Influencers are the people in every industry that consumers turn to for advice and guidance. They are a perfect contextual fit to their industry and add real value to consumers. People have questions, influencers have the answers.
While word of mouth can be really effective for brands and businesses, consumers often do not trust everything they see or hear. If you think about it personally, you will likely recall quite a few times when you were told about a cool brand, but turned for advice to a friend you trust for confirmation. Influencers are that friend; the one who knows everything about a specific industry and is able to connect brands with consumers.
This is what every business should aim for with their marketing campaigns: to become an influencer in their industry. You need to put yourself into your customers’ shoes and think from their perspective. It’s also important not to confuse influencing with popularity: popularity drives awareness, whereas influencers drive action.
How to build brand authority
Users actively search for all kinds of information around the web, trying to find the best content that will answer their questions and concerns. After some research, they consume the best content they find.
The more quality and value you can provide to your audience through content, the more authority your brand will have. It’s important to think about this as an ongoing process and constantly improve yourself as much as possible. Building close relationships with your network and engaging with fans and customers is another thing you need to be doing.
This is especially true for social media. The more engagement, support and value you bring to people through social media, the more highly they will think of you. Social proof can also be measured by numbers to some extent.
As your social media posts, tweets, and comments grow in numbers, newcomers will be more impressed and identify you as an expert in your industry and niche. This will lead them to following your page and create trust between your brand and newly acquired fans.
Becoming an influencer in your niche
To really become an influencer, you must be fully aware of everything that is going on in your industry and show people that you have all the answers. Create high quality content around the keywords in your niche, and blog consistently to increase your organic reach.
Find other high authority websites in your niche and exchange guest posts with them. Building healthy relationships with other influencers is a great way to learn from them and also increase your reach even further, which, in turn, will result in more traffic for you.
You will also need to have your own personality and opinion, which, in most cases, differs from the others. Sharing your experience, ideas and viewpoints backed up with solid facts, statistics, and proof will make you stand out from every other brand in your niche and add authority to your brand.
Listening to your audience is another important step you need to take. Sometimes, you don’t know exactly what is troubling your followers, but they may share their thoughts on social media channels, various forums, groups, etc. Listen to them and never leave their concerns unattended. Create content around the topics and provide solutions. Your audience will appreciate it greatly.
On a final note, I want to make something very clear: becoming an influencer is something that should never be forced upon consumers. Influencers are created by the consumers. They have to choose you as an influencer for themselves, read your blog regularly and follow your tweets and Facebook page. Your job is to position yourself as the brand that they would turn to every time they need help or advice, because you always have the answers.
Who are some industry experts you rely on for advice and guidance? Tell us why you feel connected to them in the comments.
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