Blogging For Brands: 8 Big Results To Accomplish

Blogging For Brands
Blogging for brands is not just nice-to-have; it’s a need-to-have thing. Most entrepreneurs don’t quite get that. 
 
This could be because they see a blog as an extension of their website. They may think, “When my web pages are doing all the selling, why do I need a blog?” And that’s where they go wrong!

Blogs are not meant to be extensions of your website, even though they live on your website. There’s a significant distinction between a brand website and a brand blog. 
 
For example, let’s say your brand is about ballet shoes. Your website must contain all the information about your company. Include your credentials, branded ballet shoes, product varieties, etc. 
 
But your blog has to be like a “magazine on ballet” (the broader niche). You know that ballet as a topic attracts your product’s target audiences. Your blog (er, magazine) must always have fresh articles about ballet.
 
For example, blog about great ballet dancers, how to execute some ballet twirls, or choosing the right ballet shoes for kids …
 
Use your blog to attract readers interested in ballet to your site. Then make them see you sell great ballet shoes. They will believe you are more than a shoe seller. They will see you as an authoritative expert on ballet and ballet shoes. People will trust you more – and thus, buy from you.

Contents ...

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Why must brand blogs now focus on "helpful content"?

Google’s latest algorithm update is here. It emphasizes that brand blogs must offer “helpful content” to readers. But what is helpful content, you may well ask?
 
Many SEO experts believe this algorithm is a form of pushback from Google against AI writing tools. These tools offer much “generalized information” on a topic but often lack the pointed “helpful advice” people look for.
 
Google wants brands to blog for people with an eye on what they may find truly useful, practical, and doable (i.e., “helpful”).
 
Most bloggers want to be hands-free and not spend time shaping content from their AI tools  – and thus, we get truckloads of pedantic information on any topic. But often, there’s little that helps people looking to solve their pain points.
 
Here are two great quotes from terrific writers on what they believe could be “helpful content” in brand blogs:
 

Jon James makes a great point on Forbes.com:

jon-james

"One of the biggest mistakes that is made is when people think that they are not going to have to give back. Blogs become sources of "Hey, look at me!" A blog should be 70% informative and helpful and 30% advertising at a maximum. When you create that kind of content, you will be followed and then become an influencer."

Jon James

Another opinion reinforces the same idea – it’s from Matt Southern in Search Engine Journal:

matt-southern

"After reading your content, will someone leave feeling they’ve learned enough about a topic to help achieve their goal? Does your content leave readers feeling like they need to search again to get better information from other sources? When writing content for people, you should help them answer a question or resolve a concern that led them to find your website in the first place."

Matt Southern

Moral? When you build your brand blog as a “magazine publisher” would, make sure to include “helpful information” in every blog post.

The 8 big results to achieve through brand blogging

Here is my list of 8 results to aim for when you blog for your brand. Some of these are commonly counted as benefits. Some of these, however, may not have crossed your mind.
(Please use this infographic with credits intact.)

1. Blogging will increase the number of gateways to your brand

Have you ever considered your blog posts as separate gateways into your brand space? Very few marketers do. They see their web home page as the main gateway from which visitors may enter.

But hear this: every single blog post, indexed and ranked by Google, acts as one more gateway into your website. Over time, as you create more blog posts, you will generate more and more ways through which people can enter your brand site. You will beckon traffic from many different angles.

What’s the achievement you will gain for your brand from this? For starters, you will draw in people of varied interests and pain points that your brand can solve. The more pain points you can identify that your brand can solve, the more your brand value to your various audience segments grows.

Secondly, and more importantly, when you ensure that every one of your blog posts has substantial topic depth and breadth to engage readers, you will encourage them to share your post because it’s rich with value. You will thus create opportunities for more new readers’ to enter your site through that gateway. Further, if you create varied social posts linking back to each of your blog posts, you will create even more gateways into your brand space.

2. Blogging will deepen your insights into audience psychology

When you write content for the rest of your website pages, you do have to keep your target audience in mind, as you explain to them about your business, your mission, your products, your other resources, and your contact information. 

