INFLUENCER FOR SEO: HOW TO USE YOUR INFLUENCER CONTENT TO SOAR UP SEARCH
Photo Credit: Laneecia Ricks on Macro
For many organizations, there’s a church & state level divide between your influencer engagement department and your SEO department.
Imagine an influencer-management superstar, and you’ll think up an extroverted, visually-focused amalgam of positive vibes, emojis, and hustle.
Imagining your SEO expert, on the other hand, can bring up the images of a glasses-wearing tech nerd that loves solving problems through spreadsheets and computer code, rather than people - no offense, I’m describing myself here.
Breaking down the wall between these two teams isn’t often done, but in 2023 it is an essential way to amplify the results of your influencer efforts to bring in wins from search as well.
Here are four ways that your social media influencer campaign victories can be 2x’d through stronger integration with your SEO strategies.
RECEIVE KEYWORD RESEARCH VIA OPEN-ENDED INFLUENCER PROMPTS
A never-ending task for search engine strategists is keyword research.
Understanding what people are searching for is key to actually ranking for those search terms. So why not use humans, instead of industry tools, for this all-important task?
Rather than giving influencers specific directions on what to say, or what features of your product/service you want them to rave about, leave it up to them. Let them know that you’re open to their ideas on the best way to present the product. Then, wait and see what they come up with.
Each new topic idea that an influencer creates content about, is likely something that one of their visitors (or any other searches) are thinking about when considering you and your competition’s closing steps.
E-E-A-T-ing WITH INFLUENCERS TO COMBAT THE AI TSUNAMI
Let’s start by explaining the two concepts in the heading above:
E-E-A-T: Google has long stated that their search rankings are based on Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, adding in Experience in a December 2022 blog post.
AI Tsunami is a term coined by Charles Author to describe the (already here, or soon-to-arrive depending on who you ask) deluge of content generated by artificial intelligence tools.
For multiple decades now, Google has been in a fight against tools that less-scrupulous SEO agencies use to “spin” content.
It’s simplistic to state that AI generators are “spinning” content, but it’s not far from the end result. They’re regurgitating facts and expressions that they’ve gained by reading other facts and expressions.
Their improvements to text will soon be matched by improvements to the image and video tools that are seemingly launching weekly on the Internet.
So how will Google be able to differentiate content produced by humans and content produced by real-life people? By looking at individuals that have built E-E-A-T in real life: influencers.
Individuals who have gained a social media following by proving their expertise, authority, trustworthiness, and experience across social media platforms over the years. If this sounds familiar to you, it’s because Google tried this once a decade ago.
During the same time that they were rolling out Google Plus, Google used to have a search engine result page feature, and ranking factor, called Authorship. This was actually based on 2007 patent of theirs, called Author Rank
Image Credit: Online Optimism’s archive of 2013 presentations about SEO
Authorship was ahead of its time and ultimately turned off in August, 2014 as Google found other ranking factors more important to searches. 2014 is a lifetime ago in the Internet years.
It’s a year before Discord launched, four years before Musical.ly was renamed to TikTok, even Google Plus had one year left to live after Authorship was shut off.
Since then, though, consumer behavior has become far more trusting of individual influencers, to the point where many of them from Mr. Beast to the Kardashian family are building entire CPG lines based on their personal, IRL E-E-A-T.
We’ve established that influencers naturally deliver on the E-E-A-T principles, but how do you actually apply that to your site?
First, you want to make sure that you have permission to add influencer content to your own site.
Once you have that, you’ll want to establish them as actual participants on your site, whether that’s through your blogging platform, or other means depending on your website CMS.
Share the influencer content as if it’s the influencer themselves adding it to your site, sharing their insights and benefits.
While Google Authorship might not be live at the moment, this will give you a headstart when they inevitably roll out a similar feature to help them put the human back into their search results.
BOOST CURRENTLY RANKING CONTENT WITH INFLUENCER ADDITIONS
Your SEO team should already have an idea of content that is ranking well. Every website has some pages that always rank toward the bottom of page one, and haven’t been able to rise to the top.
Utilizing your influencer engagement strategies is one way to add multimedia to a page that can give it the boost it needs. This is the perfect campaign to run with micro-influencers, or those that haven’t been doing influencer work for as long since it generally relies on more “scripted” content.
You can also send them the post and allow them to know that you’re looking to get a video version of the content discussed, so they have materials to work off of.
USE TRANSCRIBED VIDEOS AS ON-SITE RESOURCES
Every video that an influencer films for you is essentially its own resource for your site, waiting to be published. If you have the time, you should go ahead and brainstorm a creative title for the piece, add an introduction, include citations on what the influencer says in their video, and have a clear call to action. Don’t have time for all that? Simply get a tool to transcribe it (Temi is free for your first 45 minutes of transcribing) and post it online. This gives the content a chance to live and breathe for those not on the social network that the influencer originally posted it on.
YOUR NEXT STEPS TO USE INFLUENCERS AS PART OF YOUR SEO STRATEGY
Ready to apply these strategies to your next influencer campaign? Here are three things you can do today to get started on this journey:
Do your influencer and SEO teams actually know each other? If not, coordinate a warm intro between your teams, where they both talk about some of their wins over the last few months, and plans for the next 90 days. Even a small conversation will likely lead to overlap where they see how their tactics interplay with each other.
Review your influencer contracts to be sure that you’re allowed to share their content on your website. If you are, make a plan for influencer campaign content that should end up on your site. This can be in the course of individual posts or merging all of them into one mega-post that covers an entirety of a topic.
Transcribe, and add content related to each social post around them. By providing introductions to grab a searcher’s attention, and calls to action to guide them to the next step on their buyer journey, you’ll be handling the parts the influencer’s video didn’t originally cover.
Add influencer content to your most engaging posts to make them even more effective.
Getting these four things going is the best way to begin your journey to influencer SEO success.
Author: Flynn Zaiger is the CEO of Online Optimism, a creative digital agency with offices in Washington DC and New Orleans. He spends his day keeping his employees happy, his client’s happier, and the office pups happiest.