Would you call a barber if your house was on fire? Would you ask a mechanic how to make a pudding? Would you care for a teenager’s advice on pressing personal matters? Ok the last one might work for some but the general idea is that individuals are wired to seek advice from people who have an expertise on that particular topic. The correct digital marketing term for this is authority. While there are several ways to build authority online and offline, here are the 10 quickest hacks proven to help you build authority.
#1 Find the Most Relevant Informational Keywords
Everything starts with the quality of your keywords. Whether you want to write website content or blog about something, you need to find the most relevant keywords and build your content around it. For instance, if your business is to sell premium tea online, find maximum long-tail keywords related to tea and start thinking of topics related to it. Brainstorm ideas with team members and you will have hundreds of awesome ideas to fill your content calendar.
TeaBox does a great job with its blog; from hot toddy recipe to the science and history of tea, look at some of the ways they have built content around tea:
- ARE YOU A TEA-TROTTER?
- MAKE TEA NOT WAR
- GREAT WRITERS AND THEIR LOVE FOR TEA
See how their topics cater directly and indirectly to their audience’s other interests such as reading, history and travel, while keeping tea at the center of everything.
#2 Start a Niche Blog
The best blogs on the internet are the ones that are unique, and to some extent weird. For instance, there is a Tumblr blog called Ugly Renaissance Babies which has renaissance period paintings to prove that the artists couldn’t paint babies even if their lives depended on it.
Of course this is not a profitable blog idea unless of course if you deal in some kind of art or are a renaissance period expert, but the idea is to have a unique blog about a topic you are really passionate about and then take it further.
Some famous examples of niche blog monetization include PsyBlog, NerdFitness, FitRated, AutoBlog and so on.
All these blogs are on different topics ranging from psychology to health and biking, but the common thread between all of them is the passion with which they were created. The passion for a particular topic is the first step to build authority on that topic. Once you’ve brought in the readers, there is always time for marketing your blog through outreach, affiliate, and other strategies.
#3 Stay on Top of the Latest Industry News and Research
Stay on top of notable developments in your industry by subscribing to alerts and newsletters. For instance, the day we got the news that Econsultancy released their 10th Annual Email Marketing Census, we wrote a post about it. The speed at which you find and impart news is directly related to the trust and authority you receive.
If you want to be recognized as a trusted source, make sure the news are impartial and authentic but lend your own voice with your thoughts and suggestions. When Facebook’s F8 conference was hosted, the world turned to Twitter to see what industry experts had to say about it. You could also find some articles from famous authors on the right hand side of Twitter. This is the power of authority online.
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) April 13, 2016
#4 Create a Rich Knowledge-Base
While blogging is the mainstay of building authority with your content, it is not enough. You need to create a rich knowledge base of long-form content like how-to articles, guides, whitepapers, case studies and e-books. This content has a long shelf life compared to blogs and thus helps you maintain your authority over a long time. HubSpot has built a noteworthy resource library with plenty of eBooks, templates and user guides on a wide range of topics. No wonder the digital marketing world recognizes them as an authority.
#5 Woo with Visual Content
Nothing gets shared more than visual content like infographics, memes, charts, graphs and other forms of visual content! This is why, it’s important you invest some time in creating interesting images. There are plenty of tools like Canva and Piktochart to help you create professional images through easy drag-and-drop functionality. Our own infographic on Google algorithms did much better than other forms of content. It got more comments, shares and links than our other blogs. If you are good with coding and designing, you must also try your hand at interactive infographics.
#6 Regularly Contribute to Other Websites
Apart from link building, which of course helps, guest posts also help you build your reputation as an online authority. Regularly contribute to sites within your industry, online magazines, blogs, review sites, etc. to establish yourself and gain new audience. A lot of reputed websites like Forbes, TechCrunch, CIO, Entrepreneur, etc. accept guest articles. Also start microsites for any services you’d like to focus on. For instance we have StartupGear.com, MoveoApps.com and are soon coming up with one more, so stay tuned! 😉
#7 Have a Rich ‘Rich Media’ Resource
Rich media includes videos, podcasts, webinars and other audio-visual content that can help you put a face to your name. Live chats and AMAs are also a great way to enjoy some limelight. If you are not comfortable facing a camera, create tutorial type videos where the focus is shifted to the screen of a computer or whiteboard. A lot of businesses regularly create animated videos to simplify their offerings. It’s good to see how new companies are simplifying complex features with easy to understand videos. For instance, this video featuring suggestive intelligence of a BI tool has lots of analogies and examples that make it simple to understand the underlying concept of the tool.
#8 Host or Sponsor Industry Events
You must regularly participate in industry events like seminars, conferences, hackathons, etc., as an attendee or a speaker. Whether you are in real estate or manufacturing, digital marketing or traditional advertising, you will find trade conferences and industry events happening year round. Make a point to attend at least a couple of them every year. If you want to take it a notch above you can also sponsor these events. That way you not only establish yourself as an authority but also boost your brand recognition. MarTech and MozCon have earned quite a reputation by hosting their own events. This is, however, a huge undertaking requiring not only time and efforts but also lots of greens, so make sure you have built your reputation well before you go knee-deep into this challenge.
#9 Stay Active on Social Media
From Facebook Live to Periscope, from Snapchat to Twitter, you will find influencers and thought leaders actively participating in social media conversations. Spend some time a day to search questions related to your industry and answer. Use social listening tools to get alerts about all the tweets and posts on social media related to your industry. These tools are well worth their investment and can give you edge over your competitors and establish authority that faster. Also participate in Twitter chats like #semrushchat and #bufferchat, they are the best in digital marketing realm and we make a point to participate even if they aren’t during our working hours. While participating, make sure you answer as truthfully and accurately as you can.
#10 Build Relationships Outside the Virtual World
Once you establish connection with your followers in the virtual world, make sure you start building rapport with them outside the virtual world. Meet people in networking events or simply over a coffee, find out about their trade practices, discuss your and their challenges, give them solutions or work with them to find some other solutions. This is sure to give you an enviable position as a leader.
But you said quick hacks? These will take time!
Of course, but you need to understand there is no shortcut to success. If you want to establish yourself as an authority, you need to start building your reputation, one blog post, one social channel, one guest post at a time. With time, dedication and persuasion, you will establish yourself in a year or two. If you find the task ahead overwhelming, hire a full-service digital agency to take care of your content creation, social media and link building, (good news – you don’t have to look much farther!)