One great way to increase your leads and conversions online is to establish your business as an authority in your industry. Here are some things you and your colleagues can do to increase your overall presence and authority online.
Demonstrate Your Knowledge
The best way for your business to become recognized as a thought leader in your industry is by creating amazing content. These are the two most important areas to start with when building your credibility in the industry.
If you want to create a hub of authority on your own website, then your blog is the place. Instead of just having one person blog or just having a blog created from the company’s point of view with no author mentioned, try to get everyone on your staff involved. Let author’s claim each post as their own with an author bio, and make sure each author bio includes the position that author holds in the company. This way, readers of your blog will see how knowledgeable your staff is and be more confident in working with your business. Plus, when author’s have their name and face on a blog post, they are likely to invest more time on it to make sure it is high quality vs. a nameless, faceless article.
You can’t expect to build authority on your blog alone. Guest blogging is another way to demonstrate your expertise across the web. You will want to research the blogs whose audiences include potential clients, make sure they accept guest posts, and start submitting high quality content. If you don’t have time to spread yourself all over the web, don’t worry – just pick blogs that have a strong audience and become a regular contributor to them. The more often you submit a post, the more their audience will recognize you and will want to learn more about your business.
Once you have developed a strong base of content and gained recognition in industry-related publications throughout the web, you will want to start pitching presentation ideas towards conferences in your industry. Conferences tend to choose speakers based on the topic idea, the speaker’s knowledge of the topic (which can be proven with content), and the speaker’s popularity. The latter is especially true for conferences who have a voting system to allow attendees to vet the topics they want to hear about.
Next on the list of authority building is making sure people see you in the right channels. Don’t just settle for your main company Twitter profile, Facebook Page, LinkedIn Company Page, or Google+ Page. Expand your reach beyond that with employees and colleagues who are social and willing to spread the word about your business.
Add Your Business’s Twitter Handle to Personal Twitter Profiles
If your employees and colleagues are on Twitter and they use their profiles professionally, encourage them to add the company Twitter to their bio. They can do this by simply adding their job title and your company’s @username.
HubSpot, for example, has 276K followers. Ten of their employees that have @HubSpot in their Twitter bio have a total of over 485K followers. You can see how the company’s reach is twice as large or more if you counted all of the employees who have @HubSpot in their bio. It’s important because as someone searches for an inbound marketer on Twitter, they will see lots of profiles coming up what all list their association with HubSpot. This will make the searcher more likely to visit HubSpot’s profile and website for more information.
Add Your Business’s Facebook Page to Personal Profiles
Graph Search is going to change the way people search for users on Facebook, making it more likely that people at your company will end up in search results. Encourage employees and colleagues who have a professional presence on Facebook to add the company page to their profiles by updating their Work & Education section.
Make sure everyone hovers over the company name on their profile to see if the page’s information pops up. If it doesn’t, make sure you like the page and then select it from the dropdown when adding your employer to your profile. This way, the same thing happens. If someone searches for people with a particular skill set, they will hopefully see lots of results with your company name in them.
Add Your Business’s LinkedIn Company Page to Professional Profiles
LinkedIn is just another social network working on improved search functionality, and an important one if your business is B2B. If your business has a company page on LinkedIn (which it should), then make sure your employees and colleagues are linked to it when they list their current employment.
Not only that, but make sure that they have listed your business as their most recent employer, and preferably include it in their headline as well. This will ensure that the business name comes up in all areas around LinkedIn, including search results.
Add Workplace and Contribution Link to Google+ Profiles
Last, but not least, make sure employees and colleagues have links to your business on their Google+ profile. For those that contribute on the blog, make sure they have followed the steps for Google+ Authorship so content from the blog is claimed in search.
This can increase the click throughs on your posts as well as the recognition of authors on your business blog.
A great way to be everywhere and demonstrate your business’s knowledge in your industry is by helping others. There are prime areas throughout the web where you can offer your assistance to potential customers.
Participate in Groups and Communities
Most of the major social networks including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ have groups and communities that everyone can participate in, usually based around a specific topic. Find the groups and communities where your potential customer base are likely to hang out and start participating. Many even allow you to share your latest blog posts with members – just check the group rules or community guidelines to find out.
Your participation within the group, along with participation from your employees and colleagues, will boost your business’s exposure on these social networks. Not only that, but as an added bonus, the blog posts you share will gain additional traffic. Sharing with groups can increase the visibility of your content from just your following to hundreds, if not thousands of other members.
Participate in Q&A Networks
Q&A networks allow you the perfect platform to help people in your industry who have questions oriented around the products and services you have to offer. Quora is one of the most professional networks that covers everything from A to Z. Have employees and colleagues create a profile on Quora that includes their job title and company name. Then have them take some time daily to answer questions.
If a potential customer has asked a question and several member of your team come along to provide great answers, or if a potential customer is browsing through answers several questions and sees your business name come up over and over, it will show just how knowledgeable and supportive your business is.
What strategies have you used to become an authority within your business’s industry? Please share in the comments!