This is so weird, even I have trouble believing it actually happened. But it did. Here’s what I mean. Like any traditional Indian family, we were looking to get my cousin married off – and were going through the conventional channels. Registering with matrimony directories. Mentioning it to friends and family. Even running the mandatory classified ad or two.
And then, I got this idea… to post a blog about it. Even if I say so myself, that was a compelling and brilliant branding post that I drafted for him – and to cut a long story short, it snagged him a bride!
A blog can be incredibly effective in building a brand, making an impression, or creating a persona. And it works just as well for a business as for an individual.
What exactly is a brand, in today’s social media driven world?
Not a logo with a slogan and a jingle. Not even a mission statement or a values document. Not a series of ads with a consistent message. A brand is all that – and more. Above all, it is the sum total of the conversations about you and your business that take place around the Web.
Yes. Your brand is driven by conversations ABOUT you. And the reason you should blog is to help stimulate, guide and direct that conversation.
Long gone are the days when a business or entity could ‘control’ the brand. Social media has taken over. Rarely do we have the ability or the reach to even monitor – let alone control – what is being said about us and our brand online. And a reactive approach of damage control after your reputation takes a hit can be a costly mistake.
What can blogging do to help you with branding?
Well, for one, it can present a perspective and image about you and your business in a way very few other media channels can do effectively – and do so continuously, inexpensively, and in a way that is under your control.
As a blogger, you get to decide what goes on your blog. Be it an article or interview, a video recording or audio presentation, a slideshow or PDF, you can choose what to say and share. And even though you may not have much say over what goes into the comments on your blog, you still get that rare and special opportunity to respond to any discussion that’s sparked off by commentators – and hopefully sway public opinion about the issues being covered.
Another benefit of ‘blogging for branding’ is that you provide ‘conversation starters’. Exciting news items, interesting developments, special moments in your (or your corporate’s) life, milestones and accomplishments – all become focus points which your audience may amplify and disseminate across their social networks.
When you actively blog on your areas of expertise and interest, you gradually establish a position and posture of authority and expertise which helps consolidate your brand in the eyes of your ideal prospects. Consistently delivering valuable information, insight and opinion about your industry or specialty will translate over time into you being accepted as a thought leader or expert.
And don’t discount the SEO advantages of blogging. Your blog can naturally acquire high rankings on search engine results for keywords and phrases that your prospects are searching for, bringing you into their frame of reference and giving you a chance at capturing their attention – and eventually their business.
All that it takes on your part is a commitment to blogging, and the discipline to do it regularly. As you blog, keep a close watch on your audience’s response. It will show you just how well you are nurturing and strengthening your brand through blogging.
Oh, and one final word about branding.
Branding matters just as much to you as an individual as it does to a corporate entity – indeed, even more so. What Hugh ‘Gaping Void’ McLeod so elegantly refers to as your “personal micro-brand” can be established, developed and extended in remarkable ways through blogging.
So spare a moment to think about your brand – and weave it into your blog, starting today!
This article is written by Dr.Mani Sivasubramanian. He is a heart surgeon and Internet infopreneur who leverages his blogging and writing to fuel a passionate desire to fund lifesaving treatment for under-privileged children. .