Influencer marketing has taken on a life of its own in the SEO world, connecting brands with big names to reach new audiences.
Not only do today’s digital influencers have a lot of loyal fans willing to listen to their recommendations, but they also hold the key to niches that are otherwise hard to access.
While the most common form of influencer marketing is in the realm of social media, blogs have been around for a lot longer and may prove more lucrative for marketers trying to maximize influencer ROI.
Today, we’re examining the best practices you should follow to make the most of influencer marketing through popular blogs, and how this gives you a huge SEO advantage.
Why Influencer Blogs Instead of Social?
With so much marketing attention placed on platforms like Instagram and Facebook, you’re probably wondering why we’re talking about blogs.
Well, in many ways, blogs are the original social media of the internet. Bloggers have been around since the very beginning, speaking directly to audiences and creating lasting relationships over many years.
When you look at a social media post, it’s a lot like a blog post, featuring text, images, and a comments section where personalities can communicate with fans.
There’s no denying that influencer marketing works great on social media, but the same ideas apply to the domain of blogs, where audiences are often more committed and willing to buy products recommended by the content creator.
At the end of the day, it’s all about trust and familiarity, which is where blogs shine, and often outperform social media accounts.
Compared to traditional advertising, blogs are far and away a better way to use your marketing spend, as many recent reports show.
According to research put together by BigCommerce, a measly 1% of millennials trust advertisements, while more than a third trust blog reviews when making purchases.
It could be that more young folks are cutting cords from the cable company, or the simple fact that people tend to be more trusting of those that they’re familiar with.
Blogs are the perfect medium for creators to put their personalities on display, as opposed to social media where they are playing on third-party turf.
With blogging, you also have the advantage of a single-minded audience. Social media sites are so crowded with competition from web apps, advertisements, and other influencers trying to grab your attention. On a blog, it’s just you and the writer in a one-on-one scenario.
By all means, take full advantage of what social media has to offer for influencer marketing. But don’t do yourself a disservice by overlooking the power that blogs hold for reaching audiences more directly and effectively, especially with its added SEO benefits.
Identify the Best Influencers for Your Needs
Now that you see the value of blogging in influencer marketing, let’s discuss how to go about leveraging these platforms to your advantage.
Your first step will be to do some market research, which in this case means scouring the web for any influencer blogs related to your niche.
Selling custom candles made from organic ingredients? Track down the blogs that talk about home decor, apartment living, natural remedies, and yoga.
Does your company make software that helps people lose weight? Find influencers in the fitness industry that specialize in weight loss and organize them by demographic to get a better idea of your target audience.
Is your brand a personal finance startup? There are tons of high-traffic blogs out there that discuss topics like budgeting, credit cards, insurance, and many other sub-niches.
The idea here is to compile a list of the influencers that can speak truthfully and authoritatively on the subject matter at hand, and who can put in the good word about your product in a way that audiences will believe and understand.
Offer Value, Guest Post, Earn Links
Once you have selected the influencers that best fit with your brand, it’s time to do some networking. Sending emails is the classic approach, but you can also reach out on social media with direct messages, or even connect with representatives if they are managed professionally.
When crafting the introductory statement, make sure you are clear, concise, and quick to the point. No need to ramble or hide your intentions. You’re there to do business!
There are a few offers you can make, each of which has pros and cons:
- Ask to write a guest post on their blog that will inform and entertain the audience, while including a small promo for your brand and backlink to your site. Strong backlinks are still one of the top search engine rank factors and help both parties.
- Sponsored posts are another option, in which you pay an agreed-upon fee to discuss your product in a more explicit, advertorial way.
- Request to be mentioned in one of their blog posts and offer some form of value in return. These posts tend to be reviews or lists that compile many different products, and you will often earn a backlink as well.
As HubSpot pointed out, you want to make it easy for the influencer to make a decision fast. That means including product images, sample text, and any other assets that will convince them a partnership is worth their while.
When you do land an opportunity to guest post or write a sponsored post, be sure to maintain professional communication and ensure you deliver above and beyond what you promise. Word travels fast on the web, and you want to keep that reputation clean.
Continue the Partnership Forward
If you hold up your end of the bargain and create a stellar post for the blog, influencers will usually be eager to continue the business partnership and explore new avenues.
This can mean branching out into social media marketing, writing more sponsored posts, or doing a collaboration with other influencers in the industry.
Be open to trying different promotions and collabs, even if they don’t fit your original vision for the partnership. This is still a fairly recent aspect of digital marketing and there is a lot of new territories to be discovered.
An article from InMotion Hosting says that guest posting on influencer blogs is still one of the best ways to build backlinks, boost organic traffic to your site, and drive conversions.
While social media is definitely on the rise, blogging is king. Don’t miss out on these rich opportunities to get the word out about your brand and make some powerful connections/