But you can’t expect to just write up a blog post or two and suddenly become a trusted influencer. It takes time and a carefully planned strategy in order to really build up authority.
Zac Johnson, CEO of MoneyReign, Inc. and blogger behind ZacJohnson.com has more than 10 years of experience using content marketing to become an authority. In fact, he’ll be speaking on the subject at the upcoming Influencer Marketing Days event in New York City on September 25.
Using Content Marketing to Become an Authority
Johnson recently shared some insights on building authority with content marketing in an interview with Small Business Trends. Here are some top tips on using content marketing to become an authority.
Be Specific with Your Niche
If you want to be an authority in your industry, you need to first determine a specific area where you want to have influence. Building authority across an entire industry can be a much more complicated and lengthy process. But if you start small, you can increase your chances of making a real impact in one specific area.
Johnson says, “Having gone through the process myself and helping many others along the way, I would say the most important thing when trying to become an authority online is to focus on a very tight niche audience or topic.”
So for example, if you’re in the digital marketing space, you could increase your chances of making an impact by focusing just on social media, or even on a particular platform like Instagram marketing.
Differentiate Your Content from the Competition
Once you’ve chosen a niche, you have to actually create some content. But creating generic content isn’t enough. There’s so much content out there already. So you have to make something that’s going to really stand out.
Johnson explains, “When it comes to creating content, everything has already been written about a thousand times over. If you want to win the content marketing and search engine game, you simply need to create better content than your competition.”
Research with Search Engines
To accomplish that lofty goal, one of the best things you can do, according to Johnson, is to research what your competition is doing beforehand. Google and other search engines offer you a really easy method for doing so. Then when you see what others are doing, you can know exactly what you need to do to make your content better.
Johnson says, “One of the best ways to do this is to simply look at what’s already ranking in Google for what you would also like to rank for. If the top sites have text content, then you need to create text with visual content as well. Go a level even deeper and include a custom video or infographic to bring your content to life.”
Promote Your Content
So you’ve created an awesome piece of content — congratulations! But simply putting that content out into the world isn’t going to help you accomplish your goal if no one actually sees it. For that reason, finding ways to promote your content is nearly as important as the content creation itself.
Johnson explains, “It’s not just about putting content out there, it’s also about promoting it effectively. There are currently more than a billion active blogs on the internet today — all of which are creating content that you need to compete against. With this in mind, use your blog as a platform for your personal brand, but also focus on content promotion methods like social media, guest blogging, creating infographics and participating in expert roundups to gain even more exposure and reach.”
Put Time into Your Craft
Creating a content marketing strategy that’s going to make you an authority in your industry isn’t something that happens overnight. No matter how great your content is or how many resources you can dedicate to promoting it, the effects are going to take time. So you have to create a plan early on and stick to it even if the results don’t meet your expectations right away.
Johnson adds, “The days of ‘if you build it, they will come’ are over. Now it’s all about putting a lot of time and focus into the creation of really great content, then spending even more time and effort promoting it. This is also where opportunities lie for smaller players or individuals to beat out the competition. It’s no longer about the money or ad spending, but the manual effort to reach out and make new partnerships.”
Diversify Your Offerings
Your content marketing strategy is ultimately a way for you to build authority so your products or services become more attractive to potential customers or clients. But thanks to constantly evolving online marketing trends, your income streams and marketing efforts are going to need to change and vary over time.
Johnson says, “With so many changes taking place in the world of online marketing and business, it’s important to not always rely on just one source of income or base your entire revenue source off one provider or niche market.”
For your content marketing, this could mean not only relying on a blog, but also adding in some other methods for sharing your expertise like a podcast, YouTube channel or even some ebooks. This is especially important if your income relies on content sharing. But even if you’re just working to build up your authority, varying the methods you use to deliver content can help you reach more potential customers and clients who have different preferences for taking in content.