Are you a start-up owner? Chances are you’re looking for brand exposure; you want people to know about your company, you want to reach out to your target customers and ultimately grow your brand. There are numerous ways to do that but today I am going to address how you can use blogging to grow your brand.
This post will cover blogging for business and influencer marketing. As I’ve been experimenting with both for my clients, I think it’s a good idea to share whatever little knowledge I have with you.
Blogging for Business
The first thing you need to do is set up a blog.
Why blogging for business?
Brands like Brijraj, set up their blog even before they launched their shopping website. Call it foresightedness or luck by chance, but that happened to be a perfect time to start a blog covering Women’s ethnic fashion. The time when they started, few blogs existed that talked about ethnic wear. Now, they get more than 100,000 views a month on their blog just through organic search (without any specific search engine optimization).
That’s the power of a blog. You might not get instant results, but if you work on it consistently to produce quality content, you will see exponential growth in a few years. Consider getting traffic without spending a dime on it?
Another reason why blogging for business is a good idea is that you will be able to connect with your target customers. Affiliate marketing is a big thing in the blogging world. Bloggers recommend products to their followers. Imagine what would happen if you could build a loyal following through your blog?
Once you have the following, you can sell them your product or service. In fact, this is a business model a lot of bloggers used to expand their blogging business. They started a blog, built their following and then launched a product. It sells like a hot cake!
How to pursue blogging for business?
Now that you know the ‘why,’ here’s how can you use this kind of blogging to grow your business.
- Setup your blog.
- Work on an easy to navigate, attractive but simple blog design.
- Set up a newsletter/email opt-in form.
- Do keyword research (Google Adwords Keyword Planner is my favourite tool for that) and see what topics related to your brand are being searched the most.
- Find a voice of your blog. Would your blog talk like you’re one person or a team? Who is the person behind your blog?
- Start writing while keeping the most-searched keywords in mind.
- Make an editorial calendar, to make sure you post regularly while following a proper schedule.
- Make your content interesting, useful and interactive.
- Promote your blog on social media channels and even offline.
- Repeat until you get the desired results
That’s pretty much everything you have to do to use blogging for business as a business-generating tool for your brand. A lot of people feel clueless for what should they post on their company blog. Initially, it will be very tough to find topics, but after a few months, it will be as easy as ABC.
Content ideas for your business blog
Here are some ideas for the kind of content you can create for your blog:
- Behind the scenes post
- Interviews with industry leaders or even bloggers in that niche
- How-tos related to your brand and your product
- Latest trends
- Helpful posts
- Tips & Tricks
- Guest posts from bloggers and industry leaders
User-generated content is a huge thing these days. So, if you feel completely clueless on what to write, ask your users to generate content. Award them for their effort. It will be a real marketing activity and ultimately give you a lot of content for your blog.
A blog will take the time to grow. So, be patient and consistent.
Another brilliant way to amplify your brand’s reach is influencer marketing. Now, this subject is immense. But for this post, we will just stick to designing a blogger outreach program.
What’s a blogger outreach program?
It’s an activity brand do to reach out to bloggers related to their industry and collaborate with them. Through this, they can spread the word about their business to the bloggers’ audience. Such an activity just amplifies a brand’s reach as by working with one blogger, they can reach thousands of people that would be interested in their product.
How to plan a blogger outreach program?
Make a list of bloggers:
Find out about the bloggers related in your niche.
- You will find a lot of them just through Google search “top bloggers in XYZ niche.
- You should check out the blogging communities for e.g., Indiblogger in India to find the active bloggers.
- You can also try searching for the keywords related to your business on Google and pick up the blogs that appear in search results in first ten pages.
- You can also take help of influencer outreach agencies like Blogmint to find bloggers.
- Another way is to hire a PR agency to do this task.
Keep in mind that you should focus on bloggers who have a real following rather than the bloggers who have just numbers, but no real people following them.
Design an email template:
Now you need to make an email template so that you can quickly mail all these bloggers. The email should be short and straightforward. Write 2-3 lines introducing your brand and then ask them if they’re interested in collaborating.
Make sure you don’t tag all bloggers in one e-mail as it looks very unprofessional. Either mail them individually, or use BCC or use a blogger outreach platform like Ninja Outreach. Ninja Outreach is great as it allows you to have some templates ready, email the bloggers and manage conversations with them – all on a single platform. You can also find bloggers through Ninja Outreach. It’s not very efficient but does a good job for beginners.
As bloggers would be doing a huge favour to you by letting you use their audience to spread the word about your brand, you require to award them well for this.
There can be the various way how you can do that – either you can offer them your product in exchange for a review post or pay them money for a sponsored post. Brands are using both ways to reach out to bloggers.
The prices depend on different bloggers, their scope and influence. Each blogger charges differently. So, you can use your business skills to negotiate.
I don’t see a lot of brands in India doing this part. I think it’s mere stupidity or it’s because they’re working through PR companies which don’t bother much to maintain healthy relationships with bloggers they’ve already worked with.
By collaborating with a blogger, you created a connection. Either you can break it once you’re done or you can nurture this relationship. Nurturing it would ensure that you have that blogger as your loyal follower, and ultimately, he/she acts as your brand advocate, helping you to reach more and more people in future.
Therefore, I suggest you don’t consider bloggers as a ‘use and throw’ marketing method. You paid a cost to acquire this blogger. Don’t let it go waste. Act like a business person, not like a novice who just started and doesn’t know what to do.
That’s pretty much it. That’s how you can use blogging to grow your brand. We talked about blogging for business, why and how to do it and then we dived into an aspect of influencer marketing – blogger outreach activities. Both of these can be great tools to amplify your reach, bring your targeted traffic and real customers.
I wrote this post as I met a lady who was struggling understand how you can use blogging to grow your brand. I thought I could’ve explained it to her in a better way through a blog post. If you’re reading this and have any more questions about the subject, feel free to ask. Would be happy to share whatever I have learned through my experience.