So, we work with a bunch of really big brands. Household names. Everyone’s go to brand for phones/insurance/fashion/coffee – if you need it, we’ve probably done a campaign with your favourite brand. Recently though, we did a campaign with a lesser known brand, with the goal of increasing brand awareness and driving sales in time for Christmas. The brand faced an SEO challenge, it’s more “famous” competitor has long benefited from “brand bias” in search results. Brand bias is when Google gives search result priority to companies that have a lot of “brand recognition”. Our mid-sized client might have superior products but it lacked the brand recognition. So what happened when we crafted a blogger outreach campaign?
It went THROUGH THE ROOF. Like, our KPIs were eclipsed over and over again until they were kind of embarrassing. The biggest surprise? How the brand’s SEO performance improved. We expected building a few links during the campaign to provide a little “nudge” for rankings on the target page – we didn’t expect this!
Brand bias has changed
Brand bias used to be all about the number of inbound links to the website. So, if you were a brand like “Coke” you had links pouring into your site from your distributors, your ad and PR campaigns, your sponsorship activity and from fans and foes alike. The bias towards big brands meant that smaller competitors suffered in search results.
The inbound links really mattered and it was how Google determined your brand’s value. Brand Meets Blog’s parent company is a digital marketing/SEO/Social Media firm that monitors the results of activities. What we’ve been seeing is unprecedented results for brands that regularly do well on social media and are active in collaborations – even if they’ve never spent a penny on advertising or PR.
Brand bias in 2016 – 2017
It’s no secret that Google has been more focused on user experience and peripheral signals like engagement and social interaction. For our middling client, we created a blogger outreach campaign where a dozen bloggers chatted about, sampled and shared the client’s product – both on blog and on social media. In addition to this, we did some Adwords targeting the new market and we made sure his site was ready to receive new traffic from this new audience. We made sure Google could understand what he did and that potential customers had a great experience buying from his store. We predicted a moderate growth in large/high competition keywords and a leap to page one for some mid-sized, highly relevant keywords. What we didn’t predict was all hell breaking loose – the client sold out. We cancelled the final stage of the campaign because there was nothing left to sell! His organic traffic, keyword rankings and conversion rates went through the roof.
What blogger outreach does for 2016-2017 ranking factors
Creates social signals
- Bloggers encourage their audience to “like your page” or “follow your brand” which increases your “social worth”.
- They also drive audience members to your site, increasing your click through from social media.
- They create posts that publicly share your own page and your content.
- Mention your brand name in association with your product, creating a “public association” between the two (brand awareness)
2. Creates “brand citations”
- Non-linking brand mentions allow search engines to “map” your popularity
3. Satisfies “trust” factors
- No followed links may not “pass SEO juice” but the balance of followed and no-followed links creates a “trusted” link profile.
- Our bloggers tend to own large content serving sites, with a credible and authentic inbound link profile and a respectable domain authority. In short, they’re the kinds of sites that SEO companies aspire to, but fall short of creating.
4. Answers keyword intention/relevance
- Bloggers create content around your brand and product that DIRECTLY caters to their audience. It answers search intention because it’s written with 100% audience satisfaction in mind. They’re not selling. They’re a third party sharing information.
- Blogs are “casually” optimised for your keywords and neatly answer the enquiry
5. Delivers UX like you wouldn’t believe
- The blogger drives their loyal and dedicated audience to the blog post. This audience knows the blogger and is always open to reading new content. They read longer, stay longer and click around more. Search engines interpret this as “great user experience”.
What we did and how it worked
Over the three month campaign Brand Meets Blog delivered:
- 1 x blogger event generating 5 blog posts and 12 social mentions
- 2 x blogger reviews with social media giveaways per month for three months
Talk About Creative delivered:
- Site UX review which resulted in minor changes
- Site copy overhaul including keyword strategy
- Adwords management
- Management of the client’s own social media
- 700 new social media followers
- 1000 mailing list sign ups
- Increase in sales via blog referrals and social media
- 492 sales from organic traffic at an average of $88 per sale
Can we do this for your mid-sized business?
The factors we’ve not talked about yet are the “client factors”. The client has a beautiful product that has mass appeal and looks great on blogs and social media. That’s important. The other “client factor” is the most important. This wonderful client put his trust in us. He spent what needed to be spent (the ROI was amazing) and trusted us to “get it done”. If you want these kind of results though, we recommend starting earlier! This campaign experienced a few delays at the start which likely reduced the results during the core period.
Blogger outreach simply isn’t enough
Talk About Creative made sure that the campaign had the best chances of succeeding by putting our team to work! The site needed a few tech tweaks (nothing major), some user experience tweaks and some keyword targeting. The keyword targeting also served to keep Adwords click prices down by increasing the site’s quality score. Not all blogger outreach agencies are created equal! Brand Meets Blog has a team of strategists working every campaign. It’s not just about developing brand bias, it’s about blogger outreach campaigns that work on every level to increase your sales.