevant audiences.
Got any more influencer marketing program ideas? Put them to good use and get started today.