Outdated “SEO best practices” that rely on technical manipulations are obsolete. Google’s AI is tuned to ignore technical optimizations to focus on content quality and visitor engagement. So, content that resonates with your customers will ultimately drive the most organic growth.
While the goals of SEO campaigns remain the same (e.g. achieving the top positions on Google search results pages) the methods for achieving these results have changed. It is necessary to trade in old technical SEO tactics for new SEO strategies based on customer intimacy, targeted content, and authority building.
One method of authority building for SEO is influencer partnerships. While there are many types of influencers (many influencers are out of reach without writing a big check), this article focuses on partnering with micro-influencers as they are more accessible for most brands.
Influencers are a powerful force in the online marketplace for consumer products. People with a sizable, loyal social media following often drive purchase decisions for their fans. While some influencers have hundreds of thousands to millions of followers, micro-influencers have between 1,000 to 100,000 followers on social media.
Influencers with massive followings may naturally seem like the best way to spread information around your products and build authority for SEO, but many are out of reach for smaller brands due to budget. These influencers also often have less focused audiences and do not maintain the same authenticity and engagement that many micro-influencers bring to the table.
Micro-influencers often speak to a niche audience, which makes them perfect for spreading awareness around products and brands that align with their audience’s preferences. Micro-influencers are often industry experts and their following is often more engaged than the followers of mega-influencers because of their niche appeal. Their focus and attention on their followers build trust and authority.
Micro-influencers can amplify your content and drive engagement with your brand. From an SEO perspective, Google’s AI uses engagement metrics to determine your authority and rankings.
One Micro-Influencer Taking a Mission-Driven Approach to Social Media
@realchelseabear is a micro-influencer based out of South Florida. Her mission is to spread awareness around Cerebral Palsy and her experience living with CP. According to her Instagram Bio, Chelsea shares Cerebral Palsy through her lens and is a disability and inclusion advocate. Her Instagram account has 67K followers and she is a brand ambassador for athletic clothing line Aerie.
Much of Chelsea’s posts are not branded but she sometimes posts unboxing gifts and products. In a post from December 2020, Chelsea opened up a “be well” box from Bustle, which included products from many different brands all for the sake of self-care. Chelsea tagged each brand and the gifting company in the brands very easy to find through social media.
One Brand Doing Micro-Influencers Right.
One of the brands featured in the gift box was Asutra — a health and wellness brand, Asutra uses micro-influencers to build awareness and organic visibility.
Naturally Madisen is a micro-influencer focused on promoting safe to use beauty products for women. In this post, she comments on using an Asutra product and even goes on to give a detailed description of the product.
Fire&Spark sat down with the owner and CEO of Asutra, Stephanie Morimoto, to discuss the use of micro-influencers and how it fits into their marketing strategy. We were excited to speak with Stephanie because of Asutra’s strong brand mission that has had a clear impact on their growth and SEO. Asutra’s mission of taking care of yourself on purpose resonates with audiences because it is authentic and important.
In Stephanie’s experience, many micro-influencers are customers who love the brand and promote products without commission. Authenticity matters because followers recoil from paid placements that feel forced. This is something to consider when partnering with any micro-influencer.
“Their followers really listen to what they have to say. They know that influencer only recommends things they truly love.” Stepahine said during our interview, on the impact and trust many micro-influencers have with their following.
Asutra has seen a HUGE increase in authority, rankings, and organic traffic to their product and collection pages since they started working with influencers. Our SEO tools show that Asutra has tripled its organic traffic during this time period. This up-tick in traffic was the result of an increase in backlinks, many of which were generated through influencer partnerships.
Number of ranking keywords for Asutra.com
As you can see on the graph, the number of ranking keywords for Asutra.com has increased drastically since early 2020. Influencer partnerships generating backlinks are one of the strategies Asutra has implemented to facilitate this growth.
The skyrocketing number of linking domains to Asutra.com has boosted their organic rankings
This graph shows the number of linking domains to Asutra.com. It is clear that there have been significant increases in the number of links Asutra has been able to acquire over the last few years. Influencer partnerships are directly responsible for many of the links.
The past two years have seen increases in organic traffic..
Looking at this graph, we can see that most of Asutra’s traffic came from paid ads. More recently organic traffic has been the greater source of traffic. Growth in organic traffic is not only better for ROI, but it is also more sustainable long term.
The Asutra case study illustrates why we at Fire&Spark are so excited about the Authority First SEO(TM) methodology for growing organic visibility and sales. Now that some product categories are hyper-competitive, you need authority to rank in Google.
Micro-influencers can increase visitor engagement with your content and product pages. Also, you can “borrow” their authority by collaborating on content partnerships.
You must become google’s preferred brand in your category to achieve a significant increase in organic traffic and sales. This is where micro-influencer partnerships can add tremendous value.