How to Use Content Marketing to Become an Authority in Your Niche
While you’re working on your logo, it is very important to know that your logo is not your brand. It is part of your brand, but it is not even the central focus of your brand. And, a logo is easily changed — especially in the early days of your business.
When you create a brand, you’re thinking colors and logos, but, you’re also thinking of a company name, a tagline, and the personality of your business. How will people think about you when they hear your company name?
Back when I ran the Show Notes Guy business, I created a fun-to-be-around personality with lots of energy on a mic. I based this character more on my old radio disk jockey persona than on my more serious-sided pastoral persona. I’m actually a combination of these two in real life.
Your brand is what you use to create a reputation for your business that will encourage others to look you up online and order your products and services. You’ll want to build your brand to the point that people consider your company name and your logo as a type of “stamp of quality” that they can trust.
Podcasters use their Cover Art, YouTubers use their Thumbnails, Facebook marketers used their profile and cover photos. All of these things are designed to communicate – visually – what the visitor will get from your outreach. A visually dull and boring cover communicates to the visitor that your content is boring (whether it is or not). So, make sure you’ve created visual communication that says what you want said.
THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE
A famous media theoretician, Marshal McLuhan says it this way:
“The Medium is the Message”
In other words, how you say things connotes an understanding of what you are saying, and sometimes, will even overshadow what you’re saying.
How you say the things you say, combined with what you’re saying, will work together to build a reputation as a thought leader and authority in your business circles.
Be knowledgable, yes, but, also be consistent in your presentation. This is the secret to building a reputation and authority among your potential customers online: knowledge and consistency.
Once you’ve laid the groundwork, and kept it up for a period of time, your opinion will be sought out by your potential customers. Once your opinion in your field of business is considered valuable enough, selling products or services becomes considerably easier.
Most business consultants will use the old “fake it ’til you make it” phrase here.
But, it is important to note that you’re not “faking it” when you communicate your knowledge to an audience that is not yet “in the audience” digitally. You’re still knowledgeable, you’re just building your audience. That’s the beauty of online content — it lasts forever — which is a long enough period of time to build a new audience for your expertise.
BE EVERYWHERE TO BUILD YOUR BRAND
Facebook. YouTube. Instagram. TikTok, Periscope (Twitter). These are all places where your potential audience can be found searching for solutions to their problems.
That’s why, especially at first, it’s important to “be everywhere.”
Unless you know that the majority of your customers are exclusively, say, Twitter users, you willl want to get your story out there for everyone.
Eventually, you’ll find that your followers are largely finding you on one platform. If that’s true, then, migrate your audience to that one platform. If not, then stay where you are — everywhere. It’s worth the investment to be everywhere until you know that one (or two) place you should be.
USING TECHNOLOGY TO BE EVERYWHERE
StreamYard is an awesome LiveStreaming Tool for your Business
Earlier, I mentioned five social media platforms that give you the capability of “going live” with your video content.
There are even online SAAS (software as a service) technologies that allow you to go live on multiple platforms at once. I use one of these, called StreamYard.
StreamYard gives you the ability to share your screen, invite other video guests (up to 6) into your broadcast, and includes graphic overlays, such as a logo in the top right corner of the screen, lower thirds in the bottom of the screen, and even nameplates and “crawls” on the bottom, as well.
In addition, you can select the colors for all of the elements so that your company’s brand colors are consistent, even in your live broadcasts.
And, the thing I love about StreamYard is that I can broadcast on my Facebook profile, pages and groups, on YouTube and LinkedIn. And, while the software doesn’t connect with instagram, when Instagram policy changes, allowing it’s integration, YardStream will allow streaming to that platform, as well.
Another cool feature of StreamYard is its ability to combine all of the chat comments from all of the platforms you’re streaming to. So, if Johnny on Facebook posts a comment and Fred on YouTube does, too, you’ll see both fo the comments inside your chat room on StreamYard. And, you’ll know which channel they’re watching (and commenting) on.
Buffer is the Tool for Social Media Posts for your Business
I also recommend the use of Buffer. Buffer allows you to share social media posts on most of the same platforms I mentioned above, including Instagram.
You can post images, video links, content posts, just about anything.
And, you can schedule your posts in advance.
One of the nice features of Buffer is the ability of the software to learn the best times of the day to post your content and allow their system to post your content on each platform at the busiest times of day for your profile.
Their app works well in your Chrome browser and on your smart phone or tablet. You can download the app on both the Apple Store and Google Play for free.
I especially love the Chrome browser extension. This plugin lets you “buffer” posts from any website.
So, as you’re checking out information on the internet, you can schedule (in advance) posts from different websites, contributing to your reputation as a learned authority on the subject and industry you’re in.
Your ability to “curate” content from different sources tells your followers that you’re looking at other authorities to learn more about your audience’s needs. And, it communicates to your audience that you care more about them than to worry about other’s “authority” over yours.
Here’s another little trick you can use in this curation process.
- Set up a Google Gmail account just for this project.
- Create certain Google Alerts using keywords your audience might be looking for in real life
- Go to the links provided in your daily Google Alerts, then, add those links to Buffer.
You can either schedule these posts (and add a description) or your can add them to the que, and let Buffer schedule them, based on the scheduling criteria you set up in the Buffer preferences.
You can also share the links to any live streams you’ve scheduled on other platforms and share them on all of your social media platforms, to direct your followers to your broadcasts in advance.
Those are just two ways you can expand your presence into many different social media platforms.
The cool thing is, you can do these things, in a prescheduled fashion, and in about and hour a day, you could produce a 5-10 minute video offering value to your audience, and then share it, and other valuable pieces of information — from your website or those of others — to lend themselves to your reputation as a knowledgeable authority in your subject matter.
This process is just one type of what is called “content marketing.”
USING CONTENT MARKETING TO BUILD YOUR AUTHORITY AND TRUST
In the two sections above – one on StreamYard and one on Buffer – are just two ways you can use content online to grow your business using what is called “content marketing.”
Content Marketing is simply using things like blog posts, videos, links to other authorities, memes, infographics, and more online “content” to attract an interested person into becoming part of your audience.
Once people see that they can trust your ability to “curate” content from other people’s wisdom that will help them improve their stations in life, they will trust you, almost completely, to provide for them great wisdom in those areas. And, eventually, they’ll even respect your recommendations to buy things that will benefit them.
It is smart to publish content on your blog or website that is your own to build this reputation. But, you can do the same with other posts from blogs on the subject. I recommend a combination of the two.
It’s crucially important to remember that this process takes time. You can not build a trusting audience with just one or two posts. You need a system — a process to follow — that helps you get this done as quickly as possible, yes. But, remember, this will take time.
And, if you’re just getting started in your online business, you’ll have a lot more time in the beginning than you will later on once your business is growing.
And, since you’re getting started with content marketing for your business, here’s a description of the five-step process of content marketing.
A visitor finds your content online, reads it, and (hopefully) finds it valuable and entertaining.
A visitor finds more of your content, finds it entertaining and valuable again.
The visitor then runs across your blog, or your social media content, and discovered your content to be consistently entertaining and valuable. They may actively scan through your content, and eventually, thinking you are someone they can trust, might even subscribe to your mailing list.
Eventually, when they start looking for more information on your subject of expertise, they start
.4.In future, when trying to find out about a given topic, they will specifically search for your website or business name along with their question because they know they can trust your answer.5.They now are at a point where they consider you an industry leader and if you suggest something for them to buy they will be more likely to make a purchase.
As you can see then this is a long process and is predicated on you delivering consistently high quality content for a long time!