Before COVID-19, influencer marketing was a tactic used by particular brands to reach an influencer’s audience or demographic on their social platforms or YouTube channel. Nowadays (six months after the start of the pandemic), we see many brands have adopted influencer marketing as a part of ongoing digital marketing strategies to combat the impact of COVID-19, increase trust with consumers and improve visibility.
Influencer Marketing Hub published a report, Coronavirus (COVID-19) Marketing & Ad Spend Impact: Report + Stats, that does a deep-dive into how 237 brands have handled the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. One of the sources cited in the report, CreatorIQ, analyzed more than 1.4 million Instagram influencers’ posts speaking to COVID-19 or including popular coronavirus hashtags. The most important finding in this analysis is that a little more than 800,000 influencer posts around the subject of the pandemic resulted in 2.9 million engagements.
This marketing trend is on an upward trajectory because it clearly works. However, an online business only succeeds if the website and complementary digital platforms are optimized for Search and answer user intent. With search engine optimization (SEO) as the backbone of many digital marketing plans, we have to ask how influencer marketing affects SEO strategies? And, how does influencer marketing work together with an SEO strategy?
The short answer is it improves your SEO performance. There are several ways influencer marketing bolsters SEO, provided you form a relationship with the right influencer for your brand who boasts an audience of prospects interested in your value proposition. If you make the right decision in this regard, you will quickly reap the rewards.
Influencer marketing can provide diverse link juice and a growing link profile as the influencer creates content and links it back to you or creates content (including your link) that is picked up and shared by external sites or other influencers. And on the topic of content generation, your influencer(s) will create content that’s both unique and loved by their audience, which usually means loved by your audience, too. Let’s not forget that Google judges your content harshly. Still, you can rest assured a successful influencer knows exactly how to create content that Google will lap up (think keywords, high-quality, readability). Also, their reach and ability to engage with the audience is far greater than your brand could dream of. Considering reach and engagement is a vital ranking factor accounted for by Google, achieving your goals in this regard is a win. The end result here is not only pleasing the search giant but also way more traffic to your site than you’ve had before.
Influencer marketing seems to achieve similar key performance indicators (KPIs) as some SEO tactics. So, while influencer marketing activities cannot be measured and tracked as you can with SEO tactics, you can look at the data to identify if goals are being met from a search perspective. If you’re new to influencer marketing, then use your SEO data to determine the influencers worth reaching out to. Your SEO reports will identify for you your target audience demographics, locale and persona, which are all important factors to account for when deciding on which influencers to pitch your value proposition to. It would seem that if you combine influencer marketing and SEO correctly, you end up with a marketing strategy backed by numbers and a brand humanized by an audience-centric, conversation-starting persona.
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