“Authority” is a term with multiple meanings, especially in the context of online marketing, but all of those meanings are important. Your level of domain authority, for instance, determines where you rank in search engines for various terms related to your brand. Your level of industry-based authority determines how easy it is for you to accumulate followers and get published on outside platforms. And your level of perceived authority among your customer base determines whether they buy with you or move onto one of your competitors.
For B2B companies, authority is everything, but acquiring it is somewhat more difficult than it is for B2C companies, which rely on networks of end consumers to spread the word and support their products. As a B2B company, you have to prove your expertise to a smaller number of more discerning clients, and you have to do so in a way that generates attention from a targeted niche.
There are many authority-building strategies out there. Writing great onsite content, developing your social media presence, and building offsite links are all valuable ways of building multiple kinds of authority with your audience, but for B2B companies, there’s one strategy that trumps them all: brand mentions.
Brand mentions are relatively simple in theory, but more complex in execution. Essentially, you’ll be publishing well-written authoritative pieces of content on external sources—in this way, brand mentions are like a guest blogging strategy. But instead of trying to funnel traffic or improve ranks with links, you’ll merely be mentioning your brand. It is possible to also include links in your article, but the brand mention is the main objective. If you use this strategy, working your way up to the highest-authority publishers and regularly submitting new content for syndication, eventually your authority levels will skyrocket.
Let’s dig into exactly why brand mentions are so useful for building authority. There are actually several distinct ways this strategy operates, and all of them are valuable.
Building domain authority—without risk
In the old days of SEO, Google calculated authority based on the number and quality of links that were pointing back to your site. Since then, Google’s algorithms have become significantly more sophisticated. Today, Google is very sensitive to the types of links that are pointing back to your site, and if you build too many on the same sources or the wrong sources, it could earn you a penalty rather than a ranking boost.
Google also now takes brand mentions into consideration when calculating authority. If it sees your company’s name pop up on multiple high-authority publishers, it’s going to greatly increase your domain authority, and therefore, your ranks—and you’ll never have to worry about getting penalized for it, since they can’t be considered spam.
Establishing brand value
Merely mentioning your brand on these high-traffic sources is valuable in generating greater brand recognition. Because you’re not calling too much attention to yourself, and instead are providing great value to people, your readers will come to associate your brand with value and trust. Whenever they need to make a purchasing decision and your name comes up, they’ll recall associating you with those sources, and they’ll be more likely to buy. Plus, when you’re published on some major publishers, you’ll get authoritative badges you can put on your site.
Greater syndication value
Articles on these publication platforms give you entry to even bigger, better platforms. For example, getting published on a small business website on a local level can help you get published on a national platform. The higher up you go, the more value you get, and the value compounds with every new publication. Plus, syndicating these high-profile articles on your social media channels will attract more direct traffic and more followers.
Getting started is the hardest part about brand mentions. It takes a long time to build up a high enough level of authority to get published on major platforms, so you’ll have to start at the bottom and work your way up. Start guest blogging on companies relevant to your industry, then work your way up to local publications. Once you’ve established yourself on that level, you can work up to low-level national publishers, and then gradually to higher-level publishers. It’s a time intensive process, but the benefits are worth it.
Of course, you can always take a shortcut by leveraging the power of our own Brand Mentions service, which connects you to high-profile publishers immediately.
Getting your foot in the door of these publishers is only the first step. For the best long-term results, you’ll have to regularly submit content and constantly branch out to new sources. Once a week is plenty for most publications, but as you add more publishers to your wheelhouse, it may become more difficult to manage.
Brand mentions are the best strategy to use when building your company’s authority, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only strategy. Only when used in conjunction with a great onsite SEO, content marketing, and social media strategy will it be able to yield the best possible results. Regularly diversify your strategy with new sources and new types of content, and always ground yourself with best practices in writing and publication. With a wide enough reach on external publishers, the clients will start flooding in, and you’ll never have to worry about sales figures again.