Use Influencer Marketing with SEO Optimization to Grow Your Reach
In order to grow your brand your business needs to combine your existing SEO efforts with influencer marketing. No longer do we produce content just for search engine visibility — our audience is now requiring us to adapt to a new formula.
This takes identifying the right connections through your existing keywords and content marketing strategy. The more precise we are the better we are able to reach consumers as they are ready to make a purchase.
Would you like to improve your reputation and influence for more sales?
A leading survey by gShift® reveals that only ten percent of their respondents invested in content to reach influencers as a part of their digital marketing plan. They point out that although their publishing efforts are well done the reach is severely lacking:
Content marketing and a solid SEO strategy are very effective when building relationships with influencers for several reasons:
- As you optimize your content for search your brand is more discoverable
- Influencers are the main voice for your brand
- Unique and fresh articles help establish credibility and improve your connections
While publishing to your blog on a regular basis and sharing your content on social media is a foundation to being seen it will need the help of those in authority in your industry to spread the word and reach a specific niche.
Your brand or business will need to connect with influencers inside your target market who already have a trusted relationship with your audience. With authentic relationship building such as interactions and sharing of their content you can build a larger following as they see your business as being more credible.
In a recent article on Entrepreneur, Chris Boulas, founder of the digital marketing firm, Formulytic, said that “business is about give and take, so don’t approach influencers with a take-only mindset.” Boulas points out that you should add value to a connection through any skills you may have to offer, a great idea, or feedback about an influencer’s business. “Apply your skill or share your ideas for free and provide value upfront first,” he said.
If your business is not already making connections with trusted sources here are several reasons you should get started today:
- Publishing content is not enough — your message should be amplified across several channels with recommendations
- Your business can go well beyond your existing audience and tap into an even larger community
- When an influencer recommends your brand your visibility can dramatically increase as people see you as a trusted source
- You will have a better understanding of the content needs of your readers as they respond to what your influencers are publishing
- It is more cost effective than traditional advertising — a recent Tomoson poll shows that “businesses are making $6.50 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing.”
Keeping these results in mind it is clear that the new way to acquire customers is through building great relationships with influencers. There are several methods your business can use to find the right individuals or brands for your niche:
Research the right keywords
Before you begin the process of reaching out to influencers it’s important to do your market research first — in order to attract the right connections you need to find a very specific segment.
Focus on topics and keyword phrases in order to discover top content creators in your industry. Pay attention to the audience reactions and engagement rather than how often articles are being published.
When your business puts the needs, desires, and buyer history of your prospects ahead of who you want to make a connection with then you will be able to find the most valuable influencers. This can especially be found on social networks like Reddit, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Choose the right audience
As you discover exactly who is responding to trusted sources in your industry you can go beyond this information and delve deeper into their demographics, lifestyle, and interests. This will lead you directly to the right influencers — for example, you might discover that your audience is interested in other topics that affect their buying decisions.
Your business will soon be able to track a reader’s journey on an influencer’s post all the way through to their actions on social media. Use analytics tools to establish a pattern of behavior and what content is being favored the most.
Attend meetings and conferences where you know your industry leaders are involved in. This can open the doors for connecting on social media, and in turn they have a face to place to a name with online. Your business will not only learn new ideas about your industry, but can also re-purpose your experience into several uses:
- A blog post or a series of blog posts
- Social media memes, quotes, or video
- Press release
- Twitter hashtag campaign promoting the event and attendees
It’s important to maintain an on-going relationship with your new connections through email, social engagement, and helpful comments on their blogs.
Track both online and social analytics
Not only should your business optimize and monitor your website content, but you should also be paying attention to “dark social” methods, which also directly impacts your search engine visibility.
According to Alexis C. Madrigal of The Atlantic, dark social happens when links are copied and shared from content, which gets missed by conventional analytics. Madrigal points out that this can take place through email, chat tools, messaging apps, ect. She revealed the results her magazine was seeing in this 2012 chart:
Use online analytics software to track links that are copied and pasted rather than shared from your sharing icons on your blog posts. One tool in particular that is helpful for this is from GetSocial, which does the data research for you at a low cost.
Use smart URLs for better tracking
Whenever your business shares a link to a blog post consider using a URL shortener to analyze your traffic, how many clicks took place, ect. There are several free resources available including Google, Bit.ly, and social media management software such as Buffer and Hootsuite.
Here’s an example of what a Hootsuite report might look like:
Not only can you determine where your traffic is coming from but the source of the clicks as well such as a direct click, from a Google search, social media, ect.
When using your existing SEO marketing techniques along with offline methods and social media your business can attract new influencers for a stronger presence online. Keep in mind several important factors, including:
- Influencer marketing needs to be in addition to your other digital marketing and networking efforts
- Find out which keywords are the most popular with your community and search for industry leaders through those
- Use tracking software for both online and offline activity
- Keep a spreadsheet of your connections and interact with them daily through either email, social media, or blogs
Making this investment in your business marketing budget will strengthen your brand and build more trust in your community. The traditional way of building articles for SEO has now shifted to who you are connected with as audiences looking to referrals and trusted sources for their purchasing decisions.