A.) Branded (owned by the brand)
B.) User reviews (comments, rating systems, online forums)
C.) Expert, news (articles, posts appearing on credible third party sites)
If you chose “C. Expert, news” content you are right. Posting content on sites that hold authority with your audience is a good content strategy to gain third party credibility. It builds trust. It positions you where you want to be with an audience that is receptive to your topic. By creating audience-focused content, not sales or promotional content, you can increase your content credibility through third party experts including publishers, website editors/bloggers, event and organization planners.
When Diamond Crystal Salt wanted to reach an audience of professional chefs they talked with Plate Magazine about creating a custom newsletter that would be sent to Plateonline.com opt-in subscribers via email. Plate’s publishing staff hired independent writers to find and interview chefs (credible, third party experts) as sources for newsletter articles. Articles for the Essential Seasonings newsletter focus on salt-related topics of interest to their readers. Chef recipes are shared on their Culinary Recipes From Experts website page.
Another example of working with a publisher is transportation and hospitality security professional Shawn Clark of Clark Consulting Grp, who lends and establishes his credibility by writing articles for trade publications including Security magazine. His experience shows he is a credible source for the magazine and the magazine proves to be a credible source for him.
“The articles have certainly come up during projects; specifically when we are deploying one of the ideas or philosophies I’ve written about in the past,” says Clark. For him, writing articles provides an opportunity to share his experiences, ideas and solutions in a way that resonates with audiences.
A few days before the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago, I saw this tweet from Swipely, a technology company serving the restaurant industry. The tweet links to a post in FSR Magazine, a publication that covers the full-service restaurant industry.
The post in FSR magazine is titled: How to Budget Your Time at One of the Biggest Restaurant Industry Events. It gives ten good tips on how to do this with number six being: Evaluating Technology for Your Restaurant. After seeing some key points to consider about restaurant technology the reader is urged to visit the Swipely site to use their Restaurant technology grader. This post is written by Swipely content marketing manager Nicole Mongillo. Because the article is well researched with good information focused on a topic other than Swipely I think it passes as a valuable piece of content for the magazine’s readership. In this case, the website serves as a credible, third party.
Conference & Event Planners
When Site Prep magazine launched its first Site Prep Tech conference last year they included credible, third party experts such as Jason Anetsberger of Komatsu to talk about industry trends in articles that publicize the conference.
As part of a content strategy companies can also sponsor content as Vitamix does for the NRA Show World Culinary Showcase. Credible, third party experts in this case are celebrity chefs. In addition to events, companies can sponsor email campaigns and webinars to gain third party credibility.
Big data company, Equipment Data Associates (EDA), joined forces with industry association, Associated Equipment Distributors (AED), to survey construction equipment dealers on their marketing tactics. The results are published in the AED | EDA Dealer Marketing Report: 2014 Benchmarks and Trends in the Construction Industry, and were featured in an article in Construction Equipment Distribution.Teaming up with a trusted Association to provide valuable information to an audience can be very effective because the results of the survey are often shared, extending audience reach for both the company and the Association.
Finding or being the right expert and meeting the editorial standards established by publishers, website editors, event marketers, and organization planners will bring your content closer to third party credibility. Once you gain trust, buyers are open to your message no matter stage of the buying cycle they are in.