How to Position Yourself as an Industry Expert Through Content Marketing

02 Feb 2021


We are all good at something.

Some of us are naturally good cooks, excellent writers, or born leaders. As we progress in our careers, we develop proficiency in subjects germane to our jobs.

Sometimes, that proficiency and specialization becomes the core competency of our career. That proficiency and specialization can move markets, get interviews, get you quoted, sought out, and recognized. That “something” we’re good at becomes “expertise.”

As comedian Chris Rock was recently quoted in a CBS Sunday Morning interview, “You can be anything you’re good at, as long as they’re hiring!” And as long as they’re hiring, or looking, your skills can help you get recognized.

Once we have achieved marketable expertise, though, how can we position ourselves to benefit from this recognition? The same way that businesses generate leads, turn leads to customers, and expand customer sales – through Content Marketing!

Let’s take a look at content marketing and learn how we can use content marketing concepts to position ourselves as an industry expert.

What is Content Marketing?

According to HubSpot’s The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing in 2020, “Content marketing is the process of planning, creating, distributing, sharing, and publishing content to reach your target audience. It can boost factors like brand awareness, sales, reach, interactions, and loyalty.”

Linda Welch, Director of SEO & Content Marketing at Unisys Corporation, a global information technology company that delivers successful outcomes for the most demanding businesses and governments, says that definition is missing one important concept.

Content marketing, according to Linda, includes “how to reach your target audience and then get them to look at your content, appreciate it, share it, recognize your expertise and come back and engage with you for more.”

When applying content marketing concepts to the promotion of industry expertise, we are exploring the use of content marketing in a non-traditional way.

Rather than traditional Business-to-Business (B2B) or Business-to-Consumer (B2C) applications, we are using content marketing for personal promotion. In this case, an “Individual-to-Business” or “I2B” model, allowing an individual to promote their expertise using content marketing concepts.

How then are we to be recognized as an industry expert?

Chris Hornyak, Senior SEO Analyst at The Content Factory, a digital PR agency specializing in SEO, content writing, social media marketing, and making their clients (more) famous, puts it this way:In the same way that content marketing “fundamentally uses creative assets to reach people,” building industry expertise recognition involves content that “the audience wants to see and the audience interacts with.

Putting your expertise out there, using content marketing, is key to recognition. Chris Hornyak says that “the focus should be on building the individual’s name brand and name recognition.”

For Linda Welch, recognition as an expert is an extension of her work responsibilities. “I look to be recognized as an expert within Unisys where executives and co-workers know your talents, reach out for you for support/ideas, and ultimately get recognized for your expertise/efforts through verbal recognition or awards. Early in my career, my external opportunities to be recognized came from my interactions with clients, for solutions I helped develop, which turned into opportunities to speak at our user group conferences.

Strategies to Position Yourself as an Industry Expert via Content Marketing

Bringing the two together – content marketing and industry expertise – one supports and strengthens the other. There are a number of content marketing strategies that individuals can employ to become known as an industry expert.

Linda Welch at Unisys says, “I think being able to create a wide variety of types of content (article, blog, infographic, webpage, etc.) shows that you have a diverse set of capabilities. This includes not only the topical area, but the types of content. The more partnerships and connections you can build internally or externally will help increase your credibility and references.”

Here are a few content marketing approaches that you will recognize, but with an I2B slant.

Blogs and Posts

Writing and publishing a blog or a post can be a very effective step in establishing your brand.

Publishing your own content helps you to establish relevancy, build a following, and provide a continuum of subject matter.

Blogs and posts help people find you and follow you. Choose content that reinforces your brand and your skills, and motivates your followers to come back for more.

Chris Hornyak suggests three important concepts to employ around blogs and posts: “(1) Speak in a definitive voice that can be direct, playful, informative; (2) provide value and build trust; and (3) provide a way for the conversation to continue.”

Thought pieces and whitepapers can also provide additional information about you and your skillsets in a longer, more robust format.

Social Media and Personal Websites

Having a personal website allows the messaging to be all about you. The issue, of course, is getting viewers’ eyeballs on your content.

Using social media sites such as LinkedIn, for example, allows you to control the narrative and provide personal information, including your web address as well as posts and blogs that you write and publish. Think of LinkedIn as your personal online resume. You can put your LinkedIn profile address in your contact information, so it is easily found.

In addition, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and others can reinforce your messaging. It is important that each of these venues consistently present you and your industry expertise. Make sure that postings, photos, and images on social media sites portray you in the most positive light.

Videos and Podcasts

Both can be effective in broadcasting your expertise and capabilities, but both require an investment of time and money. As Chris Hornyak puts it, “the juice has to be worth the squeeze!”

One potential use of video is a short vignette, highlighting you and your expertise. These are often seen on LinkedIn as you scroll through the home feed. They are short, 1-2 minutes max, and very focused on capturing the viewers’ attention. Often encapsulated with a short message, the viewer can click for more information.

Linda Welch points out that, “we have successfully utilized different length videos for each target audience,” allowing an ideal focus of time/money against intended content marketing results. The same is true for podcasts. They can reinforce your personal message and capabilities, but require scripting, producing, and deploying to be effective.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

To be recognized as an industry expert requires content marketing that allows your target audience to find you, follow you, and want to follow up for more. SEO is the “secret sauce” that allows this to happen.

Chris Hornyak says that “good SEO is good content and good content is good SEO.” These two concepts interlock.

When we post, write, video, or record, our audience is not only the people we want to reach, but also the search engines those people will use to find us. The goal, according to Linda Welch, is to utilize SEO concepts so that your target audience can “find you, follow you, and stay relevant.”

Yes, we are all good at something.

When that “something” we are good at becomes expertise, we can use content marketing concepts to be recognized, followed, and sourced. It’s not difficult, but using the techniques described in this article can move us to the top of the search page. And recognition as an expert will surely follow.

Harry Goldberg 

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