But your website copy may not require as deep an insight into your target audiences as writing a whole spate of brand-supportive blog posts may require. Blog posts work best when they are aids to solving customer problems. To solve customer problems, you have to know their psychology intimately.

Starting a brand blog thus forces you to acquire a far more intense understanding of your target audiences, their many segments, and their interests and needs. Brand blogs that succeed in generating a lot of traffic are the ones that reflect a profound knowledge of audiences’ tastes, preferences, emotions, triggers, and buying behaviors.

With every new blog post your brand creates, you get a fresh perspective or insight about your audience, depending on the topic of the blog post and the angle of approach you plan to take. This is why brands that blog a lot have a constant finger on the pulse of their audiences − and they grow to know more and more about what makes their audiences tick. 

3. Blogging can raise brand visibility, authority, trust, and sales

Most entrepreneurs these days understand that blogging is unbeatable as a tactic to increase brand visibility and authority. Unlike a short social post, a blog gives you plenty of room to include words and images that showcase your thought leadership and domain expertise in your niche.

Some marketers think, “Why should my blog posts be so long − and why does Google value such long posts − when readers’ attention spans are so poor, and they hardly read? They skim through posts!” The answer is that even if readers don’t read everything you write, they get the gist from your headlines and sub-headings. But the very presence of so many words of quality content suggests to them that your brand has a lot to say for itself.

Content depth in blog posts is reassuring to readers as a criterion for judging your brand’s knowledge and mastery of its domain. When you thus showcase your brand’s “expert status,” you build trust. 

Trust is what begets sales in the online world. In the WebSphere, we are all strangers to each other, and every brand big or small is on a level playing field. Whatever your brand size, to succeed you need visibility, credibility, and trust. That’s the only way any brand can hope to generate sales.

4. Blogging can create opportunities for unpressurized selling

Blogging is the exact opposite of advertising when it comes to brand marketing. In advertising, you push the brands into public view in a way your audiences cannot avoid seeing them. You hard sell the qualities of your brands, whether or not your audience is ready to hear all this spiel.

In this kind of “interruptive and intrusive” selling, you show no courtesy to the readiness of the target audience to receive your messages. This is why audiences online have been eager to enjoy “seller-less” self-paced product information gathering.

They’d rather have the seller disappear while they complete nearly 80% of their buying journeys − and may only want seller intervention should something go wrong in the ultimate choosing and buying.

Marketers who understand this behavior of online audiences know that they are subtly pushing back against the old method of unwanted advertising, pressurizing them to buy when they are not ready. Blogging is the best way to give your target audiences all the information they need, which they can consume in a self-paced way before they are prepared to buy. This is seen as genuine caring.

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5. Blogging lets you win readers over with multilevel empathy

Empathy is not just about being on a common wavelength with your customers. Genuine empathy is the ability to handle a multilevel synchronization of your psyche as a brand marketer with your potential customer’s mind.

Experts believe in three levels of empathy.

At its basic level, we have “cognitive empathy,” where we know how the other person (the customer) feels and what they might think. At the next level, we have “emotional empathy,” i.e., when we physically feel what customers feel, as though their emotions were contagious. The third level is “compassionate empathy,” where we can convey the idea that “we’re all connected” and reinforce the idea that we are trustworthy brands.

Brands must have the skills to exhibit all three levels of empathy to resonate with their customers. Remember, your customers are most reassured when your blog post matches their comfort level with the level of empathy your brand shows – no more and no less. Blogging helps marketers offer readers the exact level of empathy that matches their maturing familiarity with their audiences.

6. Fresh blog posts give readers reasons to revisit your brand

It used to be said that converting buyers is hard unless you touch prospective customers at least 7 times. These days, with all the competition and surfeit of blog posts around us, it takes as many as 12 touches to convert customers – or so the experts say.

What it all boils down to, for a serious brand blogger, is that unless you make visiting your site a natural habit for customer prospects, it’s going to be tough to build enough trust in your brand. The more people return to your site to see and read your new blog posts and slowly increment their faith in you, you will not be able to generate the sales levels you desire.

