Your marketing claims ring hollow if prospects don’t think your brand is credible –pause, let the enormity of that statement settle in.
Brand credibility shapes public patterns, behaviors, thoughts and experiences. When prospective clients or customers perceive your brand as unknown or untrustworthy, it can sandbag growth and put direct pressure on your bottom line. Establishing credibility is integral for ensuring your business stands out from the crowd, especially at this moment where many businesses are investing in marketing to climb out of the pandemic economy.
If you are struggling to determine whether or not your core audiences find your brand to be credible, consider these questions.
Are You Making Broadcast TV Appearances?
A TV appearance is a game changer for your brand for two reasons: exposure and credibility. Your appearance puts you on a national podium and showcases your authority through allowing you to comment on relevant trends and events.
With the rise of smaller, more niche TV and streaming platforms, becoming a media personality has never been easier. TV networks are looking for companies to offer an expert perspective on various issues all the time. The pandemic has also normalized the use of platforms such as Zoom and Skype to conduct interviews, making appearing on TV more convenient as well. If you have already made a TV appearance on behalf of your brand, it’s important to use the logo and tape of the show on your website and social media. This allows you to leverage the appearance and bolster credibility long after the appearance is over.
Have You Been Featured In Print Or Digital Publications?
The editorial space is a hotly contested one and getting your brand featured in a print or digital publication is nothing short of a home run. These sorts of features build credibility and trust by offering a third-party endorsement from the publication, which may be more valuable to a prospective client than cut-and-dry sales tactics.
Are You Contributing To News Or Industry Trade Publications?
Ask world-renowned founders and CEOs –any leader worth their salt today is not just wearing a title to be relevant, they add their commentary on relevant industry topics, and this is important for building credibility.
One way to do that is by contributing your own articles to national, local, or trade publications. It boosts credibility by giving you an earned media placement, while allowing you to curate the message you want to get across to your audience without coming across as an in-your-face salesperson. Bylines in different publications also give you exposure to new audiences and allow you an unrestricted medium to comment on relevant topics in your field.
Are You Winning Awards?
It’s a no brainer-an accolade is affirmation that you’re really good at what you do. In case you need further proof, a report on U.S businesses showed a 63% growth in operating income and an about 40% uptick in sales for small companies who bagged an award.
There are numerous awards you can apply for depending on your industry or what you want to be known most for. When potential new clients or customers are deciding who to give their business to, seeing that your brand has the award titles to back up their words could make all the difference.
Are You Speaking As An Industry Thought Leader?
Speaking at conferences, conventions, and panels in your industry is an opportunity to establish yourself as a thought leader in topics that your audiences care about, while also growing and connecting with your network. Aim for the keynote speaker, guest panelist and such titles at these forums to help people associate your brand with expertise and thought leadership.
Are You Generating Positive Client Reviews?
Here’s the unsettling truth – According to a 2019 survey from BrightLocal, 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, and 31% of consumers said they read even more reviews now due to COVID-19.
People will demand social proof that you’re credible before they commit a penny to your product or service offering. Part of that social proof is found in client reviews. Positive reviews make a stellar impression about your brand to prospective clients the moment they google you.
Make your reviews visible on your website’s landing pages and anywhere your customers frequent when vetting you for credibility. Check in with past clients about their experience with you or turn to reputation management software to gauge what people say about your brand on social media streets.
Can People Find You On Google?
Sounds like the wrong question, right? What kind of business operates off grid in the internet age anyway? Well, it’s not about whether you have a digital imprint or not. It’s about how easy it is to find you.
If it’s hard to find your business or information about it for whatever reason –ranging from poor keyword practices to an unfriendly business name – all other credibility boosting tactics fall by the wayside. You must prioritize boosting SEO in order to generate more leads, increase your reach, and create new media opportunities.
You have higher chances of achieving credibility for your brand by approaching it from varied channels. Some prospects may be drawn by social proof, others won’t trust you until they see a demo. All in all, the convincing gets easier once you climb the first step on the credibility ladder.
Building credibility as a brand takes time and effort. If you answered “No” to one or more of these questions, now is the time to make changes. As we emerge from the pandemic and move towards the Fall, adopting best practices to build credibility are as important and beneficial as ever to set your brand apart.
Grace Savage is a Public Relations and Content Development Intern at Flackable, an award-winning public relations agency representing financial and professional services brands nationwide. To learn more about Flackable, please visit flackable.com.