SEO is not getting any easier. Getting quality backlinks continues to be a major requirement for great SEO, and also continues to be a major challenge for most digital markers.
Influencer marketing, to a great extent, has been a source of tremendous leverage for marketers, and the benefits are out there for the taking even in terms of backlink building campaigns.
There’s absolutely no limit to how innovative you can get in working with influencers. I am, however, only going to focus purely on methods that can help you with link building. Here it goes.
1- Ask For a Product Review or Walkthrough
There are too many influencers out there who are willing to offer an unbiased and detailed review of your products on their website, and hence link back to your website via the reviews.
However, here are some things you need to keep in mind.
- Identify influencers who’re focused on very specific markets.
- Look for influencers with a stellar and unquestionable reputation in their niche.
- Always keep on building your list of influencers related to your niche, so that you can get subsequent unique backlinks.
Tip: AllTop is a pretty reliable tool; you just need to add your focus keywords and select one or more categories that it suggests. Next, you get a list of the top blogs from the selected category, relevant to your keywords. This becomes a great starting point for you to connect with influencers.
I did a search on fitness bikes and got a large selection of categories.
I clicked on ‘men’ and was immediately shown a list of the best blogs and trending stories related to my search.
Remember, however, to ensure that your influencers’ websites must have high domain authority, to maximize the benefit of backlinks. Moz’ Open Site Explorer is a good tool to use. Just key in the URL of a website, and get to know its domain authority. I did a check on the first suggestion that AllTop search gave me, and found it to be an authoritative resource.
Note: There’s a lot of clamor around accountability among influencers; don’t be the brand that’s denigrated for ‘paying’ influencers for positive reviews.
2- Post Guest Blogs With Dofollow Link Back To Your Website
If you’ve already pursued influencer marketing, chances are that you have a network of relevant influencers and authoritative voices from your niche. This is the perfect launchpad to make the ‘influencer guest blogging’ strategy a success. That, in fact, explains why is influencer marketing so important.
Reach out to these influencers with an idea of a collaborative blog post, or a post you would manage all on your own.
- You give them a powerful, valuable, fresh, and interesting content piece.
- You take from them some space on their blogs, along with a backlink for your website.
If you don’t already have an ecosystem of influencers around you, you can use this tactic to quickly find a list of influential blogs that accept guest posts.
Use Google search by adding your keywords and then writing one or more of these search words in your query –
- “write for us”
- “contributor guidelines”
- “submit a guest post”
- “guest post”
- “become a contributor”
Most blogs that accept guest posts use these words in their relevant pages.
Note: Of course, you must check the domain authority of the potential influencers’ websites you might want to post as a guest on. Use the method I described above, using Moz’s Open Site Explorer.
3- Reach Out to Journalists Via Facebook
Press releases have always been on the radar of marketers to get high-value backlinks. However, the most often used methods of getting PR Based backlinks cost you a lot of time, effort, and money. Building relationships with a publisher can take several months, and you certainly won’t get repeated favors from them. PR companies, on the other hand, charge you a lot for connecting you with willing publishers. It doesn’t have to be the same way any longer; Facebook ads have been a major shot in the arm for marketers, delivering tremendous benefits from Facebook marketing.
- Create a list of journalists who’ve been doing news stories related to your niche.
- Dig out their Facebook IDs. Most of them include their social handles on their posts, so this shouldn’t take long.
- Create well thought out Facebook Ads to promote your newsworthy blog posts and target them at their profiles.
Here’s how you can create a custom audience on Facebook.
- Go to Facebook Power Editor and go to the Audience section here.
- Click on the green ‘Create Audience’ button.
- Select a method (I recommend Customer File).
- Upload a list of email IDs of your target audience (in txt or CSV format).
Note: Once you create a custom audience of journalists, you can also use Facebook’s Lookalike Audience feature to create an extended audience of people with similar characteristics. Note that lookalike audiences are created per country, so you might want to create custom audiences for each country, and then use them to create that country’s specific lookalike audience.
Once the custom audience has been set up, you can go to Power Editor, create a new ad, go to the Audience section, and select Custom Audiences. Here, specify the custom audience, and you’re good to go.
4- Run A Creative Contest or Giveaway Event
Contests on social media can give you tremendous benefits, even if you’re focused purely on backlinks. Influencers use contests and giveaways to draw a lot of attention, drive the buzz, and get a lot of interactions for their posts. You can use the same tactics, preferably in collaboration with influencers, to get a lot of brand mentions and link mentions on social media.
KeVita did this particularly well, with its social media contest wherein users could a $50 Amazon gift card along with a free case of KeVita by following the brand’s page, commenting about their favorite flavors, and tagging a friend in there.
What made KeVita’s giveaway a runaway success was how it collaborated with its network of influencers to draw in more attention to the page.
5- Do A Few Roundup or Top 50+ Posts
Make it a win-win situation for your brand as well as your target influencers who’ve not become a part of your network as yet. Use one of the many influencer outreach tools available online to create a database of your target influencers.
Brainstorm on roundup blog post topic ideas that can fit in mentions of many of these influencers (preferably non-competing influencers). An example topic could be – ‘The Biggest Takeaways on Digital Marketing by The Most Notable Influencers in 2017’.
Let your blog post garner some traffic and social shares. Once this happens, reach out to your target influencers, mentioning how you’ve given them a mention in your content. This is a good enough reason for many of them to share the content on their platforms (their blogs, social profiles, etc).
Influencer marketing will continue to move mountains for brands in 2018. However, brands that are able to innovate and manage focused influencer marketing campaigns, such as to get 100s of backlinks within a month, and for less than $1,000 expenditure, will be able to make the most of these opportunities.