In the digital age, an optimized online presence will most often hold the key to success. From lead generation to conversions and retention, an impeccable customer journey will visibly affect marketing performance and final revenue alike. However, brands have to compete in increasingly diverse arenas, from search engines to social media and beyond. In all cases, marketers share two distinct goals; raising brand awareness and building brand authority. The former typically entails fewer challenges, but the latter requires continuous effort and due diligence. So, let us explore it and how you may build brand authority with your content.
What is brand authority?
First and foremost, let us define the term. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) offers a similar term, so the two often see somewhat interchangeable use.
Brand authority refers to the trust a brand has accumulated with its audiences. Forbes defines it as “the degree to which your brand is seen as a leader or source of expert information within your niche or industry”. It thus goes a step further than positive brand recognition and expands to brand trust. It is the final step that your strategies and marketing will work towards, once you have solidified your branding efforts.
Text on branding steps on a white piece of paper
SEO offers a conceptually similar term in authoritativeness. In its context, authoritativeness carries a more technical meaning; the trust a website has built with search engines. This is part of SEO’s Expertise-Authoritativeness-Trustworthiness (E-A-T) guidelines and informs search result rankings.
Naturally, the two overlap somewhat. Both search engines and human visitors value authoritativeness, and both derive it from similar indicators of consistent quality. Both warrant marketers’ attention, by all means, but are not quite the same in effect or practice.
Building brand authority with your content
To explore this overlap but still maintain our focus on the former, let us explore 7 best practices toward building brand authority. In order, our picks are as follows. Here are some great branding agencies.
1) Conduct thorough keyword research
The very first step toward brand authority comes with keyword research. Identifying your ideal keywords and building your content around them offers the foundation of lead generation and acquisition.
To do so, you may use such keyword research tools as:
Google Keyword Planner
Thankfully, most such tools will provide metrics to help guide your choices.
Consider such qualities and factors as:
Difficulty; how competitive a keyword is, and how hard it is to rank for it
Volume; how much traffic a keyword gets
Relevance; how relevant a keyword is to your niche or industry
Specificity; how broad or specific a keyword is
Length; a keyword’s length, especially for long-tail keywords
With a curated list of keywords in hand, you may now begin to build brand authority with your content.
2) Craft valuable, linkable content
Crafting excellent content that attracts links and fosters trust may require an array of articles to cover thoroughly. Still, here we may go over the basics of linkable content and why this step warrants your attention.
“Content is king”, as Bill Gates famously asserted in 1996. Both visitor trust and search engine authoritativeness hinge on content quality. Moreover, content value eases the strain on your link-building strategies, allowing for organic, effortless link generation. Finally, these links help enhance your SEO score, letting your website generate even more leads through better search engine rankings.
A close-up of a traffic source pie chart on a tablet screen.
However, content value hinges on an array of factors, as we will cover next. As regards copy itself, you may consider the basics that SEO highlights:
● Content length; informative content requires length to shine, and the best-ranking content on Google is between 1,000 and 3,000 words.
● Content depth; analytical depth, informative visuals, and links to authoritative sources all
further imbue content with value.
● Keyword density; content must cater to its keywords to maintain relevance, but keyword stuffing will sabotage its trustworthiness. SEO typically suggests using keywords once every 200 to 250 words.
3) Engage in link-building
For that matter, link-building in itself offers an excellent way to build brand authority with your content. You may only inspire so many organic links through content quality alone, after all. The primary reason why link-building matters in this context does not lie in lead generation either. Referral traffic is typically more engaged, as they’re already interested in your niche or industry. Furthermore, they already trust you more, as backlinks serve as an effective endorsement. Thus, the more such endorsements you get from authoritative sources, the more your visitors and search engines will trust you.
Efficient ways to build links include:
● The skyscraper technique; you may identify well-performing content in your field, surpass it, and
submit it to authoritative websites.
● Resources; conversely, free resources such as tools and papers also get considerable traffic.
● Local engagement; finally, local businesses may opt for local engagement instead, boosting their
authoritativeness and local SEO in the process.
4) Contribute to other sites
Having addressed link-building, we must also stress site contributions. Contributing content to other authoritative websites within your field is among the best ways to build brand authority with your content, after all. Notably, doing so doesn’t explicitly aim to produce backlinks. It might, which is certainly beneficial, but your primary concern should be to offer value to engaged audiences.
Blog content aside, consider such contributions you may produce as:
● Infographics; infographics offer consolidated information every reader can appreciate.
Moreover, infographics may also appear in Google image searches, generating traffic.
● Guestographics; should you afford the extra mile, you may frame your infographic contribution with some contextually valuable content. Neil Patel offers an excellent guide to doing so effectively.
● Other media; if your content production can extend so far, you may also produce other media that builds trust, such as how-to videos.
5) Diversify and enrich your content
On the subject of other media, you may also use such media to enrich your own content. Doing so will both make your content more engaging and readable, as well as inspire confidence in your authority. Options in this regard will depend on your marketing budget, production capabilities, and overall content strategies. Moreover, different audience segments may react differently to different media additions. However, many among them may deserve your time and effort.
A person holding a paper with graphs and pie charts next to a smartphone on a desk.
Consider such media as:
Visual content; as highlighted above, images, infographics, and videos can considerably elevate your content. SEO also suggests using visual content, for that matter.
Podcasts; conversely, you may leverage the increasing popularity of podcasts to deliver content in a different way. This content form may resonate with some of your audience segments better as well.
Ebooks; finally, you may produce ebooks that better facilitate long-form analyses. As you do, you may repurpose your other content to enhance their quality.
6) Expand to social media
Such deep, valuable content will still fail to perform if it is inadequately promoted, however. SEO will only handle search engines, so you will need to expand from there. Thankfully, social media offer a very lucrative marketing front, as they’re demonstrably effective.
As you do, you may still keep in mind such factors as:
Pick your platforms carefully; a very common marketing mistake is stretching yourself too thin across various platforms. Instead of overextending, consider which platforms your audiences prefer and which ones can best frame your content.
Engage meaningfully; as you engage, remember that you’re trying to build brand authority with your content. Answer your audience’s concerns and pain points, and use your relevant content to do so.
Direct audiences to your website; finally, all social media activities can help fuel traffic to your website. Doing so helps fuel your marketing funnel further, and lets your great content enrich their customer journeys.
7) Leverage social proof
Finally, you may strongly consider leveraging social proof across your content. Social proof yields demonstrable benefits as regards trust and revenue alike, as OptinMonster’s statistics find. It is, for most intents and purposes, a very effective business card.
A man in a suit holding up a blank business card.
Social proof inspires trust better than most practices, as it offers visitors and prospects an overview of lived, honest experiences of their peers. Here, the above statistics illustrate this best, as they find that “88% of consumers trust user reviews as much as personal recommendations”. In brief, social proof is the ultimate testament to your proposition’s quality and to your brand’s trustworthiness and authority.
You may leverage social proof in such ways as:
● Product reviews; you may prominently feature product reviews in your product pages.
● Customer testimonials and endorsements; similarly, you may feature testimonials and
endorsements on your main or relevant pages. Using pictures where possible and appropriate typically works best.
● Case studies; finally, you may retrofit your most satisfied customers’ testimonials into case studies. As you do, you will also be producing more valuable, linkable content.
In summary, building brand authority with your content requires diligence and thorough research. It starts with keyword research that fuels great content and concludes with effective promotion and supporting social proof. Thankfully, it overlaps with SEO best practices enough to be a feasible option for most brands, regardless of size or industry.