Content creation: Use authority to boost content

By Anders Björklund

Content creation: Use authority to boost content

Using authority is one of the most ways to rise above the fold and get more eyes on your content. But what is the best approach?

Most decision-makers and companies investing in content know that you have to distinguish yourself if you aim to become successful. Millions of people compete for visibility, and although online is a prominent place with billions of potential content consumers, you'll still have your work cut out for you if you want to stand out.

Using the power of authority is one of the best ways to rise above the fold and get more eyes on your content. But what is the best approach for rising above the fold?

Why content authority matters

In content marketing, authority refers to a person's perceived level of expertise and credibility on a subject. The word "perceived" here is essential because there are ways to make yourself seem more authoritative on a subject than you are an expert; the authority will make people behave in ways that favour your content approach:

Fewer bounces and more time spent on the page

If a person feels that the content creator is not relevant, credible or authoritative, they will stop consuming your content.

Edge over the competition

Why would someone choose your content over someone else's? If you're more authoritative or credible on the subject.

More links, eventually more traffic

If you're seen as an authority on a subject, you'll earn more links, which have the power to increase referral traffic your way, and boost your position in, e.g., search engine results pages, and SERPs.

Increased audience loyalty

Once your readers understand how authoritative you are, they'll be more likely to keep reading your work.

Your content will become more powerful. 

Due to authority bias, people will eventually treat your words as disproportionately accurate and credible.

What is content authority?

Content authority is an established methodology where research doesn't simply provide what to write to fulfil the demand for content about your products and services online; it's the methodology to increase the effectiveness of that content over time. With an effective content authority process in place, your content will increase visibility in search engines, social media, relevant sites, and your company's online presence.

How is content created to develop authority?

So, how can you use authority to increase the impact of your content?

Content authority brings an agile marketing approach to your content production and implementation.  Content is purposeful and measured to continue to build authority.

Improving your authority

There are ways to make yourself a more perceived authority in several ways, including:

Get more experience

Most people associate having vast experience with having authority. If you have, e.g. 20 years of experience in digital transformation, you'll be taken more seriously than a 20-year-old who's just getting started. When you have this experience, make sure you describe it — it won't always be immediately apparent.

Write articulately and precisely.

Some of your perceived authority is dependable on your ability to articulate your thoughts precisely and concisely. So don't ever overstate the value of eloquence.

Cite your work

When relevant, cite your work — link to other authoritative sources that back up what you're saying. Or better, provide original research that verifies your claims —the more data you have on your side, the more credible.

Include counter-evidence and refute it

It's a bit counterintuitive but provides counter-evidence if you're trying to persuade an audience. Phrase your arguments against your main point and refute them — rather than pretend they don't exist. 

Take accountability for mistakes.

To admit your own mistakes is influential and trustworthy. Sometimes, you will get something wrong no matter your experience or authority. But, if you want to have people keep following you, it's important to admit it, take accountability and move on. 

Borrowing from other's authority

It takes a lot of time, prioritisation and effort to boost your online authority. Occasionally, it's just as effective to borrow from others' authority. These are some of the ways you can borrow from others:

Curated content

Consider curating more content for your audience on your knowledge hub or social media touchpoints. Curated content is content that's created and published by another person — an authority and an expert on a subject. So, for example, you can reach out to online authorities and welcome them to publish guest posts on your site or repost and retweet some of your favourite content.

Collaborations

When you become more of an authority, you'll have the possibility to participate in more collaborations. Working with an online authority on a shared piece can be more influential than working by yourself — and your target audiences get the benefit. 

Quotes

You can also appeal to someone else's authority with quotes scattered throughout your work. If you make an essential point using logic,  consider backing it up with a cited quote from an authority on the topic you focus on. 

A more authority-centric content approach can work well if you plan and execute it. Focus on giving people the best, most relevant, authentic information you can. Be brave and work with established authorities in the field. 

Want to know more? You'll find much more to read through our content creation guide.

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Anders Björklund
Founder, CEO & Strategist since 2001. Anders provides thoughts and reflections about what and how to think about onlinification and digitalisation in B2B. Anders asks many questions and knows what to do with the answers.
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