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Authority: The Missing Element of Most Content Strategies


There’s not a week that goes by on the Marketing Technology Blog that we aren’t curating and sharing other people’s facts, opinions, quotes, and even their content by way of infographics and other publications.

We are not a curation site for other people’s content, though. Sharing other people’s ideas doesn’t make you an authority, it recognizes and strengthens the author’s authority. But… enhancing, commenting, criticizing, illustrating and better explaining other people’s content not only recognizes and strengthens their authority… it also enhances yours.

When I find content online that’s valuable to our audience, I take the time to carefully analyze it and provide details that I know my audience will appreciate. It’s not enough, for example, to publish an infographic that someone else designed. I need to share that infographic and provide a thorough analysis of it that is unique and positions my expertise.

What is Authority?

Definition: The confident quality of someone who knows a lot about something or who is respected or obeyed by other people.

Per that definition, there are three requirements for authority:

  1. Expertise – the person who knows a lot and exposes their knowledge.
  2. Confidence – the person who believes in their knowledge when they share it.
  3. Recognition – other experts noting the expertise that a person confidently displays.

Regurgitating other people’s original ideas will never make you an authority. While it may show that you have some expertise, it doesn’t provide any insight into your confidence. Nor will it result in you being recognized by your peers.

Authority is critical to the customer journey because consumers and businesses are seeking expertise to assist and inform them with their purchase decision. Simply put, if you’re quoting someone else, the buyer will view the original source as the recognized authority – not you.

Be the Authority

If you want to be recognized as an authority, be the authority. You’re not going to do that by standing behind other people’s ideas. Express your unique viewpoints. Test and support your ideas with research and documentation. Then share those ideas across industry sites that allow you to participate. Every publisher is always seeking the unique perspective – it’s an easy pitch.

The result of sharing your expertise is that you’re now on par with leading peers in your industry, not being overlooked as you stand behind them. As you build recognition and confidently share your expertise, you’ll find that you’ll be trusted and treated quite differently. Your peers will recognize you and share the input you’re providing.

And when you’re seen as an authority, influencing the purchase decision becomes much easier.

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