InPowered's "Expert Ranking" tool promotes the credibility of your earned content (and its authors)

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When it comes to earned media, not all content is created equal. Good PR pros know that it's better to target a few influential experts, rather than scattering media mentions across as many publications as possible.

To leverage expert content, San Francisco-based content amplification platform inPowered has a new feature that lets PR pros and content marketers not just amplify earned content, but identify and showcase the expertise of the people creating it. This lets readers or potential customers know that the content being promoted is real, earned, and more importantly, credible.

Marketers can currently use the inPowered platform to promote their earned content, essentially helping them turn media mentions into paid display ads. For example, let's say a marketer uses inPowered to search for all the articles written about a product launch. The platform returns the results, listing all the articles it can find across thousands of blogs, trade publications and news websites. If there is a particularly positive article about the product, that the marketer wants to promote, they can share it directly on their social networks through the platform. Or, if they have a decent budget, they can put a little bit of paid behind it and turn the article headline and picture into a native ad, which contains the following features:

- These paid ads now have the added feature of displaying the credentials of the "expert" who wrote the article, ranking them according to their expertise in the topic, frequency of publishing and the number of social shares they get.

- It's not just the headline and picture from an article that can be used to create the ad, the platform also highlights specific quotes from the piece which it thinks will be good as promotional copy.

- Users can use the budget slider to see how much readership they can get for the amount they spend. Readers who click on the ad are taken straight to the article, not to any publishing channels owned by the brand, maintaining its authenticity. 

- Users can also track the immediate effects of the content promotion, getting stats about how much traffic it directly generated for the article, and how many social shares it received.

Here's what it looks like:

“Ultimately, people trust experts far more than they trust brands,” says Pirouz Nilforoush, co-founder and president at inPowered. “inPowered is the only platform capable of ranking the top experts on any topic, discovering the content those experts have written about your brand, and highlighting the specific, positive expert opinions you should promote for the greatest business impact with customers.”

For readers who need further proof of an author's "expert ranking," clicking on their name in the ad will take them to the author's profile page, which displays their scores for each of the expert ranking factors:

The identification and ranking of experts is free for anyone who's signed up for an inPowered account. The platform makes money only when the content is turned into a paid ad, deployed through the major ad exchanges inPowered has partnered with. That's an extremely useful tool, especially for PR pros looking to prioritize their list of media contacts. It helps them zero in not just on the most socially influential writers, but the ones who have the depth of knowledge to create quality content.

Watching the demo of the product, I was impressed (not to mention a little flattered) to see how accurate it was in identifying me, and several writers from TechCrunch and Mashable who write about the same topics, as marketing tech experts. The algorithm works well at instantly quantifying knowledge that most PR pros only build up through years of experience. For journalists, this helps ensure they'll receive highly targeted and relevant story pitches.

In terms of strategy, inPowered works similarly to Outbrain or Taboola, where the placed articles drive content back to your brand's website. In this case however, the promoted articles link back to where the article was originally published, i.e. the media site or blog. This makes it the promotion considerably less spammy, since the traffic is being driven back to the original, independent publisher and not the brand.

However, marketers looking for a direct return or dollar value attached to the promotional efforts won't find it in easily quantifiable terms.

Nilforoush says the inPowered platform moves away from traditional content marketing which is all about generating traffic or leads, and is more focused on branding and conveying the right information about a product.

Nilforoush adds, "Anytime you have the ability to change the perception of a brand is worth a millions of dollars"

For more information on inPowered, check out this customer review of the platform by Tanya Lewis.

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