There’s a growing problem in the influencer marketing space with content creators. We’ve talked about it on this show before. But there never seems to be any great push to solve for this particular problem.
The main focus of many an influencer today is creating videos for TikTok, Instagram and YouTube. For posting Stories on various platforms and engaging their followers and fans there. But those platforms aren’t owned by the creators. There’s a significant amount of risk influencers and content creators are taking by putting their main source of income on borrowed land.
Montana recently banned TikTok. I don’t necessarily think that ban will stick. Nor do I think TikTok will soon be banned across the U.S. But it’s not far-fetched for that to come to fruition. If it does, TikTok creators could be in a very bad position.
The problem in the influencer marketing space is that we’ve gotten away from having our own websites. Owned channels. Creators are assuming the social networks are forever and won’t go away. They’re putting the precious eggs of their business in someone else’s basket.
I hate to use this phrasing, but “Back in my day …” you wrote blog posts and had your own website. You used social networks to promote the content there and build your email lists. You owned not just your content, but your audience as well.
Creators today don’t think that way and it may come back to bite them.
If you do have a website, you probably know a thing or two about SEO, or search engine optimization. Search engines like Google are the lifeblood of just about any website’s traffic. Figuring out how to rank well for certain keywords or phrases helps more traffic come to your site, subscribe to your content or buy from you.
But if these creators don’t have websites, what are they to do? Can they do anything?
Kevin Roy is the CEO of GreenBananaSEO out of Boston. He’s helped dozens of companies drive growth and revenue using innovative digital marketing approaches. His company has been ranked several times in Inc. Magazine’s 5000 Fastest Growing Companies.
I asked Kevin to join us on Winfluence to talk about the state of SEO today, how creators can leverage it to build their brands and businesses, and what they can … or can’t do … to use SEO to build their social network cache even if they don’t have a website.
We’ll talk to Kevin about that and more today on the show.
This episode of Winfluence is presented by CIPIO.ai. We help brands solve a couple of big problems. We also have free solutions for creators you need to know about.
For the brands out there, what CIPIO.ai does best is source authentic and high-performing user-generated content you can use to fuel your paid, owned, earned and shared content strategies. UGC performs better. We help you get as much of it as you want. If you also want those users to post the UGC on their channels to become influential voices for your brand, our software helps make that happen, too.
For you creators, when you authenticate into CIPIO.ai’s platform, we have a free media kit you can use to market your influence, content and channels to brands. You can customize it, then pop out a PDF or a web version to share. You can even create different versions for different clients on the fly. We also have an incredible referral program that pays you 20% commission on the first year’s revenue from any brand you refer to CIPIO.ai.
You can learn more at CIPIO.ai. And if you’d like to set up a call with me to personally show you the platform and how it can benefit you and your brand, jump over to jasonfalls.co/cipio, fill out that form and we’ll set up some time to talk.
CIPIO.ai – We’re building a Community Commerce Marketing Super App that has something in it for you and your business. Come see us.
Kevin Roy Episode Highlights
[00:00:00] Winfluence podcast discusses importance of SEO for creators.
[00:05:13] Google rewards usability and relevance in SEO.
[00:11:10] Optimize Insta page for Google search, be relevant.
[00:13:15] Boost website with social channel clicks and links.
[00:16:31] Google, video, and changing search behavior.
[00:21:48] SEO has changed; podcasts help understand it.
