Building an Online Brand Through Blogs
Small business owners who rely on marketing and sales through online channels should understand how to build a brand while building authority. But it is important to note that there is a difference between building a brand online and building authority online. Online branding is used to increase your brand’s reach and become more visible on all levels of online marketing. Building authority takes online branding to the next level by making every piece of content for a brand authoritative – micro-content such as comments and macro content such as articles and web pages.
Our recommendations on how to build an online brand while building authority, through blogging:
1. Create Thought Leadership Content
By contributing to your own or others’ blogs, you could improve your website’s ranking in search results. Google favours websites with content that are unique and regularly updated. Creating valuable and interesting blog articles also provides you with content easy to share on Social Media.
It is hard to increase your brand’s reach and improve your authority in the market when you are only posting about your products and offers. But, if you’re sharing informative blog posts about your industry such as lesser-known trends, answering frequently asked questions, or providing helpful information, you’re likely to get a lot of engagement on your social media posts, increasing the traffic to your website.
When creating a strategy or content plan for your own blog or contributions to other relevant blogs, we recommend focusing on thought leadership content – original content showing your expertise and specialized knowledge on a specific topic or field of interest. Going above and beyond the usual cookie-cutter blog articles by writing unique and valuable content (aka thought leadership content) helps your brand build authority.
2. Contribute to other relevant blogs
The basic premise of contributing a guest blog post is to find a blog whose audience will be interested in your brand, and unique and valuable piece of content for that blog.
The goal of this strategy is to increase engagement on social media (shares, likes, and comments) from the blog owner’s online following and customers, which ideally increases traffic to your website. Therefore, this content should be of even better quality than on your own blog.
3. Use guest blogging to build your online brand
- Find a blog whose audience would be interested in your brand. It should get a significant amount of traffic and social media engagement. Confirm that the blog allows guest bloggers or outside contributors. Start building a relationship with the blog owner before pitching your article idea. Follow their brand/company accounts on all Social Media channels, comment on some of their latest posts through valuable discussion, showing your writing skills and expertise in the industry. Share a few of their posts and tag the name of their page/brand account. You should do this for at least a week or two before pitching content to them.
- Once you have identified the right blogs and started engaging with the owners/writers themselves, you will get a feel for the content they publish. Write a list of topics that intersects with their current blog readers’ interests, and your business speciality or expertise. Refine the list until you have decided on the top 2-3 topics on which you can create top-quality and unique content.
- Now you can create a personalized email saying that you have recently enjoyed reading their blog (as evidenced by your commenting & social sharing) and would like to contribute to their site as a guest blogger. After reading their guest post guidelines, you would like to see if they would be interested in the following topics. Then add the shortlist of article ideas you believe will fit their audience. You should also include links to some of the best guest blog posts you may have contributed in the past or some posts from your own blog.
- When you work on your guest post, ensure that it fits the guest posting guidelines, and that it has the overall feel/tone of the blog. You could also add in relevant links to other posts or pages by the blog owner throughout your article. This shows them you are making an effort to create a post that will benefit their audience and brand, not just your own.
- After your guest post goes live, invest a lot of time in sharing it with your brand’s audience on all Social Media platforms, returning to those posts to reply to all comments as well. This will further boost your brand’s reputation as a blog contributor and confident authority in your niche.
4. Engage on your own and other blogs
Commenting on blog articles can be very effective in building your brand and authority. We recommend subscribing to the top blogs in your industry through Google Reader. That way you can receive up to date and timely notifications on new articles, read it thoroughly, and then add your thoughts in their comments section.
Most blogs allow commenters to mention a link to their blog or website. However, we want to remind you that this strategy is not about building links to your website, this is about building your brand’s presence online as an authority in your industry.
Kreativworx can develop an online branding and authority-building strategy uniquely tailored to your business and target market.