When keeping on top of our SEO, there are so many things we have to keep track of that we often don’t have any time for the most obvious things.
The days of manipulating search engines are over. Now, when it comes to getting and staying ahead, quality of content and response to user intention are paramount.
What is an influencer / brand?
An influencer (a single person) or brand (company) is somebody who is recognized and respected in their field. Influencers and brands have carved out a position of authority for themselves and enjoy wide recognition.
Search engines love brands
Search engines love brands. Widespread popularity among the target audience helps send positive user signals. What’s more, influencers and brands tend to have well developed marketing strategies and produce high quality work. Google itself recommends that website owners become “brands” – true to the motto:
“Why should Google rank a site highly – and not the competition?”
How can I become an influencer / brand?
Brand development is a slow process. The key is to identify what the target audience wants and to offer them precisely that. A certain external image is often helpful, so take time to consider exactly what message you want your brand to convey. How do you want to position yourself?
Ideally, you should be aiming to build a positive reputation. Of course, there are companies and brands which are successful despite (and sometimes thanks to) negative headlines – but let’s not set off with that intention.
Be where your audience is
At the start, it’s not enough to simply build a website and believe you’ll automatically become known. You need to know where your target audience congregates – and make sure you are also there!
Try to position yourself intelligently and make catchy, memorable contributions to discussions and debates. Influencers often make sure they themselves are visible on photographs and images. Logos and presence are key for brands.
Quality is key
Above all, an influencer has to become known as a helper – someone who has the solutions and the answers when problems arise. Say I want to be taken seriously as a social media expert, I need to make my voice heard when questions are asked or when news breaks. Ideally in those places where my target audience is listening.
From knowledge to status
Many influencers and brands are considered experts in their field. Take fashion bloggers, for instance. Those with millions of followers belong to the top influencers in the industry. For their fans, they are not merely icons but also advisers on how to dress, what to wear, etc. They are assumed to possess expert knowledge – regardless of whether they actually have it or not.
A consistent strategy
External signals are also important for your Google ranking. Brands and influencers often receive strong backlinks from the media or expert sites. The key is regularity. A single, one-off marketing action might bring some short-term attention but doesn’t directly make you an influencer or a brand. You need to be more than just an empty message – you need to represent precisely what you mean and embody it. You need to have a precise, unique and authentic message. Simply mimicking something which already exists won’t get you far in today’s over-saturated market.
Entertain 90% of your target audience
It might sound obvious – but try not to get on your target audience’s nerves every single day with advertising. Particularly on social media, entertainment and fun is often just as important as expert knowledge. You need to entertain your audience so that they are happy. Only then can you expect to get something back – whether attention, recommendations or other types of conversions. Existing followers who enjoy your content will help make your brand more well known by sharing, etc.
As with most things in life, it’s all about give and take. Many big names in the industry seem to have forgotten this and are only interested in the “take.” This is where space opens up for new names and new faces who do things differently.
- Identified the target audience?
What do they like to see? How old are they? Male or female?
- Where is my target audience? Don’t spam Twitter if your audience doesn’t use it. Use the same social channels as your audience.
- Plan strategically.
What sort of time spans are we looking at? How often should new posts appear? How often should new content appear?
- Be a helper!
The audience doesn’t want to hear how great and amazing your company is. They want to know that your expert knowledge can help them solve practical problems.
- Consider what sort of subjects get the most media attention. Create or host events or be the first to write or do something.
- Work together with other influencers. Often, they will be more than happy to link to shared projects, bringing you more backlinks and boosting your reach.
- Does your work merit press coverage? Use existing networks to contact professional journalists or build your own network.
- When contacting journalists, remember: many only ever read email headings. You have to give them a reason to open an email. Particularly for local outlets, this could be a clear reference to the local area which they cover.
- If an action or event works well, consider repeating it on an annual basis. In this way, your brand and your event becomes part of the industry calendar. This works particularly well to top-10 lists or reviews, or live tests.
- Tailor your language to the media you use. While a more formal style is favourable on websites where conversions are carried out, you might be able to address your audience more informally on Facebook.
- Influencers need reach. This is vital for good rankings. Have you considered purchasing or taking over a domain or account with existing rankings? Is it worth cooperating with an existing presence to take advantage of an existing target audience? You don’t always need to start from zero …
- Don’t rush! The start is always the hardest part but the more reach you generate, the easier it becomes.
- If your strategy clearly isn’t working, does it need adjusting? Perhaps your brand message is too general, in which case you should narrow it down. It’s easier to be an expert on a small niche than a huge area. Such experts are also often in demand when the press need informed opinions and comments.
- Have a clear plan. Lay out clearly what you want to achieve. When do new articles hit the site? When are podcasts recorded? When do videos go live? Consistency is key.
- Posted a brilliant article which is going through the roof? Well done – now you have about six months to repeat the success before Google decides it was nothing more than a short-term peak and sends you back down the pecking order.
- What links are you receiving? People will often write about influencers and brands without actually directly linking to them. When this happens, get in touch and ask for a link. And be honest! Tell them that it’s for the benefit or the user and for you!
Influencers which provide added value will quickly reap the rewards. They soon become brands in their own right and become integral part of an industry for the target audience.