Over the years, it has become clear that the fastest way to build a brand online is to invest in content marketing and connect with authoritative bloggers and industry leaders. All you need to support this theory is to look at brands like HubSpot and KISSmetrics, which started off with massive guest blogging campaigns and awesome visuals.
If you’re looking to experience an equally quick start for your brand – or if you’re looking to give an existing brand a much-needed boost – there are some strategies you need to follow.
Benefits of guest blogs
The whole blogosphere took its breath away when Matt Cutts told the world the guest blog was finished. But what did he really mean? Was he saying all guest blogs were bad and should be deleted?
What he said was that guest blogging as the primary source of link building was over. He warned companies to stop relying on guest blogs as a link building strategy and only use them for brand awareness.
While this statement should have provided more clarity for businesses on how to approach guest blogging as a branded game, it has quite scared many people out of the practice. However, the truth is that guest blogging is still very much alive and is a perfect opportunity to build a brand. But you need to understand the difference between connecting to spam sites and using credible channels to deliver your content. Here are some of the main benefits of partnering with credible bloggers:
The main advantage of guest blogging is that brands are able to reach entirely new segments of the market. Instead of relying on your own reach, you can tap into someone else’s group of followers and readers.
The more exposure your brand is on a variety of different blogs and platforms, the more credibility you gain. Every place your name appears – assuming it’s not negative – is a virtual guarantor of your brand.
As you try to reach a large reading audience, the point is that connecting with a guest blogger is an effective networking tool that could pay off in the future.
And while guest blogging shouldn’t be your primary form of link building, it is definitely a form of link building. When used in conjunction with other strategies, it adds value.
The key to a successful guest blog
What Matt Cutts warned people against was logging into shoddy blogs and using those logins to create spam content. So if you want to keep blogging as a guest, that means you have to find influential bloggers. Additionally, you need a specific strategy for finding and monitoring the top performing guest blogging opportunities.
Unfortunately, only six percent of B2C marketers say their organizations are doing “very well” at tracking ROI, while an incredible 30% either do not or fail to follow up.
Top tips for building your brand with guest blogging
If you think guest blogging could give your brand a boost, here are some of the top tips to get you started in the right direction.
Keep track of your efforts
According to Brand24, a leader in social media monitoring and tracking, it’s critical that you keep track of all of your guest blogging efforts so that you can accurately understand if you’re getting valuable feedback. Using proven software or an online tool can make this process exponentially easier.
Implement a fence
While many bloggers have very specific rules, some can give you more flexibility. If possible, find a way to implement a strong fence with a call to action. This CTA allows you to engage with your audience and may even entice readers to click on your link or share your post.
Invest in shelf life
A well-written blog can realistically drag on for years and still produce results. While there is certainly a time for writing urgent content regarding current issues, it is a much more valuable long-term strategy for writing content that can remain effective for a long period of time.
Successful brands are good at finding syndication partners to redistribute existing content to new audiences. The huge advantage here is that you don’t have to write anything new. All you need to do is contact these sites and make a simple request. In addition to guest blogging, consider syndication for the content you own.
Invest in research
Before implementing a guest blogging strategy, you need to make sure you’ve done your research. Whenever you are considering a new blog or channel, make sure that its audience is right for you, that bloggers are invested in quality content, and that Google and other search engines don’t see the site as spam.
Guest blogging remains a great branding strategy and can be used to generate positive traction on the internet. Use these tips to get the most out of your efforts, and never forget to follow and monitor your influence to ensure you get the best return on your investment.
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