A brand has truly arrived when their name is synonymous with the niche they serve.
Business owners use their status to extend their reach by curating and creating high-value content. Niche authority benefits are substantial, but becoming a well-known and respected industry figure doesn’t come overnight. Developing a comprehensive branding plan plus accompanying strategy is key.
Authority through content creation
Content creation is the single most important tool to gain a foothold and begin building a solid foundation. Consistently producing high-quality, long-form content delivers high-level value to your readers.
Becoming an authority requires diverse content in readily-accessible formats. Comprehensive guides, how-to pieces, and defining industry terms are tried-and-tested techniques. The most important feature of all content is that it offers viewers something new and previously unavailable to secure a high value-exchange and convert viewers. This includes addressing user questions, educating followers on a specific topic, and troubleshooting common issues.
Guides focus closely on one subject to offer readers background details and actionable tips, whereas how-to pieces are short and fluff-free to inform readers of exactly what to do to achieve a specific outcome. See our case studies below which show how specific content types build brand loyalty and convert followers.
The personal brand connection
Established yourself in your field requires a two-pronged approach. In addition to building a thriving brand for a business, business owners must enthusiastically build up their brand. Your brand paints a clear picture of what you believe, how you do business, and the results you offer clients. At its heart, a personal brand tells a meaningful story with a positive impact that reflects personal values, builds trust, and shows how you can offer unique solutions.
Many have built personal brands wound tightly into the story of their industry. Individuals are increasingly making purchasing decisions based on feelings towards companies and the people behind them. According to a recent study in Edelman, 59% percent of U.S. and 57% of U.K. consumers engage in belief-driven purchases, with a further 60% of people stating that brands need to make their values clear at of before the point of sale.
Naturally, a key component of company branding is strengthening and clarifying their business values. When a leader’s image is inextricably connected to a brand their views and beliefs are equally important. The key to successfully building a personal brand is having an open attitude and showing vulnerability. This approach highlights your experience and shows that you have applied your valuable learnings to offer a unique and highly attractive industry solution.
Personal branding case study: John Legere, T-Mobile CEO and ‘Slow Cooker Sundays’
John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile, is an excellent example of personal branding. He goes live for Slow Cooker Sunday every week, where he talks to viewers about what he’s making for dinner, answers questions about T-Mobile, and builds a personal relationship with customers and potential customers through this original and open engagement technique.
Targeted company brand building
A company’s brand values are intricately entwined with its executives’ branding efforts. The brand itself must be represented by a clear set of values and guiding principles that are communicated to its target followers.
Company branding case study: Coca-Cola’s proprietary branding
Originally one of many generic soda drinks, the soft drinks industry is now dominated by Coca-Cola to the point that they are synonymous. The brand achieved this with their inimitable bottle shape and the recognizable shade of red.
Consistency is one factor of Coca-Cola’s success. As they branch out to reach younger markets with their campaigns, they never lose sight of their long history.
Coca-Cola is proof of how brand authority yields tremendous results. Their marketing campaigns have an immediate impact. For example, their FIFA World Cup-themed cans and bottles featured UK household names which garnered significant media attention and social media engagement.
Integrating with your industry through content
A company doesn’t need to be the first established to achieve authority-status. The key is to establish a brand that offers something desirable that is not already available. Connecting with other figures in your sector enables you to quickly integrate into the community and build mutual relationships. The following techniques focus on creating high-value content that adds value to community users, including potential clients and other industry figures.
One such example is guest blogging. This is an excellent method to integrate and build your presence. Brands that publish targeted, well-written guest posts for their audience receive credibility and build their authority over time with successive publications across a variety of platforms.
Indeed, securing referrals from other industry figures is another excellent method to build your position. Many people greatly benefit from giving interviews and speaking at industry-specific events.
Content case study #1: Orkin’s how-to content
The Atlanta-based domestic pest control company Orkin, has successfully used how-to content to secure their position in the pest control industry. Their website and YouTube channel are populated with educational videos that use humor to make pest control less unpleasant. By providing viewers with how-to videos on handling certain pest issues, Orkin has firmly positioned themselves by demonstrating their expertise, helpfulness, and openness. This, in turn, increases the likelihood of a follower converting when they need professional pest control services.
Content case study #2: Chewy’s blog and social media campaigns
Blog posts and social media content have significant power in creating niche authority. Florida-based online pet food company Chewy arrived in the industry long after its main competitors. Nonetheless, chewy quickly became a serious contender against its long-established rivals. Their approach shows an understanding of how owners bond with their pets through humanising animals in their marketing strategy and content campaigns. Chewy’s blog is populated with high-value targeted content.
Their blog content focuses on specific questions and issues such as ‘Can Cats Eat Pumpkin?’, ‘Which KONG Should You Get Your Dog?’ and ‘Traveling With Your Dog: expectation and reality’. Their in-depth guides, purchase advice, and case studies deliver valuable information, news, and tips to their followers.
Chewy's social media marketing is a highly effective brand-loyalty tool. Their social feeds feature high-value content including photos, videos, and reviews that directly connect with their followers. Their posts receive very high engagement rates, largely due to direct interactions with customers where they answer questions, offer condolences, and give recommendations.
The result of Chewy’s comprehensive and integrated content creation across multiple platforms contributed to PetSmart’s purchase of the brand in 2017 for $3.35 billion: the largest e-commerce acquisition to-date.
Content case study #3: Copyhackers’ Joanna Wiebe and the power of case studies
Case studies are a powerful tool for those looking to showcase their expertise through previous client solutions. Joanna Wiebe of the copywriting company Copyhackers has successfully used case study content to build her presence.
Joanna published hundreds of case studies highlighting exactly how she helped brands boost their numbers, reach new customers, and thrive. In doing so, she showed her expertise as a copywriting authority.
Case studies established Joanna’s business as content marketing circles and grew her branding. She now delivers talks at conferences and seminars including Problogger and Conversion Jam where she explores her professional journey and how she helps brands.
Create your road map to authority
Becoming an authority in a niche begins with a well-researched and actionable plan. Spend time conducting extensive research in your sector, paying close attention to your target market and competitors. By taking note of the content that is already available, you can quickly identify the content gaps and your content opportunities. Focus on producing high-quality content that draws readers in with a targeted value-exchange to increase the chances of conversion.
As you continue to build up your presence over time, you will firmly plant yourself and your company within your industry and, critically, in the minds of your users.
Tell YOUR story to the world! Contact us today!
Originally published in the Linguakey blog on 3 October 2019