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Why Influencer Marketing is SEO Gold

December 2, 2016 By Tina Courtney in Featured Marketing SE Optimization SE Tactics


Growing an online presence is important, but lets get real about influence. Presence does not equal influence. Presence can be measured in social media followings. Influence cant.

Martha Giffen, owner of Best Kind Marketing, LLC

Youve probably heard quite a bit about influencer marketing by now; between the controversy of its effectiveness and Googles purchase of influencer platform, FameBit, and even a CBS 60 Minutes special, its everywhere.

But there are still many who are on the fence. In a recent gShift survey, 250 participants were asked if they use influencer marketing; 60 percent indicated that they do not leverage the practice yet.

Despite the fact that most every marketing budget today accounts for content marketing and SEO efforts, influencer marketing is still neglected by many brands even though the process amplifies both strategies.

Thats right influencer marketing is an SEO goldmine and an extremely cost effective one, at that.

Lets dive in and explore how leveraging todays social superstars can give your company a big boost in the SERPs and why you should hop onto this epic bandwagon.

Prioritized Content

Most digital marketing campaigns today revolve around content. Content is at the core of delivering an effective message that resonates with consumers.

Once content has been crafted, it is backed and promoted through e-mail blasts, PPC ads, social shares, and a variety of other techniques. The problem is, more times than not, targeted materials dont reach a fraction of the audience they were intended for. Most materials are produced, thrown into an endless sea of content, and quietly fade into obscurity.

Even some of todays most recognizable brands have trouble reaching their audiences. For example, Coca Colas engagement rate on social media is approximately one percent. Ouch.

By throwing influencers into the mix, however, targeted content gains a much more significant and engaging platform to be shared. And leveraging influencers often opens a brand up to entirely new and relevant audiences that didnt know the company existed.

What does this have to do with SEO?

When influencers share a companys message or content, they effectively lend credence to a brand. Those that receive the message essentially create a domino effect of conversations and shares that can raise an organizations seat in the SERPs; when there is a lot of buzz around a piece of content, search engines take this into consideration when prioritizing results.

But that doesnt mean seeking out bigger influencers is always better. One of the most prolific television personalities today, Jimmy Fallon, gets crushed in engagement from smaller influencers.

Connor Franta, a YouTube influencer with more than five million subscribers, engages roughly 800,000 more people per post than Fallons YouTube channel that boasts more than 12 million subscribers.

This shows that influencer followings are highly-devoted and will engage and share content on a level that is unprecedented; all it takes is the right partners.

A Backlink Bonanza

Ask professional SEOs in the game what the most challenging part of their job is, and most will say that it is link building.

Link building, a SEO must, has changed a lot over the years and has become demanding. Googles Penguin algorithm has ensured that backlinks must be of the highest quality. And influencers must meet Googles strict criteria too.

By recruiting influencers within your industry, you gain the ability to drum up relevant and reputable links in a variety of ways. Influencers can backlink to your content or site by:

Creating posts on social media that share your site or offering;Allowing for a company representative to write a guest post on their blog;Generating branded content, like YouTube videos, which include a link to your site;And a variety of other avenues.

The important thing to keep in mind is that any sponsored content that influencers create for a brand that has provided them monetary compensation is viewed as a paid link and will not be attributed to your SEO ranking.

In this case, it can be optimal to seek out smaller influencers on Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube that will create backlinks in exchange for discounts, free products, etc.

Organic Influence

This is possibly the most beneficial SEO-related reason to leverage influencers. Above content prioritization and beyond backlinks, social authorities have the ability to drive massive amounts of organic traffic to a website.

When influencers are utilized for creating branded content, they are often driving visitors to the brands website with the intention of making a purchase. Granted that your campaign generated a significant number of sales and a fair amount of reviews on those purchases, Google will then see that your website is a trustworthy and popular destination, giving your site precedence over others in the rankings.

When your site is able to make it to the first page of the SERPs, then the organic traffic really starts to flow.

Your Competitors Know This Too

Influencer marketing is no industry secret. Most anyone who is involved with marketing in some way is aware of the modality, and the innovative ones dove in years ago.

