Influencer Marketing and SEO: 7 Ways to Build Links and Grow Your Audience

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Influencers are everywhere. From ads on the subway and commercials on TV to social media and YouTube videos, major companies are jumping at the chance to work with some popular talent.

With their massive followings, influencers can introduce your company and its products and services to all kinds of new audiences. You can capitalize on their success if you choose the right influencers for your marketing campaign.

But influencer marketing isn’t just about getting more “likes” on Instagram, it’s also a way of attracting more eyeballs and links to your website, giving a boost to your SEO campaign and helping you earn a top spot in Google’s search rankings.

Learn more about the connection between influencer marketing and SEO, so you can increase your rank and grow your audience.

The Age of Influencer Marketing

With the rise of social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, people across all different industries and interests are uploading original content online and sharing it with users all over the world. They’re cultivating a powerful network of followers that tune in every time they post to these platforms.

And marketers are looking to cash in on this built-in audience by reaching to and working with influencers on different promotional projects. In fact, nearly half of marketers in the U.S. plan on adding more room for influencer marketing in their marketing budget.

Instead of a traditional advertisement where a company asks consumers to buy a particular product or service, influencer marketing uses online celebrities to generate organic interest in their company’s products and services. This may include:

  • Featuring a particular product or service on an influencer’s social media channel
  • Inviting an influencer to participate in a survey, study or interview
  • Influencers and companies working together to create original media

Consumers want to hear recommendations from people they trust, whether it’s their friends, family members, coworkers or someone they admire on social media. 74% of consumers say they use social media to guide their purchasing decisions. Traditional forms of advertising don’t seem to woo over consumers the way they used to, especially when it comes to millennials and younger consumers.

As you continue pouring money into your marketing campaign, remember that consumers may not trust your overly-promotional print ad, but they will trust a beloved online celebrity if they endorse your products and services.  

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Why Influencers Are Important for SEO

While influencer marketing can be a great way to grow your audience and effectively woo over new consumers, it’s also a fundamental part of SEO. If you create content in collaboration with an influencer, whether it’s an original video, infographic, blog post or an ebook, you’re bound to get people talking in your industry.

Backlinks

Obviously, attracting more people to your content is a good thing. But with an influencer at your side, you should also see a spike in backlinks or other web pages that link back to your website.

These backlinks give your content more authority by showing Google that other digital publishers are willing to share your content. Google wants to drive its users to reputable content and websites, so, if you want to rank at the top of Google’s search results, you’ll need a healthy portfolio of quality backlinks to back you up.

People want to hear what influencers have to say, so if you feature them on your website, people will start looking at your page and linking back to your content. It’s just that simple. If you do an in-depth interview with Justin Timberlake or the equivalent in your industry, all kinds of people will start sharing the piece.

Ranking for Additional Keywords

Try Googling one of the influencers in your industry and see what pops up in the results. You might see their Wikipedia page, an official website, and a number of related news articles and stories. If you create content around this influencer and treat their name like any other keyword, your content will also show up in the results.

If people are searching for this influencer online, you can drive more traffic to your site and hopefully convert some of these new viewers into paying customers.

Quality Content

Along with backlinks, high-quality content is currently the most important ranking factor for SEO. Google is driving its users towards content that’s considered useful and reliable. While you might think that your content is up to snuff, featuring an influencer in your content can make all the difference in the world.

Interviewing an influencer or somehow incorporating their expertise into your content are great ways to add value and authority to your content.

How to Reach Out to and Work with Influencers

Now that we’ve established the benefits of influencer marketing and how it relates to SEO, it’s time to start putting this information to good use. Keep these tips in mind when reaching out to and working with influencers in your industry.

1) Finding the Right Influencers for Your Business

The trick to influencer marketing is choosing the right people to work with. Yes, Kim Kardashian is famous, but the chances of her working with your business are slim to none. Besides, do your consumers even care about someone like Kim Kardashian? Unless you sell beauty supplies or women’s clothing, the answer is probably no.

Reaching out to movie stars and celebrities with millions of followers is probably a waste of time. They’re most likely too busy to give you or your colleagues the time of day.

Instead, try reaching out to high-profile individuals that work in or are related to your industry. This might include:

  • Prominent CEOs, marketing experts or other business professionals
  • Lifestyle and advice gurus
  • Makers of popular YouTube tutorials
  • Consultants and mentors
  • Journalists that regularly cover your industry
  • Bloggers and vloggers
  • Published authors

If you focus in on the people directly related to your industry, they’ll be much more likely to respond to your emails and get involved with your business.

