With blogging and social media comes the term ‘influencers’. They’re the digital world’s version of a celebrity. Yet a lot of the time they are much more reachable and relatable. For many businesses, influencer marketing is already part of their overall marketing strategy or they want to try it out. Today we delve into tips on how to work with online influencers and how influencers can boost your SEO efforts.
I was recently at a local small business breakfast here in Gippsland, and the topic of influencers came up. It was really interesting hearing what businesses owners wanted to know about working with influencers and the benefits.
Here at Grand Cru, I work with influencers on behalf of my clients. And for my blog, I am an influencer (more on the ‘micro-influencer’ side though!). See my about page for more info.
It’s great to be on both sides of the fence as I experience many influencer marketing pitches and relationships. I use this knowledge to better advise my clients on the best way to work with influencers for their brands.
Tips on working with influencers
Firstly, please be genuine people. It doesn’t take a genius to read through the lines of a ‘2-minute’ email from a business who hardly knows the influencer. Typically these type of businesses try to appear as the influencer’s #1 fan, but it looks quite the opposite.
Finding the right influencers for your business shouldn’t happen overnight. As a business owner, you need to do your research. Likewise, all influencers should carefully analyse whether a collaboration with a brand/business will be the right fit.
When a business collaborates with an influencer, they should complement one another. Businesses shouldn’t be convinced they should work with an influencer just because of their 100k social media following. And likewise, an influencer shouldn’t work with a business just because they might get a freebie out of it.
It’s like what I promote here at Grand Cru Digital. Yes, I want clients and cash flow. But it’s more important for me to partner with businesses who are like-minded and passionate about what they do. Like I am.
How do you find influencers that’ll boost your SEO?
Jump onto Google! Yep, it’s that easy. Do some serious Googling and see what you come across. If you’re looking for influencers who are going to help boost your SEO then they’ll have a website or blog. And one which is updated regularly and is relevant to your industry.
If you want to get a bit more serious about it, you can use specific online tools like BuzzSumo.
However, I have found good old Google and jumping on social media are good ways to come across influencers.
How do you work out if an influencer is a good fit for your brand?
Get to know them! Yes, I’m talking about stalking them online. The beauty of the internet is that you can get to know these people before you actually make contact.
I’d recommend that you:
Sign up for their e-newsletter
Follow their feed (I have all the blog feeds I follow filter through to my Feedly, so I can check it everything in the one location)
Follow them on social media
It sounds a bit creepy, but this is going to be the best way to get to know them. You’ll soon understand how they interact with their audience online, what they post about and you’ll get a really good feel for who they are.
During this ‘getting to know’ them phase, you may also start to work out if they work with other brands as an influencer and how they conduct themselves.
How to reach out to an influencer:
By this stage, if you think there’s an opportunity for your brand to work with an influencer, then it’ll be a great time to make contact. This might be by sending them an email, introducing yourself face-to-face at an event or sending them a PM (private message) via one of their social accounts.
However you approach them, just remember to:
Everyone loves a compliment but don’t make it cringeworthy
Spell their name/blog name correctly
Don’t use a template or copy and paste
Explain why you think a collaboration with your business is a good fit and worth their time/energy
If the influencer has never heard of your brand before, then to play your cards safe, it may be worth reaching out to simply say hi first. Introduce your company and what you do. Sometimes taking things slow may be of more benefit to your brand than rushing through the getting to know each other process. It’s just like dating really 😉
Don’t do this:
How will an influencer help boost your SEO?
Influencers are people online who have a readership or following of people that care about what they have to say. They can reach new audiences with their content which as a business or brand you might not be able to.
So other than the big elephant in the room called brand awareness, more specifically how can influencers help boost your SEO efforts?
They write about/mention you on their website or link to your website via social media posts
Whether you have an actual influencer marketing campaign in motion or you’re simply building that relationship and helping them to get to know your brand – if you’re awesome then there’s a very good chance they will mention you on their website. Any positive mention about your business is a good thing for SEO branding and then of course if they link to your website, that’ll be some more brownie points in Google’s eyes for you, not to mention the potential website traffic.
They produce awesome content
Bloggers and online influencers get their ‘influencer’ status because they know how to create content that people want to read and engage with. It takes time to create great content and also a lot of creativity to get your content out there and noticed. Which is why partnering with an influencer can greatly help your efforts. Content, after all, is one of the main pillars of a successful SEO strategy.
Pro tip: Instead of asking to be featured on an influencer’s blog, why not invite them to write a blog post or piece of content for your website? It’s a great way for the blogger’s writing to be featured on another publication online (good for their resume/to add to their accomplishments). Between sharing their work with your network and them also sharing the content – there’s plenty of pros for both parties in my opinion.
SEO is no longer only about keywords, it’s about building relationships online with your audience and people who can influence your target audience.
Sometimes to get your business in front of new eyes, it means collaborating with like-minded individuals who have a following/readership that would be interested in your product/service.
But just remember, when building online relationships with influencers, keep it genuine. Great online relationships take time and effort, just like a marriage.