Social Media Examiner convenes its Content Success Summit today, stamping content marketing with its imprimatur.
What is Content Marketing?
To quote Michael Stelzner on the Summit’s website, “…content marketing involves creating content people love to share and using it to draw in your ideal customers, generate leads and build a platform. The result: you’ll increase your exposure, grow a loyal following and achieve sales growth.”
No less an authority than Brian Clark, founder and CEO of Copyblogger Media has joined the conversation with his usual excellent analysis in a brochure entitled A Content Strategy That Works.
He puts forward that it isn’t just enough to create excellent content. The route to getting your content shared is to establish your authority on a topic.
“When you’re looking to influence people and build a powerful business online, authority is the way to go. People respect other people who have authority, expertise, and impressive credentials just like they respect people in lab coats and police uniforms. And they respect authority even more when you demonstrate it rather than claim it,” he says.
How Do You Become An Authority?
Let’s face it: most of us aren’t stars in the mode of, say, a Seth Godin. We may excel in our business niche, whatever that is, but so do many others. To quote Brian Clark again, “What other people say about you is more important than what you say about yourself… The key to becoming an authority in any area is to learn all you can, and share all you can.”
The way people find you and perceive you as an authority is largely through Google, that 800-pound gorilla that tells people what they will see when they enter a search term.
Google, as most of us know by now, changed its search algorithm last year so that it can separate quality content from the trash. How do they know? By the number of links from other authorities to your site and by what people are writing about you.
You also need to establish a presence on Google+ because the search engine takes into account your activity on its social network along with your other content in ranking your authority.
Writing guest posts on authority sites is a proven technique to drive traffic to your site, more evidence that Google rewards what it perceives to be your authority.
Does it Matter?
Please excuse this convoluted post, but I’m trying to work this out myself. If you’re not perceived as an online authority does that mean you’re a failure? How about the old-fashioned notion of writing books and making speeches to influential audiences who are the exact target for your business?
My nephew is a highly successful management consultant who isn’t active at all on social media. He feels he doesn’t need it. He’s figured out the formula that works for him. Write best-selling books and speak at prestigious conferences. I think he may be an anomaly because more people than ever use the Internet as a source of information about people and companies.
I’m a blogger and I don’t consider myself in the same league as Brian Clark or Chris Brogan. But firms hire me because of the deep portfolio of blog posts I’ve written over the past four years. As Brian Clark says, I don’t claim to be authority, but people perceive that I understand how to write a quality post.
If you want more information about how to develop your own content marketing strategy, check out the Content Marketing Institute. I subscribe to their daily blog which is chock full of useful information about content marketing.
Do you have a strategy for content marketing? How have you established your authority? Please share your thoughts in the comment box.