“Authority” is a buzzword in SEO and content marketing. Everybody wants it, but not everyone knows how to get it and keep it.
Brand authority is that holy grail you achieve after months of hard work and consistency in building your online reputation.
There is no overnight “nobody to authority” story.
Instead, you need to have patience and keep up a well-formed strategy to earn your title as a cemented expert in your industry.
Ready to learn how?
1. Create a Content Strategy
Content marketing is a solid way to build your online authority, but only if you have a plan under your belt at the outset.
If you go about content willy-nilly, expect willy-nilly, inconsistent results.
Meanwhile, a strategy does a few things to keep that from happening:
- It keeps you accountable and consistent.
- It lays out what you need to create the best, most authority-building content possible (including helping hands, tools, keywords, topics, and budget).
- It looks ahead to your content future, helping you schedule posts and promote content around strategic dates, seasons, and events.
- It helps you create the kind of content that will appeal most to your audience, and ensures you promote it where that audience will see it.
See how much a strategy matters?
Without a plan to build your authority, you’ll be lost.
Before you decide to lean on content marketing to make a name for yourself, spend the time and effort on strategizing, first.
Map out your road to authority, and follow it intently.
2. Share What You Know (Help Others with No Hidden Agenda)
Sharing your expert knowledge is essential to building an authoritative reputation.
However, the way you share your expertise makes all the difference.
Specifically, aim to share what you know without an agenda or ulterior motive. (Yes, the overarching goal is to build brand authority, but your immediate intent should be to help people!)
How do you do that?
Give your readers value.
Offer information that will improve their lives in some fashion.
Help them solve problems they actually deal with.
For example, Brightly is a division of Penguin Random House whose mission is “helping parents grow lifelong readers.” One of their blogs details useful, practical tips to help kids stay interested in reading, like listening to storytelling podcasts in the car, creating a reading ritual, and letting them choose their own books.
There is no ploy to sell anything in this blog, no CTAs, no nothing. It’s purely informational with an aim to help parents with kids who struggle to stay interested in reading.
As a result, it’s a trust-builder.
3. Participate in Your Industry Community
This tip is straightforward: Find and follow your industry peers.
Post regularly on social networks where your audience lives, and make a point to interact and connect with others.
When you participate in the community surrounding your industry, you not only get your name associated with a friendly presence – but also help others stay abreast of your latest content pieces overflowing with helpful (read: authority-building) advice and knowledge.
Sharing your content, engaging in discussions, and actively participating in your online community are key parts of your overall content strategy. You can’t build online authority without them.
Example: On Twitter, Ann Handley regularly posts relevant updates in the industry along with content, personal opinions, and funny links. Her tweets tend to spark comments and discussions aplenty.
LinkedIn introduces a new feature for small biz: The ability to share what services you provide right on your profile, as a way to quickly indicate to others that you are “open for business.” https://t.co/E5Vb1V3bqu
— Ann Handley (@MarketingProfs) July 23, 2019
4. Target Informational Keywords in Long-Form Content
Long-form, in-depth content gives you a greater opportunity to display your expertise than a short, pithy blog post or a Twitter update.
Long-form content is where your authority can spread its wings and show the world what it can do.
While you’re at it, target informational, long-tail keywords in your longer content pieces.
Take care to make that content as great as humanly possible.
Your knowledge and hard work will more than likely earn a top spot in Google rankings, which is an immediate signifier of authority to searchers.
For example, this blog post from Cookie + Kate on how to make cold brew coffee is nearly 1,500 words, chock-full of useful information, and ranks #1 organically for that “how-to” keyword.
5. Deeply Focus on a Few Specific Topics
You may think you need to showcase a wide range of knowledge on multiple topics for your authority-building strategy, but, in fact, that’s not the case.
Instead, it’s easier to narrowly and deeply focus on one or two main topic areas.
