How your business can become an expert in its sector
Businesses are always looking for ways to gain an edge over their competition. Better quality products, faster results, and lower prices are just a few of the obvious ways to move forward. But what if everyone turned to your company for industry expertise instead?
Industry experts are not born, they are made. It takes some online diligence to distinguish yourself from the competition. However, once you do, you can control the message, build trust, and retain customers for your business.
With the right work, any business can become an expert in its industry. Here are some strategies that will help you build your brand’s expertise.
Look for gaps in thought leadership
If you keep seeing your competition speaking out on a certain topic, find another. When trying to establish thought leadership, “better late than never” doesn’t work. Leadership is everything, well … lead.
Thought leadership requires vision. It’s not about selling your widget, but rather starting a conversation about the future of your industry. It requires finding a gap in today’s thought leadership landscape. How do you find this openness? By logging in and doing research.
Start by entering potential topics into the search engine of your choice and see what already exists. If your search returned few results, you may have found an opportunity. If the field is busy enough on a topic you are passionate about, what shouldn’t be said? Your contrasting point of view may need to be part of the debate.
Remember that it is much easier to be an expert on one or two subjects than on several. When you find (can’t find?) The topics you can talk about that aren’t discussed, claim your right. Instead of showing up late for the party, you’ll be animating it.
Commit to content
Online content is the cornerstone of any strategy to position your business as a industry expert. Creating and using content to its full potential requires ongoing commitment. Prepare to go deep and in-depth, as a scatter strategy will be ineffective.
Let these one or two topics that you have identified lead a group of subjects approach your on-site content. Research reports or pillar pages will provide depth, while blog posts on adjacent topics will provide breadth. The links between these pieces of content will form a web of authority that will impress search engines.
When it comes to distribution, use the right channels and content to reach target audiences. Content intended for your industry peers, for example, will need to be written and delivered differently from content intended for your customers.
Content should always be relevant to the reader, shareable, findable, and distributed across multiple channels. He must also be opportunistic. For example, you can turn a blog post into a five minute video for your YouTube channel and link it to your Instagram account.
Don’t limit expert content to your business website and social media accounts. Look for opportunities to publish it in industry, leadership, entrepreneurship, and consumer online publications. Posting by third parties adds a seal of legitimacy to any content.
Above all, commit to creating masterful content that educates and uplifts rather than trying to make a sale. Establish your business as an industry expert and sales will follow.
Bring out the wisdom from within
You invest a lot of resources in recruiting and retaining the best employees you can find. Don’t hide their expertise under a bushel. Use it to position your business as an industry expert.
Maybe your IT manager lives and breathes the latest advancements in technology, but can’t communicate with mere mortals. Do not let this prevent you from using this expertise for the benefit of your business. Just find the writing talent to express what your IT professional can’t.
Great content writers can glean information from experts and communicate it clearly to an audience. They also know the strategies necessary for this content to be found online. Quality content is of no use to your business if it shows up in the middle of a million search results.
And don’t just hire someone who claims to be a content writer. Hire the right one for your business and for that specific goal. The best content writers will immerse themselves not only in your business, but in your industry as well.
It is quite possible that your in-house industry expert is not a born communicator. The good news is that you can hire the talents to unlock and pass on their expertise. All success requires a certain amount of teamwork.
Put your business there
Your business cannot become an expert in its industry by staying behind the scenes watching other actors on stage. You need to be prepared to put your business in the spotlight and connect with your audience.
Use your company’s website and social media accounts to make yourself available for activities such as interviews and speeches. Promote your brand’s expert talent as you market the products or services you sell. Be ready to take a stand or defend a cause related to the company’s area of expertise.
You may not be invited to give a TED talk right off the bat. In fact, the local Rotary Club might be the best deal you can get at the start, and that’s okay. You have to start somewhere.
The key is to get the most out of this Rotary presentation or interview in a local newspaper. Use your business website, social media channels, and email marketing to let your audience know every 15 celebrity minutes that come your way.
When the expertise of your business starts to grab attention, don’t let the curtain fall. That first engagement, media interview or guest blog is just the start. Keep promoting your business, and soon your brand’s expertise will be unmistakable.
There are many variables that make a business blend in or stand out. Using these strategies to become an expert in your industry is a sure way to set your business apart. It may just be the competitive edge your brand needs to get ahead.