Over the years, it’s become clear that the quickest way to build a brand online is to invest in content marketing, and link up with bloggers and authoritative industry leaders. All you need to support this theory is to look at brands like HubSpot and KISSmetrics, which hit the ground running with massive guest blogging campaigns and impressive visuals.
If you’re looking to experience an equally fast start for your brand – or are looking to give an existing brand a much needed jolt – there are certain strategies you need to pursue.
Benefits of Guest Blogging
The entire blogosphere gasped when Matt Cutts told the world guest blogging was over . But what did he really mean? Was he saying that all guest blogging was bad and should be done away with?
What he said was that guest blogging as a primary source of link building was over. He warned companies to quit relying on guest blogging as a link-building strategy and to instead only use it for brand awareness.
While this statement should have provided more clarity for companies on how to approach guest blogging as a brand play, it instead scared many off from the practice altogether. However, the truth is that guest blogging is still very much alive and is a perfect opportunity for growing a brand. But you must understand the difference between linking up with spammy sites and using credible channels to disseminate your content. Here are a few of the major benefits of partnering with credible bloggers:
The primary benefit of guest blogging is that brands are able to reach entirely new segments of the market. Instead of relying on your own reach, you get to tap into someone else’s group of followers and readers.
The more exposure your brand gets on a variety of different blogs and platforms, the more credibility you gain. Each place your name appears – assuming it’s not negative – is a virtual vouch for your brand.
While you’re trying to reach a large audience of readers, the fact is that linking up with a guest blogger serves as an effective networking tool that could pay dividends in the future.
And while guest blogging shouldn’t be your primary form of link building, it’s certainly a form of link building. When used in conjunction with other strategies, it does add value.
The Key to Successful Guest Blogging
What Matt Cutts warned people against was linking up with low quality blogs and using those connections to create spammy content. So, if you’re going to continue guest blogging, that means you need to find influential bloggers. Furthermore, you need a specific strategy for researching and monitoring which guest blogging opportunities provide the highest return.
Unfortunately, only six percent  of B2C marketers claim their organizations are “very successful” at tracking ROI, while an incredible 30 percent either don’t track at all or aren’t successful.
Top Tips for Brand Building with Guest Blogging
If you believe guest blogging could give your brand a boost, here are some of the top tips to propel you in the right direction.
Keep Track of Your Efforts
According to Brand24, a leader in social monitoring and tracking, it’s critical that you keep track of all your guest blogging efforts so you can accurately understand whether you’re getting a valuable return. Using a proven software or online tool can make this process exponentially easier.
Implement a Closing
While many bloggers have very specific rules, some may give you more flexibility. If possible, find a way to implement a strong closing with a call-to-action. This CTA allows you to engage with your audience and may even encourage readers to click on your link or share your post.
Invest in Shelf Life
A well-written blog can realistically hang around for years and still produce results. While there is certainly a time for writing time-sensitive content regarding current issues, it’s a much more valuable long-term strategy to write content that can remain effective for a long period of time.
One thing successful brands are good at is finding syndication partners to redistribute existing content to new audiences. The huge benefit here is that you don’t have to write anything fresh. You simply have to contact these sites and make a simple request. In addition to guest blogging, consider syndication for content you own.
Invest in Research
Prior to implementing a guest blogging strategy, you should make sure you’ve done your research. Whenever considering a new blog or channel, check to make sure it’s audience would resonate with you, that the bloggers are invested in quality content, and that Google and the other search engines don’t see the site as spammy.
Guest blogging is still a great brand building strategy and can be used to garner positive traction on the internet. Use these tips to make the most out of your efforts and always remember to track and monitor your influence to ensure you’re getting the maximum return on investment.
Hotel Room Keys  Photo via Shutterstock