The days of traditional, outbound marketing when companies could rely on TV commercials, newspaper ads and direct marketing to promote themselves and gain exposure are long gone.
This can help you reach the remotest part of the globe without much effort.
However, it is not as easy and straightforward as it initially seems.
Mainly because every other business does the same, which means you have to make yourself heard through the clamour of the marketing message.
Although these two strategies are usually used almost synonymously, they are not the same thing.
While online branding is about supercharging your brand by making it perform better in SERPs and social media, building authority means boosting your online reputation and becoming a relevant and respected name in your niche.
Produce sensational content
No matter what you want to achieve, creating fantastic content should be your first step.
When it comes to the features that excellent, attention-grabbing content has, we can agree that it should be informative, helpful, and entertaining.
However, there’s one more crucial characteristic that often goes unnoticed and which is seldom discussed – the importance of creating compounding blog posts.
This type of content, characterised by the fact that its value increases over time, is capable of driving significantly more traffic to the website than so-called decaying blog posts.
Time-sensitive articles, which can perform well when published, fail to have a long-term impact on your readership.
In other words, one compounding post can generate six times as much traffic over its lifetime as six decaying posts.
However, it can be hard to predict which blog posts will develop into compounding content.
There are certain things you can do to ensure the longevity and popularity of your content.
By creating large tactical posts, that is ones that appeal to a large segment of your target audience; you can increase the chances of turning average posts into compounding content.
How-to guides, detailed articles in which you will use bullet points or any other content type which will offer instructions on how to diagnose and solve a particular problem have the potential of becoming compounding posts.
Come up with compounding blog titles.
This means that your titles should be relevant and structured in a manner which shows that your blog post offers useful answers and provides solutions to some of the most common pain points that bother the members of your audience.
To craft such titles, rely on phrases that people usually use when they are searching for an answer to a particular question.
It is also good to remember that titles with 6-13 words consistently attract the highest amount of traffic.
Common words used in compounding titles are how, your, what, best, why, and tip.
When it comes to the elements that should be included in a compounding post, it is essential to mention images as an effective attention-grabber.
Namely, studies have shown that people spend more time looking at relevant, information-carrying images than they do reading the text itself.
To cement this statement further, we should also bring up the fact that, for example, infographics are shared and liked three times more than any other type of content on social media.
Including relevant links to other pieces of content which provide additional information and explain the topic even further is another excellent way of ensuring that your blog posts will become evergreen.
Make the most of guest blogging for online branding
Offering your blog posts to some of the industry influencers and eminent bloggers is a surefire way of both increasing your online branding awareness and building authority.
It stands to reason that if a well-respected figure from your niche publishes your content on their blog, you will be able to expand your reach tremendously and position yourself as someone with a lot of expertise and experience in your field.
Naturally, the content you offer to others should be superb and unique, and it should provide a fresh perspective on the topic being discussed.
Guest blogging is also an excellent vehicle for boosting your SEO because it is one of the best methods of link building.
The process of building online brand awareness and authority is intrinsically connected with your search engine rankings.
The top spot in SERP guarantees you both 33% of the overall traffic and a stellar online reputation.
Getting there can be complicated, especially if we bear in mind that Google uses more than 200 ranking signals that your content has to have if you want it to rank well.
However, the search engine giant takes the fact that relevant, trustworthy sources point to your website very seriously, as it practically means that they are vouching for the quality of your content.
This is the reason why your link building strategy should be very high on your priority list.
Now that we have established how essential link building is, it is time to say that this method is pretty challenging and that it requires a lot of hard work and persistence on your part.
The very first step that you have to make can be a huge obstacle – finding the right blogs that will publish your content.
If you do not know where to begin, it is always a good idea to type “your niche + blogs” into the search box and see what Google will find for you.
Still, since your brand image and reputation are at stake, you should not go for a hit-and-miss strategy here.
Instead of that, it is much better to play it safe and use link building tools that will help you identify the best guest posting opportunities and start a successful link building process.
Interact with your audience
When we are talking about successful online branding, it is important to highlight that there’s no way of becoming a household name or building customer loyalty and trust without humanising your brand identity.
That is where social media comes in.
Interacting with your target audience is a must, which means that you need to read and reply to their comments on your social media channels.
There are a couple of things to have in mind when you are doing this, and one of them is that deleting or ignoring negative feedback is a major no-no.
Such a practice seems hugely shady and unprofessional, and it can tarnish your online branding reputation for good.
Moreover, handling a negative comment decently and respectfully can help you score some points with your audience and do wonders for your PR efforts.
Another way of interacting with your prospects and building authority is by leveraging Q&A platforms such as Quora or even Reddit.
When you answer a question and give your best shot to help someone solve a problem on one of these websites, you can expect that your effort will be highly appreciated, which will result in a surge of traffic to your site.
However, it is essential to know that pitching your products or services in your answers will be frowned upon and you will be considered spammy.
So, try to be genuinely helpful, and your reputation and authority will flourish.
Be active on social media
There are 2.80 billion social media users globally, so make sure to take your social media engagement very seriously and offer your following tailored content for every particular medium.
This means that you should update all your social media profiles on a regular basis, and engage with your fans on a personal level.
When it comes to Twitter, it is a good idea to monitor brand mentions, and whenever someone tweets something about your brand, you should respond and connect with that person.
This will show that you are highly responsive and that you respect your audience, which will result in some handy word of mouth marketing.
Curating relevant content is another useful tactic, as it will help you grow your audience.
By sharing news from other sources, you will show that self-promotion is not what you are after and that your goal is to provide your followers with the best and most relevant content from the industry.
When it comes to LinkedIn, apart from publishing your content via its Pulse feature, you should be active in various groups from your industry and share your experience with other professionals and potential clients.
Finally, Facebook is indispensable for expanding your reach and building your authority, even if you are in the B2B line of work.
Although this social media channel is usually used for B2C marketing, Facebook Pixel is a game changer for retargeting your audience, making them convert, and optimising the customer journey.
Don’t forget to put your social media buttons on your website and add them to your email signature.
If you follow the tactics described above carefully, you will be able to boost your online branding presence and become a thought leader who will eventually affect your traffic and bottom line.
Inkbot Design is a Creative Branding Agency that is passionate about effective Graphic Design, Brand Identity, Logos and Web Design.