Publishing content is an excellent way of building authority, so long as it is done the right way. The goal is to build brand authority and this can be achieved by ensuring there is high quality, fully relevant content and that this is delivered at the right time, in the right place. Doing this, as a side bonus, helps to deliver insight. It does this through detailed data that demonstrates customer preference and behavior.
“In reality, there is too much content, but insufficient time,” says Steve Rubel, Global Strategy and Insights EVP. “More content will be created today than existed in entirety before 2003.”
Rubel explained that people do not have a lot of time, and their attention span is also becoming shorter. As a result, they are experiencing what he calls an “overload,” both in terms of information and in terms of people. He believes that the solution is to build authority, as we are currently in a period of “Validation,” which has come after the first period of “Commercialization” (between 1994 and 2002) and the second period of “Democratization” (between 2002 and 2010).
In essence, authority is a score that is assigned by the Google robots, it is also something intangible. It is the value that a reader assigns to a piece of content. The main reason behind this is that people now use social media for their main communication, and this has given them the opportunity to actually check that the content they read is correct and relevant. This effectively means that the same piece of information has to be seen in multiple places, as this tells an audience that the information must be correct, and hence of high authority.
There are five things that you can do in order to build authority by publishing content.
1. Process of Execution
Content is likely to be created by a number of different people in an organization. Some may respond to customer questions on social media, some may write marketing content, others still will document product specifications. Systems must be in place that make these individual pieces of content float up. In doing so, the same information can be used several times, thereby creating authority. Naturally, this means you must have a process in place.
2. Curate Your Content
Content curation is a great opportunity for brands to elevate existing content. It is a method of structuring content in such a way that customers read what they want to hear. This makes an organization look like a leader and expert in their field. Additionally, using external content within curation is very important. This demonstrates that a company has actually looked for information to validate their content and is unafraid to seek the advice of other experts on this, although the reality is that attention is given to the competition.
“A content curator continually seeks, makes sense of, and shares the best and most relevant content on a particular topic online,” says Rohit Bhargava from the Influential Marketing blog. “Content curators have integrated this skill into their daily routine.”
3. Underpin Information with Data
There is a real content overload at the moment, and it is known that people only spend very short periods of time on each page. This is why it is so important to have data visualization in place. This can be offered through infographics, for instance, which allow complex information to be communicated very rapidly. The downside is that infographics can take a relatively long time to create.
4. Use the Different Hubs
When readers identify the same information in a variety of different hubs, they will start to accept it something that is valid. This is why it should be shared across various self-publishing platforms, including USA Today, CNN iReport, Buzz Feed, LinkedIn, Scribd and, naturally, the various social media platforms. Although this is time consuming, it is also incredibly effective.
5. Questions and Answers
Once authority is being built, it is important to have another small shift. This one needs to be geared towards more direct contact with audiences. Social media is a vital tool for this, but it must be used properly. This is something many marketers still need to get to grips with.
“The biggest mistake people make on social media is that they let their posts live forever,” says Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks. “So you’d better start thinking about how to clean up your posts.”
Social media has to be used in order to converse with an audience. However, businesses then have to understand which of these conversations, or even elements of the conversation, need to remain visible and for how long. Interactions are a form of content that allow marketers to build authority for sure.