Learn actionable insights on how to use influencer marketing SEO to drive industry niche traffic to your company website.
Grow your audience by harvesting other peoples’ audiences.
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SEO Cape Town Guide: What is influencer marketing?
According to this SEO Cape Town Guide: Influencer marketing SEO is about crafting high-value relationships with Influencers in order to tap into some of their audience of followers or audience under their influence. This can be extremely beneficial in positioning yourself as an influencer, expert or authority in your company’s niche. An influencer is anyone who captures the respect and engagement of a large following of audience related to an industry niche or even just day-to-day human existence. Influencer marketing needs to run with your regular SEO efforts, trust an SEO company to see the bigger picture.
From a raw traffic volume point of view, an influencer’s mention in one of there articles about content on your site can be mean huge volumes of traffic, although temporarily. The idea is to ensure that this is not short-lived. The secret behind influencer SEO is ensuring that your content runs in sympathy with your chosen influencers or rather the industry ideals and values you support anyway. That it becomes a reference in the points they are campaigning for themselves.
It wouldn’t make sense for an influencer to reach out to you if your content or site was not relevant to their agendas. Therefore, your content must be of value and in sympathy to their agenda.
Influencer SEO is also a long-term strategy but should be a core strategy too. It makes sense that influencers with their large followings will influence the very industry niche itself too, and thus the ecosystem of influencer marketing should be core to the central goals of your company.
What can influencers do for you according to this SEO Cape Town Guide?
Influencers can influence their audience directly or indirectly to become your audience too, through direct explicit online relationships where we one influencer may for an example directly engage with you and thus make the connection with their followers (this happens a lot on YouTube) or just reference your content in sympathy with their agenda, using a case study that is highly relevant to their agenda.
Making connections with the right influencers can offer serious ROI. Burst Media conducted a study in 2015 in the US where they calculated a 7:1 return on the investment made with influencers. The idea is to see it a long-term investment with serious returns if done right. Best Media has since been acquired by Rhythm Media LLC but the article on influencer ROI is still available.
A recent study released by Liquia, The State of Influencer Marketing, based on the US market, 98% of marketers who used influencer marketing in 2017 said it was effective and 39% of marketers said they would be increasing their budget on influencer marketing speed. We will refer to this study throughout this guide as a primary reference when highlighting industry figures from US market.
(source: Liquia: State of Influencer Marketing – 2018)
According to the study, 81% of marketers user influencer content across their online channels, with 51% saying that it is outperforming brand-created content. This shows you the direct benefit of harvesting influencer’s audiences or OPAs (other people’s audiences).
In summary, there are 3 major ways an influencer can impact your business according to the SEO Cape Town Influencer marketing guide:
-They can use your content within their own content marketing including sharing it directly or indirectly on their social media
-They can write about you directly with you being the feature of their article
-They can permit you to guest post on their blog
These three ways will:
-increase traffic directly from their audiences, the ultimate goal of SEO itself.
-create high quality, topically relevant backlinks, directly contributing to ranking improvements
-Position you as a fellow expert in relation to them, thereby enlisting more followers across multiple channels
How is this relevant to the SEO Cape Town Guide?
Well SEO is defined as the increase of the quality and quantity of traffic to your website. Influencer marketing achieves just that, depending on how relevant your chosen influencers are to your specific industry or content niche. You literally increase the quality and quantity of traffic to your website through influencer marketing.
In fact, especially online, content marketing, influencer marketing, and SEO are all part of the same grand digital ecosystem.
Measuring the ROI of Influencer Marketing according to the SEO Cape Town Influencer Marketing Guide:
This is highlighted as the greatest challenge in the study. 76% of marketers cite measuring ROI of influencer marketing as their top challenge for 2018. However, according to this SEO Cape Town Influencer Marketing Guide advanced marketers analyse the full customer journey, including engagement and awareness metrics but also ultimately conversions at the end of that journey. There are multiple positive returns that benefit a firm by using influencer marketing. Google Analytics can be set up to track inbound traffic sources such as referrals and can further be set to reveal direct websites as traffic sources, that can again make up a certain percentage of the overall traffic and conversions that exist in the funnel of the website.
Website executives can use specific landing pages for tighter influencer campaign tracking. There are many ways analytics can be set up to track the returns of influencer campaigns. Firms should also work with one influencer at a time, or at least during the initial influencer campaign deployment in order to differentiate the returns from an influencer in contrast to using multiple influencers at once where it would be difficult to rack domain level or aggregated gains for time periods.
Many marketers, 50% according to the study, measure success based on reach only. For very large brands this offers an easier mechanism for measurement but where ROI is an important factor, conversions and traffic sources mentioned above must be looked at.