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You’ll also have to choose between influencers and micro-influencers, which usually have tens of thousands of followers or less. If you’re a smaller company, you might want to start with less notable influencers and work your way up the ladder. Reaching out to the biggest fish in the sea right off the bat won’t help you get your marketing campaign off the ground.

2) Content Collaboration and Choosing the Right Topic

Now that you have your eye on a few key influencers, you’ll need to come up with a marketing strategy before you start sending out all those email pitches. It’s best to be as specific as possible when reaching out to influencers, so you should already have a few ideas in mind.

  • You could do a paid promotion and ask the person to publicly endorse your products and services, which may cost you a pretty penny or two.
  • You could write a compelling article on a topic of interest in your industry and interview the influencer to gain valuable knowledge and quotes.
  • Or you could create an original piece of media in collaboration with your influencer.

Choosing the right topic or idea all depends on what your business is trying to accomplish and what kinds of content your target audience wants to see.

If you want to wow young people on social media, creating an original video or a paid promotion might make a lot of sense. If you represent a B2B business, you may want to create an industry survey or in-depth report. Keep your target audience in mind when pitching ideas and get your ideas in order before reaching out to influencers.

3) Original Media and Creative Marketing

If you choose to go the more creative route by commissioning an original piece of media, you can come up with all kinds of interesting projects that might appeal to your target influencer. People love to see their favorite influencers in action, so it makes sense to feature them in a video, infographic, or photo reel instead just mentioning them in a blog post.

Visual content tends to be more effective when it comes to winning over B2C audiences as opposed to B2B audiences. More B2C marketers than B2B marketers say that visual content is the most important type of content. While businesses will be looking for facts and statistics, traditional consumers love to be entertained, so using an influencer as the face of your campaign can be an advantage.

Videos continue to dominate social media. In fact, videos will likely represent 82% of all consumer internet traffic by 2021. You can work with your influencer to create a tutorial, an eye-catching video ad, or an inspirational speech. It all depends on whom you’re trying to reach.

4) Paid Promotions and Shout-outs

Of course, you can always pay an influencer to promote your products and services on your company’s behalf. This makes a lot of sense for e-commerce websites, major retailers, and other product manufacturers. You can have an influencer verbally endorse your products, much like a regular TV ad, or have them wear or use your products in a series of social media posts or videos.

If you go this route, it’s best to find influencers whose brand aligns with that of your company’s. Some people may be skeptical to wear or use your products unless they fit with their current style.

You’ll also have to spend some money on these kinds of promotions, especially if the person has hundreds of thousands of followers, so be prepared to break out your checkbook. You can try throwing them some free swag, but that might not be enough to get them interested in your project.

5) Interviews and Surveys

If your company caters to a B2B audience, you might want to do an industry survey or a formal interview with an influencer. To find the right topic, look at trending news stories in your industry and find something that seems to get people’s attention.

Make sure your chosen influencer is considered an expert on this topic before you start putting together a questionnaire for them to fill out. This is an easy way to collaborate with an influencer considering you can quickly send off your questions via email and they can respond at their earliest convenience. While interviews don’t require any in-person collaboration, setting up an in-person meeting can be a great photo op.

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6) Coming Up with a Professional Pitch

Once you’ve settled on a marketing strategy with clear, actionable ideas, it’s time to start pitching. You can use email or a direct message on social media to get their attention.

When Pitching, Keep These Tips in Mind:

  • Be as precise as possible, including what you expect from the influencer, how you plan on achieving it, and how you found them in the first place.
  • Create a relationship between the influencer and your company, including some information about your company and why you think they’d be a good fit for your campaign.
  • Keep it brief. Some people may not have time to read large chunks of text.
  • Leave room for feedback. Some influencers might have interesting ideas of their own.

7) Making the Most of Your Collaboration

As you work on getting your project off the ground, don’t forget about coming up with a release strategy. If you’re meeting in person, take photos of the experience that you can use on social media and your website. Don’t forget to ask the influencer’s permission.

Once the content has been published, you should also post about it on social media to make sure as many people see it as possible. You can include the piece in your email newsletter, share it on LinkedIn, or write a press release in case another news organization wants to do a story on it. This helps you make the most of your efforts instead of solely relying on the influencer to spread the word.

