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The younger generation runs online searches differently. Rather than going to a search engine like Google or Bing, a growing number of younger users search for things like “local lunch spots” on specific social channels, particularly TikTok and Instagram. This means influencers and SEO go hand in hand.

Google has noticed the change and is trying to adapt its search tool to fit the new wave of searchers. While Google struggles to find its footing, this news excites brands and influencers. 

If social channels are the new search engines, influencer marketing could be the new SEO, of sorts.By partnering with influencers, brands get noticed. An influencer campaign could be the equivalent of landing at the top of a Google search.

If you’re looking to capitalize on this new SEO trend, here are some ways to get started:

Know what’s being searched

Rather than simply homing in on influencers in your industry and pushing out a predetermined campaign for your product, put the time into some research. Social media platforms regularly share their most-viewed categories — an insight that can be helpful in drumming up new approaches to marketing.

In June 2020, for example, TikTok’s most-viewed categories told a big-picture story. Users spent time viewing the following categories (measured by hashtag views):

  • Entertainment: 535 billion.
  • Dance: 181 billion.
  • Pranks: 79 billion.
  • Fitness/sports: 57 billion.
  • Home renovation/DIY: 39 billion.
  • Beauty/skincare: 33 billion.
  • Fashion: 27 billion.
  • Recipes/cooking; 18 billion.
  • Life hacks/advice: 13 billion.
  • Pets: 10 billion.
  • Outdoors: 2 billion.

Knowing these statistics, it makes sense that a brand selling hiking boots might expand its influencer marketing search to look beyond only outdoor influencers. But it also might lead to some significant brainstorming regarding the type of campaign that might pull in new viewers. 

Could the brand and influencer work together to create a funny video about hiking? Or content around dance trends performed in hiking boots? Or perhaps a fitness video about the benefits of hiking?

Similar insights could be obtained from researching the most-searched hashtags on Instagram, which tell the story of users interests, mood, shopping queries, and even values. Just check out the top 10 Instagram hashtags:

  • #love: 1.835 billion.
  • #instagood: 1.150 billion.
  • #Fashion: 812.7 million.
  • #photooftheday: 797.3 million.
  • #beautiful: 661.0 million.
  • #art: 649.9 million.
  • #photography: 583.1 million.
  • #happy: 578.8 million.
  • #picoftheday: 570.8 million.
  • #cute: 569.1 million.

Other than fashion, few of the categories are focused directly on shopping categories. This may encourage brands to make adjustments not only to their hashtags, but also to the products chosen for a campaign. 

Enhance content’s SEO

Whether posting on a brand account or working with an influencer, use text on the screen and add captions to videos to increase accessibility and signal what your post is about. 

It’s also important to make sure influencers are adding relevant hashtags and detailed descriptions with your target keywords to the content. 

Create branded hashtags to help your followers and customers tag you in user-generated content and engage with your audience.

Stay on top of topical trends

Beyond which hashtags are being searched, it also pays to be aware of topical trends on social media. Following timely crazes goes beyond taking advantage of “what’s hot at the moment.” Understanding the collective consciousness of the moment can also help brands and influencers stay abreast of important news, causes, and popular opinion from various age groups, genders, socioeconomic groups, and even regional movements.

Once you’ve researched the upwardly growing trends on Instagram and TikTok, you can enter your keywords into the search box to see the types of content that are earning the most engagement, find influencers, and develop a campaign that aligns with the trend.

Need examples?

  • #TellMeWithoutTellingMe: Users are challenged to reveal information about themselves in a video without explicitly saying the word or words to explain it. For example, TikTok influencer Shauna Dewit posted a video of herself using a step ladder to get up to a bar stool. 
  • #EffYourBeautyStandards: Users share the hashtag to call out unrealistic and harmful beauty standards while sharing a photo or video of their own beauty concept. Instagram influencer Hulya Marquardt, who is a multiple amputee and fashion boutique owner, uses the hashtag alongside photos of herself in a wheelchair wearing fashionable outfits. 

Try different kinds of campaigns

It’s easy to fall back on influencer campaigns that have worked in the past, but brands shouldn’t limit themselves to marketing within their comfort zones. 

Consider social media takeovers, host giveaways, pre-release campaigns, promotional codes, guest blog posts, and live brand ambassador Q&As, among other options.

Go live

Savvy marketers may know that videos on social media generate 1200% more shares than text and images combined, but live streaming is earning its own keep. Twitch, the biggest live streaming platform in the world, has already tallied over 9.3 billion hours watched and the live streaming market is predicted to be worth over $247 billion by 2027.

If you’re not familiar with the format, watch other brands’ live streams to get a feel for how it might work for your campaigns. In addition, choose influencers who have used live streaming in brand partnerships, as they may be able to offer guidance and suggestions.

Part of a brand’s success relies on its ability to adapt to ever-changing technology, audience preferences and shifts in consumer habits. Use these tips to take your next influencer marketing campaign to new heights in terms of reach, engagement and sales. All it requires is a little research, some creativity and an influencer who can help make your brand shine. 


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