Authority marketing and how it can help your brand
Authority marketing? Doesn’t that sound grand? Well yes, but also it’s a rather grand name for a pretty standard marketing strategy. In the service industry, it can be tricky to prove your mettle. You explain what you do, say that you’re good at it and, hopefully, get some excellent testimonials. However, for a new client, with no personal recommendations, to sign up for your services, they need a bit more than marketing spiel. This is where authority marketing comes into play. If your web and social content is rigorous, indisputable and highly respected within the industry, you are building valuable credibility. Establish your expert credentials through authority marketing.
Succeed in authority marketing by giving away amazing advice for free
Share what you know. So many people think they are divulging professional secrets but three years of law school, ten years of financial advising or your training in first aid is not going to be replaced by a blog post. Your potential customers won’t suddenly feel empowered to do the job themselves, but they will feel able to contact you with a little more understanding and increased trust in your services.
Customers are often hesitant about reaching out to professionals when they feel out of their depth. Informative and accessible content can bridge that gap and you will encourage that initial step to take place. Authority marketing can include providing useful tools for your visitors. Handy house-moving checklists available on an estate agent site, a basic budgeting template for startups on an accountant’s site or even recipes on your restaurant’s website will draw in credibility and eventually conversions.
For a great example check out business insurance providers, Simply Business who have built an extraordinary following through their small business knowledge-base which includes an impressive range of articles and tools carefully aimed at their target audience.
Provide expert commentary on current affairs
Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean ploughing into politics. It does mean following developments in legislation and guidelines within your sector and translating that to a lay audience.
Sometimes you may feel passionate enough to make a stand, and that’s absolutely fine as long as it’s a professional reaction rather than one that represents your personal politics. For example, there’s a difference between questioning the efficacy of IR35 employment legislation and complaining about the government penalising contract workers.
Presenting balanced discussion shows your knowledge, even if you do decide to come down on one side. Unfortunately, in recent times we’ve seen plenty of owners using their company as a soapbox for highly divisive politics. It might work out in the short-term but long term business is built on confidence and trust, not on reactionary statements.
Reach out to others in your sector
Essentially this is like joining the online trade association (and joining the offline trade associations certainly won’t do your authority marketing any harm!). Reach out to your ‘competitors’, join the conversations and establish yourself and your company as established players. Be confident in your status and demonstrate your expertise, to not only your potential customers, but also your competitors.
Authority marketing can really be where you set yourself apart. Be transparent, knowledgeable, factual and self-assured. It’s amazing what confident content can do for the standing of your business.
Authority marketing takes investment but it pays-off
Don’t skimp on authority marketing. If you think it’s the strategy your business should take, insist on quality, not quantity. A highly authoritative post will cost more than generic content marketing. You will need to find either an expert copywriter in the field, an experienced copywriter prepared to do considerable research and fact-checking or you will need to provide input yourself. If you have to halve the number of posts being published, so be it. Every aspect of your output must be spot on.
Authority marketing may not deliver instant results but you will slowly build an impressive reputation and establish the credibility of your company. For the service industry, credibility can make or break a company. Trust is vital for success and authority marketing can prove much more valuable than a few eye-catching ads.