The parameters that make an online resource “authoritative” are always changing. Google uses a variety of factors to decide what makes a source worth displaying on its search engine results pages (SERPs). The search engine’s developers also admit that online content is constantly changing, and “we continuously measure and assess the quality of our systems to ensure that we’re achieving the right balance of information relevance and authoritativeness.”
This never ending refining process has made traditional digital marketing tactics obsolete. Companies can no longer lean on keywords and simple content pages to attract customers and get them to the top of their sales funnel.
They need more advanced marketing assets that stand out from the competition. This is the kind of content that can only come from an industry expert.
The Need for Industry Experts
From the days of patent medicine hucksters to print ads touting the health benefits of cigarette smoking, consumers have long been the target of unreliable marketing content. Today they’re more likely to find it online. Whether it’s a reckless claim in a blog post or a misleading stat in a press release, consumers are well aware of the doubtful quality of much of the online content they encounter.
Today’s buyers are looking for marketing messages they can trust, which is why creating high-quality content must be an essential part of any successful marketing strategy. To create content that does its trust-building job, marketers need to look beyond their own promotional skill sets. They must lean on industry experts to create potent, well-informed, up-to-date marketing assets.
When marketers collaborate with industry experts, they can create accurate and impactful messaging. By consuming such content, customers (both potential and existing) don’t just learn. They become aware of your business as a locus of expertise.
When that happens, you cultivate your brand’s reputation with your audience members in two key ways. First, expert-informed marketing content reinforces their perception of your brand’s authority within your industry. Second, it increases your credibility as a genuine source of solutions to customer pain points, which encourages trust between consumers and your brand.
AI Is Also a Factor
The need for high-quality, expert-led marketing content has been further heightened by the recent splashy advances in artificial intelligence. With tools like ChatGPT, anyone can now generate content that sounds authoritative on the surface, even if it’s backed up by nothing of consequence.
AI is a powerful learning tool, but its strength doesn’t lie in original thoughts, concept ideation, or creative writing. It uses existing sources — often without understanding whether they are reputable or not — to reformat information in a new and ideally more accessible manner.
Consumers are right to wonder whether the content they see is genuinely backed by authoritative sources or whether it’s been cobbled together by algorithms. The flourishing of AI as a business tool has made the need for industry experts to create informed marketing content more important than ever.
How to Partner With Industry Experts
There are multiple ways businesses of all sizes can both directly and indirectly tap into the insights and support of experts in their field. Each CMO and marketing team must find the best options for their situation to establish effective partnerships that enable the creation of compelling, targeted content that resonates with consumers. Here are a few of the best options to consider.
Have Experts on Staff
The best way to tap into the power of an industry expert is to hire them outright. When you have an expert on staff, it lends you instant credibility. It sends the message that you are a brand invested in providing quality products and informed marketing to promote them.
Nom Nom is an example of how this concept can apply to any kind of business. The pet food and health brand uses a nutrition-first approach to animal wellness. This includes maintaining an in-house team of researchers, veterinarians, and veterinary nutritionists.
Having pet health experts on staff gives Nom Nom an edge over its competition. First, it allows the company to stay up-to-date on the latest research and advancements in the pet health space. It also allows Nom Nom to simultaneously advocate for the brand’s products and pet health.
Along with the immediate authority they provide, on-staff experts also allow for continual improvement of products. Rather than hiring someone for a single formulation or project, an employed expert allows a company to monitor and modify a brand’s offerings over time. This is true whether the product is dog food, sports cars, or anything in between.
As far as marketing is concerned, the ability to tell consumers that experts are ever-present makes it easier to craft trustworthy marketing messages. In addition, easy access to experts allows marketers to fact-check and inform every piece of content to keep up with the latest industry data.
Collaborate With Experts
If hiring a full-time staff member isn’t in the budget, there are still plenty of ways to access their specialized knowledge. One of them is to engage in collaborative marketing activities.
A common example of this is influencer marketing. While this is frequently seen as brands working with social media stars, there are many occasions where major influencers are, themselves, experts in their field.
One recent example of this took place during the marketing for Amazon Prime Video’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” streaming series. The marketing team collaborated with dozens of influencers from within the larger online Tolkien community with millions of collective followers.
The studio flew these experts in for private screenings, gave them access to red-carpet events, and generally associated the leaders of the fandom with their series as it approached its premiere. The initiative was so successful the marketing team later went on to win the TPEC award for “Outstanding Campaign for a New Drama.”
Go Where the Experts Hang Out
You can’t always expect exceptional individuals in your field to reinforce your content’s authority by working with you. Sometimes, you need to bring your message to them. In most cases, this takes the form of getting mentioned or publishing content in an industry journal, magazine, or some other outlet where industry leaders tend to congregate and share news and opinions.
By adding your own content contributions into the mix through digital PR, such as guest posts and similar collaborations on reputable third-party industry publications, you associate yourself with experts in your field. This gives you instant credibility.
To make this work, you need to bring your own concrete and informed opinions to the table. If you’re a remote work SaaS platform, for instance, you might get published on an industry site like TechTarget to share your thoughts on the latest regarding asynchronous workflows. This provides value for the reader whilst also allowing you to rub shoulders with high-brow individuals within your industry.
Using Industry Experts to Enhance Your Marketing Messaging
Experts are the future in a digital marketing world that is becoming less trusted by the day. By working with an industry expert, you provide a unique degree of credibility and authority for your brand. Consumers find it easier to trust your messages, and your products and services remain on-point and up-to-date with current industry research and standards.
Whether it’s hiring an industry expert, collaborating with them, or associating with them indirectly through digital PR, make sure you are working expertise into all of your content marketing activities. In a world where white noise is par for the course, the up-front investment is well worth the effort.