Ah, credibility: that multi-syllabic word that holds so much power when it comes to brands. Without it, your business will have trouble staying afloat in this massively-connected world.
The modern consumer connects with companies who are authorities, who have established themselves as trusted sources of information and purveyors of quality products or services.
The Millennial consumer, for instance, trusts the recommendations of their peers far more than they do the empty words on billboards or advertisements. Unless you’ve walked the walk, so to speak, you aren’t going to appeal to them.
Unless your brand has established credibility with real consumers and reviewers, you aren’t likely to stand out in the world of eCommerce, social media or the modern consumer. You also won’t be able to appeal to stockholders or investors who can help you bring your company to the next level.
So you know that credibility is key; now you’re wondering how you can infuse your brand with some of it.
We’ve listed some ways below.
1. Give Timely Responses on Social Media—Especially to Bad Reviews
Negative reviews, if they’re submitted by legitimate sources, are nearly impossible to have taken down. But you do have a great opportunity to establish some brand credibility with how your company responds to them.
Timing is everything; it’s vital that you reach out within the first few hours to show the unhappy customer that you’re paying attention to what your audience is saying and that you truly care.
People aren’t necessarily looking for perfection or even an effusive apology—they just want you to acknowledge them and offer solutions to their problem or complaint.
How does responding to online comments give you credibility, you ask?
A company that takes the time to address its customers’ complaints is usually one that is striving to improve their products or services. Simply showing your customers that you’re listening, that you’re aware of your mistakes and are trying to improve, can be a boon for your credibility.
2. Utilize Digital PR
As we stated before, Digital PR can encompass a number of outreach options, from media outreach to social media and SEO.
Media outreach and social media, in particular, are great tools for targeting and appealing to influencers who can give your brand a huge credibility boost.
When you can get a mention or follow from someone who has clout in your industry, you’ve positioned yourself as an authority by association.
Getting lip service from an important influencer can not only give your brand exposure, it can change the perception of your brand by members of your target audience.
3. Use Correct Grammar and Punctuation
These days, there is a multitude of avenues for brands to reach and communicate with their audiences. From your website to your blog to multiple social media accounts, your opportunities to say things are seemingly endless.
Therein lies the problem...especially if you don’t have a good proofreader on hand.
Poor spelling, grammar and punctuation are among the most annoying things about following brands on social media, according to this recent study.
Because official company accounts are held to a higher standard than individual social media accounts, it’s important that you take the time to carefully proofread everything you send out.
Of course, one little blip here and there isn’t going to kill you, but when you repeatedly make spelling errors and grammar mistakes, your followers are going to stop reading your posts and blogs.
A company that communicates cleanly, with correct spelling and pristine grammar, has an air of professionalism and authority that your prospective customers will respect.
4. Remove Spammy Backlinks and Questionable Associations from Social Media and Website
Associating with spammy, uncredible sources, whether it’s on your blog, social media accounts or website, diminishes your brand’s credibility. It’s as simple as that.
Carefully curate and choose the companies you partner with. Don’t accept guest blogging submissions from companies who aren’t legitimate. Don’t accept or showcase partnerships with companies unless you’ve carefully vetted their credibility and quality.
Remember: your associations reflect on your company. When you’re trying to build credibility, you can’t be too careful about who you allow to associate with you.
If cleaning up your bad backlinks is a new frontier for your company, Google has the information you need.
5. Hire a Good Designer
Maybe it’s time to create a new website or update some of your company’s old graphics. You’re in the market for a designer, and you’re tempted to hire the more affordable one who doesn’t necessarily have the skills to create solid, lasting work. Don’t give into the temptation.
Your website’s design is literally the image of your company; it is inextricably linked to your credibility and reputation.
If you don’t have the money to invest in a good designer, it’s best to wait until you do. The ripple effects of outdated and tasteless design can become associated with your brand into eternity, no matter how long the bad designs persist.
Gaining credibility can be a game-changer for your brand, especially in our increasingly-connected and hyper-competitive world.
Consumers buy from brands they trust. If you can establish authority around your brand name, you can win that elusive trust and gain loyal followers and repeat customers.