Influencer Marketing Meets Link Building
While searching for something on Google, you must’ve come across bloggers promoting products. And you must be no stranger to spotting your favorite influencers creating brand-focused content. No matter what form of social media or content you consume, you’ll find influencer marketing incorporated into it.
Influencer marketing has rampantly surged over the last few years. And, why not? It is essential when it comes to ranking in organic search channels, creating a buzz, reaching new audiences, getting huge conversions, and more. Indeed, the popular marketing tactic has the potential to amp up your SEO and makes a big difference in your link-building strategy.
How? Keep reading and you’ll find out!
What is influencer marketing?
We all know that testimonials and personal endorsements have been around forever. But Influencer Marketing revamped the whole idea by connecting directly to the target audience.
It is a form of marketing that involves product placements, endorsements, or other promotions from Influencers. They introduce brands to their audience which results in higher conversion rates due to social proofing.
Influencer marketing is the organic way to gain links, and in some cases, a better way too. When any influencer promotes your product on their website, socials, or any other platform, they create better backlinks for your website, direct more traffic to it, and increase its visibility leading to more authority.
As it offers incredible benefits, it has become a key element in marketing strategies. Brands worldwide have adopted it to grow exponentially and outperform their competitors.
In 2021, Statista forecasted $3.7 billion spending for influencer marketing in the US alone. That is 33% more compared to 2020.
Let’s learn more about how this 2-way relationship works.
We all know that backlinks from other websites hold great significance. They have a huge impact when it comes to your site’s rankings. And not only does it allow you to have higher search engine rankings or traffic but you also get original content from other sites.
Similarly, influencer marketing allows you to partner with influencers to gain better link-building results. Influencers place your links in their content and direct their audience to you.
They have a strong relationship with their audience, that goes beyond content consumption. Combining their influence and credibility, influencers direct many customers to the sales funnel of your brand.
While surfing the internet, you might have come across a plethora of sponsored content on other websites. But, endorsements or sponsored content in the form of influencer reviews just integrate seamlessly into the rest of the content of the website.
So, it goes like clockwork, when an influencer mentions your product on their website, their audience takes interest and looks up for more details about your brand. This puts your product in the spotlight as more people keep coming to you to check out what you are offering.
Now, this can be done in more than one way, here’s how!
Here are the top reasons that make influencer marketing important for link building.
- helps you build links
- boosts your search results by placing your links in their content
- enhances your online presence and search visibility
- offers exposure to a new audience
- creates purchase intent and influences the decisions of a new audience
- helpful in unique content creation focused on your brand
- improves your site rankings
- increases traffic engagement
As influencer marketing and link building connect with each other, there are unique benefits for both.
When an influencer endorses your product on their website and gives you a backlink, their followers find you credible too. Meanwhile, Google will consider you authoritative.
But you must wonder how they create your backlinks, here’s how!
As influencers have omnipresence across different channels, they create a variety of backlinks on different platforms. This also comes down to the nature of your product, sales season, new launch, and more such factors.
For instance, you’re a business that sells fitness wear and has collaborated with fitness enthusiasts. To draw attention to your newly-launched collection, a review blog post won’t get you enough leads. So, you also need an exclusive Instagram post highlighting the features of fitness wear and why it is the best out there.
And yes, it’ll work wonders and bring you incredible results sooner than you think.
If you prefer to build links from different platforms, — blogs, social media, YouTube — you’re varying your backlinks. And the best part, you’re building a strong backlink profile. Sounds simple, right? Let’s have a detailed overview of it.
Speaking of which, this Hubspot report says that blogs receive 97% more links as compared to any other platform.
So, don’t trust people who say blogs are going to be extinct in years to come. They’re not, and they’re here to stay for a long time.
All your favorite influencers are likely to have personal blogs to sell merch, makeup products, or other stuff they endorse.
Fun fact: influencers of different industries have the blog set up even if they don’t own the personal merch or aren’t selling anything.
As influencer puts time and effort to grow their blog for their community, and do a constant effort to keep it active for engagements. Eventually, their blog becomes the powerhouse of SEO. And you can harness that power too.
- They create posts on their sites that have links to your web pages. It includes blog post reviews, informational pieces, or just an opinion. Have a look at this blog post review of Hostinger by Neil Patel.
- They write guest posts on other websites that link back to your landing page or website. Have a look at this review post of a video game – Far Cry Primal – by Luke Reilly on IGN website.
It goes without saying that influencers have an active social media presence. Their socials or online profiles show what they’re up to, what products they’re using, and who they are hanging out with. They serve as the direct way of communicating with followers and growing in their community.
And yeah, socials work the same as blogs to get you backlinks. Note that, in some cases, they bring you more traffic and conversions.
But here’s a thing, if some influencer posts a link to your site on Instagram or Twitter, it won’t be classified as a backlink by Google. They’re a “social share”, and it is one of the key ranking factors out of Google’s 200 Ranking Factors. So, you see, even if the links from social media are no-follow links, they’re absolutely worth it.
Back in 2013, Google CEO Eric Schmidt claimed:
Hence proved, social profiles are critical for getting backlinks.
Here’s a series of data showing that many sites that rank higher on SERPs have 1723 social actions tied to them. The data also includes likes, comments, and shares.
It is a fact that a single blog may take months or more to get shared organically. But when it comes to social shares, it might take only a few days to get more than 1000 social actions.
Simply put, getting links from social media increases your rankings, improves your SEO, and exposes you to new audiences as well.
Have a look at these posts by influencers (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram):
Being a beauty enthusiast, Ree posted a review of Rare beauty products on her Instagram.