How do you get more people to revisit your site and read more on your blog? With every blog post you write, build in a mechanism for people to want to subscribe to your mailing list … and then send them weekly follow-up emails or newsletters listing the attractions of the new posts on your blog.

Making your site a regular go-to resource, and creating a fresh crop of blog posts beckoning your captured mailing list subscribers every week, is a no-fail plan. I do it. I succeed with it. That’s why I recommend it.

7. Using your brand blog you can build an engaged community

There’s a secret that some brand bloggers know that others don’t. People love to mingle and congregate with others online to make friends.

The content you create can become the center of such community hubs where people of common interests can share ideas and woes and find solutions. If your blog has a vast archive of posts on a particular topic of interest to a target segment, people will come for the content but stay for the company.

Several brands have successfully built substantial fan bases by developing communities where people congregate for the topic − and then begin to enjoy the company of similar others so much that it’s hard to leave the group. To build a brand community, create a free membership scheme to which people can subscribe. It’s just a way to get them to feel like they’ve entered an exclusive portal where they can find excellent content and actively engaged people like themselves.

I would even go so far as to say blogging for your brand must include this “community-building goal.” Not only will your brand community become full of trust and bonding, but it may also give you loads of new ideas for blog posts and products you can create. It can become your brainstorming group. Trust and bonding go hand in hand with more significant sales.

8. Subtly including CTAs on your blog can increase conversions

As we said at the outset, brand blogging has to identify the target audience’s pain points and offer helpful solutions. So, at the end of every blog post, it’s perfectly okay for a brand to subtly say, “We’ve given you many possible solutions, but if you still need help, our offering can give you a stronger and surer answer to your problem.”

Create a CTA (Call-To-Action) that includes a button people can click to set up a free Zoom chat or a telephonic one-to-one “no-obligations” conversation with you.

A blog post for a brand that does not end with a CTA leading to direct customer conversations is a huge opportunity wasted. At the same time, marketers must realize that people come to a blog post for information and helpful hints and may or may not choose to ask for your help. Just having a CTA at the bottom of your blog post is enough to tell them you are here if they need you.

Familiarity and kinship develop with every different blog post from your brand that they read subsequently. When they see your CTAs repeated at the end of every blog post, saying you can help solve the problem mentioned in the blog post, they get a feel of the depth of services or products you offer. And that’s how familiarity grows into a “Let me check this out!” kind of action.

Pro tips to take away in summary ...

1. Google expects every brand to now offer “helpful content” in every blog post. Please get familiar with Google’s clear mandates based on its latest algorithm.

2. What can blogging do for your brand? There are at least 8 significant results to aim for and achieve. 

3. Feel free to use my list of eminently practical steps to blog correctly for your brand. It’s a plan I have personally used to grow my business, and it can help grow yours too.

The important takeaway from all this is that blogging must never be done too casually or without a definite goal. If brand blogging is persisted with, based on a solid and achievement-oriented plan, it cannot fail. It pays in ways you may not have thought of.

BONUS: How to get help with your blogging for your brand

Brand blogging is both powerful and productive, if done correctly. Choosing the proper subjects to blog about is the first key to success. Then, blogging is a way that leads to calculable benefits for your brand is the second key. But rather than slog at it yourself and achieve success after much trial and error,  make it simple … let me help you.
 
Let’s have a free, no-obligations Zoom chat. We can locate the potential to power up your brand blogging. Let me know your goals and budgets, and I will offer you some readily implementable suggestions. 
 
If we’re a good fit for each other, you could consider outsourcing your brand blogging to me. I am confident I can take your business to an enviable position. 
 
Click the button below to book a free 20-minute online ZOOM meeting, and we’ll take it from there!
Shobha Ponnappa

"Any brand blog isn’t about your brand. It should be about your target audience's needs and challenges. If you offer know-how to your audiences with blog posts that help them solve problems and maximize opportunities, they will reward you by bonding deeply with your brand."

Shobha Ponnappa

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