The proliferation of platforms and formats like short-videos have changed the influencer marketing game for marketers, brands and creators. In this fast-evolving space, keep up with the big trends and hot topics that matter in Storyboard18’s Weekly Shorts in collaboration with affable.ai, an end-to-end AI-powered influencer marketing platform. Track how creators, communities and brands are engaging with users and disrupting marketing to get a sharp and fast insight into present and future trends.
With the audiences shifting to influencer content for product recommendations, influencer seeding or product gifting is the best way to enhance your search engine optimization (SEO) and rank higher on Google.
Influencer marketing is no more a stand-alone marketing agenda. It has successfully taken over most of the marketing efforts, including emails, social media, content marketing and now SEO (search engine optimization).
SEO is an essential marketing tool that helps marketers improve visibility and discoverability of their brand’s website. However, SEO is no longer about ranking on Google. With challenges like constant Google algorithm changes, rising competition, and duplicate content, SEO has become more strategic. Apart from keywords and headlines, you now need backlinks, exposure, social signals and authentic content to improve your SEO score on Google.
Marketers now rely on influencer seeding—a cost-effective way to leverage content creators—to elevate their SEO efforts and brand value.
Leading brands in the space including Glossier, Jack in the Box, Tarte Cosmetics, House of CB, etc, rely on product gifting to get the most engagement for their brand. With nano-influencers, short-form videos, affiliate marketing, and paid media set to dominate the creator economy in 2023, it has become even more essential for marketers to begin planning their influencer campaigns to stay ahead of the competition.
But how does influencer seeding impact SEO? SEO or search engine optimization is the marketing technique used by brands to rank higher on Google and increase their visibility to the audience.
Marketers follow the on-page SEO methods to rank the pages but often forget to focus on off-page optimization, which is equally important to kick off the rankings. Influencer seeding helps improve your on-page as well as off-page SEO, including backlinks, content creation, social signals, and more. Influencer seeding helps strengthen the authority, relevance, and quality of your brand's website and boost your value in the eyes of Google.
Six Ways influencer seeding can help boost your rankings on Google
Unique and authentic content
Gifting free products and services to influencers makes up for tons of captivating, shareable content that has the power to attract the audience as well as get the attention of search engines. Be it blogs, videos, social media posts, reviews, or more, influencer content enables Google to collect unique and reliable content about a brand and rank it higher on the search page for the users to see.
Apart from the content, influencer seeding also helps you attain user-generated content (UGC), which can boost your ranking through the roof. Often influencers encourage their followers to create content using branded hashtags for videos or even reel challenges. The followers use hashtags to share their content on social media, creating a snowball effect where the content starts to breed content. The hashtags generate mass awareness for your brand and provide rich reusable content.
Increased brand awareness
Influencer seeding can help increase brand awareness by reaching a larger and more targeted audience. Increased brand awareness can have a positive impact on SEO by increasing the number of people who search for the brand or its products online. The more people search for a brand or its products, the higher it will rank in the search results. Additionally, as more people become aware of the brand, they are more likely to link to the brand's website, which can further improve its ranking in the search results.
For example, celebrity influencers expose your brand to millions of newer audiences who might be willing to buy your product. The followers become aware of your brand and what you're offering, making your brand more recognizable and memorable.
Massive website traffic
Massive awareness generates massive traffic. Website traffic is one of the primary reasons why people carry out SEO in the first place. With SEO techniques, marketers try to get as many visitors on their page as possible to show Google their website has valuable content. Massive traffic means Google ranks you higher on the search results, helping the users to find you easily.
Social media users, especially the younger generations, tend to explore the brand or product they find interesting on social channels. Thanks to the social commerce features launched by social media platforms, the users immediately click on the product or website link mentioned in the influencer's post to purchase your product online.
Apart from website links, influencers also include discount codes and affiliate links in their content, which encourages the followers to buy the brand's products at a discount. Such codes and links drive the audience to the product or landing page, hence bringing a countless number of visitors to your website and positively impacting your authority.
Strong link profile
One of the key components of SEO is link building. Search engines use links to determine the relevance and authority of a website. Quality backlinks build a strong link profile—the link makeup that connects back to the website or page. Google looks at link profiles for ranking pages.
Influencers enable you to build a powerful link profile by adding a link to your website in published content, creating a direct backlink to your website. The higher the number of quality links, the higher your ranking will be on search engines, as Google will see your website as a relevant domain in the space.
These links can help increase the number of inbound links to a website and improve its authority in the eyes of search engines. Additionally, if the influencer has a significant following, the links they share can drive a significant amount of traffic to the brand's website, further improving its ranking in the search results.
Improved social signals
Social signals, such as likes, shares, and comments, can have a significant impact on a website's ranking in search results. Search engines use social signals to perceive the social presence, popularity, and relevance of your website. By partnering with influencers, brands can improve their social signals and enhance their SEO efforts.
When influencers share a brand's message, they often encourage their followers to like, share, and comment on the content or on individual brand posts. The more engagement a brand's posts receive, the more likely it is to rank higher in the search results.
Better keyword optimization
SEO is a keywords game. Keyword optimization is an important aspect of SEO and involves using keywords that people search for in the content of a website. It is placing the most relevant keywords in the most relevant places without stuffing. Although keywords are used to optimize on-page SEO, they can be used off-page to rank higher on Google.
The branded keywords on social media, guest blogs, videos, etc., help the brand get more recognition and raise the SEO score. With influencer seeding, you can ask the creators specifically to mention your branded keywords in the content, blog posts, video descriptions, or hashtags for better optimization. Influencers can also add links to these keywords to double their SEO rankings.
Influencer seeding is not only about gifting products to influencers and then waiting for the content. It is a step-by-step process that you need to regulate to get the desired outcome.
Step 1: Set an achievable end goal for your campaign. It can be leads, sales, engagement or more.
Step 2: Identify the creators who can help you attain the desired goal and fit your content requirements. Best practice is to hire top-performing creators who generate high engagement rates and relevant content.
Step 3: Reach out to the creators and send them gifts along with a brief of the type of content you wish them to create. Allow them the creative space to come up with exciting ways to promote your product or service. You can also share the discount codes and affiliate links with them for tracking their performance later.
Step 4: Once the content is created by the creators, start tracking the results through the links and codes to ensure the content is working.
Step 5: Analyze your SEO on the web analytics tools to see how influencer seeding is impacting your SEO efforts.
Step 6: Pay your influencers. This is an important step that brands forget. Although product gifting means you don't have to pay the influencers, however, if you wish to build better creator relations and lasting positive reviews for your product, then paying your influencers for the reach and engagement is a good practice. You can use the influencer affiliate hybrid model to pay them for the sales or conversions they drive.
This edition of Weekly Shorts is written by the editorial team of affable.ai