Influencer marketing is on fire. 81% of marketers say influencer engagement is effective and another 51% believe it attracts better quality customers than other channels.

Brands and agencies use influencer marketing to raise awareness and inspire consumers to take action through website visits, contest entries, coupon downloads, and purchases. But did you know that influencer marketing can also help improve a brand’s SEO?

The Evolution of SEO

As search algorithms evolve over time, so do SEO best practices. Formerly effective SEO tactics, like stuffing content with a keyword or phrase as many times as possible, have become obsolete. Now, a key phrase’s relevance within the content matters more than its frequency of use.

Relevant content engages audiences, which is why search ranking today is dependent on a page’s engagement level. Search engines determine engagement by analyzing the page’s session duration, bounce rate, number of shares, and other metrics. For example, the top viewed and shared page containing the phrase “best cookie recipe” will appear higher in search results when “best cookie recipe” is searched. The more audience interaction a page receives, the higher the page will rank in searches.

Because strong SEO relies on content that informs or entertains, influencer marketing has the potential to greatly improve a brand’s discoverability. Here are three reasons influencer marketing helps brands improve their SEO:

  1. Influencers Generate Engaging Content

Influencers are experts at creating interesting content – it’s how they attract and maintain their followings. However, for the content to appear high in search results, it requires heavy audience engagement and relevant use of the key phrase. In sponsored programs, brands determine their keywords or phrases, then partner with hundreds of influencers to create original content about the brand while naturally building the keywords into their stories.

The combination of interesting, original content and relevant themes optimizes the content to rank high in the phrase’s search results. Since sponsored posts link back to the brand’s website or specified landing page, consumers can organically discover the brand’s pages.

  1. Influencer Content Provides Long-term Value

Brands enjoy the benefits of influencer marketing long after a program ends. The most popular sponsored content steadily rises in search rankings over time as people continue to discover, share, and engage with  program content. As a result, influencer programs see up to 40% additional traffic and conversions from sponsored posts in the six months following the conclusion of a program.

Brands can also drive additional traffic by identifying the program’s best performing content and putting paid media behind it. Because the content has already proven to engage an audience, brands can scale their marketing efforts with little to no risk.

  1. Influencers Have Large, Engaged Audiences

Influencers significantly expand a brand’s reach by promoting the program content to their engaged audiences, driving even more traffic to brand pages and encouraging additional sharing of the content. Larger audiences equal more opportunities to engage with the program content, bumping the best performing pieces that include a brand’s key phrases up in search rankings.

Plus, audiences are more likely to engage with brand content when it’s shared by an influencer. A recent study from MarketingSherpa revealed that nearly 60% of consumers like learning about new products through people they know online, while only 16% like learning directly from brand websites.

Influencers are a multi-use marketing tool and effective for more than just raising brand awareness or driving consumer action. Influencer marketing’s content creation, long-term value, and reach capabilities make it a smart addition to a brand’s larger SEO strategy. Reach out to learn more ways an influencer program can accomplish with your marketing goals.