Publish content within this scope to build “pillar pages,” or a type of blog archive covering all aspects of one single topic through multiple blog posts on topic facets – all of which link to each other and to the pillar page. (Elise Dopson via Content Marketing Institute calls this the topic cluster model, a term which originated from HubSpot.)
This technique is great for building authority in a specific niche as well as improving your Google ranking potential.
According to HubSpot’s guide on the topic by Mimi An:
“This linking action signals to search engines that the pillar page is an authority on the topic, and over time, the page may rank higher and higher for the topic it covers.”
And when your pillar content ranks under your brand name, your authority grows, too.
Remember: Authority-Building is a Long-Term Game
Nobody builds a great reputation overnight.
Instead, your consistent actions – what you do and say – proves to people you’re an authority over time.
Online, that means:
- Building your brand through consistent, strategic content and SEO.
- Maintaining a social presence.
- Being friendly and open, and making genuine connections with your peers and audience.
- Working hard to prove your knowledge and provide value to your audience everywhere.
When you’re ready to show up consistently, you’re ready to start building authority.
All screenshots taken by author, August 2019
How to Manage Your Online Brand?
You might be asking yourself, “Why do I need to manage my online brand?” It’s a valid question, especially if you’re not sure what managing your online brand means precisely.
In short, managing your online brand is the process of taking control of how others see you and your business online. This can involve creating and maintaining a strong presence on social media, developing positive reviews and testimonials, and monitoring your web analytics to track progress.
By taking the time to manage your online brand, you can improve your chances of success in today’s digital age.
In this article, we’ll explore some key reasons why managing your online brand is essential.
What is an online brand, and why do you need one?
Your online brand is the way you are perceived by others online. This includes your website, social media profiles, online reviews, and all other digital real estate that represents you when someone searches for you or your business.
It’s important to have one because it helps your potential customers get to know, trust, and like you before they buy anything from you. A strong online brand can also help you attract new customers and grow your business.
It’s good to remember that your online brand is the first thing people will see when they search for you, so it’s important to make sure it represents you and your business well.
How to manage your online brand for success?
Your online brand is your reputation. It’s how people perceive you when they see your name, read your work, or interact with you online.
A strong online brand can help you attract new clients, collaborators, and opportunities. But how do you create and manage your brand for success?
1) Consider what you want your online brand to convey.
Are you an expert in a certain field? A thought leader? A creative visionary?
Once you know what you want your brand to communicate, be consistent in everything you do online.
Use the same name, photo, and bio across all of your social media platforms. Post regularly about topics related to your brand, and make sure the tone of your posts is consistent with the image you’re trying to convey.
2) Interact with other people online in a way that reinforces your brand.
When someone mentions you in a post, thank them publicly. If someone leaves a negative comment on one of your posts, don’t delete it – instead, respond politely and professionally.
By managing your online brand thoughtfully and proactively, you can set yourself up for success both online and offline.
3) Monitor your web analytics to track your progress.
Use Google Analytics or another web analytics tool to track how people are finding you online and what they’re doing on your website. This data can give you insights into what’s working well and what needs improvement.
For example, if you see that most of your website visitors are coming from Facebook, you might want to focus on creating more engaging content for that platform.
Or, if you notice that people are spending a lot of time on your blog but not your sales page, you might need to work on driving traffic to your products or services.
4) Make sure your website represents your brand well.
Your website is often the first thing people will see when they search for you online, so it’s important to make sure it’s up-to-date and represents your brand well.
Update your website regularly with new blog posts, photos, and products. Use attractive visuals, easy-to-navigate menus, and clear calls to action.
If you’re not sure how to create a website that represents your brand well, consider working with a web designer or developer.
5) Pay attention to your social media presence.
Social media is a powerful tool for managing your online brand. Use it to connect with your audience, share your work, and promote your products or services.
Be sure to post regularly, interact with others, and use hashtags and keywords that will help people find you. You can also use social media ads to reach a wider audience or promote specific products or services.
