Influencer Targeting and How to Use it for SEO: 15 Ideas and Professional Tips
Huge amounts of content are produced every day with a volume that is constantly growing. Content is created by information and entertainment materials, photos and videos, content posted on websites, blogs, YouTube channels, and various streaming platforms.
A separate segment to think about is the ocean of information generated in social networks. In order to promote their content in this extremely competitive environment, SEO professionals are looking for different ways, methods, and strategies. One interesting tactic that is becoming more and more popular in SEO is influencer targeting. Let’s figure out what the purpose and specifics of this technique are and how to effectively use it to solve SEO problems.
Who are influencers?
Influencers are people who influence the audience in a specific area, environment, or niche. Many people have subscribed to their blogs and social media accounts. It can be tens, hundreds, thousands, and in the case of movie and show business or sports stars, millions of users.
An important role in assessing the influence and significance of an influencer is not played by the quantity but by the quality of subscribers, audience reach, and the ability of influencers to influence it and motivate people to take certain actions.
For example, the founder of MOZ and SparkToro Rand Fishkin, who is an influencer in the field of SEO and digital marketing, has 437.5 k followers on Twitter:
33,956 of these users are also subscribed to his Facebook page:
We can conclude that the main audience of this influencer is on Twitter.
What is influencer marketing?
Due to the exceptional popularity of social networks, such a direction as influencer marketing has been actively developing in recent years by attracting influential personalities to solve marketing problems, promote a brand, product, etc. According to a report by Business Insider Intelligence, the influencers market is expected to reach $15 billion by 2022. This is nearly double the $8 billion in 2019. According to the Digital Marketing Institute, today 67% of brands and market players collaborate with influencers. It is also worth noting the following interesting facts and trends:
- 49% of consumers listen to influencers, while 40% shop after their recommendations.
- 86% of women use social media to get information and advice before making a purchase.
- Influencer marketing is the most dynamic and fastest-growing way to attract customers on the Internet.
- Influencer marketing is expected to reach $10 billion in 2020.
- 40% of Twitter users make purchases after receiving information from this network.
- 60% of the total number of consumers were inspired to make a purchase after receiving information from a social network or blog.
An example of how to implement influencer marketing is in the Googfood case study with 60 influencers. During the campaign, 2000 pieces of content were created such as recipes, stories, and posts using the brand’s products.
The result was 34 million potential impressions and 71,000 engagements. This brought in 34.2% conversions. After posting content on the Nativo advertising platform, the conversion increased to 44.5%.
All this very eloquently confirms that the use of influencers is an effective tactic for promoting products, brands, services, etc. Although interacting with them was initially considered a pure marketing method, it can be effectively used for SEO promotion as one of the components of an SEO strategy.
How to use influencer marketing for SEO?
Interaction with influencers and the use of influencers marketing principles within SEO is consistent with the E-A-T principle (expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness). It implies that content should be relevant and meet the criteria for the quality and reliability of the information. Sources and experts must have a high level of authority, competence, an appropriate reputation, and be trusted by the target audience.
In this context, interaction and cooperation with influencers will significantly increase the value of content, as well as contribute to solving a number of tasks:
- Communication with the target audience which has formed around the influencer. In order to acquire a wide range of subscribers, it takes years of intensive work, a large amount of original and high-quality content creation, building a reputation, etc. Influencers already have all of this, therefore, establishing communication and cooperation with them, the ability to broadcast your content and your messages through their channels will become a highly effective way of communication.
- Attracting organic traffic: One of the most difficult tasks for brands, especially for those that are entering the market and trying to take their place in a niche, is the need to stand out against the background of competitors and break through the information noise that surrounds every modern person. Getting into the information field created by an influencer, you can almost guarantee to get a portion of the attention of their audience. If the broadcast content is of high quality and interesting to the target audience, with the help of an influencer, you can get a significant increase in organic traffic
- Getting quality backlinks. As you know, the presence and quantity of high-quality backlinks is an important factor in Google ranking and link building is one of the topical tasks for SEO specialists. Interacting with influencers and creating the material will attract the attention of the target audience. Being informative, useful, and bright will help you stand out against the background of similar content and will increase the number of backlinks. To avoid content having an advertising nature and causing hostility towards the audience, it is worth considering what context and key to present it in. This will be discussed in more detail below. For quality backlinks, see Build High-Quality Backlinks.
