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Technology & Internet12 Ways to Prove You are an Expert
Marketing has made a tremendous shift in recent years. We now recognize the importance in understanding the social psychology of web 2.0 - how people act and react within it. How does your brand prove its expertise within this social framework?
Social media users have begun to use online networks as a source to find precise and valued information. The news of today is not just reported by journalists, it is created and published by experts in every field.
Expertise has thus become an important factor in the way we do business. The content our companies provide (and the way we choose to represent our professional selves) has the ability to change the way we connect with our audience and consumer base.
Instead of pitching slogans, we tell stories. Rather than bombarding with advertisements, we share anecdotes and become a trusted source for ways to make things easier, more efficient, and enhance quality of life.
Though as more people contribute content, the more important (and challenging) it becomes to establish oneself as an ‘expert.’ Here are twelve ways to take a content marketing approach to establishing your thought leadership. Hop back on that expert horse by honing your content management skills.
1. Publish regularly. Regularity will not only increase name recognition, it will inspire trust amongst your readership that you are a leader. Post as much (or little) text as necessary, but post often. This is your opportunity to produce a variety of high-quality content, regularly, and with no restrictions.
2. Join a community of publishers. This is different than hosting a blog, because you instantly join a network of users who are invested in spreading professional content. Without undermining the importance of maintaining a blog, publishing articles on a professional site leverages your content in a different way. (Articles are deemed as ‘professional’ without having to state so in the content itself.) Other platform users are automatically exposed to your content. Insightful, professional articles are especially crucial for those in B2B.
3. Guest post. Contribute to sites and blogs that have a large community, relevant to your brand. Not only will you reach your target audience, guest posting allows you the opportunity to formulate connections to leaders in your industry who can help promote your business authority.
4. Participate in interviews. Engage with those wishing to feature your expertise in newspaper/online print, magazine, radio, and local television. Not only will you be featured on their social media channels, this is an opportunity to have someone else announced that you are, in fact, an expert.
5. Turn one piece of content into many. The key is to maximize your exposure with every event. One of the advantages self-publishing is that you get to create multiple pieces of content from a single event - your social media communities then keep this even content alive in multiple channels. It is no longer just a radio interview: it is write-up about your experience at a station, a tweet thanking your interviewer, a Google+ and Facebook post of quotes from your article and/or interview with a link to the "behind the scenes" footage on YouTube.
6. Be a guest speaker at an industry conference. This follows the same principle as an interview. Use your talk at a conference to create various types of content that can be amplified throughout your social media channels. This means article posts, infographics, YouTube videos and SlideShares.
7. Distribute your content. This point cannot be emphasized enough. Without consistent distribution of content, you will fail to effectively brand your business and demonstrate your expertise. Online leadership depends of frequency and regularity. This means sharing your visual and written content in every social media channel where your target group is active - at a rate at which your audience is looking to consume. At a minimum, push links of your published posts through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Quora, Pinterest, and StumbleUpon. Then test to see how often your audience appreciates your posts.
8. Publish old work. This can come in the form of seminars, lectures, guest talks, interviews, etc. Content does not necessarily have to be new if it is still relevant and valid. Your expertise will mean something to your target audience if it is plausible and can still be utilized.
9. Tell stories that apply to the needs of your audience. Put yourself in the shoes of your audience and share stories of how your business has helped people like them overcome a shared challenge. Explain how your brand relates to (and can solve) the problem areas in these narratives.
10. Have others recommend you as an expert. This can come in the form of a recommendation on a professional site or a promotional ‘shout-out’ from someone in your industry on their blog or website. Accredidation from a respected industry leader speaks volumes within the overpopulated online world.
11. Answer questions in your field. This requires you to make yourself available and present sites that provide solutions (Quora, exploreB2B). Especially in B2B, knowledge determines your business authority.
12. Join social discussions. Social discussion exist in any place where you can comment and interact with others who have an opinion on a particular issue. Joining social discussions that are relevant to your industry gives you the opportunity to position yourself as an expert. Be open to other ideas, while clearly stating your prior knowledge in the subject through the use of facts and precise examples. Here, you are connecting to both industry leaders and your potential buying audience.
For more info on content marketing and how to become an expert, visit The Social Media Way of Life for B2B Experts and Content Marketers.