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There is a reason I’m not skinny–it’s because I can’t read and exercise at the same time (ok, there’s another reason. It’s called Doritos). I’m constantly reading. And when I’m not reading, I’m writing. And then I read what I wrote because I’m my own favorite author. But I’ve noticed a huge shift in what I’ve been reading in the last few years or so; a majority of the things I’m reading aren’t books, news sites, or even magazines. Instead, I’m mostly reading blogs.
But don’t worry. This isn’t one of those blog posts where I tell you all the reasons why you should start a blog. Instead, I’m going to pass on some good advice from Andrew Davis, the author of Brandscaping. (When the boss originally suggested I read this book, I planned to “accidently” read a book on manscaping and write a blog post about it. A fabulous piece already exists on the topic at The Daily Beast titled “Why ‘Manscaping’ Isn’t Just for Porn Stars Anymore.”)
In Brandscaping, Davis says “Instead of trying to be a valuable content creator yourself, align your company with the ones already out there.” Realistically, you have a business to run. And you’re not a publisher. So don’t try to be one. That would be like me trying to be someone who doesn’t leave Dorito-cheese residue on everything I touch–it’s just not going to happen. You know, when I think about it, content marketing is a lot like Doritos – it’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Now back to what I was saying earlier about how all I ever do is read blogs while strategically placing the cheesy side of Doritos face down on my tongue: one of the things I can’t help but notice as I continue to read more and more blogs is the number of companies teaming up with bloggers (brandscaping). This content marketing strategy is an interesting alternative to guest blogging. Companies like Blendtec, Garmin, Keurig, Reebok, and more are providing their products or services to highly influential bloggers in their niche. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship, which is what brandscaping is all about. Reebok gets access to the blogger’s audience, and the blogger gets access to Reebok’s audience (and usually a free pair of shoes on to top it off!).
If you’re wondering just how much influence a blogger can possibly have, I’ll tell you that some of these bloggers are getting more traffic in a month than you’re probably getting all year. They probably get more comments per blog post than you’ll ever even see on all of your blog posts combined. People are opting-in for their content, and you can potentially benefit from that through brandscaping. Why compete when you can actually be partners?
Let’s try to apply the brandscaping concept for a second. Many of Blue Corona’s clients are small to medium-sized home services companies. For example we do a lot of inbound marketing for remodelers. While we won’t deny that there is definite value in a remodeling company creating great content for its website, let’s try and think like Andrew Davis–like a brandscaper. Who in the remodeling niche already has already captured a large portion of your target audience?
Personally, Young House Love instantly comes to mind. Young House Love is a wildly popular home improvement and DIY blog with a domain authority of 73 and over 3,701 linking root domains and 227,000 total links. How could Young House Love benefit from having a brandscaping partnership with you? And more importantly, how could you benefit from having a partnership with Young House Love? If I was a remodeler, I know I wouldn’t mind having my name exposed to a blog with a large audience clearly interested in home improvement.
But we’re not talking about simply advertising or guest posting with Young House Love. Davis says to “Stop putting your product first and start putting the passions and motivations of your audience first. You’ll connect with your market and reap the rewards of helping people understand how your products and services can impact their lives.”
Davis talks a lot about how the movie Finding Nemo drove (and continues to drive) clown fish sales (and ultimately fish bowl, fish food, and other fish accessory sales). If a highly influential blogger like Young House Love writes a blog post about remodeling a kitchen, their audience might also be inspired to remodel their kitchens as well, driving demand for kitchen remodeling services across the country. Ultimately, Davis reminds us that the marketing world is changing. If you’re not thinking about the passions of your target audience members and where on the Web you can find them and engage them, someone else is probably going to. Companies like Blendtec, Garmin, Reebok, and Keurig already have a head start.
And in case you are wondering, I don’t have a brandscaping relationship with Doritos. But please feel free to contact me. If I’m going to ruin my figure, we might as well both get something out of it.
If you want to learn more about how to build your business with brandscaping, contact us today. If you’re interested in my views on manscaping, feel free to contact me directly.
About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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