Just a few years ago, successful content marketing relied on two simple strategies:
1.) Create valuable content.
2.) Produce as much valuable content as possible.
Oh, if only content marketing were so simple in 2018. Today, the staggering amount of content that we produce has far outweighed the human ability to consume it.
This is what’s known as ‘content shock’ and it’s a problem that affects both consumers and content marketers alike. Consumers are overwhelmed with choice, while marketers can pack immense value into their content—only for it to never see the light of day.
As doom and gloom as this may sound, there is a solution. By focusing on building your brand’s credibility, you can inspire trust in your brand, add value to your content, and increase your online visibility.
And guess which form of marketing is the best for building up your credibility? That’s right—content marketing! Here is how you can begin using content to boost your brand’s authority in your industry:
Create with Purpose
Whether you’re educating your audience on a topic or trying to sell one of your products, your content should have a specific purpose. Don’t write just to fill the void! As readers, we can usually tell when content lacks a purpose because it is neither convincing nor exciting.
Take JetBlue, for example. The airline didn’t make their documentary “HumanKinda” just for fun. In a press release, JetBlue stated that the goal of the 10-minute video was to open a conversation about the busy state of American lives today.
With over 130,000 views on YouTube and a huge amount of buzz generated over the short film, it’s safe to say that JetBlue’s mission was accomplished. By allowing their purpose to guide their documentary, JetBlue managed to achieve their content marketing goal and increase their brand visibility.
Some marketers mistakenly believe that building up their authority means showing off their expertise by loudly proclaiming their achievements and accomplishments. But today’s skeptical consumers rarely take a brand at their word.
Consumers want you to prove your expertise and value. Are you an award-winning cook that makes the best filet mignon on the east coast? Rather than tell your audience this, prove it to them instead by creating content that clearly demonstrates your expertise on this topic.
For example, this might include producing a YouTube video demonstrating a complex cooking technique or writing a long-form article that addresses a specific issue in your industry. Not only are you providing them with value by educating them on a specific topic, but you’re also convincing readers that you know what you’re talking about.
Optimize for Long-tail Keywords
Expertise in your niche is vital to establishing authority, but even the most valuable content could use an SEO boost. By optimizing for long-tail keywords, you can increase the likelihood that your content will be consumed by a relevant audience.
This is because long-tail keywords such as “hard-shell carry on luggage” and “travel wardrobe ideas for women” are longer and more specific. Although these phrases are less frequently searched for, they often generate high-quality traffic to your site.
More importantly, using niche-specific keyword phrases improves the chances of your content being discovered by users who will find it truly useful. As a result, this can turn casual readers into potential customers.
Put Your Own Spin on It
Ask yourself the following question: what makes your advice more valuable than your competitors?
Repeating the same thoughts and ideas as everyone else won’t help you grow your authority. To become a true thought leader, you need to have fresh, original takes on regular topics.
Take the travel niche as an example. Content marketing in the travel industry is fiercely competitive, which means that becoming an authority in this field requires serious work.
Travel sites such as Conde Nast Traveler are forced to put their own spin on travel stories and topics. Otherwise, they would get lost in the clutter.
You don’t need to have wildly different views on a topic to make it stand apart. A simple tweak to your story is all you need to attract your audience’s attention.
Up the Ante
Don’t get us wrong—freely sharing your expertise with your audience is important to becoming an authority figure. However, mass producing authoritative articles and white papers is now a common practice.
To increase the value of your content (without too much extra work), consider creating a content library. A content library contains free resources such as white papers, eBooks, or webinars that your audience can access when they sign up with their email.
In addition to being a great lead generation tool, a content library can also be an insanely helpful resource for your audience. Check out CopyBlogger as an example of a content library done right.
Align Yourself with Other Industry Leaders
Collaborating with other leaders in your industry is a powerful way to grow your brand’s influence. By regularly connecting with other high-profile industry leaders, you can boost your credibility, expand your reach, and help you generate high-quality backlinks which will boost your SEO and rankings.
Of course, identifying the right partnership isn’t always easy. But once you find a good match, you can begin creating content together, linking to each other to increase domain authority, and building a long-term relationship that is mutually beneficial.
Having trouble connecting with industry leaders? Established businesses rarely want to take a chance on startups that have yet to prove themselves. You can still align your brand with others by mentioning them in your content (i.e., our CopyBlogger mention earlier in this post). The simple act of name-dropping can subtly influence your reader’s perception of your brand.
Don’t Neglect Offline Opportunities
No one would argue that a strong, online presence is essential to becoming a respected industry leader. However, there are plenty of offline opportunities that your brand should consider as well.
Conferences, trade shows, and expositions are just a few examples of offline events that can boost your authority, brand awareness, and sales. These events give you the opportunity to connect with other authority figures in your industry, as well as solve your audience’s problems in person.
Just be sure to choose the right event for your brand to get the best bang for your buck. Conferences and trade shows generally aren’t cheap!
Establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry can yield big results for your brand. We’re talking increased visibility, more shares, increased traffic and sales—you get the picture.
But it’s important to remember that trust doesn’t happen overnight. Becoming a true authority in your niche takes considerable time and effort. Stick with it and after a few months, you should begin seeing the results of your hard work.
Want to see quicker results from your content marketing? Talk with us about our content targeting platform! We’ll help you build an effective distribution strategy to get your content in front of the best audience.