Boost Your Online Authority in 7 Steps
Content marketing is not a new concept. It has been around for years, and, ever since the word got out that "content is king", the number of brands and businesses leveraging content in order to get noticed online has been steadily increasing. The sheer number of companies creating content as a way of marketing their products and services means that there is a lot of "noise" that your own content can get lost in.
Despite how difficult it can be to be heard above all the noise, it's important not to become discouraged, or to abandon your content marketing efforts. Instead, it's necessary to focus on developing a strategy that puts your brand in an authoritative position. With a commanding presence online, you will be able to cut through all the content marketing din to make yourself heard by your audience.
With gaining authority in mind, the question becomes, how do we as digital marketers and content creators, become authorities and thought-leaders in our niche?
How to Become an Authority and a Thought Leader in Your Niche Market
Outside of the digital sphere, if we think about authority figures, there is a very real and tangible pattern that emerges with regards to how people perceive and interact with those they view as being in a position of authority. In addition to giving greater respect and deference to authority figures, people tend to be more pliable in decision making if they are influenced by someone in authority.
When we apply these observable concepts to digital marketing and content marketing, the same patterns emerge. This Entrepreneur article explains just a few of the reasons why we, as content marketers, want to position ourselves as authorities within our industry.
Becoming an authority in your niche is not as simple as it sounds. Authority is not something brands or businesses can ask for. Instead, authority and thought-leadership are something that are earned. Here is how you can EARN authority in order to get your content to standout online.
Show Commitment by Being Consistent: As a content marketer, your goal is to create knock-out content that adds value to the lives of your ideal audience. This should be more than your goal. It should be your mission and in order to be taken seriously, you must remain committed to the pursuit of your mission.
When you are consistent in the volume and value of the content you create, it shows seriousness, not only in your desire to create content, but a seriousness toward the subject matter of your content and thereby your industry as well. When you take your content seriously, your audience will take you seriously. However, if you commit yourself to content creation in fits and bursts, you show a lack of seriousness and a lack of dedication which turns your audience away from your content.
Be Your Own Source With Original Research: Some of the most authoritative content sites tangible facts and figures to belay a point. You can double-down on authoritative content by conducting and siting your own research.
Google Forms is a powerful and efficient way for you to conduct your own research which you can then site in an article about your findings. While conducting surveys and gathering stats and figures is time consuming, it also amps up the imperativeness of the content you create and share. As an added bonus, the research you conduct is something other brands will site and link to in their own content.
Do Your Content Justice Without Worrying About Length: When it comes to authoritative content, it's easy to be duped into the belief that long-form content establishes you as a thought-leader within your niche. While this is mostly true, thought-leadership is based in content which tackles the entire scope of the subject of your content. That is to say that, if you can fully summarise a subject in 500 words, do it. However, if you need 1,500 words to fully flesh out a topic, go for it.
Your content needs to be of value to your reader, and that needs to be your focus at all times. Don't add words for the sake of adding words, but also don't skimp out on fully explaining a topic. If you are blogging or writing articles just for the sake of opening up keyword opportunities for yourself, don't. Your readers will see through shallow content.
If you don't have the time to invest in creating valuable, dynamic and thought-provoking content, invest in a copywriter who will be able to capture your brand's voice in action-inspiring articles you can share on your website and via Social Media. If you're unsure about outsourcing content creation, this Business2Community article shares some valuable information about finding the perfect writer for your content.
Don't Forget About Evergreen Content: Following industry-related news, and leveraging current events and trending topics is a great way to garner attention for your brand. When you create a piece of content around a trending article of event, however, that content has a relatively short life-span. There will come a point at which that content is no longer relevant to your audience.
Evergreen content is the perfect augmentation to trending, "flash-in-the-pan", content. Evergreen content is timeless and always relevant to your audience. In addition to its perennial relevance, evergreen content establishes you as an expert in your niche market as it allows you to showcase your proficiency with nuanced information and protocol as it pertains to your niche market.
If you're stumped for evergreen content ideas, this copyblogger article shares 20 creative types of evergreen content that you can create for your brand to establish yourself as a thought-leader within your industry.
Reach Out to the Experts: Of course you are an expert in your field, but establishing yourself as such in the online world, can be a difficult and trying process. An effective shortcut to establishing yourself as a thought-leader within your niche is to ride the coattails of already established experts and authorities.
To connect your own authority to already established authorities, reach out to experts and ask them to weigh in on a subject pertinent to your niche market. Once they've responded to your query, compile their responses into a single, authoritative blog post.
This Social Media Examiner article is a great example of how you can leverage existing industry experts to add authority to your own content.
Own Newsjacking by Making it Your Own: Newsjacking is the practice of leveraging news stories in your content in order to amplify your brand. Effective newsjacking, however, isn't as simple as parroting back the big news stories that relate to your industry. Instead, make newsjacking your own by putting your own unique spin on relevant news stories in your content.
An example of this is our recent article about The London Dungeon. When their Valentine's Day Social Media campaign didn't go over well with their followers, The London Dungeon made news. It is not our habit to capitalise on anyone's Social Media missteps, however, with this post, we wanted to point out the swiftness with which The London Dungeon apologised for any offence their anti-Valentine's Day Social Media campaign caused. We put our own spin on this news story in order to celebrate The London Dungeon's responsiveness in handling their minor Social Media crisis.
We also maintain a Pinterest board dedicated to celebrating the Social Media Marketing success of business and brands in all different niches and industries. In doing this, we establish ourselves as authorities by sharing our thoughts on what works in Social Media Marketing and what we can learn from creative and successful Social Media Marketing campaigns.
Site Reputable Sources: When it comes to linking back to sources in your content, being authoritative means linking to reputable sources in your niche market. Rather than linking back to obscure journals with little-to-no thought leadership of their own, link back to the original source of the information you are sharing in your content.
Something we often see when we take over content creation for our clients, is that they have created articles which site information shared by an obscure source. When we check the obscure source's source, we find another obscure source. When we check the obscures source's source's source, we find an article that doesn't site any tangible evidence of what they are conveying as fact. they negative impacts your bid for authoritativeness.
When it comes to citations in your own content, make it a habit to link to reputable sources. If you find a less-reputable source that is sharing information you'd like to link to in your own content, be sure to follow that information back to its source so that you and your readers can be secure in the knowledge that you are sharing accurate information.
To learn more about establishing yourself as an authority through the content that you create, or to find out about the content creation services that we offer here at SoBu Social Media Marketing, contact us here. Our senior account manager will be happy to get back to you with answers to any of you queries.