Before COVID-19, the world had become so fast-paced. As we prepare to move into our “new normal,” we must understand that the way marketing worked before may not be how it will work moving forward. Our target audience will be more distracted than ever, focused on getting back into their own personal and professional lives, and getting them to pay attention to what we have to offer will be more difficult than ever. In times like these, we simply cannot rely on ramping up Google or Facebook ad campaigns and hoping the sales pour in.
In my experience, clients typically do not take the time to analyze all of the possible solutions to the problem they face. Instead, they tend to narrow their choice by who they see highlighted at industry conferences, in keynote speeches or online. Your objective is to be easily seen and provide educational content that clearly shows you know what you are doing and that you care about giving and serving, rather than jumping right to the sale. Position yourself at the forefront of their search for solution-providers. Make it clear you are an expert and authority.
Is content marketing the solution?
According to the Content Marketing Institute, “Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
As I discussed in “A Lesson In Authority Positioning From The Old Farmer’s Almanac,” content marketing has origins as far back as 1792. The weather predictions and farming advice offered in the Old Farmer’s Almanac were more accurate, reliable and helpful than any other publication available at the time. In fact, his weather forecasting formula remains a secret closely held by the almanac, which is still running today.
Content marketing emerged on the scene as a way to counter the prevalently used “push” marketing strategies and created a fresh new way to engage target audiences by teaching and providing relevant content. The idea is that when prospects fully understand their options, their decision-making is greatly enhanced. When your brand is the one guiding this process, you win.
However, my personal belief is that content marketing is no longer a trending strategy because it has been embraced so deeply over the last decade or so, that it’s simply become marketing.
What is authority positioning?
I have previously defined authority positioning as “a strategy for bringing an entrepreneur out of obscurity by teaching all of the nuances of the solution you provide to your prospects on trusted platforms, thus, amplifying their expertise to a position of prestige.” There are numerous advantages to establishing yourself as an expert in your industry. It gives you the ability to set higher rates and often leads to enhanced opportunities, such as when a media outlet reaches out to you for a comment on a topic. It also makes it easier for prospects to discover your thought-leadership content.
As an authority marketing strategist, I help entrepreneurs establish themselves across a variety of platforms. This creates omnipresence so they are seen as an expert and authority in their niche or industry and can attract more clients, increase profits and make more of an impact.
So, what is omnipresence?
It’s being seen in a multitude of credible formats on a multitude of platforms so that your target audience consumes your educational content in a way that is much more powerful than running ads on multiple marketing channels. Wherever your target audience looks for solutions to the problems they face, you must be there. In my experience, when you are seen on multiple platforms, displaying your expertise through media mentions, podcast interviews, books and video content, you win hands-down.
That said, you must resist the urge to just blast content to a dozen online locations hoping to get a hit. Much like fishing, rather than placing a worm on the hook and putting dozens of lines in dozens of lakes hoping to catch a trout, you need to consider your end goal. If trout is what you want, use the best trout bait on all lines in only the best lakes or streams. In other words, do not assume that simply having “omnipresence” is the answer. Your visibility must be specific so you are seen as that trusted authority.
I have heard it said that the “medium is the message,” meaning that where your content lives provides as much value as the actual content. Think about it: Which would you perceive as more reputable — a long blog post with really powerful content or the same content in a book that you can hold or read on your Kindle? How about a YouTube video with helpful content or the same content on iTunes, Spotify, Alexa, Roku, Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV? There is nothing “wrong” with creating blog posts and YouTube or Facebook videos, but being seen on prestigious platforms and channels takes your authority positioning to the next level.
I believe that authority positioning marketing is where content marketing was 10 years ago. It’s a fresh and powerful approach for standing out from your competition. Going forward, building your authority should be your first priority.