Branding is a long-term process aimed at boosting your business reputation and recognition. Its aim is to create a loyal base of customers who will become brand advocates and recommend you to their friends and family.
It’s worth noting that 87% of customers take a brand’s reputation into account before they make a purchase. If you fail to establish yourself as trustworthy and reliable, you won’t see the conversion rates you were looking for.
Blogging is not often considered a channel that helps shape a brand’s reputation, but it can do much more than generate traffic and leads. We’ll explore how what you write can shape what your target audience thinks about you.
Note that many of the tactics we discuss are byproducts of writing quality content backed by a solid content marketing strategy. Their branding benefits can be considered indirect. However, if you are aware of them and able to keep them in mind while creating content, you can maximize them significantly.
You’re an Authority in Your Niche
Authority has never been more important in the eyes of search engines. With Google’s E-E-A-T wreaking havoc among bloggers and digital marketers, proving that you know what you’re talking about is paramount.
How does authority help branding, though?
Consider the following question. Which brand would you rather work with — one that clearly demonstrates they know what they are doing or one that can’t prove in any way they are experts?
How will your blog demonstrate authority? First and foremost, by being the home to exceptional content.
It should come as no surprise that detailed, well-researched, in-depth content will easily and effortlessly convey your authority and expertise. When a topic demands detail, go all in. Don’t cut corners and expect your audience to come to you armed with facts, and don’t expect them to do additional research. Your posts should be the sole resource they need.
To that end, spend more time on research than you do on writing. See what aspects of the topic your competitors have not covered. Explore what your audience is asking on forums and social media. Then, add your own angle and experience.
Clockify demonstrates exactly what you need to do with their post on the Eisenhover matrix.
- It’s over 4000 words long, so there is plenty of room for detail.
- The topic itself is very niche and provides the perfect outlet to demonstrate expertise.
- It is directly tied to the brand’s core subject: time management and productivity.
- It is filled with useful graphics and tables.
- It has a great table of contents at the top.
- It uses bullet points to break up the content.
- It provides clear definitions and step-by-step instructions.
- It comes with a couple of examples, which have been broken down in detail.
If you want to take the exceptional content theme even further, you can embark on the task of creating an industry knowledge base that will be quoted and referenced by your peers. That will certainly make you the top resource on a topic.
Look at Wyzowl. Their video marketing statistics research is an absolute standard, generating a ton of exposure and backlinks. It’s a meaningful contribution to the industry. Most importantly, it’s immensely valuable, helping marketers understand the state of video marketing and make educated decisions in the field.
Yes, diving into this type of content will take time. Yes, you will need to sift through masses of data. But you will also become a bona fide expert in the process. And you can leverage all that you’ve learned to add to your brand’s authoritativeness in the digital space.
You’re Part of an Expert Network
7 in 10 customers will buy more from brands they trust and abandon those they don’t. Trust can be enhanced and inspired by your content production efforts when you become a part of a recognizable group of experts.
If you give experts a voice on your platforms, it will clearly demonstrate they trust you. No one will want to be featured by a shady brand they know nothing about. Before they agree to an interview or write an article for your blog, every expert will check you out.
Aim to invite those who have already demonstrated their expertise, experience, and authoritativeness to be your guests. Talk to them, interview them, and most importantly, shine a very bright light on these collaborations: promote them on your main pages, newsletter, and social media.
Another great way to leverage someone else’s credentials is to invite them to appear on your podcast (which will naturally mean you need to establish one first). Don’t shoot for the biggest fish when you first start out. Instead, demonstrate your skill by asking clever questions and establishing a listener base.
For example, Trustshoring has done a podcast with Danielle Keeven, the VP of Finance at Paddle. She may not be widely known outside her industry, but she certainly brings an immense amount of authority to the table. Getting someone like her to speak is a massive coup.
It clearly sets Trustshoring out as a reputable, trustworthy brand you would want to do business with.
Your Brand Is Active and Reliable
While quantity does not trump quality when it comes to publishing content, publishing infrequently will end up harming you.
Posting regularly will send search engines a clear signal that they should keep coming back to your website to see what’s new. On top of that, it will also help boost your branding efforts.
When your audience sees that you’re active, they will instantly (even if subconsciously) look at you differently. They will realize there is an active force behind your brand — one that cares about the reader, wants to share expertise, and is willing to invest effort in content production.
If the last time you published a blog post was back in 2021, visitors may even question if your brand is still active and instantly start looking for solutions elsewhere. If you publish a post every couple of months, they will wonder why you bother with a blog and won’t see you as either reputable or authoritative.
