Guest blogging is one of the most efficient, yet misunderstood, social media marketing tactics.
It's not new. In fact, it's almost as old as blogging itself. It started becoming a standout tactic just a few years ago.
This post answers one of the most frequently asked questions: Is guest blogging good for “big guys?”
By the way, “guest posting, the time waster” is one of the myths I busted in my previous post for Social Media Examiner. Today's article is one more argument in favor of guest blogging.
Guest blogging is about placing your content for free outside of your own blog to increase its reach. A guest post thus is a piece of content you write for someone else's blog and include your author information to build exposure and awareness of your brand.
Here are eight familiar brands that are benefiting from guest blogging.
#1: Intel: Create and Support a Blogging Celebrity
Intel has definitely made a good choice. Ekaterina Walter is a well-known guest blogger contributing to Mashable, The Next Web, Fast Company, Social Media Examiner and many more. She actively collaborates with readers by replying to comments and participating in discussions.
So what is Intel doing right?
The company lets Ekaterina build her own personal brand. She always links to her personal blog while making it obvious that she loves working at Intel.
Ekaterina has become a social media celebrity and Intel handles that perfectly. It brings the company credibility, which is an invaluable advantage.
#2: Evernote: Share Your Own Success Case Study
Evernote is one of the best to illustrate the difference between self-promotion and sharing authentic case studies.
Evernote's CEO Phil Libin is a guest contributor at TechCrunch, sharing the behind-the-curtain and first-hand experience of promoting an iPhone application. This post was an eye-opener for many people, as it shared some pretty awesome stats.
So what did Evernote do right?
Being really open and sharing your actual stats and tactics in a guest post on a popular blog may make you vulnerable to competitors who might try to copy your strategy.
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But the loyal community of social media advocates and exposure the guest post brings is well worth the risk.
#3: Xbox: Dealing with a social media crisis
Stephen Toulouse, head of Xbox LIVE Policy and Enforcement, found a great place to explain the recent series of “unfair” console suspensions—the personal blog of his fellow Xbox team member.
The guest article has caused quite a buzz in the gaming community and an active discussion at the post.
So what did Xbox do right?
To respond to rumors, the company needs to talk back to the community. A guest post shared on a popular niche blog is a great way to start the conversation.
#4: Klout: Promote your most powerful users
Megan Berry, the marketing manager for Klout, hits Huffington Post with a series of guest articles highlighting the most influential Twitter users (as per Klout stats).
So what is Klout doing right?
By sharing Twitter lists on a popular blog, Megan manages to achieve two important goals: (1) she shares Klout's methodology and application example and (2) she attracts attention of those influential Twitter users to Klout (turning them into powerful brand advocates).
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#5: Autodesk: Promote your message
The Autodesk team has been working hard to promote sustainable design. They are running an active contributing column at Fast Company called “Autodesk Sustainable Blogging Team” as well as guest posting actively around the web on sustainability in design. Here is a recent post on Designing a Sustainable World in 3D (at Forbes).
So what is Autodesk doing right?
Guest blogging is a great way to increase brand awareness, but you don't need to directly self-promote in your guest posts. Instead, focus on an idea, message or concept neighboring your brand. This will grow your (personal) brand influence and position you as a niche expert. For example, see how many times the Autodesk Sustainable Blogging Team is quoted online:
#6: O'Reilly Media: Increase your reach
One of the best-known media companies is hardly in need of more exposure, right? Wrong! O'Reilly Media started O'Reilly's Radar, an online blog featuring emerging web technologies.
To increase its reach, correspondents for O'Reilly Media maintain regular guest accounts at top online publications; for example, Alexander Howard, government correspondent for O'Reilly Media, is a guest author for ReadWriteWeb, Huffington Post, etc.
So what is O'Reilly Media doing right?
Even huge brands with lots of online exposure understand that it is not wise to keep all of the content on their own sites. Yes, the constant stream of news might make other “outside” publications much stronger, but the exposure you get from regular guest posts on high-profile blogs is well worth it.
#7: Salesforce: Get the whole team involved
Salesforce is one of those huge brands that takes guest blogging really seriously. For example, their CEO Marc Benioff guest posts at TechCrunch on the future of cloud computing; their coders guest post at the official Google Code blog, sharing how to build a Google Earth app for Salesforce.com Foundation grantees and how to visualize your cloud's data; and their MVPs guest post on file management.
So what is Salesforce doing right?
Incorporating your whole team in guest blogging means creating multiple voices around your business. Guest blogging should be a team effort. Salesforce gives its employees the freedom to talk about what they are good at and what they enjoy. The result: plenty of first-hand tutorials on using Salesforce and a lot of well-established contacts with bloggers.
#8: Forrester Research: Share the expertise
The leading business research company successfully uses guest blogging at powerful blogs to share their team members' expertise. For example, Forrester‘s vice president and research director J. P. Gownder writes on brand loyalty; their principal analyst guest posts on ICANN's new domain registry options; and their consumer product strategy professional leader guest blogs on the future of digital music.
So what is Forrester Research doing right?
Forrester Research makes great use of expert blogging. All of their leaders are blogging and most of them have powerful guest columns outside Forrester's domain. All of the team members' posts are highly professional—they all work to the benefit of the company's image.
So are you guest blogging yet? Maybe you need to start!
What do you think? Do you know of any other big guys who are using the power of guest blogging? What else can we learn from them? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.
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