If your competitors begin to garner even a halfway decent influencer campaign before you, they are going to start crushing you in the SERPs, in awareness, and in sales.

If all of this is not enough to convince you that influencer marketing is worth exploring, do a Google search to see the immense results that have been produced through the practice. Look at Google directly and how it has entered into the influencer marketing arena. If you choose to ignore this discipline, you have a far greater chance of getting lost in the already oppressive, and increasing, noise of the digital world.

Are you ready to dive into influencer marketing? If not, what is holding you back?

avatarConscious online marketer, web executive, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney has been creating and fostering online innovations since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer forSiteProNews,one of the Webs foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. Shes produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, influencer marketing, community management, lead generation, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, and accomplished life coach. Learn more on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+.

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Eight zero budget marketing tips from the Connect community -

Trying to encourage new leads and market your business with zero budget isn't as hard as you might think.

Many young businesses, and smaller operations, often find it difficult to justify a hefty marketing spend. Once overheads have been paid premises, staffing costs, office supplies and so on theres often little left in the kitty to spend on marketing, so anything you can do for free is well worth it.

We asked Telegraph Small Business Connect readers to share their tips on how to market on a zero budget. Heres what they said:

1. Use online communities to profile customers

Get online and start looking for communities related to your niche or places where potential customers may hang out. Use these communities to research buyer persona and guide your content strategy. A decent SME community on LinkedIn is a useful research tool and can even deliver the odd lead.

Tip by David Vallance, inbound marketer, Digital Impact

2. Get mapped by Google

Claim your free Google My Business account. This is important, especially for local businesses, because search results will often include a map pack with three local businesses on it. Google My Business is what feeds these results, so if your business isn't on there, you won't show up on the map results."

Tip by Rob Watson, digital marketing consultant, Click to Sale

3. Remember that time costs money

Social media accounts are free to create, but costly in terms of time spent on them. Utilise free tools such asHootsuite for social media management, Buffer for social media scheduling and Buzzsumo for content marketing research to manage your time and budget efficiently.

Tip by Carla Bradman, head of marketing, Johns & Co

4. Piggy-back on big stories

A big event that creates online chatter can offer a strong opportunity to get your business out there. Being reactive on Twitter costs nothing, especially if you can pair it with some smart design as Oreo did during its infamous Super Bowl tweet. Beyond that, survey your customers and audience to acquire data that you can tie into an ongoing event or story for public relations purposes. Many brands used this approach to capitalise on the noise surrounding Pokemon GO.

Tip by Richard Paul, outreach and campaign manager, addmustard

5. Build deeper relationships with existing customers

With a little extra effort, your existing customers can become your biggest supporters. It doesn't have to be complex: send them a simple, personalised thank you email and ask them how you can improve their experience of your business. They will love the attention and you will learn lots from them.

Tip by Sybil Wong, head of marketing and communications, Sparrho

6. Collaborate with other brands

Reach new audiences by striking contra-marketing agreements with brands of a similar size. They will be just as keen to reach your audience in exchange. But make sure their audience is of interest, and consists of your target audience. Also ensure that you both offer a comparable level of exposure by researching their reach across their website, newsletter, social media and offline.

Tip by Elaine Farrell, digital communications specialist, Hackney Mama

7. Offer free insights

Join relevant industry Facebook groups and provide lots of free value in the form of the information you provide. Help people who are stuck. Offer advice on how youve tackled similar situations. Become known as the go-to expert in your field so that people learn to trust your advice and knowledge. This may ultimately lead them to work with you when their budgets allow.

Tip by Charlotte Moore, food and fitness copywriter, That Copy Girl

8. Guest blog

Guest blogging is an ideal way to get your name out there. Its something people often overlook, but it's a great way to expose your ideas to a wider audience. You might have a blog yourself, but getting a decent amount of visitors to it can take of time and effort. Seek out sites that accept guest bloggers and well-written articles. If you manage to have a post published, make sure to include a link to your website.