- The importance of SEO for companies and content creators in relation to video content
- The potential obsolescence of traditional SEO practices from the 2010 era due to widespread video consumption
- Preparing for the shift by optimizing videos and making them searchable
- The problem of relying heavily on social media platforms for income in the influencer marketing space
- The risk of putting business solely on borrowed land and the importance of having a website and owned channels
- Importance of optimizing Instagram pages for increased visibility in Google searches
- The necessity of having control over one’s own server to prevent censorship
- SEO changes over the past 15 years and the importance of staying informed through podcasts and online discussions
Kevin Roy Episode Transcript
Jason Falls [00:00:00]:
Do you want Instagrammers or TikTokers to post about your brand? Or do you actually want to engage creators who winfluence their audience to buy your product? If you’re in the latter of those two, you’ve come to the right place. Welcome to winfluence the influence marketing Podcast. Hello again, friends. Thanks for tuning in to influence the Winfluence Marketing podcast. There’s a growing problem in the Winfluence marketing space with content creators. We’ve talked about it on this show before, but there never seems to be any great push to solve for this particular problem. The main focus of many an Winfluence today is creating videos for TikTok, Instagram and YouTube for posting stories on various platforms and engaging their followers and fans there. But those platforms aren’t owned by the creators. There’s a significant amount of risk Winfluence and content creators are taking by putting their main source of income on borrowed land. Montana recently banned TikTok. I don’t necessarily think that ban will stick, nor do I think TikTok will soon be banned across the US. But it’s not far fetched for that to come to fruition. If it does, TikTok creators could be in a very bad position. The problem in the influencer marketing space is that we’ve gotten away from having our own websites, our owned channels. Creators are assuming the social networks are forever and won’t go away. They’re putting the precious eggs of their business in someone else’s basket. Now, I hate to use this phrasing, but back in my day, you wrote blog posts and had your own website. You used social networks to promote the content there and build your email lists. You owned not just your content, but your audience as well. Creators today don’t think that way, and it may come back to bite them. If you do have a website, you probably know a thing or two about SEO or search engine optimization. Search engines like Google are the lifeblood of just about any website’s traffic. Figuring out how to rank well for certain keywords or phrases helps more traffic come to your site, subscribe to your content, or buy from you. If these creators don’t have websites, what are they to do? Can they do anything? Kevin Roy is the CEO of Green Banana SEO out of Boston. He’s helped dozens of companies drive growth and revenue using innovative digital marketing approaches. His company has been ranked several times in Inc. Magazine’s 5000 fastest growing companies. I asked Kevin to join us on Winfluence to talk about the state of SEO today, how creators can leverage it to build their brands and businesses, and what they can or cannot do to use SEO to build their social network cachet, even if they don’t have a website. We’ll talk to Kevin about that and more today on the show. This episode of Influence is presented by Cipio, AI It, and well, I guess I can say we, since it’s my day job. We help brands solve a couple of big problems. We also have free solutions that you creators need to know about. For the brands out there, what we do best is source, authentic and high performing user generated content you can use to fuel your paid, owned, earned and shared content strategies. UGC performs better. We help you get as much of it as you want, video or image. If you also want those users to post the UGC on their channels to become influential voices for your brand, our software helps make that happen too for you creators. When you authenticate into CPO AI’s platform, we have a free media kit you can use to market your influence, content and channels to brands. You can customize it, then pop out a PDF or web version to share. You can even create different versions for different clients on the fly. We also have an incredible referral program that pays you 20% commission on the first year’s revenue from any brand you refer to. Cipio AI. You can learn more at Cipio AI. And if you’d like to set up a call with me personally to show you the platform and how it can benefit you and your brand, jump over to Jasonfalls cipio, fill out that form, and we’ll set up some time to talk. Cipio AI is building a community commerce marketing super app that has something in it for you and your business. Come see us if you don’t have a website. R-U-S-O-L. As a creator. We’ll find out from Kevin Roy, next on Winfluence. Kevin the more things change, the more they stay the same. In a lot of ways, where and how people consume content these days has changed dramatically in the last 1015 years. Yet SEO, or search engine optimization is still fundamentally key to any business’s success. What is still the same about SEO today compared to, let’s say, 2010, maybe 2005? And what are the biggest differences for brands and businesses to consider?
