Being an authority in a particular arena is a position of great advantage in a highly competitive marketplace. Essentially, this concept dictates that an authority leverages extensive expertise to provide a wealth of information to relevant audiences. In the modern marketing landscape, the information comes in the form of content that is created and distributed digitally. That being said, the information is useless if it’s not delivered to relevant audiences. If you’re looking to be an authority, you have to get your name out there, and below are some factors to keep in mind.
It should go without saying that whatever you’re communicating to your target audience(s) should be useful. Otherwise, you’re simultaneously wasting their time and your time. Your content should explore topics fully enough to display your expertise, but not so much as to give away the value your business provides to your customers. Timely and topical issues are great opportunities to display expertise by offering a professional opinion or interesting take on the matter. In today’s digital ecosystem, much of this conversation takes place on social media, but industry-specific forums are also effective targeted settings. Also, developing a new take on fundamental knowledge of a subject matter is an excellent way to connect with prospective customers. Comprehensive articles or white papers are great ways to generate audience engagement. Regardless of the strategy, the clarity and helpfulness of the content itself will go a long way to establishing trust between an authority and their audience.
More than anything else, being an authority is a commitment. It’s an investment in your connection with a particular subject matter, and you have to go all-in. The reasoning is twofold: quantity and reliability. Consistent creation is the only way to quickly build a thorough collection of content for your target audience, and it will go a long way to establish your reliability (much like the usefulness of the content itself establishes trust). Now, are there strict guidelines for how often you should be reaching your target audience? Of course not, and it varies by audience. Basically, you should engage your audience more often than the content becomes a forgotten memory, but not so often that the content is a nuisance to receive or keep up with.
Personality: it can be a double-edged sword. Injecting some of your personality into your content can be tempting, and even a natural thing to do. You may want to liven up dry subject matter, or simply allow the audience to get a better feel for who you are. These are honest aims, but it’s important to remember the focus of authority marketing is the quality of the information. Being an authority isn’t about creating a subject matter celebrity, but rather a subject matter wellspring. In other words, it’s not about who is presenting the information; it’s about how the information is being presented. In balancing voice and focus, you’ll need to take a case-by-case approach.
Your business dictates the audience(s) you need to reach, and there are numerous ways to reach them. Social media has become the dominant platform, but blogging, published content, and forums are all still in the mix–and can arguably be more effective for complex subject matter. Social may be the easiest way to build and reach a large audience, but the extent and thoroughness of communication is limited, which can be at odds with sufficiently demonstrating expertise with complex subject matter. It can be used effectively to connect audiences to more in-depth platforms like blogs, though the audience-building aspect can be a drain on resources. Getting involved in forums can be effective in building trust, but it can also be time-consuming. Published content is a way to reach an established target audience while providing a thorough demonstration of expertise via detailed content. Digital publishers are always looking to partner with subject matter experts in creating content, so it’s really a win-win relationship all around.