In today’s digital age, establishing a good image through the Internet is a tough and challenging task, especially if you still don’t know where to prioritize your marketing efforts.
Forbes published a top-10 of the online marketers to follow in 2014. These 10 marketers are well-know and trusted and beyond their talent they have all been able to develop an efficient content marketing strategy. This method has indeed been the gateway for their online success and the lessons learned could also be applied to your business. Through a cost-effective approach this strategy can in fact help you build a credible image and eventually lead to a more trusting relationship with your shareholders when used the right way.
So, if you are among the many aspirants of building a credible online brand for yourself or your business on the web, this post is probably for you! We have in fact gathered 4 major similar traits of these 10 marketers.
Hoping it will give you a clearer direction as you work your way to fame with your content marketing plans 🙂


Lesson #1: Showcase the highest level of expertise in your niche

Before you can even claim you are an expert in a particular field or profession, be sure you asked yourself this vital question:

 “Do you have something valuable that you could offer the public that no other individual possessed?”

You must be fully confident that your talent or existing knowledge will provide relevant ideas or solutions to the problems of your target audience. Remember, most online users are now clever when it comes to giving their trusts. You need to showcase a level of expertise or exhibit extensive knowledge in order to win somebody’s approval. When giving an opinion on a specific subject area, unless you are 100% sure that your ideas or comments are based on real facts or figures, don’t give your target readers false claims just to get their attention.
Never mislead your audience that you are an expert because at the end of the day when all sorts of discussions are shoot on your way and you can’t provide a credible answer, you will look thoughtless and people will be discouraged from sharing your posts again in the near future. There reputation is based on what they share. Nobody wants to share irrelevant ideas or wrong information on their social media feeds, right? The question is thus: How could YOU develop the highest level of expertise in your niche?
Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz does this really well. Beyond founding the most respected SEO Company in the world, he also commits to producing insightful lessons every Friday through his Whiteboard Friday.


Lesson #2: Be Ready To Express Passion

When you are searching for information on the Internet and reading through the impressive amount of content available, you probably like to read posts from real persons. Keep in mind that your readers feel exactly the same when reading your content and generally like to read about real experiences. They want to sense passion and if you aren’t ready to express that in your posts you are probably missing a secret ingredient that will surely entice your readers to share your content. Show passion when crafting your content and don’t be afraid to dig deeper and explain further your inner thoughts. However, make sure you are ready to accept critics as not all your readers will share the same sentiments as you do. There will be moments when somebody will express a different opinion and you have to face it positively and rather see it as an opportunity to showcase your expertise.
Gary Vaynerchuk clearly masters how to express passion. I first discovered him through his inspirational Ted video “Do What You Love (no escuses)” . I’ve been following him since them and loved his last book “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” and his #AskGarryVee Youtube program.


Lesson #3: Provide Author’s Credit or Links to Other Sources

The online community lives on a give-and-take relationship. This is also being observed in any content marketing effort, especially if you have taken some valuable information from others’ website. You must provide a link to the source of information and cite the author’s name to give the credit his/her ideas deserve. You will be surprised by the outcome of this gesture. More visitors might in fact be visiting your webpage since you have built a connection to the person with a credible image through shared links.
As an SEO lover, you probably know Danny Sullivan and his Search Engine Land’s online publication website. Further than his exceptional knowledge in the SEO field he has been able to invite the most talented marketers to write on his website.


Lesson #4: Compile relevant data

Another unique way to establish one’s authority is through compilation of relevant data and putting all those facts in your content.  A content generated from a careful selection of resources will give you more recognition as a writer, rather than your possible background or experience.
I have had a great pleasure to discover Belle Beth Cooper’s work at the time she was content crafter at Buffer. She is an experienced writer that has been featured in Fast Company, The Huffington Post, The Next Web, Time, etc. Her ability to raise points that are based on relevant data is quite impressive.


Lesson #5: Make Good Use Of Hierarchical Or Rank-based Title

Sometimes, an individual’s title or position in a community is enough to command attention or respect. If you wish your content marketing campaign to gain more awareness and credibility why not use the rank-based title approach on your posts. An article attributed to an “unknown social media guru” will probably have a better impact than an “unknown writer” as readers will attribute more credibility knowing it comes from a high-ranking person. Even if the name was not revealed and even if the writer is a self-proclaimed guru. You can also try experimenting on subject-related headlines, rather than use the plain “author” title or “contributor” on your posts. People will in fact be more intrigued to read a post coming from a “digital expert” while reading an article about this subject.
Who else than Avinash Kaushik uses his title in the marketing community to the fullest? Digital Marketing Evangelist at Google, he has been able to be known through this title and built a solid reputation based on that.


Lesson #6: Get Referent Credibility

Do you want your content to go viral and gain more credibility? Chase referrals! You can accomplish this objective by publishing your content on websites with good ratings and great track-record. If it seems plain and simple, readers often rely on referent credibility before make their choice whether your content is worth sharing or not.
Neil Patel is phenomenal. He is the founder of Kissmetrics and Crazyegg and writes the amazing Quicksprout blog. He has managed to build his personal brand through quality content and high-quality referrals as he is regularly featured in websites such as Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, Mashable, etc.


Writing compelling content requires a good deal of writing skills, practice and creativity before you can establish a deeper relationship with your target audience. Never forget to always put yourself in the shoe of your target readers and once you have assessed their expectations and the elements of a viral content, use these ideas as you compose.
What are your personal tips? Anything you’d like to add?
Feel free to do so in the comment section below 🙂

Nicolas Finet

Nicolas is a business engineer passionate about marketing. He is the co-founder of Sortlist, a platform that connects web agencies and companies.


Dr. Robert · 30/09/2014 at 05:44

Great list of lessons. Thanks for sharing.

    Nicolas · 30/09/2014 at 05:54

    Our pleasure! Thanks for the feedback 🙂

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