Kevin Roy [00:05:13]:
That’s a great question. So the same is that the basic principles of SEO are still the same. So there are two core things that Google looks at to determine your rank, and they both funnel up to Google wanting people to continually use Google. So Google is just trying to propagate its own existence and keep it moving. So principle number one is usability. And when I tell you these things, you’ll say, oh, yeah, that completely makes sense. So if someone does a Google search on their phone and it doesn’t work in mobile, they get frustrated and they leave. So Google is going to ding you for that. If you go to the site, you get a virus, they get frustrated. So Google is going to ding you. If you go to a site and it takes 15 minutes to load, google’s going to ding you, right? So Google rewards you for all of those things, which you should just be doing anyways, because that’s going to help the user experience. The second piece is relevance. Google’s job is to return the most relevant page, not website, but page for the keyword phrase that you type in. And that is always the same. So if you think about Google does three to 400 updates a year to their algorithm, do you think that you can change relevance three to 400 times and still rank for best pizza in Miami? They’re not doing that. There is a basis of your web page. Google the word basketball and nine times out of ten, Wikipedia is outranking the NBA, because that page is the most comprehensive guide to when basketball was started, how the game was played, who are some of the prominent players, how it scored. And then there’s all these other pages to link to see the first score of the first basketball game. There’s probably a Wikipedia page about that. There’s definitely a Wikipedia page about Michael Jordan and it links off from that page. So those are all components of relevance. So Google says this is the most important page for this keyword phrase. That’s always going to be the same. If it’s not the same, people are going to start, stop going to Google to find out what a keyword phrase means or to find information on a specific topic.
Jason Falls [00:07:36]:
Yeah, I’ve always been fascinated with people who have some sort of conspiracy theory about Google because from day one its mantra and whole purpose is to just offer up the best result, the best answer to a question or solution to a problem. And if they don’t do that, to your point, people don’t use Google, so they don’t have there’s no interest in it for Google to try to manipulate or finagle results to where one person I mean, other than selling ads exactly. To where the organic territory is claimable right. Unless you’re doing the right things for it. So it’s always fascinating me to people.
Kevin Roy [00:08:14]:
Who think that because I agree and I’m a huge fan of conspiracy theories, I love it. But you’re 100% right. People are going to pick up on that so quick that if they stop returning relevance, people are going to stop using.
Jason Falls [00:08:27]:
Yeah, people tend to forget that in mass. A lot of times people in general can be dumb, but in general, people are pretty smart about sussing out things like that. Sometimes we need to trust ourselves.
Kevin Roy [00:08:41]:
Jason Falls [00:08:41]:
Now the folks watching and listening are a nice mix of brand marketers agency folks, service providers within the influencer marketing space, but also influencers content creators. Some content creators have websites, some don’t, and run their creation business on Meta or TikTok or YouTube or a combination of those. I think I know your answer to this, but for a content creator that doesn’t have a website, what would you say is their risk or weakness in that? And what are the upsides of making sure they fill that gap?
Kevin Roy [00:09:13]:
So that’s a great question. I think the risk is censorship. So I think TikTok and Insta and Facebook and Twitter are great ways to get the message out. And there’s a lot of people that will gravitate towards one of those. TikTok, to the best of my knowledge, hasn’t been that censored yet. Everything’s a little bit censored, but we’re all reading about Facebook and Instagram and Twitter being censored. And I’ve seen over and over again people creating their own websites and creating their own blogs. Just say there are certain things I can’t say. Like you listen to finance guys and they’ll say the surveys of sickness because they can’t say that word on a podcast because they’re going to get funneled out and they’re going to get taken off YouTube. Have them go to the website. I’m seeing that over and over again, especially as censorship rises. Go to my website if you want to read all the data, because no one can censor inside my server.
Jason Falls [00:10:19]:
I hadn’t really thought about that, to be honest with you. I think the underlying but absolutely, you’re absolutely right. The sort of underlying thing that I would tell people maybe at the 101 level, because yours is, I think, a little deeper, but smart, and I’m glad you shared it, but at the 101 level is if you don’t have a website, then people can’t find you. At least not in a Google search. To be more pointed, I guess, about that situation of creators putting their content and their livelihoods really on borrowed land. If a creator doesn’t have a website, can they do anything to drive search results for people to find them? Because I know my social profiles come up if you Google my name. But if you Google Influencer marketing Strategist or Winfluence marketing podcast or something like that, I’m not going to come up. My social channels are anyway. What do they do?