Working with influencer marketing SEO partners
Influencer marketing is usually very time consuming and requires sustained attention for lengthy periods of time, in fact, influencer marketing is on-going due to the long investment periods before seeing fruition or returns from such a strategy. Therefore, it is often left to external agencies to implement and track. Influencer marketing SEO should run part and parcel with overall objectives of the website and with related stakeholders but managed objectively by an agency as often internally there is not enough scope and resources with daily operations.
Very large enterprises with large enough content marketing divisions may easily exercise influencer marketing in-house. The defining aspect is an available time from a strategic influencer marketing point of view. In order to alleviate bandwidth issues in terms of work capacity, 42% of marketers partner with “turn-key” agencies to manage their influencer marketing SEO. Another 18% of marketers rely on agencies to plan and execute their influencer marketing campaigns. Only 19% run influencer campaigns in-house due to resources and strategic managerial capacities necessary.
Leveraging Influencers themselves for value
Influences sharing your content is one way of leveraging their follower or audience value for your brand. For this to be able to happen there are three enablers for influencers to share your content in front of their audiences across their channels.
-The content must be of high value.
-You must have or exude some form of credibility, they wouldn’t risk sharing flawed content in front of their audiences. They must trust you and what you say!
-They must see you or find out about you in order to share your content. This is where syndication across social media channels becomes important.
Paying Influencer directly
There are many paid options to work with influencers. It must be mentioned, however, that many follower groups of or pockets of audiences do not appreciate overt commercial sponsorship and feel that it detracts from the authenticity of the follower influencer relationship. Often on YouTube, certain influencers make mention of sponsorships to maintain the authenticity and transparency and the role of trust between followers.
Also, due to the need to be authentic in order to garner the followers, many influencers will have parameters as to how commercial they are willing to go in terms of sponsorships. Generally, the influencer would accept highly topically relevant sponsorship to maintain authenticity. There would be an outcry, in many cases, from over-commercialisation or overt influencer sponsorship.
Leveraging the content across many channels and even sometimes multiple influencers pays dividends
At the end of the day, from an SEO point of view, each influencer that syndicates directly addresses or references your content it becomes one more source of traffic and authority. When other potential influences and their followers see your content across multiple channels and even multiple influencers, the more trusted your content and your brand itself becomes. The idea of as many impressions of the influencer link between your company and the influencer the more beneficial it will be in positioning you as an expert in your field and the larger audience potential.
Building the relationship for non-paid influencers
In many situations, the influencer may not be for sale in terms of sponsorship. Many influencers strive to be 100% about their industry niche and not commercially sponsored. They do this to be highly authentic and generally have a way of monetising their audiences already, where that is the primary means of income. Pay close attention to this SEO Cape Town Influencer Marketing Guide.
The first step reaching these types of influencers is to develop the right mindset. The correct mindset recognises that building relationships is a collection of consecutive steps over a longer period of time, with mutual value as the goal. Let’s look at the first steps to building a relationship and they all entail learning about the influencer:
-What do they write about?
-Their professional lives
-What they like to share on social media channels
-What content they produce themselves
-It is also very important to learn about their personal lives, this allows for “breaking the ice” and although the conversions won’t centre around these personal life topics, they mell be the initial stages of a dialogue that relates to industry
How do you establish trust with an influencer you are targeting?
-Giving to them or supporting their agenda through supportive content. The idea is to help them out before you ever ask for anything in return. This boils down to the natural human characteristic of reciprocity.
-Don’t approach influencers until you have at least some form of a community or following, or can at least show evidence of you being in sympathy with your industry niche. You don’t need thousands of followers just enough to prove you add value to others, otherwise, you might freak the influencer out, to begin with. It’s about proving that you are about the larger community of your industry niche, not just your personal gain.
-See the dialogue and interaction as a pyramid. Reach out on social media, then LinkedIn, then through your blog and eventually, you would meet in person at a meet-up or even a personal meeting.
-The idea is to remember they are human, and you should apply the same social reservations as you would to someone in person.
-It’s great if you know someone that they respect and in that way are introduced because some of your acquaintance’s trust is passed onto you.
-Reshare their content, but not overtly, just what you see as truly valuable, don’t seem to be trying too hard. Be genuine.
-Engage meaningfully on their blogs, if comments are allowed, again this must be relevant to the blogs post and be genuine.
Easy tips to enter into collaboration and start a conversation
-roundups are quick summaries of people’s opinions and or blog posts. They offer a low cost to influencer’s time schedule or level of effort, these are used to express a short quick opinion on the topic.
-Monitor social media for opportunities to be social even if it is off topic. Again do not be pushy.
To finish off this SEO Cape Town Influencer Marketing guide
Investing in creating genuine industry topical or niche relevant relationships with influencers, will pay great dividends as you will harvest their audiences to a degree and gain credibility within your niche, leading to audience growth. Influencers must be selected according to your niche and targeted personas should align with the influencer’s followers. Ultimately influencers have a stronger influence on followers than any company or organisation. They are the gatekeepers as their followers listen to them, keenly.
One of our favourite lifestyle influencers: