Today, just having a bleeding edge website doesn't quite cut it when it comes to building your brand. Brands need to go beyond, by establishing themselves as an authority. It it this authority that consumers will gravitate to when making a decision to purchase your products/services.
Building your authority online has another goal which is more subtle. By building your authority you are proactively protecting yourself against attacks and managing your online reputation. This can protect you when your brand faces malicious online attempts to discredit you. By having your authority and its respected digital assets such as blogs and guest posts rise to the top, it will likely bury anything negative written about you to the second page of Google and beyond.
Following are some ways you can build your authority online:
Create a Blog with Amazing Content
Blogging for brands are great for 3 reasons.
1. The content within your blogs will help you rank well when those looking for you use search engines. Search engines, especially Google are always out there crawling the web for fresh content that is always being updated. Wordpress is highly recommended. Matt Cutts of Google says that “WordPress takes care of 80-90% of SEO”. This also empowers you without needing to be an SEO expert.
2. Blogs are prime digital content that can be shared widely on Social Networks. Posting pages of your brand's products with glossy photos will get you only so much attention. Sharing insights in your industry will most likely get your content lots of shares and will get you a lot of referral traffic.
3. Thirdly, but definitely not last is that blogs are perfect opportunities to provide industry insight instead of just touting your product. This can be done in quite a few forms:
- Infographics - Presentations - White Papers - Case Studies - Ebooks - Videos
Your amazing content will show the followers of your industry that you are a master of your domain and are therefore more likely to go to you for their needs.
Most brands fear blogging for two primary reasons:
- They feel they have nothing to blog about - They fear they'll be giving away their secrets
I will shoot down the above fears in the following paragraphs.
EVERYONE has something to blog about. It doesn't need to revolve around exactly what you do. You need to expand outside your tightly defined area. If you sell a product for single dads, then perhaps go outside a bit and write about spectator sports. Every single dad wants to enjoy a baseball game with their children from time to time. Or you can write about the best sporting goods makers or make a list of the best amusement parks. Widen your net and you'll be sure to grab a cross section of that defined audience. You want to be seen as an authority. Think BIG!
The second fear is more common among companies that do something technical like Search Engine Optimization. If they gave away their top SEO tips, they fear they'd be giving it all away. Nothing can be further from the truth. Companies I have seen that provide in depth technical knowledge might be helping themselves, as much of that stuff is not something a novice might be able to steal and apply themselves. Most of the readers do no have the time to even attempt starting implementing the knowledge you have just provided them. To do it right they will come to the conclusion that you are so authoritative on the field, that your company is the best to do it for them. Give as much valuable information as you can, and you'll see that readers start asking questions, commenting on your blog and sharing it.
Let people know the name of the person behind the content. You want to establish this person as an authority on the field.
A phenomenal way to extend your blog reach is by guest blogging. Contact some small blogs in your space to start to get a feel for it, and pass along some ideas for posts. The heart of the matter here is to find a blog you feel would interest your target audience, or a subset of.
The content you write for other blogs should be better than it is for your own. Use your successful guest posts as case studies as you pitch other blogs to write for. You want this content to be so awesome and you want it to generate traffic, interest and shares for the blog owner. Create an editorial calendar and write for these blogs often, and watch your authority rise and your online branding grow strong.