Want to amplify your online presence, acquire more qualified customers and clients, and ultimately grow your business into a brand that people know, like, and trust? Authority is the missing ingredient.
What is Brand Authority?
There are a number of ways to define brand authority. It’s basically your brand’s ability and expertise within your niche, as recognized through the eyes of the marketplace.
As digital marketing expert Page Weiners puts it, “Brand authority is not a status you can confer on yourself; rather it’s a reputation and an element of trust that others assign to you.”
In other words, while you can cultivate authority, you can’t force it. At the end of the day, it’s all about how people respond to your image and actions.
Tips for Building Brand Authority
With the understanding that your customers and the larger marketplace will ultimately determine what level of authority you have, here are some useful tips you can implement to gradually enhance your authority over time:
- Create Original Content
Content is the currency of online authority. It’s impossible to build true authority without it. But not all content is created equal. To maximize your results, you need to create original content that adds tangible value and positions you as the subject matter authority in your niche. Here are a few suggestions:
- Publish your own research reports. People love data and statistics. And because numbers are objective, they usually do a better of building trust than subjective opinion-based content. Consider creating your own survey, reports, and studies – then publish the data in the form of a report or case study.
- Develop more how-to content. Many brands are scared to give away too many ideas for fear that prospective customers will take the information and run with it. But in reality, customers trust brands that give away information for free. It makes the paid products/services seem that much more valuable.
- Interview other experts. Sometimes you don’t have all the answers. But if you can connect with someone who does, it can make you appear in a more authoritative light. Interviewing an expert and then publishing the results of that interview is a good way to do this.
Not only does content position you as an authority, but it can also serve as an onramp to your products and services. Never stop creating.
- Contribute as a Guest Blogger
Guest blogging is one of the single best ways to build authority. When you publish a guest blog post on someone else’s website, it opens you up to an entirely new audience of people that you’d otherwise never have found. And if you develop quality content that provides real value, many readers will click over to your website or social media profiles to learn more.
The real power of guest blogging – other than the benefits of link building – is how it creates repeat visibility. The more you post on the same sites, the more people see your name and face over and over again. And after encountering you several times, they’re more likely to trust you.
- Collect and Share Social Proof
People trust their peers more than anyone else. So while they’ll believe a certain amount of what you say, they’re much more apt to trust you as an authoritative brand if their own peers validate you. You can tap into this desire for confirmation by collecting and sharing social proof.
Social proof includes things like testimonials, reviews, case studies, independent ratings, industry certifications, endorsements, etc. Once you have social proof, you can use it in your website design, marketing, social media, and content. This is a great way to toot your own horn without coming across as boastful.
- Make Appearances
Look for ways to align your brand with other authoritative brands and figures. And if you’re serious about doing this, you’ll be surprised by how many opportunities exist. Almost all podcasters, YouTubers, and bloggers are constantly on the lookout for new sources of content and would gladly interview you (as long as there’s some sort of tangible value you can add to their audience). Make appearances on as many platforms as possible and use a simple call-to-action to drive people back to a targeted landing page on your site.
Embrace the Process
There is no shortcut to authority. You can’t “hack” your way to the top. It takes time, effort, energy, and discipline. But if you embrace the process, you’ll eventually see the sort of results you’re looking for. Stay the course and let the marketplace respond appropriately.