In the age of authenticity: How does influencer marketing affect SEO trends?
Gone are the days when brands were merely searching for celebrities to use as advertisers; today, everyday creatives are in the spotlight with their passionate and engaged audiences. With a projected valuation of $21.1 billion and the rise of AI influencers, the intertwining of genuine influencer partnerships and innovative SEO strategies is becoming increasingly important.
Why are brands partnering with influencers, what unique tools do influencers offer? What trends exist now and are planned for the future – answers to the most critical questions from the marketing agency Scale Final.
Let’s get right to it.
Influencer marketing in a nutshell
Analytics & trends
The Influencer Marketing Benchmark Report 2023 shows that the future of influencer marketing is more than bright.
The data applies to almost all jurisdictions, with as many as 3,500 marketers surveyed.
Some bullet points:
- The trend is for the industry to grow to $21.1 billion this year;
- Brands prefer to work with nano- and micro-influencers;
- More than 50% of respondents (brands) plan to use AI in influencer marketing;
- 23% of respondents spend more than 40% of their budget on working with influencers;
- TikTok is the global leader among platforms.
And interesting trends:
- Communities. Collaboration is key. And it scales the implementation of ideas and opportunities for brands. Community partnerships sometimes win out over working with individual influencers.
- Geo-targeting. Brands now prefer not only bloggers who share the company’s values and philosophy. Physical proximity is becomes important. This is especially true for local nano- and micro-influencers. Higher efficiency at lower cost.
- iCommerce + Live Selling. A fundamentally new sales channel – selling through bloggers offers certain advantages: Live demonstration of goods, ability to place an order or pre-order.
- Influencers + AI. The widespread use of AI in marketing has led to a multiple increase in virtual influencers in the last 2 years. Nothing strange, as it comes with advantages: small budgets, real-time personalised communication, and additional creative opportunities.
However, you should follow some rules when doing influencer marketing.
Despite the advantages mentioned above, influencer marketing is only good if it is honest and authentic. So that you and your fellow influencers to gain mutual benefits and communicate your values to the audience.
Influencer marketing guidelines
1. Full disclosure. Influencers must explicitly mention sponsored content so the audience knows it is advertising.
2. Authenticity. Influencers should promote products they truly believe in and that their audience cares about. Advertising for profit can undermine their credibility.
3. Transparency. Brands should be open about their partnerships with influencers and also provide information about rewards.
4. Accountability. Both brands and influencers should be held accountable for the content of their advertising to ensure product safety and the legitimacy of advertising claims.
Some of the well-known brands that are successful with influencer marketing include Patagonia, Dove, and Airbnb.
So we’ve covered trends and analytics. Ethical questions about dealing with your audience. The next part is about influencer marketing and SEO, i.e. how search engine algorithms react to influencer content and how it affects your brand.
SEO and influencer marketing
The future of SEO will be closely linked to influencer marketing.
More and more search results emphasise personal experiences such as short videos, Perspectives, Knowledge graphs, and Author carousels.
There is a strong correlation between social signals and performance on Google, especially in Discover.
Although Google has stated that social media is not a ranking factor, the correlation between the two is strong.
This is especially true for YouTube, which Google increasingly includes directly in organic search results. Videos with many views on YouTube often take top positions in search. This is even more true for Perspectives.
Google‘s addition of the new letter “E” (experience) to the word E-E-A-T was an important clue.
The most innovative SEO strategies will involve real experts and contributors, and their online profiles will be the focus of all SEO activities.
We can highlight the increasing role of in-house influencers, whose presence on social media will represent the brand.
Learn how to build authority via an expert content strategy: How to write content that sells. Part 2
Google will understand even better who people are and what they do. Authenticity will become increasingly important.
The symbiosis between influencer marketing and SEO has never been more evident. This paradigm shift, backed by extensive analytics, demonstrates authentic content creators’ undeniable influence and potential in shaping online visibility and brand trust. As search engines prioritise authenticity and personal experiences, companies must remain agile and blend the worlds of influencer collaboration and innovative SEO tactics.
This is the only way to ensure a meaningful connection with audiences and a stronger online presence.