- Increasing brand awareness: Among target brand guidelines you can almost always find a recommendation to pay attention to brand awareness. The target audience of any influencer always listens carefully to their advice and recommendations. Therefore, by being mentioned as an influencer, your brand will not be overlooked.
- Creation of relevant and fresh content. This is one of the main tasks that influencers themselves are constantly solving.Thanks to which they manage to maintain their high positions, increase their rating and influence. Therefore, when working with influencers, you will also need to produce high-quality and interesting content for your target audience. This can have a positive effect on traffic and Google rankings.
- The possibility to qualitatively and quantitatively improve SEO performance through long-term cooperation: By establishing a long-term collaboration with an influencer, such as a joint project or content exchange, you can reach a new level in terms of SEO efficiency. In particular, thanks to a well-known influencer in the niche, it is possible to significantly increase brand mentions, and blog names while improving the position in the SERP.
- Viral content and link baits: Collaborating with influencers will help create viral content, which in turn will drive organic traffic and get quality backlinks. Depending on your niche, it is worth deciding what content can become viral, such as a useful guide or research or information that is relevant in the current period.These can be actively reposted from the influencer’s submission. You can read more about link bait in What Is Link Bait? 10 Most Effective Link Bait Examples.
It is worth noting that people always have more confidence in the recommendations of acquaintances or people who are authoritative for them than in advertising or just information, even if it is very high-quality and well-reasoned. Social networks play an important role in the lives of most people today. Therefore, collaboration with influencers can be called an important part of SEO promotion, and the blog influencer program should be included in your SEO strategy.
Definitive Guide how to use influencer marketing for SEO
When it comes to influencing marketing in the context of SEO, it’s worth noting that it is organic marketing that will result from successful interactions with influencers and lead to collaboration. Most brands work with influencers on a commercial basis. The task of an SEO specialist is to build high-quality and long-term relationships with influencers and establish partnerships. Let’s find out how to put it into practice.
- Decide on your target audience. When choosing influencers for future work and cooperation, it is important to understand what the target audience is interested in, who is their authority, and whose opinion will play a role. It is worth working out a portrait of a potential consumer and formulate the messages that you want to convey to them. Also, it is worth analyzing which communication channel they use. For example, if your content is related to B2B, then representatives of the target audience will most likely use resources such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, be in niche communities or read thematic blogs. If we are talking about a youth audience, then the use of the TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest networks will be relevant. Also, Instagram and Pinterest will be the optimal platform for content related to cooking, travel, fashion, fitness, health, etc.
- Decide how you see your influencer. It is important to remember that the number of followers and popularity among bloggers or general popularity does not always mean that this influencer will be relevant to your niche, task, and target audience. In some areas, again in the B2B segment or highly specialized areas, a reputable influencer expert may have 5k-10k subscribers, but this will be exactly the audience for which your content is designed. It is also worth paying attention to how active the influencer’s audience is. For example, if their account has 1.5 million subscribers, but 25 thousand people react to posts or photos, it means that the real popularity among the audience is not very high. If we are talking about a blogger, it is important to pay attention to the activity of the audience in the comments and the activity of the author themselves. Influencers who systematically communicate with their audience are able to exert a greater influence on the behavior of subscribers.
- One of the most pressing questions faced by those planning to launch a promotion is how to find influencers to sell my product? The solution to this problem should be approached comprehensively and in several stages. First of all, it’s important to determine what kind of influencers are in your niche.
