You mostly look at online marketing in terms of what it can achieve for you in the creation of leads or delivering sales. Both perfectly valid business objectives, but sometimes these are further down your marketing funnel and not so easily attributable to the initial cause or source.
What you sometimes forget to look at is the impact your online marketing activity has on building your authority in the marketplace. This is important because the greater your authority, the more trusted you are in the sector and the more likely your are to get the business.
Increased authority can also lead to some interesting opportunities for you, like an invitation to appear on Prime Time TV!
More on that later…
Building Authority Online
There are some great ways you can build authority, you could write a book, publish a column in a magazine or talk regularly at events. Online it is even easier to build authority, with the right focus and level of activity through social channels or by becoming your own publisher and writing a blog.
Many businesses still fail to take blogging seriously, many disregard because they don’t understand what potential it can have in marketing their business.
Some of the benefits of you can see as a result of blogging are:
- An increase in website visitors
- An increase in leads
- Improved search engine rankings
In addition, blogging is a great way to get noticed in your market sector.
Newsjack to Get Noticed
You can do this aggressively using a technique known as Newsjacking.
Newsjacking involves taking a popular news story early in its life cycle. Writing about it in terms of your market sector, in the hope that as the story grows your article will be the one used as reference, or you are the one they see as the authority on the space and approach to interview on the issue.
This can also occur in more subtle ways, given time, and my experience of it demonstrates this quite well.
Consistent Blogging Produces Results
Your constant output on a certain subject over time can also lead to you becoming an authority on that subject. So rather than Newsjacking a popular story of the moment, you are sowing the seeds ready for a story to appear that you can comment on.
Many of the commentators you see being interviewed on TV on the News are discovered by program researchers, whose job it is to find appropriate people for the “Anchors” to interview.
These commentators may already be considered famous in their field, especially in the financial or political sectors. They may have written books, or headed large corporations, but with so much news and so much variation in news stories the channels are always looking for a fresh angle or spin on a situation.
I have been asked to appear on discussion panels in the past at conferences, I was interviewed by the local press for my opinion on the passing of Steve Jobs and again by local TV when a Luton airport made a blunder on Facebook.
These events were all “trumped” by a phone call I received the other day from a TV program researcher in India!
Now I have no connection to India or Indian politics, but as most are aware social media is heavily used by politicians and governments worldwide for promotion of their ideology. Some are considered to leverage it well, whilst others have misused or even abused it.
The two major Indian political parties in question, the ruling Congress and the BJP, had both been suspected of buying Facebook Likes and Twitter Followers.
By pure coincidence some months ago I had written a blog post about the negative effect of buying Twitter Followers or Facebook Likes. It was a mildly popular article when compared with my other posts, and contained a little research to back it up.
It turned out that when the program researcher for New Dehli TV’s The Social Network, which airs live every day at 6.30pm, was looking for someone to provide a non-political opinion on the situation when he came across my blog post.
I am based in a small market town, Diss in Norfolk in the UK and even getting on the radar in London can be an unusual event, so a call from New Dehli was a total surprise. So much so that when I saw it was an international call with an Indian area code I ignored it the first time around assuming it would be someone trying to sell me cheap SEO or Website Development services.
Luckily the researcher was persistent and on the 3rd attempt I answered the call.
3, 2, 1 and You’re Live…
He said “…he had enjoyed my article and would I be willing to appear live on their show in 90 minutes!” After almost missing the opportunity by not answering the call in the first place I of course said I would. I was then given a 30 minute briefing on the current political situation in India and made ready for my first ever live International TV appearance.
The written word has always been a powerful influencer, it has toppled governments, and even scared them into burning books. It is also been widely seen as a mark of authority. The fact that you commit your thoughts to paper or screen raises your profile above most others that don’t.
So if you are in two minds over whether blogging is worth the effort, just remember, that next article could lead to an International TV appearance!
You can watch the show below. This is a lively debate and I finally manage to add my view about 11 minutes in: