Being a professional influencer can be a dream come true for many. This line of work, almost unthinkable a decade ago, comes with multiple benefits and, in many cases, an exciting lifestyle. What’s more, digital marketing trends reveal no sign of influencers losing prominence anytime soon. However, it’s not without challenges – and being in the digital space by definition, some challenges are strictly digital themselves. Right from the basics, should this line of work interest you, comes the question of whether influencers need a website. The answer to that may be a bit complex, so let us explore it in some depth.
Do influencers need a website?
First and foremost, let’s begin by defining “need”. Do influencers “need” a website to succeed and thrive? As in, is it an absolute necessity one can’t do without? In the strictest sense, no. Many influencers seem to do fine without dedicated websites, opting for strong social media profiles alone.
However, does having a website present opportunities for influencers to grow? Absolutely. Is it an asset worth considering then? Without a doubt. There’s a reason why so many WordPress sites today are specifically influencer sites. Put simply; it’s because having a website comes with many benefits for both new and established influencers.
The benefits of having a website as an influencer
So, what are the said benefits? We may consolidate the most notable ones down to 5. In no particular order, these are the following.
#1 A stable platform and channel diversification
An initial benefit of having a website is having a stable platform. Of course, social media platforms are not “unstable” in any strict negative sense, but they change over time. Social media features change; think of how much YouTube has evolved incrementally over the years. Platforms’ underlying algorithms change; consider how Pinterest’s essentially a “visual search engine”, more so than a social network.
That’s a viable reason, then, why influencers need a website. It offers stability that’s within your control, and it offers channel diversification. As we’ve argued before, it provides an additional opportunity for expansion and growth.
#2 A blogging platform
A primary way in which having a website facilitates growth is, simply, that it offers a blogging platform. This is where WordPress shines, having started as a blog-publishing platform itself, and where influencers can safely expand too.
Among other prominent marketers, Neil Patel makes an excellent case for influencer blogging. Starting from the simple truth he observes, that “[y]ou’ll always have more to say than can fit in a tweet or Instagram post”, we may identify further, specific benefits of blogging:
- It facilitates long-form, engaging content
- It offers to refine your sales funnel through phase-specific content
- Your website itself offers a central place to direct social followers
Of course, blog content does require even more value than typical social media content. That is, it requires considerable effort that may not fit everyone’s content marketing strategies. However, it does come with notable benefits, including opening you up to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and its own advantages.
#3 Growth through SEO
But what exactly is SEO, and why should you care? As in, does it matter enough for influencers to need a website to harness it? Well, it might.
Starting with the former part of the question, SEO optimizes content for search engines – as the name suggests. This set of practices aligns content with search engine ranking factors, which are over 200 in Google’s case. Among others, these factors include:
- Loading speed and mobile-friendliness
- Content length, depth, quality, and uniqueness
- Domain authority and backlinks
So, we may safely say it’s not an easy endeavor. But, to answer the second part of the question, it offers one undeniable benefit; it lands content on the first page of search engine results pages (SERPs).
In turn, it can help generate massive organic traffic, which referral traffic only assists – both practically and SEO-wise. In the case of influencers, all else aside, such traffic yields two notable benefits; it expands their brand, and it helps establish them as an authority in their niche. Remember, these are the two primary factors that determine an influencer’s tier, and thus their rates and monetization prospects.
#4 A way to bolster your brand and authority
Speaking of these monetization factors, then, we may briefly reexamine why influencer marketing works at all. The psychology behind it pinpoints 3 main factors at play:
- Relatability; influencers are, frankly, more relatable than traditional, hard-sell marketers.
- Trust; through substantive relationships, influencers inspire trust.
- Familiarity; much like brand recognition in traditional contexts, familiarity fosters trust and incites action.
So, do influencers need a website to boost these metrics? It can most certainly help. While relatability hinges on your own character and persona, and how those resonate with audiences, websites facilitate the other two.
Trust you may enhance through insightful, valuable long-form content. Consider the people and agencies cited here so far; it’s because they’ve earned trust through authority on their respective fields. That’s what website content can facilitate – and what SEO gauges to promote content too, for that matter.
Similarly, it helps cultivate familiarity. Long-form content that covers more than “can fit in a tweet or Instagram post” offers a deeper look into you. In turn, it further promotes authenticity, which the very concept of influencer marketing hinges on.
#5 Audience insights and reach data
Finally, still on the subject of monetization, influencers may need a website to better define themselves through analytical data. That’s because, audience-based influencer tiers aside, there are multiple metrics that businesses care for when choosing influencers, like:
- Niche and authoritativeness
- Engagement metrics
- Click-through rates (CTR)
Of course, social media platforms also offer their own analytics tools to gauge such metrics. But to summarize, one may argue websites offer deep options in this regard as well, from Google Analytics and WordPress analytics plugins to heat maps.
Thus, you may use your website to both expand your reach and effectiveness and consolidate such information for future use. For instance, many smaller businesses prefer to work with nano and micro-influencers because they typically boast higher engagement rates. Through a website, you may both boost engagement rates and have the data that proves it in hand, securing partnerships.
To summarize, one may argue that influencers do need a website. Perhaps they don’t need one in the strictest sense, but it does offer many notable benefits to consider. From channel diversification to SEO growth and audience insights, it’s likely too good an asset to dismiss. So, if you can afford to invest the effort, the positives should be well worth it in the long run.
About Author: Michael Roades is a former veterinarian and part-time author, now turned full-time copywriter at WP Full Care. Having notable hands-on experience with digital marketing, from SEO to affiliate marketing, he’s keenly interested in the constant innovations the field thrives through.