Kevin Roy [00:11:10]:
It’s really difficult. So you have to optimize your Insta page to pop up in a Google search. And that means you have to be more relevant towards everybody else. And relevance is determined by the content mix of the mix of content on a page. And so there’s only so many things you can put on your TikTok page, your Instagram page, or your Facebook page to make something relevant. If you go and I know I keep talking about the basketball page, but it’s probably 4000 words of text. One of the secrets that we use here at Green Banana is we’re page one or you don’t pay. If we get someone ranked, they pay us. We don’t get them ranked, they don’t pay. And the secret is that Google hides its results in plain sight. So if you want to rank for Boston SEO agency, then I got to look at everyone else that’s outranking me and do a little bit more. Another h two tag, 25 latent semantic index terms. A few more extra internal links to that page and you go and you typically have to write a lot of content now, and I suspect that’s going to get even higher with the advent of chat GPT. I don’t know how you can do that on a Facebook page or an Instagram page or or a TikTok. So you’re continuously babbling to stay on top. I think to run a really good TikTok channel, you have to post every day. I can’t do that. It’s tough.
Jason Falls [00:12:46]:
It’s definitely tough. All right, so we know the best practice, or to put it more bluntly, I guess, table stakes. If you’re running content creation or an Winfluence business, you have to have a website. What do these creators need to think about to do in their social media content to support that website if they do have it, and ensure that traffic and inbound links and the like are lifting up that website in search? Because if they have a website, it’s much easier for them to rank, but they still can leverage those social channels and that content to lift their site up.
Kevin Roy [00:13:15]:
So there are two things that your social channel can do for you in terms of helping boost your website. Click through rate is a factor, so getting people to click on your site will help it rank. Linking is a rank factor, right? We all know that Facebook and Instagram and TikTok, they’re high authority pages. So if you can find a way to get a link, not to your site, to the page. So if you want to rank for red basketball sneaker, don’t go to your dick sporting goods homepage. You want to go right to the red basketball sneaker page. So if you can get that link in there, you can get the clicks and the links that will help. Remember, it’s all about relevance, right? So you want to have relevant Facebook content that goes to a relevant link that goes to a relevant page. Just matchy matchy and you mysteriously rank for it because Google is rewarding relevance. Nice.
Jason Falls [00:14:25]:
That’s good stuff. How important is it for a content creator to feed content on the website as well as their social channels?
Kevin Roy [00:14:32]:
If you want the site to rank, it needs content, but it needs relevant content. So one of the things that I’m wrestling with right now is think about how much content Google has to digest with the advent of chat GPT. So people can instead of pumping out ten pages a week, I can pump out 30 pages a day if I wanted to pretty easily. Right, and so people are doing that, which means there’s going to be more content on pages, but if you’re writing content just to write, you’re going to get lost in that sea of content. You have to make sure that the content is relevant to the keyword phrase. I know I keep going back to that, but it is like the only thing that matters when it comes to ranking.
Jason Falls [00:15:26]:
It is. And if you think about it, everybody and their brother can produce 30 pages of content a day, and many of them will likely produce the same type of content of those 30 pieces of content per day. The difference now with the advent of AI and Chat GPT and all that fueling, all that written content out there, the difference now is going to be all of the other things that you’re doing to drive traffic to that page, all of the videos and things like that. Those inbound links, those credible inbound links, that’s what’s going to lift you up. So then you really have to kind of get into the nitty gritty of SEO, right?
Kevin Roy [00:16:01]:
Go ahead. No, taking those videos too and putting them on YouTube. Google loves its own property, right? So taking that now, you don’t used to have to transcribe the video. You don’t even have to do that anymore because Google does it for you. But using that YouTube, putting links in, embedding it on your page, the only downside of YouTube is if you embed it on your page, then it ends up showing someone else’s commercial after it. So you can use things like whiskey or a vimeo or any of those other platforms.
Jason Falls [00:16:31]:
Very true. Why do you folks out there in the audience think that I embed this here show on individual show notes pages on my website? Because I know that Google likes for me to do that excellent stuff. We’re talking to Kevin Roy from Green Banana SEO. When we come back on the show, we’ll dig in a little and talk to him about the diversification of search engines in the marketplace and a little bit more about video. Google’s got some competition and video is going to be a big factor. So don’t go away. Welcome back to winfluence. Getting caught up on a little SEO knowledge today with Kevin Roy, the CEO of Green Banana SEO. Kevin. Forever and a day for forever and a day when you think about search, you kind of start and end with Google, but consumer behavior changes. And now Gen Z and even Gen Alpha, the newest generation, I guess, coming up, are using TikTok and Instagram as search engines. How does that change the way you think about things and build out programs and ideas for your clients?
