Influencers provide great traction with their fan base and there’s a lot of valuable SEO for brands on offer, however this is often not realised.
This is mostly because a great deal of focus is spent on merely making the successful partnership work, which often drains all resources to achieve.
But if you are an optimist and you’re determined to glean some SEO results from all partnerships then here’s a few pointers to improve the search impact of any collaboration with an influencer.
1. Influencer links
There should always be a desire for audiences to leap from an influencers site to your brand’s website. This should be instilled within all of your influencer marketing activities e.g. seeing the whole of something – the full graph, the full interview, the full video e.t.c.
Without a ‘back to mine’ attitude you can’t obtain valuable links.
By doing this you immediately start to shape audience conversions from a partnership with an influencer. This is your unique opportunity to show off the memorable aspects of your service and offering, while attempting to convert users.
For instance, intriguing hyperlinks embedded within influencer social posts are a great way to stimulate audience traffic e.g. appealing urls such as: http://ift.tt/29v5prt
2. Influencer guestposts
Celebrities not so much, but webstars such as YouTube bloggers are likely to have an authoritative blog and a website that may hold valuable linkages, much to the envy of your competitors.
Agreeing some sort of exclusive asset for their own platform is clever stuff from a competition perspective especially. This is because these links may be harder to obtain and more unique to you within your marketplace.
A good example of obtaining links on an influencers website might be offering a prize signup form that they host rather than you, or behind the scenes footage, of the full photoshoot made available only on their blog.
There’s a good chance that if you write the copy for the post then you should be able to insert a priority link to terms and conditions, photographer biography, a makeup tutorial or a direct link to the original content on you (the brand’s) site.
It is always easier to get a guestpost with links in it signed off if more than one company feature. Consider who you might favour to include, partnerships like this are reciprocal so working in partnership with other brands is powerful… you have to give a little to get a lot.
3. Influencer link prospects
Take a good look at your web influencers link portfolio. Are any major publishers obsessed with this particular influencer? Is there any leverage from major publishers that you can investigate?
Use invitations as a chance to broker these opportunities. But always get this through an influencer’s management first, then broker a deal that may carry some serious link juice.
4. Influencer fan links
It’s not just the influencer that holds their influence, as daft as it sounds there is a lot of influence from fans and fan site coverage, and the momentum can be stifling too.
Targeting the influencers fan base can initially give them an exclusive conversation to air. If need be then setup some exclusive angles for them to distribute, for examples unseen photos, a short interview Q&A or even a video message.
Let the fan base have an (agreed) leaked story so that you may push more natural syndications for free e.g. when the Eddie the Eagle film came out recently, Take That fans were actually a great source of early promotion. This is because they did the backing music to the film.
5. Researching influencer SEO
Followerwonk, Facebook Search queries, Buzzsumo and Twitter search are very useful in the first instance for finding influencers. But these tools equally help to support the argument yay or nay as to whether an influencer is able to create the best traction on the best platforms for your audience.
Facebook’s audience is saturating, YouTube’s is going that way, Twitter’s is going youthful, Linkedin’s going older http://pic.twitter.com/cCR4cEpHoQ
— Mat D. Wright (@Matdwright) February 21, 2014
If your target audience is older then you are unlikely to capitalise on an influencers with a large following on Instagram.
That’s the great thing about influencers, they come in all shapes and sizes and in all manor of conceptual interests e.g. another brand in another category, like HSBC and the UK government who created content about Brompton bicycles.
If you are after American women interested in furniture and in their 30s then find interior influencers on Pinterest. Start small, you don’t necessarily need a huge webstar, you might utilise three.
6. Stay authentic
Audiences generally don’t celebrate brands as much as they do people. It is therefore more powerful to piggyback, even engineer, the celebration of an influencer’s achievements and align your products to these achievements. In doing so you may easily create the alignments that draw the right audiences.
Celebrate the influencer, give influencers further encouragement. Don’t do a You-You-Yawn.
— Mat D. Wright (@Matdwright) November 16, 2015
7. The influencer’s longtail
Every influencer and celebrity has a long-tail of searches that tend to be fairly formulaic and at times low competition and high traffic. Interviews, height, hair tutorials, workouts, makeups. They all count towards authority.