In this Facebook post, Calvin Young of Seek the World is explaining how Busbud has made travel easier for him.
On Twitter, Matthew Espinosa posted a fun video where he performed Oreo Dunk Challenge.
Amid social shares, video content is reigning supreme, that’s where YouTube comes into the scene. In the online space, YouTube is the platform that has 300 hours of video content uploaded to it every minute. And a big chunk of it consists of sponsored content and links to other websites.
If you’re partnering with an influencer who has a YouTube presence, you can build backlinks easily.
However, it’s true that YouTube shares out no follow links, like other social media platforms. But if some influencer puts backlinks into their video description, it’ll be a do-follow YouTube backlink.
In this way, a relevant influencer will create video content focused on your product, introduce their audience to you, and build backlinks. In every way, it’s a win-win situation!
Have a look at Tooltester reviewing Hostgator on their YouTube channel.
But what if you can’t seem to find the right influencer in your industry? No worries, there are plenty of tools out there that’ll do the job for you.
What tools to use to find the right influencers?
Buzzsomo — When it comes to finding high-profile influencers in your industry, Buzzsomo makes it to the top of the list. It offers the incredible feature of influencer identification functionality. Not only you can apply filters by topic, but also by country, language, region, or network, and you can check out who has shared the wanted content piece out there.
Ninja Outreach — It is a new blogger outreach software for marketers. Ninja Outreach streamlines your influencer marketing with automated outreach and follow-ups. And it’s very simple to use, all you have to do is type in the keywords and it’ll give you the perfect matching social profiles.
Followerwonk — It is a perfect tool if you want to find out who’s got a bigger following on Twitter. This tool allows you to segment influencers by their authority in the relevant industry.
Buzzstream — This outreach tool allows you to build separate lists and pitch influencers. It has a buzzmarker chrome extension that enables you to create an outreach prospecting list. And you can also filter influencers by Domain Authority.
Mailshake — It allows you to connect with mid-tier bloggers/webmasters via email. You can send up to 1000 personalized emails in a single day. In addition, it has a lead catcher and sequence feature that saves a lot of your time.
General social media platforms — Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram also help to discover the relevant influencers in the industry.
And in case, you only want to use Google to land the perfect influencer, we have a method for you too!
Here’s a simple method that will get many influencers to link back to you — only through using Google.
The process contains 3 steps, and if done correctly, you’re likely to get dozens of backlinks in no time. So, let’s dive straight into it.
Step 1 – create your list of influencers
First of all, you need to find the right influencers within your industry. Decide in which niche you want your backlinks and kickstart your search.
Let’s take an example of ‘digital marketing’. Type in the google search bar and look at the results. You’ll see many popular websites and blogs in the search results.
(Also create a separate Google excel sheet to save the site’s name, URL, and email address)
Now you have to skim almost the top 40 results and decide whether they’ll be the right fit for outreach or not. To determine it, ask yourself three basic questions after observing the site.
– does this website/blog look authentic?
– does that website/blog belong to a credible influencer?
– is that influencer actively posting stuff?
– are there many engagements on that blog/website?
If your answer to all questions or the first three questions appears to be a Yes, just go ahead, and add those site’s details to your spreadsheet.
Look for “Best of” blog posts
This tip will give you a list of relevant influencers in no time. Just search for the “best of” blog posts.
You can use one of these search strings to land useful posts:
- (keyword) blogs to follow
- best (keyword) posts (year)
- best (keyword) blogs
- top (keyword) blogs to follow + (year)
Here I searched for “SEO expert blogs to follow”. This is what I got:
By this point, you should have at least 50 or more influencers listed in your spreadsheet with all the details.
Note that it is ideal to have 100 to 150 influencers on your list, but of course, it comes down to your niche as well. For instance, it is possible that you don’t find many books reviewing blogs in comparison to the SEO expert ones.
If you’re facing the same difficulty, you can try this super cool and easy hack with Ahref.
Find more influencers with Ahref
Here’s a simple tip by which you can extend your list of influencers. Pick a website from your list, type it in the search bar, then follow these simple steps.
- After typing your site into Ahref, you’ll see a lot of information on your screen. Don’t get overwhelmed by it and just click on the “backlinks” tab on the left.
- When the results appear on your screen, just sort them to “one link per domain”.
- Now, click on the “Link Type”.
- Then click on “Dofollow”
This way, you’ll have all the pages that are linked to that particular website with the do-follow backlink. Now all you have to do is skim them to find more influencers.
Start writing some emails! You can use Mail Shake or Ninja Outreach to launch your email campaign.
Decide what content piece you need to promote, see if it’s providing value or not, and only then offer it to your list of influencers. Tell them how it’s beneficial and go along with the content they generate. Here’s a template for that:
If you receive a “yes”, you can send them this email:
Next step? Follow up!
Step 3 – follow up
Wait at least three days before a follow-up. In case you don’t receive a reply in three days, it is possible that your email was neglected.
This means it’s time for a follow-up!
- Simply resend the same email.
- Tweak your original email a little bit and make it into a “checking in” style email. And act cool about it, and inform your influencers that you dropped by again in case the first email went unnoticed.
Here’s a tip, Mail Shake tells you if your emails were opened or not. And you can also set up your automated emails through it.
Backlinks are the basis of SEO. No matter what business you have, SaaS software or the cat food retailer, you can harness the power of influencer marketing to get backlinks.
Both are relationship-driven. When you combine the empowering influence with the guaranteed benefits of link building, magic happens! And voila! You have the success recipe for your brand. So go ahead, create your success story, and do share it with us.