One of the biggest challenges for a small business is to get the word out and build the kind of industry respect and brand recognition needed for rapid growth. Outreach marketing campaigns are often costly and good SEO takes time to both build and show results. As a small business, you are constantly on the lookout for effective marketing strategies that can be implemented on a shoestring budget, and fortunately, in the online environment, your opportunities are plentiful. One of the most effective ways to optimize your website and inbound marketing content without paying an arm & leg for new assets is with authority positioning. This method of creative inbound marketing leverages what you know best, your own industry knowledge.
1. Always Be an Authority
People show more respect to those they recognize as experts and are more likely to approach known experts with questions and requests for service. Authority positioning is the practice of sharing your expertise and deep understanding of the products and services you provide to your customers and anyone who wants to come spend time on your website. This not only invites your customers to trust you, it also places you as an expert among your peers, as yours will be the helpful and informative content they find when researching solutions to on-the-job problems.
For a small business, you can leverage the expertise of your entire team or focus on a few key topics. What you choose to share will build your company and brand’s reputation. Of course, once you authority positioning with one or two methods like blogs or videos, why ever stop? You can make your brand all about sharing more information than others and providing your customers with a more detailed understanding of your services and products. In your product descriptions, explain some of the manufacturing processes and make a habit of explaining technical solutions to your customers. People are naturally curious and most will come back to you for the additional interesting information again and again.
2. Include Helpful Tips
Authority positioning is all about helping your brand to become a trusted go-to source of information and services within your industry. This gives you a great deal to gain from sharing a little information with everything you do. Start leveraging your expertise to predict information your customers can make the best use of. Make it your style to give helpful industry tips at the end of each commercial sign-off, blog article, or even personal encounter. For example, if your business offers appliance installations you might include inbound marketing blogs comparing two different models of dishwasher. In order to leverage a little authority positioning, add a helpful tip or two within the article about how to avoid electrocution while installing a dishwasher. Your tips might look something like this:
Digital Marketing Tip: Newsletters are another great place to share tips with interested customers
3. Write How-To Blogs
The modern consumer is fairly DIY oriented. Most people, when faced with a problem, choose to look up a solution on the internet and try it for themselves. Online research has become an inherent part of the conversion journey for anyone facing something like in-home repairs and you can catch your potential clients early by providing high quality and well thought out solutions to their problems in the form of how-to blog articles. With this method, you win whether or not they complete the repair on their own. If they succeed, you now have a new fan just waiting to be a client who will probably look up your site the next time they need to research a repair. If they don’t complete the DIY solution, they already have your page open which will politely invite them to call if ever they’d like professional help.
4. SEO for Answering Questions
The principles of SEO apply everywhere and essentially cannot be escaped while on the modern internet. Authority positioning is centered around the concept that you can explain the solutions to common and industry-related problems which will draw leads from people seeking the information. Along the same reasoning as how-to blogs, you can predict the questions your customers want answers to and provide those answers in your content, and this method doesn’t have to be limited to your blogs. You can SEO for questions and answers throughout your website content. All you need to do is state the question that your information answers. If you sell water heaters, for example, at the end of your installation services page, you can add an SEO question catch that looks like:
How much does water heater installation cost?
The cost of your water heater installation will depend on the model you choose, but will usually vary between…
5. Have Informed Customer Support
If you want your company to be well-known as an authority in your field, make sure your customer service agents know their stuff almost as well as your technicians. While it may not be completely practical, when customers call in for support, they expect every employee in your business to be well-versed in the details of their service. When a customer explains a problem with their product or service, you want your support agents to quickly understand their problem and seek a solution. This means making sure your customer support is trained not just in basic troubleshooting, but the real details of your industry.
6. Clue In Your Chat Bot Assistant
AI-assisted chat bots are a great addition to your customer support suite because they can keep a customer effectively ‘on hold’ while a professional is alerted. On the other hand, you can also give your assistant real industry information in the form of detailed scripts and response settings. With the benefit of your expert information, even an automated employee can help customers with technical answers. You can, for instance, help your chat bot know how to answer questions like “What does a broken fan belt look like?” and “What do I need to change a tire?”
Authority positioning is a great solution for small businesses because it’s all about how you make your content. In order to be considered an expert authority in your field, you don’t have to be a large company, or even a particularly wealthy one. All you have to do is know your stuff and share it with the world. When people acknowledge you as an expert, they will seek your advice with a greater trust in and desire for your professional services.