This session on influencer marketing and SEO is the first up for me on day one of Pubcon Florida, which has grown from a one day to a two day event. It’s easy to see why: The speaker line up is chock full of current smart search marketing advice from a great collection of expert practitioners.
With moderation duties handled by Susan Wenograd @SusanEDub the speakers for this session included the dynamic duo of:
Marcela De Vivo @marceladevivo from SEMRush
Dixon Jones @Dixon_Jones from Majestic
First up is birthday woman Marcela De Vivo. Happy Birthday Marcela!
Influencer Marketing is hot right now for a variety of reasons: consumers increased use of ad blocking, increased competition and working with the right influencers can make your marketing more effective, especially with SEO.
But working with influencers and getting them to pay attention to your brand can be hard.
There are many examples of big brands leveraging influencer marketing including Pedigree, Hulu and Bob’s Red Mill. But there are also small brands like YogaClub that have had great results too. “Working with influencers revolutionized our brand.”
Impressions are nice, but how do you get influencers to truly impact your ROI?
One of the best ways to get ROI out of influencer marketing is to bring it into your SEO strategy.
To do that, understanding the top SEO ranking factors will help you understand opportunities to incorporate influence with SEO.
- Site traffic – Number of direct visits for high volume keywords. Influencers can be a great source for direct traffic. Influencers can generate demand for your brand which also creates visits to your site.
- User engagement signals – Visitors coming to your website from search – pages viewed per session and bounce rate. Influencers that have a trusted niche of followers that trust them to recommend sites to visit. That trust should result in an audience that delivers stronger user engagement signals.
- Links – Total backlinks to a domain, referring IPs, and total follow backlinks. With influencers you get links they share to your site but ideally, their followers may also link to you. One way to work with influencers this way is through giveaways where content is part of the contest.
- Natural organic content – Longer content tends to perform better than shorter content. Things like keywords in the title and H1 tags. Influencers can contribute content to your site that your brand owns. Then you can encourage influencers to share that content that they created hosted on your site. You can also use Facebook ads to promote that content. Alternatively, you can sponsor the influencer to create content on their own site and encourage them to promote.
Steps to build an effective influencer marketing campaign:
- Start by picking the social media channels you want to target.
- Create a list of potential influencers using Google, social networks or specialty tools / networks of influencers.
- Shortlist your influencers.
- Contact the influencers via email, phone and/or social media. Get creative.
- Get pricing information from the influencer.
- Negotiate a detailed agreement with deliverables. Focus on long term partnerships.
- Send the influencer a descriptive campaign brief.
- Track, monitor and amplify their posts.
- Measure performance.
Hacks for working with influencers:
Measure influencers against each other with an assessment tool. Gather all the data about influencer activity and estimate the CPM value. Include data like: followers, blog traffic, demographic data, engagement per post.
Calculate total relevant audience. Then figure out the engagement to audience ratio. Add total cost and divide by total relevant audience divided by 1000. With this data you can identify which influencers are the best to work with.
Combine Facebook live videos with influencer amplification. Live videos often have good organic reach. Run ads against the influencers own audience. Be sure to use the same post ID when you promote content to build social proof.
After the live video on Facebook, upload them to YouTube, creata a bog post with them, get the influencer to share your video blog post and use Facebook ads to amplify the posts.
Following these guidelines will result in links, traffic and engagement – all signals that are good for SEO.
Next up is Dixon Jones who is retiring after 20 years in the industry at the end of this year. Congratulations Dixon!
Dixon asks, to leverage influencer marketing to improve SEO what are we trying to do? Get them to write about you and to get them to like and share your content.
Likes and shares are nice, but they’re just not as impactful to SEO as links.
BuzzSumo did some research on why people share and link to content which is useful when planning how to get influencers to link to your content.
Why might influencers link to your content?
- Original insights research
- As reference to support an article
- To share authoritative content including research and facts
- To cite dynamic data that changes
But do links still matter? “Yes” says Andrey Lipattsev from Google. Also Google’s Gary Illes, “Ranking without links is really, really hard. Not impossible, but very hard.”
Takeaway – An influencer can amplify a link for you very effectively.
How many links is enough? Dixon says “one” if they’re from the right source. It’s not about the quantity, it’s about the quality. That means being careful about which influencers you work with.
Steps to engaging influencers:
- Identify the right influencers. Use Majestic’s search engine to find relevant content with desirable inbound co-linking ratios. Also, BuzzSumo’s tool for finding top content and authors for a keyword. Review where they publish. Use whatever communication tool that the influencer prefers – not what is most convenient to you.
- Engage the influencers. Doing this right is hard. Networking is priceless. It’s your chemistry not the tools that matter. Use tools like Influsionsoft, Sendible, Outlook, Rapportive. Build trust, be honest and be sincere. Ultimately, its about the beer (for Dixon). Build genuine relationships that can be leveraged when you have something valuable to share with them.
- Define the digital asset. Content isn’t necessarily king. The best thing might be an idea, a produce, or a process. It doesn’t have to be a URL.
- Prepare the launch. When you have something good to say and great relationships with relevant influencers, send them a preview of what you’re going to announce. Tell them the link URL and the exact time of launch. Then remind them it is live.
- Monitor results. Choose a KPI and stick to it, Is it a digital asset? Traffic from the influencer’s content? Search traffic? Citation flow or Trust flow? Just be sure to look at impact over time, not just in the short term. Compare similar campaign metrics with each other vs. mis-matched metrics.
Finally, Dixon asks and answers: How can you get influencers’ attention? By sharing something new, authoritative, referenceable, or unique.
And that’s a wrap. Great job Marcela and Dixon!