Many marketers strive to align themselves with influencers because this kind of engagement has been proven to rapidly expand brand visibility for many businesses.
With influencer marketing, a much larger audience is suddenly exposed to your brand, which often results in a significant spike in traffic that can lead to more subscribers, followers, and leads.
An even greater benefit of influencer marketing that some folks miss out on is the long-term SEO improvement. A study conducted by Moz revealed the weight of some significant ranking factors in search, and if you read between the lines, you’ll see how influencer marketing can work to your advantage in organic search.
1. Expanding your link profile.
As much as Google’s algorithm has changed in order to eliminate junk listings from search results, backlinks are still important when it comes to determining your position in the search results. What’s changed with backlinks is how the algorithm scores them, specifically focusing on the source’s authority, quality, and relevancy.
This is a primary reason why guest posting has gained popularity, as marketers and brands create content to publish on the sites of influencers or influential brands.
When you create content with the purpose of generating targeted referral traffic, providing value to an extended audience, and improving your reach, you’re also generating organic and natural links that will enhance your backlink profile in the search engines.
2. Growing site traffic.
I mentioned how influencer marketing can generate significant traffic for your site. This traffic typically comes from referral links, but you could see an increase in direct traffic as well. Backlinko created a list of some 200 ranking factors used by Google’s algorithm, which includes both Direct Traffic and Repeat Traffic as ranking factors. This was confirmed by the Moz study I referenced above, in which traffic is the fifth most influential factor on the algorithm.
Guest posting is just one way to generate traffic. When you form connections and build relationships with influencers, they will share your content across their social channels, where it will be picked up by your audience.
Although social signals do not impact organic search rank, the growth in traffic to your site over time will have an impact on your rank.
3. Bringing the content home.
A good relationship with an influencer isn’t developed quickly, but it can bring a tremendous amount of value once established. While many of the top influencers tend to be incredibly busy, you may be able to get a guest post on your own site from a mid-level influencer with a growing audience.
Once you have that high-value content published in your blog, take the time to promote the content far and wide to both of your audiences. Not only will you gain the benefit of a traffic boost, but that content could also start generating inbound links.
Other people will likely curate that content and link back to it, or quote the influencer in their own posts or to link back to your content to cite facts and statements from the influencer.
4. More visibility with video.
Given that YouTube falls under Google’s umbrella, it’s no surprise that traffic increased considerably after the Google Panda update. Unfortunately, highly relevant and well-trafficked videos might still get preferential treatment in the search results.
Take this as a solid opportunity to work with an influencer to produce more than just blog posts. Diversifying your content not only expands your reach to different audience segments, but it can also give you more of that coveted first page real estate in organic search.
A video interview with an influencer, audio from a podcast, or interview segments divided into slides with striking visuals can give you a significant bump in search visibility. While these efforts won’t contribute directly to the search visibility of your site, it’s always a good idea to have other entry points into your funnel, such as videos.
When the influencer’s audience searches for content related to that influencer, they’ll find your videos optimized and co-branded, which will ultimately give your own brand a lift among those new audience segments.
Every relationship should be reciprocal, whether it’s with your audience or an influencer. Working with an influencer in the ways I listed above can give you a lift in organic visibility, but you shouldn’t approach influencer marketing as a means of “using” or “leveraging” the influencer. The best results will come from a mutually beneficial relationship where respect is established. If you treat them selfishly, influencers will start to ignore you.
A win-win approach creates a stronger relationship, and influencers you engage with will be happy to work with you more often when you reciprocate by helping them expand their own brand visibility and audience.