These days, authority matters. Not only will building your brand’s authority help create the necessary SEO signals to improve your site’s natural search performance, it’ll also create additional streams of traffic to your website and create the kind of consumer goodwill that leads to conversions.
If your brand recognition is lacking, then any of the following ideas will help to jump start your authority. They aren’t easy, but they are worth it!
Idea #1 – Run an informative blog
Any good authority building campaign should start with a business blog, as a regularly updated blog gives customers a reason to visit your site over and over again. Just be wary of falling into the trap of bland, easy-to-write blog posts. If your content isn’t exciting, inspiring or memorable in some other way, then it won’t stand out in the minds of your readers.
Idea #2 – Respond to your blog’s comments
Once you’ve established your blog, expand your authority further by responding to every legitimate comment that’s left on your site. Doing so gives you the chance to highlight your subject matter knowledge while also providing value to your readers.
Idea #3 – Regularly update your social profiles
Social profiles that have been left for dead don’t scream “authority.” Instead, they say, “I’ve given up and don’t care about my followers.” To prevent this from happening, create an editorial calendar that involves checking in with your profiles at least once a day to provide helpful, interesting or funny updates.
Idea #4 – Use search filters to answer questions on Twitter
While you’re updating your Twitter feed, run a few search queries for tweets containing words that indicate a potential customer has a question about your industry. Taking a few minutes to post a quick reply to the tweet will turn you into a go-to source of knowledge in your field.
Idea #5 – Guest blog on industry websites
Guest blogging is a powerful and well-known approach to authority building, as it allows you to get your name in front of an established audience. Depending on the caliber of the site you’re able to post to, the implicit endorsement of the peer website hosting your guest blog can go a long way towards building your brand’s perceived authority.
Idea #6 – Start a “how to” YouTube channel
YouTube is huge. With over six billion hours of footage watched every month, publishing quality content to this video sharing site is a great way to get your brand noticed. For best results, consider posting “how to” content that provides instruction on common questions in your industry. These videos may not have the flash of would-be viral contenders, but their evergreen nature ensures that they’ll refer interested viewers to your website for the foreseeable future.
Idea #7 – Distribute a whitepaper
According to Wikipedia, a whitepaper is an authoritative report or guide that helps readers understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision. Definitions aside, whitepapers are a great way to build your brand’s authority. At an average of 6-8 pages, they’re relatively easy to compile (or to outsource), but they convey an air of professionalism and authority that can be difficult to achieve using blog posts alone.
Idea #8 – Create an infographic
There’s no arguing with the fact that infographics are highly shareable – and the more shares a piece of content receives, the more a company’s brand recognition grows.
Creating an infographic isn’t cheap and it isn’t easy. If you don’t have the money to outsource infographic creation, then it’ll be up to you to source all the necessary facts, organize them into a cohesive outline and then create an eye-catching design using tools like Piktochart. Either way, the investment into a high quality infographic will be well worth it when it comes to authority building.
Idea #9 – Deploy a mini site
Mini sites are a relatively new addition to the digital marketing world, but they’re powerful! Basically, mini sites are small web properties that complement a company’s main site in some fun or informative way.
As an example, take a look at “Old Glory 2012”, a cute mini site that allowed Dollar Shave Club readers to vote on potential presidential barbers in exchange for site coupons. Again, this type of thing isn’t cheap to create, but when it comes to brand building, the investment may be well worth it.
Idea #10 – Conduct industry research
Industry statistics get cited over and over again on different websites, creating an ideal opportunity for businesses to get their names out by conducting their own research. To do this, you’ll need a sizeable sample pool (which you can either generate from your own website or buy from a market research firm) and a series of well-designed questions to ask. You’ll also need to compile your results into an engaging and easily-digestible format to be picked up by the news outlets that will build your authority for you.
Idea #11 – Release a podcast
All you need to record a podcast is a microphone and something interesting to talk about. Once you combine these two elements and publicize your podcast amongst your website’s followers and podcast directories, you’ll create an attention-generating machine that’ll have your brand name on the tip of your audience members’ tongues.
Idea #12 – Host an industry event
Want to bring out the big guns when it comes to building branded authority? Try putting on your own conference or industry event! This type of promotion isn’t for the fainthearted, but if you have the money, time and connections to pull it off, running an industry event will get you major press and major brand recognition.
As an example, take Art of Non-Conformity blogger Chris Guillebeau’s “World Domination Summit”. Though the event only formally started in 2011, the value it provides became so widely-known that the 2012 event sold out five months ahead of schedule with a waiting list of 800 people. While it’s certainly a massive undertaking, the event’s ability to reinforce Guillebeau’s brand and authority can’t be understated.
Idea #13 – Sponsor an event
Not ready to pull off something this big on your own? Piggy-back on the efforts of others by sponsoring a popular event in your field! Nearly all major events offer paid sponsorships that allow companies to place their logos on banners, giveaway bags, and conference sessions. Buying in to one of these programs can be a great way to reap the branding rewards of industry events without the effort required to start something new from scratch.
Idea #14 – Apply for industry awards
Depending on your field, you may also be eligible to apply for certain industry awards. While you’ll have to offer something noteworthy to get nominated and win, this avenue can be an easy way to build authority quickly, especially if you’ve been unsuccessful gaining traction using other advertising techniques.
Idea #15 – Tie your brand to a cause
Tom’s gives away a pair of shoes for every pair sold in stores. Warby Parker does the same thing with glasses. What can your company do to give back while also building awareness and authority?
To be clear, I’m not recommending that you engage in charitable works for the sole purpose of gaining brand recognition. Instead, dig deep to uncover your passions and look for ways that you can give back to these causes through your business. It’s a win-win for both your business and for the world at large.
Of course, these are only a few of the different ways that your business can build its brand authority. If you have other techniques that have worked for your company in the past, then share your recommendations in the comments below!
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