Tip by Emma Saldana, freelance writer, writtenbyems

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How to maintain content marketing focus in long-running SEO programs - Search Engine Land


A few weeks ago, I gave a presentation on a SEO-centric content marketing program thatmembers of our team have been engaged inacross a two-plus year run. The presentation outlined preparation and research, steps in execution, performance measurement, and communication to teams.

Our goals have been aggressive, requiring a high level of organizational effort, analysis, and internal motivation to remain focused.

SEO Content Marketing Goals

Take note of the last goal we set out for the program: 250 content marketing assets.

A mix of emotions ranacross the audience members faces, ranging from disbelief to affirmation.

While hopefully, I provided compelling steps and tactics for realizing success (we have exceeded all of these goals), it is the last component of that presentation that I wanted to focuson here.

Ongoing communication is critical to maintaining a successful SEO-centric content marketing program (or any digital marketing program). It is even more important when an organization is entrenched in the day to day execution of tactics, and perhaps results have yet to be realized.

In this column, I will walk you through tactics and examples we use in our internal communication process, designed to maintain production as well as foster new ideas and motivate performance.

Monthly recommendation sets

When an SEO and content marketing team is in the midst of an ongoing program, monthly content marketing recommendations can be critical in fostering new ideas.

This communication is also important for helping team members understand what has worked in the past and what topics and trends are relevant now.

Communication Examples

The biggest challenge that we have faced with this initiative is in getting team members to leverage these ideas. In a sea of email, this correspondence certainly can get lost in the shuffle.

To gain greater acceptance and adoption, here are some of the ways weve repositioned this tactic to make it more effective:

Stronger lead visuals and more eye-catching graphics. We basically take best practices we would use in public-facing content development for our internal team communication as well.Options and ideas versus specific topics and headlines. Instead of telling people they have to write X Topic,we provide keyword ideas, suggested themes, and examples of past successes. This way, more of the creativity and idea generation falls back on individual team members.Routine feedback on messaging effectiveness. We look at both the level of adoption in ideas presented as well as direct feedback from team members to demonstrate the performance of recommendations made (and executed).

Its worth noting that we also focus on communicating site-specific monthly performance and success metrics along with topical recommendations detailed above. Visuals are critical here as well.

That said,we could spend an entire series of posts detailing what to present. I would recommend checking out Marketing Lands Analytics and Conversion section to stay up to speed in this area of focus.

Weekly status updates

While we all hate getting inundated with email, sometimes short bursts of information can be helpful so long as they provide value. Here are some of the communication updates we send routinely to keep our team motivated and up-to-date.

Weekly program updates.These updates are designed to keep everyone in the loop on activities and priorities.Industry news updates. If we find news and information that isrelevant (and sometimes critical) for team members, we make sure to call it out.Content publication distribution.Whenever new content is published on site or in third-party publications, we share withthe rest of team.

Similar to our monthly recommendation sets, our team does a great job of customizing their communication to make it more effective. Here are some of the ways we make this communication more impactful:

Pre-scripted updates and suggestions for social media distribution.A quick synopsis of impact and relevance in relation to news and information discovered.Similar to our monthly communication, many team members lead with a graphic or visual to help catch the readers eye and attention.Another Communication Example

Email works for our organization, but thats not to say its a universal requirement. Perhaps Twitter or a LinkedIn group would make more sense for your team. Regardless, the key to success has been constant communication in short, digestible formats.

Bi-weekly training sessions

Our organization holds bi-weekly (every other week) training discussions that have recently ranged from an introduction to Google Tag Manager to public speaking 101 to conference recaps and key takeaways.

While many of thesetraining sessions are not directly related to our specificongoing SEO and content marketing program, several are or could be adapted.Some specific topics we have used that directly align with ongoing SEO and content marketing initiatives include:

HTML best practices for content marketers.How to find good writing topics using keyword research.Key Google Analytics reports for demonstrating performance.

For these types of trainings to provide the most value, here are a few ideas to consider.

Scheduling.Set up a schedule of training dates well in advance. We have a calendar for the entire year.Feedback & suggestions.Obtain feedback from participating parties on topics of importance.Volunteers & assignments.We solicit volunteers and encourage/incorporate these training sessions into certain team members responsibilities as well.