If you are not able to publish posts frequently, at least remove the date from them. This can be a temporary solution until you can devote more time to content production. Or, republish some of your old content. Update it, add newer information to it, and make it relevant for the present. You can often outperform newer posts by updating an old one and adding what was previously missing.
Check out Shop Solar Kits if you’re looking for an example of an active blog. Their Learning Center is full of fresh posts. They don’t publish every week; sometimes, they only get to a couple of posts per month, but they are clearly sending activity signals to their readers.
Since the topics they tackle are often complex (i.e., reviews and guides), their audience will understand that they can’t churn these posts out daily. In fact, the pace they’ve adopted is natural, sensible, and sends all the right signals to humans and crawlers alike.
You Take Client Engagement Very Seriously
Creating content that demonstrates how much client engagement matters to you is yet another avenue you can pursue in an effort to boost the way search engines perceive you and elevate your brand image.
By publishing customer stories and case studies on the blog, you can show just how serious you are about it. The aim is to illustrate the uniqueness of a client’s specific needs and demonstrate how your insight and product/service have managed to solve their problem.
This showcases not only your dedication but a level of diligence and attention to detail that will help your audience trust your brand even more.
You never want to sound like you’re bragging, though. Tell it like it really is. Be honest; highlight the challenges of the issue and where the client was before they came to you. Describe not only the results but the process itself. If you can, talk about the human aspect, too.
Look at SellerPlex and their Gold Coastal case study that goes into detail on bulletproofing a supply chain. What makes this case study particularly appealing is the amount of detail. They give you precise numbers, outline specific outcomes, and make it very easy to see why choosing them can help you tackle your own supply chain issues.
They never sound overly confident or obnoxious, which also helps make them more relatable and enables customers to see them as human.
Your Brand Has a Relatable Human Side
Speaking of the human side of your brand, humanizing a business makes you instantly more relatable and approachable.
Customers usually have a hard time connecting with a large corporation. They feel they will be nothing but a number to them and that their individual issues and needs will not be taken into account.
When they’re able to put a face to the brand, they can form those deeper connections that matter so much in branding. Seeing a face — especially an approachable, kind, calm face — encourages people to interact and conveys a large dollop of trust.
See for yourself. Check out Menlo Coaching’s post about hiring an admissions consultant for MBA programs. How does David’s smiling face make you feel? Like you are about to read another boring blog post or like you are about to have a conversation with a kind human?
The videos the brand includes at the top of its blogs make them infinitely more welcoming. They turn the post into a mini personal lesson where you can connect with your teacher.
The smiles and frowns that accompany it convey a deeper meaning and those all-important emotions that help us humans forge relationships. And in their particular line of business, relationships and trust are everything.
Another way to demonstrate your human side is to lend all of your blog posts your unique writing voice. Don’t worry if it’s unconventional, if it’s not what every other brand in your niche does, or if it will alienate some of your audience. The goal is not to appeal to everyone but to speak directly to your ideal customer.
Velocity Partners wrote the book on copywriting, and their entire website is a gem. You can read a couple of lines of any of their blog posts, like this one on feedback in the recession, and see what they are about. There’s no BS here — they cut right to the chase. They are honest and brutal but phenomenal at what they do.
True, they will not attract the more uptight type of client. But since they are not looking to, it’s a win-win scenario all around.
You Value Your Audience’s Needs over Making a Sale
When creating posts that are filled with product mentions and clearly meant to generate conversions, make sure to clearly show that you value your audience’s needs over making that sale.
Your readers will know if the post has no value and is only meant to get them to cough up. They will not care to read it, and they are highly unlikely to convert.
Instead, introduce your product logically, naturally, and gracefully. Don’t hide the fact that you are promoting it, and don’t be underhand about it, either.
Your first priority is to address the topic with authority and create the best possible resource you can. The product mention is only a secondary goal, so don’t craft the entire post around the product. Your brand image will suffer if you come across as someone only in it for the money.
Case in point: Transparent Labs have great content on complex topics that promote their products without making the entire post about the sale.
Their guide on pre-workout products is a great resource, and they mention their products only where it makes sense. They never shove them down your throat or claim that their products are the best on the market. They show them what you can purchase, explain why the product works and how, and leave the purchasing decision to you.
In a highly competitive niche where authority and credibility matter more than anything, this is the best way to approach content and sales.
Before you start creating your next piece of content, run through this list and see how many of the boxes you tick. Is there something you can do to boost your brand’s authority or prove to your audience that you value their needs over making a sale?
While enhancing brand perception shouldn’t be the main goal of your content marketing efforts, consider what kind of an impact you’re making with your words and visuals. You’ll soon notice your content has become more relatable and of higher quality.