What is Editorial Authority and What Does it Mean for Your Brand?

Posted by: Jeff Fromm

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If marketers were asked to define the marketing landscape today in one idea, we hypothesize that idea would be content marketing.

While content marketing is not a new phenomenon, it has reached unprecedented levels of impact in our consumer market today. With more than 200 million consumers installing ad-blocking software in 2015, and the numbers steadily increasing year-over-year, brands must rely on more than traditional paid advertisements. Content marketing allows brands to connect with their audiences on a much more personal level, increasing brand affinity and recognition.

But, where does this content come from? How can we build relationships with consumers through content? And, most importantly, how can we convey our messages in a way that makes sense and resonates with the most connected generation in the world today?


Too often we see brands playing the role of provider. While this strategy might have worked during the Industrial Revolution, consumers now expect more. They want to feel a close personal relationship with the brands they choose to interact with and expect more humanity from them. This has a direct impact on the way brands are approaching their content and communication strategies.

Defining Editorial Authority

Editorial Authority defines the relevant conversations a brand is able to have that extend beyond just the product or service offering. Think about it this way: If your brand was a magazine, what articles would fill the pages? You can only talk about your product or service in so many different ways and for so long. Editorial Authority does not just answer the “what” of your business, but instead digs deeper to answer the “why.”

The truth is, consumers pay more attention to a brand with a point of view beyond its bottom line.

Getting started

Step 1 – Define your brand idea

Brand ideas are the heart of every great brand. The brand idea is a long-term proposition that drives everything your brand does. Let’s bring this concept to life using one of the most loved brands to date: Nike.

Nike sells more than just shoes. It has built its brand around the idea that “everyone is an athlete” and

has proven that to be true time and time again. In alignment with this idea, Nike has created an entire ecosystem that supports athletes on their journey towards health and high performance, beyond just what they are wearing on their feet.

How does this align with Editorial Authority? Let’s go back to the idea that your Editorial Authority is like your brand magazine. If you were to open Nike’s magazine, the centerfold would not be a shoe. It would be a woman bent over in triumph after completing her first marathon. Nike has built its authority beyond just shoes because its brand idea was and is much bigger.

Step 2: Understand the cultural currency your brand possesses

If your audience does not have any equity in your brand, then they will likely not feel bad about leaving you as soon as the next best thing comes around. The goal is to determine where the overlap exists between your brand culture and consumer culture.

For example, students at Ohio State don’t love their team because they love Nike. However, they have developed a strong relationship and brand affinity for Nike because that is what their team wears and what is sold on campus.

This is just a sneak peek of what is available in the Editorial Authority guide we have put together. Download the full report to dive into how to establish your Editorial Authority and what opportunities exist to improve your content strategy. 

To get the full scoop on how to identify your Editorial Authority, be sure to download the full white paper now!


About Jeff Fromm

Although not a Millennial as defined by his age, Jeff Fromm is the Millennial Marketing Guy. Jeff is President of FutureCast, a marketing consultancy that specializes in Millennial trends, and is a contributing writer at...See Jeff's full bio.