How-to Brand Your Blog to Match Your Business

January 25, 2012

It has been awhile since I posted last. About two months actually. And, I feel the guilt that bloggers do when we stray from our commitments. There is good reason for it which I want to share with you here before we get back to our regular schedule. It’s not that I have writer’s block, nothing to say. I have a lot to share but it wasn’t important for me to first kick the year off with this update. I’ve been busy closing out one stage of my life, being a worker, and moving onto the next, an entrepreneur. And, in that process I struggled with all the decisions that I’ve seen other business owners tackle in how to position their brand, personal brand, business blog and community in relationship to one another. It resulted in the rebranding of this blog from Interactive Marketing Café (IMC) to what is now called Brands With Fans. Here’s why I made that decision.

Time Is Precious

I considered leaving IMC alone as a not-for-profit free standing publication, and launching a separate brand blog for my business. I never blogged to generate leads or sales and I don’t want that to be the primary motivation for blogging now. Quality content that brings value to your audience has to come from an unselfish place. I have witnessed that approach working in favor of businesses and individuals. However, I am one little person (and yes, I’m little in real life) and I do not have the time or resources to write articles for yet one more publication. After considering what I’d write about, it would be the same stuff, so creating the other blog just didn’t make sense.

SEO Matters

When it comes to matters of search engine optimization, there’s nothing better you can do for a brand website than to fill it with fresh, keyword rich content from a blog. It was a no-brainer to determine early on that SEO will be in my arsenal of marketing tactics. But, moving the IMC blog to my Fandom Marketing brand website would have meant losing my blog theme/design as well as losing that feeling of being an independent publication with an untainted community. Plus, I’d just redesigned IMC in 2011 and was quite satisfied with it. To cover my bases, I asked my SEO friends about the best way to structure a blog to bring SEO benefits to my brand website. The answer lies between using a subdomain vs. a subdirectory. The experts agree that the best approach is to put your blog under a subdirectory of your brand domain, e.g. yourdomain.com/yourblog. I opted for the second best option, using a subdomain yourblog.yourdomain.com instead. Our new URL is brandswithfansblog.fandommarketing.com. I set up a short domain brandswithfansblog.com that redirects to the homepage to make it easier for you to remember. The subdomain will still provide some SEO juice to the brand website while keeping the independent publication intact (no need to change my design for business blogging).

Branding the Community

Another big decision that needed to be made was branding. IMC presented both a blog title and design issue with respect to the Fandom Marketing brand. It was shiny, slick, green, and did not scream social media marketing. Fandom is friendly, people oriented, red, and crisp. It took me down a path of seriously considering what I want my company to stand for and the values that a community could be built upon. This reached into decisions about our Facebook page where I had built a small following for IMC. I came to the conclusion that the community is not really about the brand at all but a shared belief with others that people build brands. It’s the ideology behind “social marketing” which I view as a unique perspective on business. Not media. To capture our values, in hopes of connecting with others who share the same belief, I rebranded the IMC blog and Facebook page to Brands With Fans. The blog and Facebook page logo, look and feel are a spinoff of Fandom Marketing. Our brand hashtag is #brandfans which we use in our Twitter feed display (see right sidebar) and Twitter chat.

What You Can Expect Moving Forward

Brands With Fans blog be back on the regular schedule of posting weekly social marketing strategy, tips and advice. I will be incorporating new contributors from my team of talented social marketing specialists at Fandom as well as guest bloggers from the community. There will be improved content with new topic tracks and series of articles. Most importantly, here is our promise; we will keep it pure with no hard selling or over promotion. Sure, you will find a Fandom Marketing banner in the sidebar or mentioned occasionally but, it will not trump the reason we’re all here. To have a meeting of minds and to reach our potential for awesomeness through the support of a community.

A Zillion Ways to Connect

 

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