“I fight authority and authority always wins”
So says the song by John Mellencamp.
In the digital marketing world, why fight authority when you can become authoritative yourself?
Today there are more tools and resources than ever for individuals, startups and even nimble divisions within large organizations to become an authority in their industry.
In the context of business and marketing, I like to think of authority as “being the best answer” wherever customers are looking. Ubiquitous in presence, contextually relevant, useful above all others and a focus on something specific – all of these traits combine in a meaningful way to create authority.
Authority that wins.
But how do you create authority? What are the practical integrated marketing steps needed when it comes to design, content, traffic and conversion?
The upcoming Authority Rainmaker conference in Denver May 13-15 includes an impressive mix of marketing smarties, so I tapped a few for their perspectives on what authority for marketing actually means. Check out these 15 definitions and see if they inspire you to think a little differently about how to accelerate your marketing game with authority. Not only can you learn to win with authority, but there’s a chance for you to “win” authority for yourself!
“Online authority is about demonstrating expertise instead of merely claiming it. It’s about freely sharing what you know with people whether they buy from you or not, with the natural consequence that more people do buy from you, because they know, like, and trust you more than the competition.” @brianclark
Tweet Brian’s quote
Founder and CEO of Copyblogger Media
“Your authority as a professional will be measured according to your ability to get others to listen and take action.”@SallyHogshead
Tweet Sally’s quote
Speaker, Author, Creative Director at Hogshead Media
(Read our interview with Sally Hogshead here)
“Authority is providing original, thoughtful commentary or material on a subject that attracts attention and respect from others.” @dannysullivan
Tweet Danny’s quote
Founding editor of Search Engine Land and Marketing Land. Chief Content Officer of Third Door Media
“The etymology of ‘authority’ is the Latin ‘auctoritas,’ which also eventually gave us ‘author.'”
“That root makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? Because the best authors give generously of their knowledge, with honest empathy for the needs and burdens of their audiences.”
“‘Authoritarian’ types might think that authority gives permission to strong-arm or bully. But true authorities know that you can only earn authority from generously helping others.” @annhandley
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Best-Selling Author and Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs
“Authority is the capacity to use one’s expertise and understanding to help others learn more, work smarter, and live better.” @DanielPink
Tweet Dan’s quote
Best-Selling Author, host & co-executive producer of Crowd Control on National Geographic Channel
(Read our interview with Dan Pink here)
“Authority for me is about how you can become more skillful and effective at helping people solve problems they care about. It’s about being very good at what you do, but it’s also about being very good at getting the word out — because you can’t help if no one knows you’re there.” @soniasimone
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Chief Content Officer at Copyblogger Media
(Read our interview with Sonia Simone here)
“Authority is about earning the right to add value and provide opportunities to a particular community.” @chrisbrogan
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Best-Selling Author and CEO of Owner Media Group
“Authority is the trustworthiness built by brands through a commitment to quality, consistency, and thought leadership.” @ipullrank
Tweet Michael’s quote
Founder & Digital Marketing Consultant iPullRank & Global Associate at Moz.
“Authority is the privilege earned over time through effort, empathy, and efficacy, to influence the thoughts and actions others.” @JerodMorris
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Vice President of Marketing at Copyblogger Media
“I believe every business should have the goal of being the leading informational resource/expert for their market niche. You can’t just have the best product, but the best content today to be the leader. That’s authority.” @JoePulizzi
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Author, Founder of Content Marketing Institute, Content Marketing World
“Authority isn’t bestowed, it’s earned. You earn it when you stand out, engage, and lead in new directions.” @pamelaiwilson
Tweet Pamela’s quote
Director of Special Projects at Copyblogger Media
“Authority is ‘responsibility’. If the client fails, you’ve been a bad teacher. It’s like being a pilot on a flight. You can’t get only half the passengers across. You have to get everyone across!” @seandsouza
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Author and Owner at PsychoTactics
“Authority is a privilege we earn to share our values with people who believe in what we believe in.” @bernadettejiwa
Tweet Bernadette’s quote
Best-Selling Author and Founder of The Story of Telling
“As marketers, we challenge authority yet also crave it. We strive mightily to earn it.” @chiefmartec
Tweet Scott’s quote
Co-founder & CTO ion interactive
“Authority is a state of influence enjoyed by those who’ve demonstrated their expertise in a certain craft, over a long period of time.”
“The playwright David Mamet has written about the manipulation of theatrical audiences, how a crowd can be “tricked” into laughter or tears, but a gasp is always real.”
“Similarly, many attempt to claim authority through plots, pretense, or plain old hubris … but that path only ever makes a shit sandwich. True authority — in the context of business and marketing — can only be given, and it can only be given by an audience that has been truly delighted by your work.” @robertbruce
Tweet Robert’s quote
Emcee of the Authority Rainmaker Conference
Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg in knowledge from these smart marketers and business leaders. You can learn from all of these marketing authorities in person at the Authority Rainmaker conference from Copyblogger Media coming up in Denver, May 13-15, 2015.
There’s literally a rock star line up of speakers that include the fine folks above as well as a closing keynote from musician, writer, journalist, publisher, actor, television and radio host, spoken word artist, comedian, and activist: Henry Rollins.
On a personal note: I attended the inaugural Authority conference last year and I can’t wait to get there again. The content was amazing, the venue and food were great and of the best things of all was the networking.
If you want a conference where you can make real connections with other smart, creative people from a variety of industries and backgrounds that are actually making things happen, this is one of those events. Authority is not too big where you get lost in the chaos of 8 different tracks and it’s not too small that you don’t meet someone new every session.
If you want to learn and network with a group like this, then be sure to check out the Authority Rainmaker website for more detailed information about the agenda, speakers, amazing venue and registration. Presentations are divided between Design, Content, Traffic and Conversion so you’ll get a complete framework to take back and implement. The early bird registration rate ends March 31st, so be sure to check it out soon.
Now I have a question for you:
How do YOU win at marketing with authority?
Even better, how would you like to win a free pass to Authority Rainmaker?
As a marketer, and especially in a world where integrated marketing is more important, the value of creating authority for yourself and your brand is something I think every marketing, communications and business person can relate to and appreciate. I think there’s a lot of wisdom about the value of authority and marketing amongst our community and we’d love to tap into that knowledge.
That’s why TopRank Marketing is going to be giving away a FREE pass to Authority Rainmaker’s 2015 event.
What do you have to do to participate?
With the history of blogging and content creation at Copyblogger, participation in this free pass giveaway ($800 value) involves writing a blog post about what authority means to you for marketing. The post can link to the Authority Rainmaker event site http://tprk.us/trar15 or this blog post – either is fine.
We’re looking for original, clever and insightful posts and of course, this is about promoting the Authority Rainmaker event as much as it is about giving away a free pass, so be sure to share why you would like to attend the conference and what you’d be looking forward to most.
Once you publish your blog post, email us: authority15 at toprankblog dot com
We’ll be watching for posts until April 8th, 2015 and will announce the winner of the free pass giveaway on April 13th, 2015.
Transportation, accommodations and all other costs for the event are up to the winner. Good luck!
Top photo: Shutterstock
Disclosure: Copyblogger Media is a TopRank Online Marketing Client