Influencers can be roughly divided into three categories by status and degree of influence:
- Top representatives of the industry, celebrities, authoritative figures, and popular people: They have a huge audience that can go far beyond a certain niche (for example, a famous chef can also be a famous TV presenter, writer, blogger, etc.).
- Big representatives of your niche: They are respected, reputable people, well known in their industry, they have achieved significant success and position. They have a fairly wide audience, which mainly consists of people interested in the direction of their activities and related areas.
- Representatives of a niche who are just gaining momentum but already have their own audience: They are actively developing their communication channels and are already listening to their opinion. Sometimes their status is characterized as micro-influence.
The influencer’s status directly affects their accessibility in terms of communication and the possibility of building relationships and cooperation. Of course, representatives of the first group, which is very small for any area, are the most influential and can make a fateful contribution to the development and promotion of a brand, product, etc. On the other hand, it is extremely difficult to get close to them. It is better to do this when you already have some weight or at least minimal fame in your niche.
Representatives of the second category of influencers are more accessible and you can find an approach to them. This will also most likely take a lot of time and may not bring the desired result.
Influencers who belong to the micro-influence group are the most open for contact. You can agree with them on a joint project or mutually beneficial cooperation, as they themselves are interested in developing their brand and increasing awareness and status.
- How can you find influencers in your niche and where should you start? The most obvious option is to start looking for influencers on the web using a search engine. For example, if you enter the search Top SEO influencers into Google, you can get links to materials with the names of leading SEO experts in the search results:
Another effective way is to monitor social networks. This will require some time investment but will help with compiling a list of opinion leaders. By typing keywords in a social network search engine, you can find the right people. For example, in the process of searching on Twitter for influencers specializing in the topic of healthy eating, we immediately managed to reach a blogger with an audience of 108.2K:
This is not a very large audience but it is worth monitoring its activity in likes and comments and assessing how this author can be potentially influential for their subscribers.
- Using influence marketing platforms and marketplaces: As the sphere of influence marketing is developing very dynamically, the number of services that provide communication between influencers and those who want to promote their content with their help is also growing:
For example, one of the free online services for finding influencers in different niches is Influence.co. After registering, you can start researching:
- Search for influencers through online conferences. Influencers of all levels often take part in various international and local niche conferences. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the genre of online conferences has become especially common Information about this topic can be easily found on the internet, as well as data on participants:
- Follow the podcasts that appear on your topic, they often feature opinion leaders, popular media personalities, and niche experts.
- List your influencers by category and group. Such systematization will allow not only to structure the database of influencers but also help to plan a strategy for interaction with them, think over the frequency of communication, etc.
- Find up-to-date influencer email addresses. Of course, now, many people can be directly contacted via social networks by sending a direct message. At the same time, for public figures, the function of sending messages directly may be blocked for obvious reasons. Therefore, for effective outreach and compliance with the rules of business communication etiquette, a database of email addresses is needed. It is important that all addresses are working. To do this, you can use special services such as Find That Email, Voila Norbert, Clearbit Connect, Hunter, FindThatLead, Snov.io, which provide the ability to find up to 50 addresses monthly for free. The Skrapp service provides a free search for up to 150 addresses per month:
Name2Email extension from Google Chrome provides unlimited free searches:
Read more in A Practical Guide to Finding Anyone’s Email Address.
- Consider in what style and format you will present your content with the help of influencers. If you plan to communicate in the B2C format, it is important to think about how and with what intonation it will be published. When promoting a brand, product, or service, trust of the target audience, and avoid the feeling that your content with the influencer is advertising. For example, you can submit material in the form of a review, or in the format of a test report if we are talking about a product or service. In general, the correct tone in this kind of communication plays a very important role and this aspect should be paid attention to.
- The key question is how to get influencers to promote your brand. It can take a long time to build relationships with influencers and it just takes proper communication skills. You should subscribe to their accounts and monitor their activity. All influencers create content, and they do it actively and regularly. It is worth demonstrating attention to their work and interest in content, reacting to new posts, discussing topics in the comments, and giving a reaction. Also, you can repost on your pages and accounts, while marking the influencer. If there is an opportunity and it is really appropriate, it is worth leaving detailed comments and expressing your opinion. This will be the first couple of steps to making contact.