Kevin Roy [00:17:37]:
I think it’s important to be on all of those platforms if you can do it, if you have the time to be able to do that. People are doing searches on those. I think if you really want to dig down and do some extensive search, websites are really important because you’re getting a very brief clip on TikTok about something. And I’m not poo pooing TikTok. I use it all the time. I think it’s super cool. But I think you take some of the content from your website, put it in there, and make sure that they’re all connected together. So there’s that homogeneous relevance that is going across all channels.
Jason Falls [00:18:25]:
Well, also, too, I’m curious. It’s not just about having an account there, but building the content around, I guess, the types of keywords people might search for there. Do resources even exist yet to give you insight into what’s being searched for? Because, I mean, TikTok doesn’t exactly have products like keyword trackers and Google Trends and such, right? Or am I wrong? No.
Kevin Roy [00:18:47]:
Just go to Google Trends. So people’s behavior is very common across all of all of these mediums. So I would always default to Google Trends to do a search on something, because if someone is looking for something particular, google’s got what, 20 years of data based on that. They have real time data. And I would guess 9.9 times out of ten, if it’s a very popular search on Google, it’s also a very popular search on TikTok and Instagram. Facebook, I would always default to that tool. So when clients come to us and say, how competitive is this keyword phrase to rank, we go to Google AdWords, because I already know what people are paying for position. That’s good stuff.
Jason Falls [00:19:30]:
SEO, how imperative is it for companies and then, of course, content creators as companies to really understand video content and how to optimize it for search engines. And the reason I asked this is I keep thinking there won’t be a whole lot of written content in the future that’s not AI generated. We’re becoming a lazy society, and we really just want short form videos right now. If that trend continues, the 2010 era, SEO is kind of obsolete because everybody’s consuming videos. And if it’s not video, then I’m imagining eventually Google is not going to serve it up. So how do we prepare for that? How important is it for companies and creators to be optimizing their videos and making sure that content is searchable?
Kevin Roy [00:20:14]:
So what I would do is use the same parameters that you’re using for search in the script of your video. So if you want to rank for basketball, then your video has to be as complete as the Wikipedia page about basketball. You can truncate it up and break it up into a million things. But if you have relevance in a video, because remember, Google is Google’s going to use its exact same algorithm to search the content of a video as it does its search engine? They’re not going to rewrite the algorithm. SEO, you take the content that the relevance parameters and create that in video form.
Jason Falls [00:21:04]:
Well, SEO has always fascinated me. I think I know enough to be dangerous. But then I have a conversation with someone like you and realize I still have a lot to learn. Kevin, before we let you go, where can folks find you and the green banana on the interwebs so you can.
Kevin Roy [00:21:19]:
Go to greenbanan SEO.com or I always forget my business card. So I bought I just met Kevin.com.
Jason Falls [00:21:25]:
Very nice. I just met Kevin.com. I like that. That’s good stuff. Well, we’ll make sure that all those links are in our show notes. They’ll be available at jasonfalls co. Kevin, you can also go to jasonfalls.com, click on the articles in the upper right and find the episode that way. Kevin, thank you so much for the download today, man. We’re smarter for it.
Kevin Roy [00:21:45]:
This was awesome. I really appreciate it. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Jason Falls [00:21:48]:
Awesome. The times they are a change in SEO is so different now than it was 15 years ago when I was first trying to understand it. That’s why podcasts like this and talking heads on the Internet exist. Really, we’re all just trying to keep everyone’s head above water in terms of working knowledge, you need to be successful. I’m glad Kevin could help us out with that there today. If you enjoyed this episode, please share it with someone else who may as well. And if you’re enjoying Winfluence overall, help us grow. Tell someone about the show. You probably know someone who might want to know more about influence marketing. Send them to winfluencepod.com or share a link to this episode on your social network of choice. If you have a moment, drop Winfluence a rating or review on your favorite podcast app. We are on them all. The show is now on video as well. Just look for Jason Falls Winfluence on YouTube to SEO the show as well as hear it. Winfluence is a production of Falls and Partners and presented by CPO AI. The technical production is by MPN Studios. Winfluence airs along NPN, the Marketing podcast network. Thanks for listening, folks. Let’s talk again soon on Windfluence.