What Is Brand Authority and How to Build It


As a B2B marketing leader, building your brand’s authority in your industry has never been more important than now—a time when more businesses are racing to be the go-to voice of reason in the market. The higher your brand authority, the more credibility and influence you have, leading to more customers, higher revenue, and a better reputation. 

But how do you effectively and efficiently build brand authority, while also achieving a positive return on investment (ROI) and operational scalability?

In this article, we will explore the concept of brand authority and provide a step-by-step guide to building it using effective content marketing. Specifically, we’ll be focusing on actionable insights to improve your brand authority and drive growth for your business.

Build Brand Authority with Content Marketing

Content marketing is a popular type of marketing that involves creating and sharing valuable content. By establishing your brand as a credible source of information in your industry, your audience is also more likely to trust your brand and view you as an authority.

Before creating the content marketing assets you need, you should first focus on getting stakeholder buy-in. After all, if you don’t get enough support, how can you be successful? 

To do so, you must first understand how to measure the ROI of a marketing asset. 

Step 1: Measuring the ROI of a Content Marketing Asset 

While it might seem complicated at first glance, calculating the ROI of your content is a simple matter of benchmarking and extrapolation. Here is a step-by-step guide to calculating your ROI for an ebook:

First, figure out the cost of creating that ebook. You can use a simple formula like:

Number of hours x average hourly cost 

Let’s say your content team spends about 40 hours writing the e-book before passing it off to the design team, who spends an extra 10 hours creating the visuals. If your average hourly cost is around $100, your e-book costs you $5000.  

Now to calculate your ROI on that $5000, we will need to identify 3 key metrics: the number of leads generated, your average lead-to-sale conversion rate, and your average sale amount value. 

Let’s say you managed to pull in 20 qualified leads through your ebook. If your lead-to-sale conversion rate is about 50%, that equates to 10 deals closed. If an average sale value is about $2000, that’s $20,000 in revenue attributable to your e-book. 

$20,000 in revenue from an initial investment of $5000 thus equates to a 300% ROI for your ebook.

Note: The numbers above have been greatly simplified. Feel free to adjust them as you see fit.

Step 2: Secure Stakeholder Buy-in with Data

Now that you can calculate/forecast your content ROI, this step becomes much easier. Your stakeholders now know that for every dollar invested in a piece of content, they can expect to earn X amount of revenue.

To further support this, you can include stories of companies who successfully used content marketing to build brand authority and saw healthy returns on their investment. For example, you can read how a small web development agency managed to double their website traffic and win an estimated $300,000 in new projects thanks to their State of The Industry report in 2019 here.

Of course, you must also include a content distribution plan to convince your stakeholders that the asset will reach your target audience (we’ll cover this later). 

Step 3: Create the Right Type of Content

Here are a few types of content favored by B2B marketers to build brand authority:


  • Authoritative documents that present information, analysis, and recommendations on a particular topic 
  • Longer and more detailed than other types of assets (such as blog posts or case studies), whitepapers commonly include robust statistics, charts, graphs, and other data to support their arguments
  • Enable brands to showcase original industry knowledge, promote expertise, and strengthen brand awareness


  • Extensive guides filled with visually engaging content that provides tangible value to the audience
  • Often used as lead magnets to attract potential customers to a company’s products or services 
  • Easy to update and revise, making them a flexible and cost-effective marketing tool
  • Enable brands to demonstrate thought leadership, provide added value to readers, and position the brand as a key source of information


  • Usually short-form content published on a regular basis, with the aim of building a loyal audience of readers who turn to the blog as a trusted source of information and insights 
  • Cover a wide range of topics, from industry news and trends to best practices and how-to guides
  • Enable brands to build audience engagement, and contribute to SEO efforts


  • Online events that brands host and broadcast to a select group of individuals 
  • Cover a wide range of topics, from product demos to industry trend discussions and customer-led case studies
  • Enable brands to build audience engagement, offer social proof, and educate both existing and potential customers

Step 4: Leverage Social Media to Better Distribute Your Content

If a tree falls in a forest and there’s no one around to hear it, does it make a sound?

If you’re publishing high-quality content to build brand authority but no one is seeing it, does it really work?

The best way to do this is to leverage the wide reach of social media. Even though the prospect of running multiple social media accounts can be daunting, they are still undeniably a valuable tool for building brand authority. They allow you to engage with your audience and share valuable thought leadership content without breaking the bank. 

By consistently sharing quality content, you can showcase your brand’s unique personality and voice and establish your brand as an authority in your field.

It’s Time to Start Building Brand Authority

Content marketing is an effective way to build brand authority, but only if you can secure buy-in from your major stakeholders. Being able to accurately calculate the ROI for your content assets is an effective way of doing so. 

Creating the right type of content is also important. Here are some helpful examples of thought leadership content that can build authority

Finally, you need a proper content distribution strategy to ensure that your content reaches the right people. The best way to do this via social media, which has a wide reach and is cost-effective.

Even though building brand authority takes time and effort, it is well worth it—to the tune of $3.6 million a year. If you’re ready to invest in building brand authority, consider partnering with a B2B marketing agency with a successful track record of doing so. Check out this content asset we produced to help our client build brand authority here.

The Author

David Ho

David hails from a rather unorthodox background in writing and applied linguistics. He wandered the wilderness of sales and tech recruitment for close to 3 years before coming home to content writing.

David Ho