June 07, 2016
No one likes to be told what to do. Successful B2B marketing, too, is driven by the knowledge that audiences don’t want to be dictated to and interrupted but rather informed, educated and delighted.
While quality content is central to this audience engagement, too many businesses generate blogs, landing pages, or newsletters simply to sell. Or as a way to just get their company’s name out there. Yet, this narrow perspective does not help these businesses successfully leverage content to develop brand authority.
Marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI. (HubSpot State of Inbound, 2014)
What is Brand Authority?
Two main reasons purchasers buy the products or services of one business rather than another are a pre-existing brand relationship or having received referrals from trusted advisors. Humans buy what they know they can trust. Brand authority, then, is the business’s way of becoming an entity the human purchasers know and trust.
Content is the engine that drives that brand authority. After all, you can’t gain brand recognition without search engines ferreting out your site. And what drives SEO? Carefully targeted content that relates to search engine queries.
There again, though, the business needs to recognize that simply throwing a lot of content up online is not the way to establish brand authority. Yes, quantity of content can help with SEO rankings, but quality of content has greater impact. Google does care if your content is expert, trustworthy and readable. Also, what good is driving traffic if the traffic is not relevant and no one is converting or actually interested.
Consider also the power of a client linking to or sharing a blog post from the business’s site. Not only is your SEO enhanced, but you are now seeing additional traction, and your content has become more credible in the eyes of all the people who see that shared content from someone they have endowed with authority by electing to follow them.
Let Brand Authority Drive Decisions
In a typical firm with 100-500 employees, an average of 7 people are involved in most buying decision, according to Gartner research cited in a Hubspot blog. This knowledge reminds B2B marketers to develop content that addresses customer needs and desires, rather than simply trying to sell them a product.
Two thirds of B2B marketers say content is fuel across all channels, including events, social, demand generation, etc. (Kapost)
For those average 7 people to see your brand as an informative, authoritative source, you need to make driving brand authority a content marketing goal. Strategies include:
Of course, successful B2B marketers know already it’s critical to develop a measurement plan in advance to gauge content strategy success.
78% of CMOs think custom content is the future of marketing. (DemandMetric)
You needn’t track every imaginable metric in thinking about brand authority. However, social shares, comments, time on site, visitors and page views might make a good starting point.
Brenner, M. (2016, April 17). What is the Difference Between Content and Content Marketing? https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2016/04/difference-content-marketing/
Harris, J. (2016, May 27). Excel at SEO with this 15-point plan. https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2016/05/excel-seo-plan
Patel, S. (2013, July 29). 15 Ways to Build Your Brand’s Authority. https://www.searchenginejournal.com/15-ways-to-build-your-brands-authority/66353/
Tousley, S. (2015, September 14). 107 Mind-Blowing Sales Statistics That Will Help You Sell Smarter. https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/sales-statistics
Kapost, The First (Ever) Research to Look at B2B Marketers' Opinions on Ideas and Ideation, https://resources.kapost.com/marketing-content-idea-guide.html?id=Resource%20Download?rs=Resources
DemandMetric, quote and image stat above, https://www.demandmetric.com/content/content-marketing-infographic
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