Earlier this week, we had the opportunity to present alongside other industry thought leaders at Influencer Marketing Days in New York City. Our session aimed to help attendees win in search by providing actionable steps to reposition their current influencer campaigns to build sustainable search equity and organic traffic growth.
We also focused on the critical component of providing meaningful content-based value to influencers which ensures an exchange of mutual benefit takes place, maximizing impact. Below are the fundamental talking points discussed during our session:
Integration is Key
Maximize influencer marketing ROI by incorporating unpaid relationships into your existing plan. It may seem counterintuitive, but by relinquishing the creative control characteristic of paid relationships, you’ll be able to generate natural and authentic mentions of your brand and capitalize on them for SEO value, helping to build equity to your brand’s website and sustainable visibility for revenue-generating search queries.
In order to accomplish this, you have to understand how to motivate an influencer to write about your brand without paying them. More difficult? Yes. Impossible? Absolutely not.
Cash Isn’t King
While money is the easiest and most common thing to ask for and offer when establishing an influencer relationship, in most instances, it’s not an influencer’s top motivator. According to a Terakeet survey of 432 influencers, connecting with others, sharing expertise and using their publication as a creative outlet are the most common reasons why influencers start publishing.
According to a Terakeet survey of 432 influencers:
Connecting with others, sharing expertise and using their publication as a creative outlet are the most common reasons why influencers start publishing.
Whether the end goal is monetization or not, the critical component that allows for all of these things to take place is website traffic. The only way to drive real, sustainable traffic is to regularly publish great, engaging content. This can be incredibly difficult, so help them do this to find a mutually beneficial win/win!
In order to truly connect with an influencer and understand what makes them tick, don’t be robotic or make the conversation all about you and your brand. Take the time to understand what is valuable to them, what their goals are, and how you can help them on their journey.
Be malleable in your approach and respect their expertise and opinions. In order to achieve an ideal SEO outcome, you must leverage your content as a catalyst for a conversation, so start to have a real one from the very beginning.
You Must Inspire
To achieve these long-term organic results, your goal is to be referenced naturally within unique editorial content on trusted publications. In order to get someone to willingly and enthusiastically do so in an authentic way without paying them or having them experience your product or service first-hand, you must inspire them.
Leverage your expertise, find a unique content gap that you can help fill for that publisher in alignment with what their readers want, and ask them to react to or incorporate the content you provide them within a way that enables them to write about what they’re passionate about and/or have an expertise in.
Striking the right balance can be challenging – try out this brainstorming exercise to help you identify the right approach for your brand.