Think about how you can integrate these quickly and more readily e.g. record an interview with a dictaphone and complement this with a photo or two.
Image credit: http://ift.tt/28TwRmQ
8. Involve the link sources
Can a component of what you’re doing channel the questions that fans ask? Can you utilise this as a way to gain followers, for people to stay up-to-date with what’s unfolding? It’s down to preparation of questions from an influencers top fans with the most clout.
If you want to improve the virality and word of mouth (pre and post an influencer feature) then improve the relations between those who can guarantee large volumes of natural syndication. This will boost your ROI.
9. Product fillers
There are many things a celebrity or influencer simply will not agree to. In order to combat this it is worth filming the extras that you might need in order compensate or, importantly, massage into your content to add emphasis to things that influencers simply would not be able to achieve e.g. wearing swimwear – hire a model, skateboarding – get a pro skater for foreground shots.
10. Influencer T&Cs
Can you publish content that contains talent on social media? Can you feature portraits of them in printed press, will they allow you to feature their voiceover alongside product imagery in commerce, can you feature their testimonial in TV ads, radio, banner ads etc.?
Write a list of the things you are looking for and make sure their agent has signed these off. Is there a way to sweeten your deal by offering them more spots to promote their own interests?
Agents are very good at monetising these extras so bartering is essential here. Evaluate each one based on the ROI.
11. Recoup costs and repeat
A lot of work that includes talent can be potentially recouped by promoting their new YouTube channel, book, headphones, theatre appearance, app launch, movie, TV show, etc. Looking out for these contra promotions could save you a lot of money and add even more coverage e.g. can you be a partner to the theatre production?
Thinking creatively might lead to greater coverage and link authority. This is because there are more topics at the core and reasons for people to share, promote and provide coverage for.
Giving someone the leg up that they need can often guarantee the right target audience and audience interest. Radio and daytime TV often uses this to fill their programming more effectively.
12. Social traction
Yeeks, seriously? Years ago brands like Burberry were pioneering the influence of their own staff, urging all staff to tweet whatever new advertisement went live. Today this is common practice (or should be).
A step further than this though is to allow more staff to actually involve themselves in the campaign as cameo roles. Word spreads quickly when someone encourages others to spot them in a new video.
13. Evergreen SEO
Ultimately getting a celebrity to do something new and interesting is the most attractive both for them and you.
However, doing something well and taking the dryness out of a topic, then adding value with your influencer can shape the long term ambitions of this collaboration e.g. will the content you’re making become the most impressive ‘how to guide’ for a really competitive search?
Will your content partnership be the most memorable approach to an evergreen search?
14. Charity authority
You’re missing a trick if you haven’t thought about charity involvement, a lot of the very top authorities have a charitable interest. Think this through because the associations are stronger if you can actually do something with true meaning and value.
The right charity partnership is hard to broker but if you meet their credentials and you feel strongly about the charity then think about this for the long term as an opportunity to do something bigger than you intended.
- Create a full proof reason to go on and visit content on your own website (see point 1),
- Always attempt to broker a deal that includes content you have wrote on their blog or website (point 2),
- Survey your influencers link portfolio for key partnership opportunities (point 3),
- Don’t forget fan sites carry authority too (point 4/8),
- Influencers might be best identified by looking at your audience’s key platforms (point 5),
- Can you help to promote something in tandem, this may make your proposition more relevant? (point 6/11),
- Don’t forget to cover off an influencers long-tail of searches (point 7),
- Get everything in writing or you might be in for a bigger billing (point 9),
- Supplement what an influencer won’t do to strengthen communications (point 10),
- Factor in some sort of user generated content (UGC) to improve virality/WOM (point 12)
- Take aim at evergreens to get the maximum long term influence (point 12)
Matt Wright is a SEO freelancer for independent publishers, start-ups, agencies and blue chip businesses and a contributor to Search Engine Watch. You can see Mark’s SEO freelance portfolio here or connect with him on Twitter: @Matdwright.