Influencer marketing is the latest buzzword in the marketing world, but what is it and how can it help your SEO strategy?
Backlinks Vs brand awareness
'Influencer' has become an all-encompassing word for bloggers, vloggers, Instagramers and others that have a strong social media following. 'Blogger' tends to refer to those that write a blog – either on their own domain or through a blog hosting website such as Blogspot.
SEO blogger outreach is primarily concerned with growing your backlink profile, while influencer marketing is more about brand awareness and boosting referral traffic. Before you embark on an influencer marketing or blogger outreach campaign you will need to define your goals. If you are looking to elevate your brand awareness, then increasing backlinks will not be your primary target.
Brand awareness campaigns are typically measured by the following metrics:
- Instagram/social media insights (reach, engagements etc.)
- Site referrals
- Brand mentions & sentiment
SEO Blogger outreach
As mentioned above, SEO blogger outreach is all about growing your backlink profile. This is an important part of any SEO strategy. Backlinks form part of the way in which search engines determine how reliable and useful a site will be in response to relevant search queries; a number of high-quality relevant backlinks can help your website rise in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Collaborating with a highly relevant blogger can be a great way to earn some ‘link juice’. Not all links are created equally, and the weight a link will have will depend on how authoritative a website is. This is measured by a metric known as domain authority (DA) or domain rank (DR), depending on which tool is used for the data; the higher the DA/DR the more authoritative the site. However, collaborating with a high domain authority is not always the best option.
This is where relevance comes in. Gaining a backlink from a highly relevant blogger with a low DA/DR that has a small but engaged audience will always hold more value for your overall activity than a link from a blogger with a high DA/DR number but an irrelevant audience. For example, if you are a children's clothing company collaborating with a mummy blogger with fairly low domain strength, this could be more effective than working with a blogger with a high DA who does not have any children or ever create content around this subject.
When it comes to SEO blogger outreach, it is sometimes more effective to work with microbloggers than macro or top-tier ones. Many microbloggers are happy to post a blog or share a brand and a link on their site in exchange for gifted products or services. This is because the blogger knows it will be of interest to their readership. Working with other bloggers may require a budget for them to spend their time creating unique content on behalf of the brand.
Blogs that don’t have their own domain, e.g. those with a blogspot site, are not going to provide any direct benefit for backlink building type activity as the ‘link juice’ from them won’t count to search engines. However, the influence of these bloggers over their audience, in some cases, may mean they are still valuable to work with for other reasons.
A growing part of influencer marketing is affiliate influences, this means an influencer promotes an offer they are involved with and receives a small pay-out if a sale is achieved through their link. Its worth noting that affiliate links offer no SEO value. Affiliate marketing can be an effective tool for boosting sales when it is done properly – however, it is not an effectual strategy for an SEO campaign.