6) Monitor your online reputation.
Use Google Alerts or another tool to monitor your online reputation. This will help you stay on top of what people are saying about you online and take action if necessary.
For example, if you see a negative review of your business, you can reach out to the customer directly to try to resolve the issue. Or, if you see someone spreading misinformation about your work, you can correct it.
7) Manage your online brand proactively.
The best way to manage your online brand is to be proactive. Be thoughtful about everything you do online, from the content you post to the way you interact with others. By taking control of your online presence, you can set yourself up for success both professionally and personally.
By following these tips, you can create and manage an online brand that will help you achieve your goals.
The benefits of having a strong online brand
Let’s look at a few benefits of having a strong online brand:
1) Stand out from the competition.
With so much noise online, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. But if you create a well-defined brand, you’ll be better able to cut through the clutter and attract attention.
2) Build trust and credibility.
A strong online brand can help you build trust and credibility with your audience. If people know what to expect from you, they’re more likely to trust and respect you.
3) Connect with your audience.
By definition, a brand is a way of differentiating yourself from others. But it’s also a way of connecting with your audience on a deeper level. When done well, branding can create an emotional connection between you and your audience.
4) Drive traffic and sales.
A strong online brand can help you drive traffic and sales. If people are familiar with your brand, they’re more likely to buy from you. And if they trust and respect you, they’re more likely to tell others about you.
5) Increase your visibility.
A well-managed online brand will increase your visibility online. When people search for you or your business, you’ll be more likely to show up in the search results. And when people see you frequently in their feeds, you’ll be more likely to stay top of mind.
6) Attract media attention.
A strong online brand can help you attract media attention. If you’re known for something specific, journalists and bloggers will be more likely to write about you. This can help increase your visibility and reach even further.
7) Enhance your career prospects.
Your online brand can have a big impact on your career prospects. If you’re looking for a new job, employers will likely research you online. And if you’re an entrepreneur, investors will want to know more about your brand before they invest in your business.
8) Make a positive impact.
Finally, a strong online brand can help you make a positive impact in the world. If you’re passionate about something, you can use your platform to raise awareness and advocate for change.
The importance of staying consistent with your branding strategy
As you can see, there are many benefits to having a strong online brand. But it’s not enough to just create a brand—you also need to be consistent with your branding strategy.
When it comes to branding, consistency is essential. Your audience needs to know what to expect from you, and they need to see that you’re consistent in your messaging and your visuals.
Here are a few pointers if you’re not sure how to stay consistent with your branding:
1) Define your brand.
The first step to being consistent with your branding is to define your brand. What do you want people to think of when they see your name or your logo? What do you want your brand to represent?
2) Create guidelines.
Once you’ve defined your brand, it’s time to create guidelines. These guidelines should include everything from your mission statement to the colors and fonts you use in your branding. By having a set of guidelines, you’ll be able to ensure that all of your marketing materials are on-brand.
3) Train your team.
If you have a virtual assistant or team, it’s important to train them on your branding guidelines. Make sure everyone knows what your brand represents and how they can help you maintain a consistent brand identity.
4) Monitor your brand.
Once you’ve launched your brand, it’s important to monitor it. This means paying attention to how people are reacting to your brand and making sure that you’re still presenting yourself in the way you want to be seen.
5) Be prepared to adjust.
Finally, be prepared to adjust your branding strategy as needed. As your business grows and changes, your branding will need to change with it. By being flexible and willing to adjust, you’ll be able to ensure that your brand is always relevant.
A strong online brand is essential for any business or individual. By definition, your online brand is the way you’re perceived by others online. And while that may seem like a superficial thing, the reality is that your online brand can have a big impact on your business or career.
If you’re not sure how to create a strong online brand, start by defining your brand and creating guidelines. Then, train your team on your branding strategy and monitor your brand over time. And finally, be prepared to adjust as needed.
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