- Keep track of what is happening in the lives of influencers and what is on their agenda. It is quite possible that you will be able to prove yourself by participating in any activity. Give good advice or provide assistance if you are an expert in a matter that your object of interest is trying to solve.
- Outreach is a key moment that largely determines how your relationship will turn out in the future. After you have decided on the content you plan to promote, it is worth doing outreach communication with influencers. First, you can talk with novice opinion leaders, since in this case there is a high probability that they will answer you and the conversation may continue. When communicating, it is important to observe the key rule which is to address each influencer individually, demonstrate awareness of his activities, and show that you follow what they do. Of course, you can create a general template aimed at a specific group of influencers. It is worth developing an option for each group, depending on the degree of influence of opinion leaders, their status, and style of communication in the network and in life. It is also worth developing separate templates or individual messages. In case you are planning to contact a well-known representative of a niche or a public person, you should not rush. Such people receive hundreds of letters every day, so in order for your message to not go unnoticed or go straight to the trash, you need it to be unique. If you have valuable content, original development, serious research, etc., this can be a good reason to write to a status person. A useful tactic is to link the content you want to share with something that the influencer did oneself. The letter should demonstrate your awareness of this and emphasize that your message is relevant. For more information on outreach, see Blogger Outreach: How to Get the Expected Feedback.
- Initiate collaboration and joint projects. This type of activity is most suitable for working with representatives of a niche who have micro-influence and are interested in development and promotion. You can initiate a joint project such as a podcast, broadcast, research, workshop, etc., depending on the specifics and audience. This can be a mutually beneficial option because it will show the influencer from a new angle and help them create fresh content. With a successful experience, you can put this activity on stream, ensuring yourself a constant presence in the field of view of the influencer’s audience. You can also offer similar projects to opinion leaders from related fields by assessing your competencies and advantages. For example, if your niche is digital marketing, you can team up with representatives of the PR industry, and if you specialize in sports or yoga, you can team up with influencers from the healthy food niche, interior designers or fashion bloggers can effectively collaborate with famous photographers, stylists, etc. In this case, the project can attract influencers by expanding its own audience. When communicating with the top representatives of the niche, the option of cooperation is also possible but for this, you need to offer them something unique from your personal arsenal. If you are a specialist in one of the niche segments, you can initiate joint research or other activities in which your competencies allow you to create content that is valuable for the influencer.
- Participate in niche events, conferences, business events. If you plan to promote your brand with the help of influencers, you need to be active enough, be in the public eye, and demonstrate your involvement in the niche and passion for the product or industry. True influencers truly love what they do. This is a significant part of their life, so communicating with people who are also passionate about their work can be meaningful and valuable for them. Backlinko founder Brian Dean recalls that when he first launched his project, he participated in a huge number of professional events around the world. Brian admits that this did not have a strong impact directly on the business and its promotion. However, it helped him to meet many professionals from his field, build relationships with them, and establish cooperation and partnership.
In conclusion, Google’s ranking algorithms are becoming more complex. There is more content, and the process of effective SEO-promotion turns into an ongoing challenge. In addition to traditional methods and practices, SEO specialists need to look for additional ways and means of pumping content, resources, and promotion in an oversaturated information environment. Therefore, more recently, a purely marketing influencers marketing method, and some of its techniques have become very relevant and effective for the SEO niche.
Of course, everywhere there are different specifics and in many respects, the success of the event will depend on outreach skills, a properly built and implemented communication strategy, and sometimes luck. It is known that communication and building any relationship is a long and sometimes laborious and costly process.
However, when the role of social networks and Internet communities is difficult to overestimate, it is very important to pay due attention to quality communication, relation building and make full use of such a powerful tool as personality influence. As world history shows, this algorithm has been working stably and very efficiently for several millennia.