Becoming a visible industry expert, thought leader and authority in your chosen sector helps you to build credibility and attract and retain customers. For small business owners, implementing a communications and reputation building plan will ensure that you can make your mark in a crowded field.
People will always want to listen to authority figures. Experts in their field are invaluable, encouraging customers to follow advice, engage with them, buy into products and services and remain loyal to a small business. This is the power that industry expert/authority marketing has.
Small business industry expert/authority strategy
Small businesses should capitalise on their industry expert knowledge, and combine it with a planned, strategic branding exercise. The idea is to become recognised in your particular field as the authority worth listening to.
Becoming an authority in your field isn’t quick, and it isn’t always easy. But it is important. Here’s how to maximise the potential of your small business using four industry expert/authority marketing techniques. The idea is to clearly demonstrate authority, knowledge and expertise in an accessible way, so that customers know to trust your business when they see its name.
Maximise your presence online
Every small business should have a web presence. Statistics from the Federation of Small businesses (FSB) show that, at the end of 2018 there were 5.7 million small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the UK. This accounts for more than 99% of all businesses in the country.
A substantial proportion (roughly 29%) have no web presence at all, and just under a third are not using social media channels in their marketing. An online presence is vital for running and growing a successful small business in the UK, and an integral part of building an authoritative marketing plan.
Your website is where the majority of customers will head. It’s design and UX (user-interface) is extremely important, particularly while you are working on building brand awareness. With the correct high-quality, relevant and search engine optimised (SEO) content on it, your website is the hub of your online authority.
As well as information on your business, products, services and e-commerce channels if applicable, include a specific page to showcase the company’s authority. This can either focus on the team, or you as the business owner, and should be high-quality, well written information. A dedicated page will give you the space to explain your knowledge of the industry, your company’s place within it and what you can offer.
Blog with authority and intent
High-quality blogs can go a long way in expanding your industry authority. Not only can they establish you as an industry leader, they can rank your business for relevant keywords and expand your audience and influence.
Your strategy should include regular, well-written, professional blogs. Use them to answer specific questions, to provide expert commentary on new stories involving your sector, to explain new products and services and demonstrate your overall knowledge.
If the blogs you produce are well-written, include relevant keywords and answer specific questions in an accessible way, they may well help your business to rank in Google’s search results. Many small business owners may find they don’t have the time to write high-quality content, in which case it is beneficial to outsource to a specialist content marketing agency.
Use social media to engage your audiences
Site content and blogs can be shared on your social media channels to further spread your messages and authority and involve people in your conversations. You should have a presence on social media, particularly on LinkedIn
Cultivate positive yet credible reviews
The impact of online reviews is massive. Around 93% of people say they use online reviews to make decisions when considering a product, service or business. Further data shows that 84% trust online reviews in the same way they trust recommendations from their friends.
These statistics show the power that customers have. Keeping people engaged and happy with your products, brand and services is crucial. This is particularly the case with small businesses, as you may only have a few online reviews. This makes even one negative review appearing quite damaging.
Satisfied customers show that your business is good at what it does. And if your small business does receive a negative or less than stellar online review, respond in a manner that can change it to a positive. This means listening, responding and actively working with the customer to improve their experience.
Create your own special niche
No-one can be an authority on everything, and anyone who attempts to present themselves as such will lose credibility. Customers looking for specific products or specialised information will go to a business demonstrating knowledge in that area.
To become an authority, it’s vital to be specific and demonstrate thorough and wide-ranging knowledge in your field. One way to do this is to develop and grow a business based on a relatively narrow focus. This way you can keep authority marketing, content strategy and website information focused.
James Turner, Managing Director of Turner Little Limited, says: “It’s no longer enough to be have a great product or service and years of experience. For small businesses to stand out from the crowd, it’s important they find their voice in their specific sector. This can seem a daunting task, but by including it in your business strategy from the start, your business voice will grow with your company.
“Consider how you can harness the potential of your small business or start up to position it as an authority in your field. Even if your chosen sector is a crowded one, judicious use of social media, high-quality content and a defined strategy can ensure your voice shouts louder than the competition.”
About Turner Little
Founded in 1998 in Yorkshire, UK, Turner Little is a specialist UK and offshore company formation, banking and corporate services provider. Our services include company formation, UK and offshore banking, asset protection, credit correction, trademarking and trusts. Other services include Internet services, mail forwarding, wills and probate. Turner Little’s vision is to offer the best possible service, together with market leading products.