Influencer marketing is an effective strategy that works for almost any business. Regardless of what industry you’re in, you can capitalize on an influencer’s success and turn it into a winning SEO and marketing strategy. Remember to keep your target audience in mind when coming up with ideas and reaching out to influencers. If you continually reach out to new people, your audience will only continue to grow.

If you’re looking for more information on how to incorporate influencer marketing into your SEO campaign, get in touch with SEOToronto.ca for a free SEO consultation today.

Is Your Website Generic?! 5 UX Tips for More User Engagement

If you spend some time scrolling around the internet, you might start to realize that so many websites look more or less the same. You see the same menu options at the top of the screen, a clickbait heading, paragraphs of text and the same stock photo.  Does this sound familiar?

There are nearly two billion active websites scattered around the internet, and that number has doubled over the last four years. With so many websites online, it’s easy to see why so many of them look the same. But that doesn’t mean your website has to follow the same tiresome approach.

Creating a generic user experience (UX) has its pros and cons. For starters, you probably won’t offend anyone with your website as it may appeal to a wide audience. But, on the other hand, you also run the risk of shunning your target audience if they feel that your website doesn’t have a lot of value. Your users have seen it all before, so why would they bother interacting with your website?

People are busy and they either want to find what they’re looking for fast or they want to find something truly original and entertaining. Learn more about the dangers of having a generic website and how you can improve your UX design to drive more engagement.

Playing It Safe with UX: Why All Websites Look Alike

Creating a website is like working with a bare canvas. Platforms like Shopify make it easy to design a website and publish it online in a matter of minutes. As these tools become more popular and accessible, more people are using premade templates to design a site in record time. But even with these handy tools, the possibilities are endless.

You can do so many interesting things with your website to make it more attractive for your target audience. Just like designing a logo or building a product, every detail is an opportunity to astound and amaze. From the color and font of your text to the images on the homepage and the options on your menu, there are all kinds of ways to get creative your design without taking away from the overall utility of your website.

With so many people uploading content and designing their own website, convenience seems to almost always win out. People might not have a lot of time to get creative with their website; they just want something online as fast as possible. But launching a beautiful website takes time, patience, and an eye for design.

The Risks of Having a Generic Website

Just because you can design a website in three minutes or less doesn’t mean you should. Having a generic website means blending in with the crowd. Just like a bland blog post or a mediocre product, there’s relatively nothing to set you apart from your competitors.

If you have a truly original product or service that basically sells itself, it probably doesn’t matter what your website looks like. You could have a black page with a few misspelled words and people would still buy your products and services.

But this isn’t the case for most companies. The competition is real, so you need to do everything you can to stand out and woo over the users that land on your website.

Given 15 minutes to consume content, two-thirds of people would rather read something beautifully designed than something plain. People are inundated with images, content, and ads everywhere they go. So, if they’re choosing to click on your website, you need to give them something of value from a design perspective.

Here’s another statistic to get you thinking: 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content/layout is unattractive. People simply don’t have the time to look at, much less interact with, a boring website with an unattractive layout.

The Importance of Customizing Your Website for Your Target Audience

Web design is not an all-or-nothing science. What one person considers boring, another person might consider simple and useful. These terms are often subjective and based on the individual user in question. One size does not fit all. Creating a more compelling UX is about catering to your target audience.

Some users may be looking for hilarious memes and videos, while others may be looking for detailed, actionable information. You need to keep your target audience in mind when coming up with a UX design strategy. The goal is to engage a certain type of user, not all users (unless you’re Amazon or another major retailer that carries just about every product under the sun).

Focus your efforts on creating an ideal user experience for your target audience or you run the risk of over diluting your design efforts and scaring away the people you need to reach the most.

UX Tips for More User Engagement

Now, let’s dive into our UX design tips for fostering more user engagement. Again, how you implement these tips into your design strategy should all depend on your target audience, so keep those user profiles handy.

1) Be Specific with Menu Options to Drive Clicks

It’s amazing how many website menus all look the same. Nearly every website has a menu bar at the top of the screen and for good reason, considering it helps people navigate your website, but you don’t need to be so rigid when labeling your menu options.

Most website menus include the follow options: Home, About Us, Products/Services, Pricing, Contact Us, or some slight variation on these themes.

While all those menu options are valid and necessary, they could literally describe just about any business in the world. There’s nothing to set this menu apart from its competitors.

