Google and other search engines now prioritize human signals and social proof over sheer quantity of backlinks and keywords. These algorithmic changes made social shares the new link building, and the internet should be grateful. It’s led to a more authentic web, full of creative, compelling content rather than empty shells of websites. When that content is shared across the internet, it leaves a link trail in its wake. That link litter, in turn, helps search engines learn how content should rank for related keywords.
Now, today’s social influencers often hold more social authority than brands themselves. So if your brand wants to rise in the search rankings, it needs influencers creating authentic content that followers want to share, tossing SEO seeds across the internet's landscape. How this works:
1. Create authentic, shareable content - make sure your content is educating, informative or entertaining.
2. Get influencers to share it - to add credibility and amplify your content. When an influencer shares branded content, it’s like shouting the brand’s message through a megaphone.
3. Backlinks - SEO today is all about natural links, and those can only be earned. When an influencer shares a link, it’s shared by others, and those others share the content even further. Each share earns a new link, and if content is popular enough, chances increase that it will get picked up by a higher authority, yielding even higher quality links.
How to get the right influencers on board?
- Make sure you identify and vet the influencers so they are in line with your brand’s own identity. When you found your target, don't just ask her to share your content, instead, build a relationship before you ask to team up. Share the influencer’s content, mention her on your company’s social feeds, and write content that might resonate with her.
- Influencer marketing is a two-way street, and your relationship, like all others, must be mutually beneficial if it is to work. You’ll need to pay your influencers, of course, but also offer sign-on bonuses to get them in the door.
- Lastly, build relationships for the long haul. A one-off post from an influencer about your brand is more likely to confuse readers than to convert them. But when done authentically, regular mentions convince audience members that the influencer truly loves your brand.
Keeping influencers in your back pocket is also great for launching new products and campaigns. There’s no need to reeducate long-standing influencers about your brand, and content quality will improve with each subsequent post about your products. Plus, you never know what other opportunities or partnerships might unfold from long-term influencer relationships.