It's not easy building brand authority, but it is incredibly worth it if you do. When you have authority, any content marketing strategy you implement is already geared for success. Customers and clients trust you, and they are likely to purchase what you sell. It is the model that influencers use; however you feel about them, you must acknowledge that their ability to drive sales is undeniable.
In our previous blog post, we talked about the importance of building authority. However, it can be challenging to begin, especially if you haven't been intentional about managing your brand's reputation. Here are concrete ways you could go about building your website's authority.
People rely on organizations or personalities who provide the information they want or need. If you aren't responding to your audience's concerns, it will be easy for them to follow or subscribe to another company. If you already have a platform, you can start doing this today; hold a live Q&A session on your social media page or answer questions on your Stories or Fleets. Demonstrate your ability to provide what people need.
However, you cannot build your authority by holding occasional Q&A's. That would be like building your house on sand. Create content that lasts and position yourself as an expert by putting it on a website. Your social media pages should show your energy, and your website should show your consistency. Apart from Q&A's through social, you can use tools like Answer the Public, BuzzSumo's Discover Questions, and client surveys. Then, make in-depth content that responds to concerns outside of short, ephemeral mediums like news or story feeds.
Prioritize original thought in your long-form content. Creating reports, surveys, and studies will show that you have something substantial to say about your industry. Reports and studies are also newsworthy, which means potential media coverage.
When you create long-form content, you can get exposure from media companies online, which earns you high-quality backlinks. This signals to Google that you are a reliable source in your industry, which means higher rankings for your website. Do not end with one in-depth piece either; after analyzing your industry, take a different perspective and see what other questions remain unanswered in your field.
If you have a subject matter expert in your company, you are shortchanging your brand if you don't tap them for articles, videos, and other content. Suppose you are a marketer for a SaaS company; if so, you would benefit from picking your DevOps colleagues' brains for posts.
You can also interview them for a video or a podcast. You could also suggest that they offer their knowledge on third-party sites like HARO or Help a Reporter Out. Though this is an unusual content marketing strategy, doing this demonstrates their knowledge to a broader audience.
Besides reviews, interviews, blog posts, and industry reports, other materials can signal your authority. Identify which ones make sense for you to highlight on your website; though you might have a wide range of online properties that can signal your authority, you should choose what you must point to online, and you should definitely leverage third-party validation.
Your audience can take your word for it, but it won't hurt if other people are talking about how effective you are at responding to their concerns. If you don't have other people's testimonials, you can be proactive and ask customers and clients to write some for you.
Aligning with brands that serve their audience well or prioritize their customers or users will make people think of your brand in the same way. If you collaborate, you also introduce your name to a different audience, which means you could gain more prospects and leads. Think about which brands and companies have values that align with yours or ones with the same audience. You can team up in various ways, from affiliate marketing to referral programs, but you can also collaborate through content. For example, you could execute a collaboration that responds to surveys that affect both of your audiences. You can also combine your resources to produce a series of posts or videos.
Giving away free information might put off some marketers and C-suite executives. After all, you probably built your business because of your knowledge in a field. Maybe you're even the best (or only) option in your niche. Giving away what makes you successful seems counterintuitive since it gives people a peek into what makes you great. However, you would benefit from sharing what you know, especially if you are a service-based business. If you do this, you provide more transparency in how you operate, fostering trust in your audience. Giving people a look into how you work behind the scenes does not mean you have to hand over your entire blueprint.
Pick and choose the information you should share. The best in this situation would be things your competitors had not talked about but would not jeopardize your company. You want them to see the procedure, but do not give them your secret sauce! You could also have periodic giveaways where you provide people with templates for their social media or short e-books that compile the best points in your blog posts. There are many ways you could deliver free content that both informs your audience and protects your brand’s mystique.
When you implement a content marketing strategy, you already work towards building your brand authority. If you create meaningful content, collaborate with others in your industry, and advertise people's trust in your company, you show clients and customers why they should keep coming back to you for answers.
Also, keep in mind that building your authority is not a one-time effort. You need to work on it consistently; even if you've already "made it" and have a decent following, you should keep re-introducing yourself to audiences and re-establishing yourself as a trustworthy source. Partnering with an SEO expert will help you get clear on your digital marketing brand strategy.
At Ranked, we deliver results that build in the long term. Our team delivers high-quality, data-driven content designed to help you rise in rankings over time. Book a call with the team to learn more, or activate your account today!