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Monday, September 12, 2011

5 Ways to use Content Marketing to Build Your Authority Status

by J. Mattern

Content marketing has always been important in conveying authority status in business. But the term itself is newer given its rise during the social media age because of the ease of creation, consumption, and interaction.
Today let’s talk about what content marketing is, why building authority status matters, and then five examples of how content marketing can help you become a recognized authority in your niche or industry.

What is Content Marketing?

“Content marketing” is a slightly misleading term. While sometimes the content is used directly for marketing and sales, more often these days it’s used in a PR capacity. And that’s the area of content marketing we’re talking about here — building and managing a reputation and relationships based on a perception of authority.
To do this you would use various types of content to showcase your expertise in your specialty area. You would offer content that attracts eyes or ears, and that in many cases leads to direct interaction with your target audience. It leads to respect. People share your content or spread the word to others. In exchange you get more and higher quality traffic and backlinks, you build valuable relationships and expand your network, and you make yourself known as an expert source. While the direct goals are networking, image management, traffic, and links these things often ultimately lead to increased sales. The marketing benefits are just indirect in many cases.
Content Strategy

Why Authority Status Matters

Authority status has always mattered in business. But it’s almost more important now because the Web allows everyone to have a voice. While it can make it easier to get heard initially, it can also lead to a lot of noise and so much competition that it’s difficult to become recognized as a serious expert in your niche or industry.
Why would you want that expert or authority status? Because it leads to trust. And when people trust you they visit your website more. They listen to what you have to say. They tell others about you. They link to your site. And they’re more likely to buy from you.

5 Types of Content Marketing to Build Authority Status

What kinds of content can be used in content marketing to help you build and maintain authority status? Here are five examples.

1. Blogging – Publish articles highlighting your expertise with tips, advice, commentary, etc.

2. Newsletters – Publish authoritative content much like you would on a blog. But use it to build a subscriber list that could come in handy when promoting products and services later.

3. Guest posts / features - If you don’t want to launch your own online publication, write guest articles for others. That can mean anything from guest blog posts to feature articles for trade publications.

4. Webinars / e-courses – One of the best ways to demonstrate expert knowledge in a subject area is to successfully teach others. Obviously you should have credentials and experience to back that expert status up before you attempt to teach anyone else. It’s one thing to show people what you’ve done. It can be much more convincing when you teach them how to do it too. Webinars and e-courses give you ways to do that.

5. Video and audio series – We sometimes focus on the written word when we think about content. But content includes much more than that. Run a video blog or Web series for example. Or how about a podcast or Internet radio show? These can give your content marketing a more personal touch.
Content marketing can involve any kind of content — writing, images, video, or audio. It can involve online or offline content. You don’t have to use all content types. Choose the ones that are most valid for your niche or industry and your target audience. And stick with it. It’s unlikely you’ll build a reputation as an expert source of information in a very short period of time. You have to consistently provide quality content to “prove yourself.”

What are your favorite types of content marketing? Has a certain content format proved more beneficial than others in building your own authority status? For me, blogs have provided incomparable benefits. Share your own tips and stories in the comments below.

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