Think about things from a user’s perspective, they land on your website, blog post, or landing page and they see these menu options at the top of the screen. How do they know if they’re in the right place?

Be specific with your menu options to help your users navigate your website more easily. Instead of “Products/Services”, you could insert the specific name of your products and services, such as “Appliance Repair Services” or whatever’s applicable to your business.

Remember that, once on a company’s homepage, 86% of visitors want to see information about that company’s products/services. Help your users get around by telling them exactly what they’re going to find on a page before they click on the link.


2) Use Detailed, Industry-Specific Language

When someone lands on your website, you need to help them make sense of their surroundings. Using generic language in your web copy can muddy the waters.

Some of the first things that your users will see when they land on your website is the title of the page and the first sentence of your copy. If the person doesn’t find what they’re looking for or isn’t sure if they’re in the right place, they will click off your website in a matter of seconds.

To avoid this, use detailed, industry-specific language in your titles and web copy to help your users make sense of what they see on the screen.

Let’s say you publish a blog post titled “How to Get Rid of Wrinkles”. Some people may not know if you’re talking about ironing a piece of clothing or reducing the aging process. Instead of just jumping into specific tips, give your readers some context for the piece with words like “anti-aging”, “beauty” or “cosmetics”. This also gives Google more information about your website, so it can better categorize your website for SEO purposes.

3) Help Users Find the Info They’re Looking For with Specific Headers

Everyone knows that writing for the internet means breaking up large chunks of text with headers and subheaders. Web pages need to be skimmable and easy to read.

But, ask yourself, are your headers just breaking up the text or are they giving your readers important information about the text below?

Some of the most widely shared articles online contain thousands of words or more, but your users may be looking for an answer to a specific question within that maze of copy and they may not have time to sort through all that information.

That’s why you need to use specific headers every time you introduce a new topic within a post. For example, if someone wants to find out the average lifespan of a cat, they may not want to read through a giant post with tips on how to help a cat live longer.

If you know that some aspects of your post may be more valuable than others, you can highlight certain words or use bold or italics to make these sections easier to find.

4) Invest in Original Media

Yes, visual media makes the internet go round. Just about every website should have visuals of some kind. But instead of downloading the same old generic photos you’ve seen a thousand times before, use nontraditional images or create new ones of your own.

You don’t have to be so literal with your images. If you’re writing about helping people save money, insert a picture of an animal jumping for joy instead of two concerned homeowners consulting with a financial adviser.


Get creative with your image selections and remember that, while original photos can be costly, you can always find up-and-coming photographers online that are willing to hand over images for a lower fee. You can even look for images on Instagram and ask people if they’d be willing to license out their work.

5) Cater to the Searcher’s Intent

Everyone is looking for something different online and you should be aware of the searcher’s intent when using certain keywords in your copy. More product-based keywords like “beauty supplies” usually mean the person is looking to make a purchase, so help the person find what they need quickly by pitching the benefits of your products and guiding them towards the checkout option.

Yet, other keywords and search phrases like “how to unclog a toilet” are more about knowledge and information, so help the person find what they’re looking for by using thoughtful headers and skimmable text with clear, actionable steps.  

6) Speed and Efficiency Are the Keys to Success

Have you heard the news? The majority of internet traffic is now taking place on mobile devices.

So, what does this mean for your web design? For starters, you need to have a mobile version of your website. The text should appear larger on mobile devices and the margins of the web page should automatically readjust for mobile screens.

Your site also needs to load quickly, especially if people are browsing on mobile devices. People typically leave a site after just a few seconds if the content takes too long to load.

You also need to write content for mobile audiences. That means no long paragraphs of text and having clear menu options that help people find what they need when they’re out and about. The menu should be easy to find and collapse or expand to make more space on the screen.

If you want people to buy one of your products or services, you need to make this process as easy and as efficient as possible. You should have a clear “Buy Now” button or something similar that points users in the right direction.

As you can see, creating a compelling user experience all depends on the website in question. While these tips should point you in the right direction, you need to customize your website interface to make it more appealing for your target audience. Different web pages will serve different purposes. One page may be filled with valuable information, while another may be all about helping customers complete a purchase as quickly as possible.

Look at the websites of your competitors to get a sense of what’s already online. Do your best to shake things up by taking your website in a new direction. Good luck and happy designing!

If you’re looking for more information on creating a compelling UX, get in touch with SEO Toronto for a free consultation today.

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