6 Ways to Build Brand Authority With Content Marketing
| Suhani Sachdeva
6 Ways to Build Brand Authority With Content Marketing
Becoming an authoritative brand is no easy feat, but the massive benefits are worth the effort.
When you’ve built authority, potential customers and clients begin to count on you and trust you — and it’s hard to imagine that trust not leading to a sale (at some point).
But how exactly can a brand begin to build, or build upon, their authority? Content is an excellent way, and in this article, I’ll go through my tips on how it can be done.
- Answer your audience’s questions
If you’re not doing this, there’s virtually no way you’ll become an authority. People grow to rely on brands when those brands provide the information they’re looking for, so if your content marketing doesn’t incorporate those answers, you’re not demonstrating to your audience why they should trust you.
By building on-site content that provides this kind of value, you can build authority while simultaneously building more awareness for your brand. In other words, you can position yourself as an expert for those who don’t already know you.
Search is a huge component of why this content tactic works. Google does a significant amount of curation for users, choosing what it thinks is the most appropriate results for a particular query. When users see that you’re ranking at the top for a certain keyword or topic, there’s an assumption you made it through the algorithm for good reason and know what you’re talking about.
Presumably, people are searching for this because they want to buy shoes, but they’re not sure what size to get. If they click this result, not only are they now on the website, but they recognize that this brand provided the answer they were looking for. Perhaps they’ll even browse for shoes while they’re on the site.
- Create newsworthy reports and studies
One of the best ways to demonstrate your authority is to show your continued interest in unearthing new information and insights. You can do this by prioritizing original research.
When you create your own studies, surveys, and reports based on new data or unveiling new insights, you not only provide value to readers, but also have something you can pitch to the media.
This gives you double benefit: Getting media coverage (and building even more brand authority) and earning high-quality backlinks, which signals to Google that you’re an authority.
- Utilize the authority of in-house experts
Some brands are built entirely around a particular persona, like Steve Jobs with Apple, but those examples can intimidate people. Smaller companies and newer companies alike can benefit from a similar strategy if they have subject matter experts (or SMEs) who can show their authority.
A great example of this is Headspace and how it features its founder, Andy Puddicombe. There’s a page all about him on their website where they explain his credentials but also provide what are called authority signals (which I’ll explain more in the next section) and embed his Ted Talk, so you can see for yourself what he knows.
Why is this smart? Headspace probably realized that as the literal voice behind Headspace (Andy does much of the meditation audio himself), Andy started building trust with audiences. It makes sense to double-down on that trust by helping people get to know who he is, and by having him explain even more concepts directly through Radio Headspace and their YouTube Channel. After all, if people trust Andy, they’re more likely to trust the Headspace app.
How to execute this strategy: If your internal experts have never shared anything with the public, see if they’re comfortable contributing blog posts or quotes to your website.
- Highlight reviews, case studies, and other proof of expertise
There are dozens of types of authority signals, from testimonials to reviews to social media share counts. The key is identifying which ones make sense to highlight for your products or services, and figuring out the best placement for them.
Your goal is to show people you know what you’re talking about by leveraging third-party validation. Your audience doesn’t just have to take your word for it that you know what you’re doing — other people can confirm that you’re great, too!
- Associate with other authoritative brands
You know the phrase, “Show me who your friends are, and I’ll tell you who you are?” That can apply in marketing, too.
If you align with other brands you respect and that are doing right by their customers/users, it’s possible some of that same trust will transfer to you if that company’s respect is reciprocated. Additionally, if you collaborate, you’re getting your brand name in front of a new audience.
So, think about which brands it makes sense to collaborate with. There are ways to do this outside of content marketing, like referral programs, but there are content-specific ways to work together, too.
This isn’t purely a content strategy, but you can see the overlap between product and building more of an experience. People who love and count on Auntie Anne’s pretzels are exposed to Samuel Adams and vice versa. Through a collaboration like this, fans of one have the potential to become fans of the other.
This is a more fun example, but you can also execute a collaboration based on studies and surveys by partnering with organizations interested in answering the same questions or solving the same problems as your brand.
- Give away some of your secrets
This can be scary for a lot of marketers and especially for the C-suite. Why should you give away what makes you great?
It’s a valid question, and it won’t always apply. But in some cases, especially for service-based businesses, sharing information and breaking down exactly how you achieve that greatness can actually build trust.
Marcus Sheridan has a wonderful example of this. When my colleague attended Inbound last year, she was impressed by Marcus’s presentation in which he described a single blog post that earned him $2 million in sales.
Why did it work? Because he shared information no one else wanted to share: the actual cost of a fiberglass pool. Rather than hiding the information and revealing it later in the sales process, he was forthright and answered the question people wanted the answer to. Clearly this strategy paid off.
The very act of investing in content marketing is a big step in building more brand authority. By creating content that’s beneficial for your audience, you’re demonstrating your own knowledge and utilizing your expertise.
By continuing to build on your strategy with the above tactics, you can greatly improve the chances your audience will not only remember your brand, but begin to trust your brand. Additionally, it’s likely the Google algorithm will recognize your authority, as well, especially after building an impressive link portfolio, and your results will rise in the SERP ranks.
Good luck amplifying your strategy, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!