Bi-weekly training sessions helpthe presenter as well since they can provide an open forum to receive feedback and reflect on tactics and successes (or opportunities) learned.

Contests, awards, and recognition

Lastly, its important to recognize both small wins and the accomplishment of major milestones; even if done only at an informal level. Some of the ways we try to recognize individual team member efforts are:

Internal communication highlightingtop posts and campaigns.Recognition (even if just through email) for outstanding results, influencers reached, or links acquired from new/interesting publications and websites.Annual awards and recognition for top content marketing assetsby traffic volume, links acquired, social shares, and lead acquisition.

It is easy to forget to acknowledge people when a team is heads down in program work and responsibilities. Quick and simple acknowledgment of hard work and results can go a long way in building needed morale over the long run.

Did you really produce 250 content marketing assets?

That was one question posed at the end of the presentation. The answer is yes, and we even exceeded that total if you counted third-party bylines, presentations, and other off-site opportunities.

Did we need to set a goal of 250? Absolutely not but it was the target our leadership team set based on competitive review and additional goals established.

For the production reason alone, it was important to maintain constant communication and encouragement, but also analysis and performance benchmarks to motivate and equip team members with as much information as possible to be successful.

Interested in learning more? Check out my Slideshare presentation with details as well as my columns on search result analysisand content marketing with search analyticsfor more information.

How do your SEO and content marketing teams keep performance at a high level throughout the duration of a program?Hopefully, these ideas spur new creativity but drop me a message anytime if you want to discuss more!

Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The AuthorDerek Edmond is a Managing Partner for KoMarketing, a B2B online marketing agency specializing in search, social media, and content marketing. With over 10 years experience, Derek has worked with a range of organizations from the Fortune 500 to venture-backed startups and small businesses.

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Ansley Atlanta and Marketing Directors exec join forces - MyAJC (blog)

Two well-known names in Atlanta residential real estate are teaming up for a partnership targeting the regions luxury buyers.

Ansley Atlanta Real EstateBonneau Ansley III

Bonneau Ansley III, founder of Ansley Atlanta Real Estate and one of the top producing real estate agents in Atlanta and the nation, announced this week the appointment of Marketing Directors executive David Tufts as his companys president.

The luxury housing market has rebounded since the depths of the recession, Ansley said, and 2016 has so far shown that pent-up demand from the recession hasnt been quenched.

The luxury market is as strong as it has ever been in Atlanta today, Ansley said.

Ansley Atlanta is a boutique firm that fancies itself as a residential brokerage and a one-stop technology and services platform for new home construction, renovation and home resale services.

Tufts, formerly of The Condo Store and a fixture in the luxury condo world, also will be Ansley Atlantas managing broker and he will continue his role with the Marketing Directors. The Marketing Directors specialize in apartment and condo marketing, sales and re-positioning.

Ansley Atlanta, which was founded last year after Ansley left Harry Norman Realtors, has 32 agents with plans to grow to 60, Ansley said. The firm has a footprint in Atlanta and also the Georgia coast and North Georgia and North Carolina mountains.

Marketing Directors Ansley Atlanta Real EstateBonneau Ansley III

Ansley, who comes from a long family line of home-builders (a great uncle developed Ansley Park), has also struck a joint venture with home-builder Monte Hewett Homes for luxury construction and renovations.

The tag-team with Tufts and the Marketing Directors provides a link into the luxury condo scene in Atlanta and beyond, Ansley said.

The link-up also comes as condo development is getting started in metro Atlanta after years of development dominated by mid- and high-rise apartments. Condo developers are tapping into hot in-town areas so far dominated by luxury rentals. But buyers also want to live in walkable areas with city amenities, Tufts said, and a brokerage that can handle renovation and design services.

One of the biggest luxuries a condo buyer demands is the luxury of time, Tufts said.

April 4, 2016 Atlanta: Cami, an old English sheep dog, sits beside owner Dave Higgins on the patio of Nancy G's Cafe where dogs have been welcome for the last eight years and there is even a dog menu. Ben Gray / Bow-wow: Metro Atlanta businesses going to the dogs

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