The quest to achieve authority marketing – making your digital brand a known entity in the market – can feel like waving your arms to get people’s attention across a baseball stadium. You can wave so hard that sweat saturates your Bogaerts jersey, but your friends across the ballpark are still unlikely to notice your desperate signals. What might you do?
If your friends across the stadium knew that you are always the person who brings the largest, funniest signs to the stadium, they’d look for you themselves instead of waiting for you to make enough noise to grab their attention.
As a startup company, after you’ve found your brand’s unique point of difference the odds still appear against you that your target audience will become aware of it. What’s a startup to do? For digital brands, the trick to gaining a receptive audience isn’t shouting louder or waving your arms wider, but instead by building brand authority online.
Building authority for your brand online
Having brand authority means becoming so well known as an expert in your target market that people will search for your brand proactively – even if similar products or services could also solve their problem.
It’s not surprising, then, that in order to make your business stand out from the crowd, you must first make yourself a known expert in your niche or industry. And there’s no better place to start than with effective authority marketing tactics that other successful brands have used.
How to achieve authority marketing
The good news is that there are many ways to go about achieving authority marketing in any industry. Entrepreneur contributor Adam Witter, CEO of Advantage Media Point, identified the “seven pillars” of making yourself a known entity in your industry. These are:
PR and marketing
The bad news is that all of them take time and effort, and require being very intentional and thoughtful. To simplify this process, a good place to start is looking at each one individually and integrating them into your overall marketing strategy.
Authority marketing arises from offering your audience insights that are useful, unique, and interesting. And there’s no quick snap-your-fingers path to building that kind of content and outreach. So, get ready for some diligent daily work.
Following are 6 effective content tactics that can help you achieve authority marketing and make your business stand out from the crowd.
1. Be incredibly helpful
Your target market has problems. This audience no doubt also has questions. They are confused or intimidated or uncertain – and they’re looking for a solution, an answer to their problem.
Can you help them?
Sujan Patel, digital marketing expert and co-founder of Web Profits presented an insightful post on his blog, writing:
“If you want people to view you as a genuine expert, then you’ll need to demonstrate that your solutions can provide real value. And the best way to prove this is by helping your target audience solve real problems and pain points.”
Let’s take this one step further. Can you be so helpful to your audience that they will tell their friends about it?
If your answer is a resounding “yes,” then you are well on the way to becoming an authority on your topic. And not just any authority – an authority who is seen as trustworthy, generous, and worth seeking out.
2. Get on social media
Achieving authority marketing includes a pillar of effective web presence management: establishing control of your online identity. Enter social media.
While social media should not be your only channel used to build authority, it is one of the most powerful digital tools for reaching people. And not just any people, but people you wouldn’t otherwise have a chance to correspond with. You can even search for and find the groups of people who are most likely to be receptive to your message and target them with specificity. It’s like an entrepreneur’s dream.
This dreamy technology does little good, however, if you don’t take the time to learn how to best use each platform and then apply yourself to building your authority in effective ways on each. Check out this useful post from Mikayla Wyman, social and community engagement specialist at WordStream, which breaks down how to engage on each platform.
3. Prioritize content creation
Having good, helpful content to share on social media is essential. A great way of attaining authority marketing is to learn how to prioritize which content to create and how to create it, then to execute on those plans consistently and voluminously. Over time, producing high-quality content consistently will help build the brand authority you seek.
Stephen Jeske, who leads the content strategy blog for MarketMuse, has a lot of really good ideas about how to structure your content creation efforts, including assessing whether a post will contribute toward business objectives and ensuring your site architecture is good for SEO.
4. Engage with industry peers
Casting yourself as an expert often involves putting yourself out there in the public eye to demonstrate how useful you can be. Think about participating in public fora where those in your industry congregate, such as joining Twitter chats, commenting on blogs prominent in your industry, or answering questions on Quora.
You can even up the ante and do some public speaking at conferences or other gatherings. Regardless of how you put yourself out there, make sure that you’re always adding valuable insight into a discussion.
5. Do guest posts
Guest posting is a great idea for those looking to build their reputation as an expert in a subject area. But all guest posting is not created equal, so it’s a good idea to be choosy about where you post and what you say. And don’t get so carried away with publishing on third-party sites that you forget to own your own content when spreading the word online.
Pursue guest posting opportunities on high-quality, high-authority sites within your industry. Don’t be tempted to go with lower-quality sites if you can’t break into better ones at first. Doing so may work against what you’re trying to do.
Not all small, easy-to-access sites are low quality, however; use your own judgement about where you think you should post and pursue those opportunities. As you get more guest posts under your belt you’ll find it easier to get traction with more prominent sites.
Web marketing expert Neil Patel, co-founder of Neil Patel Digital, offers a great guide to guest blogging, where he advises guest bloggers to ensure they aren’t making their posts read in any way like advertisements.
6. Get yourself in the media
Getting your story in the news is another strong way to build authority, though it can certainly be a challenge to break into the publications you may want to appear in. And this tactic doesn’t always guarantee positive coverage.
One method is to write things for publication yourself. You can keep pitching your ideas to the publications you’d like to write for until you get a break.
Even better, however, is getting what’s called “earned media,” which is when journalists or bloggers cover you and your work due to noteworthy things you’ve done. Build relationships with journalists and other writers who cover your field, and then reach out to them when you have anything to announce. If you’d like to hand that task to someone else, hire a PR firm to do it for you.
With these authority marketing tactics, you’ll be able to steadily build up your brand authority until you’re the one that everybody’s looking to for insight. There are few more valuable positions to be in as you work to build your brand.
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