When people need advice they usually go to a friend or someone else they trust. Online influencer marketing capitalizes on this widespread inclination to seek advice from a trusted party.
Influence marketing has exploded in popularity primarily because people have grown cynical about traditional advertising methods (directly correlated with huge projections for native advertising in 2018). They’re not sure if they can trust ads and sometimes assume businesses are making claims for the benefit of their own bottom line. This cynicism can be overcome however if the product recommendation comes from someone they trust. IMO influencer marketing has also exploded due to social media and "celebrities" figuring out they can add another revenue stream by adding products and services into their daily lives.
There's definitely a gray area between an official testimonial and a subtle product mention that is made almost in passing. The best influencers work to integrate product promotion into their unique stories without skipping a beat. They are aware that their audience is fickle so they treat every post with care so as not to turn them away. Alternatively you have some celebs like Kylie Jenner over-promoting things to her followers. You can find her on instagram here. Do her followers care? The jury is out on that one. My guess is that they don't mind the overt promo.
Engagement Traffic & Inbound Links
One of the biggest challenges facing many brands is getting heard over the noise and ranking well on Google. The obvious benefit of influencer marketing is that it boosts brand visibility and engagement from a PR perspective but the potential SEO benefits are HUGE. According to MOZ Engagement & Traffic are ranked 5th when it comes to the search engine ranking factors on Google. The recipe is simple: The more you can engage your specific audience the more traffic / engagement you drive to your website the more inbound links you may receive.
Let's use the brand Sugar Factory as an example here. They do a phenomenal job at having mainstream celebs like Drake Justin Bieber and the like show up to their locations then share about it with their followers. The end result is Engagement & Traffic to the location's website social media pages and Google local listings.
Let's hop on over to my favorite SEO Analysis tool SEMrush and check out the backlink profile and SEO health of SugarFactory.com. This shows us some of the results of morphing this influencer marketing strategy into their business model. Taking a look at the website traffic over time there have been some nice increases.
This tool is seeing tat they have 5700 total backlinks a Domain Score of 22 and Trust Score of 33 (read about what those scores mean here). All of that indicates a healthy overall profile when just looking at it at face level.
Search engines take the number of referring domains linking to a site into account when ranking it in the search results. The authority of the website linking to a site is also key. An authority website doesn’t necessarily have to be a big publisher; it could be a niche website or blog that’s recognized for its high quality content. For example you can see that there are HIGH domain / trust score URL's that are linking to sugarfactory.com. This could be directly correlated to the many celebrity stories coming from their locations and those stories getting picked up by large / local news sources like Huff Post and Washington Post.
So what should your brand or agency look for when sourcing an influencer to do a campaign? We (excelerate) can do that for you obviously. If you want to do it on your own here are some things to consider.
- The domain authority of the influencer
- How many unique visitors they get
- Engagement per post (super important)
- Their Audience demographics
(BuzzSumo is one of my favorite free and paid tools to find infleuncers)
Another positive SEO benefit with influencer marketing is creating that ONGOING relationship with the influencer. This will be your chance to make an awesome impression on that person so you have to make sure you do. It will ensure ongoing content opportunities for the future for FREE! Just imagine your influencer going to other media outlets a red carpet event or their social channels and talking about your prodoct or service later on. Google will definitley notice and those residual waves of brand awareness traffic and engagement will help your ovcerall SEO health.
Note: A lot of me talking here has been assuming that a lot of the foundational things have been setup like a Google friendly website with fresh content. If you're a local business with multi locations you'll also want to make sure your local listing data is also tight.
For more information about implementing a campaign of influencer marketing read our blog about how to get started or contact us here.