As a strategic marketing consultant for my own agency, I’m often told by prospective clients that one of their main business objectives is to focus on SALES. BUT what if there was a way for every product that you sell to be bought by every prospective customer? In other words, what if every prospect trusted you so much that they bought every product you recommend and/or sell?
Unfortunately, there is no proven method (yet!) to make this a reality. However, marketing and PR can help – it’s called being an authority on a subject to gain the trust and confidence of your audience. Why is credibility such an important currency in business?
What is credibility?
Credibility is about trust and belief. It’s concerned with facts and evidence and also relates to feelings and opinions. As an attribute, credibility is important because it helps to influence people’s buyer behaviour patterns and thoughts and has a ripple effect. If a company, its employees and/or its brand are not credible, others are less likely to believe what is being said. A perceived lack of credibility results in an unwillingness to trust and buy from the company.
What makes a brand credible?
The key to credibility is consistent delivery and integrity. Act with consistency. Always stay true to your values and be clear about what you stand for. Deliver what you say you will and when, every time. Determine what underpins trust for your product/ service audience. Become an expert in your subject and build trust. Act with authority. People do business with people they know, like and trust. Listen and engage with your customers and be willing to share useful information on request. Build positive brand experiences. Act with authenticity. Tell your story – don’t tell your audience what you think they want to hear and make sure that you stay on topic. Building and protecting a credible brand establishes brand authority.
I had the unfortunate experience of having a social media post image ‘borrowed’ without attribution recently by a local business also in marketing and it left a yucky feeling behind. This spoke volumes about the brands ethics, morals and integrity and, as a result I will not be attending a new local woman’s network that features this company on their committee.
How credible is my brand?
There many quantitative and qualitative measures for credibility and trust. Online, there are many free domain and page authority checkers available which are statistical measures of relevance. ‘Domain authority’ measures how relevant your website is, relative to those of your competitors. A domain authority check will measure how trustworthy, relevant, and detailed the information about your subject is on your site. These are measures of quality, not just quantity. The more your website is ‘linked to’ by other, high-authority websites and authors, the higher your domain authority – known as ‘in-bound’ links. Future Google SEO algorithm changes may also incorporate the requirement for secure website encryption with a HTTPS certificate affecting your websites credibility. You might have millions of words on your website, but if they’re not useful and relevant to a site visitor because they’re not informative, then your domain authority will suffer and you’ll rank lower on Google.
What can Marketing/ PR do?
A brand is not WHAT people think of you but HOW. If you wish to focus on becoming a trusted brand, your customers (and stakeholders) must communicate that quality to others. People will speak highly of you and recommend you and testimonials can help, but word of mouth takes time and effort. Marketing and PR can help you to find your voice fast.
Strategic marketing can help you to clarify and understand your brand mission, vision and values. I enjoy helping my clients with their brand personality – known as emotive branding, to enable them to act with consistency, authority and authenticity. This translates into a specific and measurable marketing plan.
PR can help you to tell your story. The beauty of PR is that it focuses on achieving third-party endorsement and so can rocket-fuel the process. How do you become a trusted expert? You position yourself as an authority on your subject and pitch yourself to the media best suiting your target audience.
“The more you understand that audience, the better your pitch will be and you will focus on the outlet that is right for your audience”, PitchCraft Blog by Nellie PR
If a boost in credibility could lead to an improvement in your company then I’d recommend that you give me a call.