People are exposed to thousands of brand messages per day, from logos on clothing and coffee cups to music streaming and radio ads to targeted social media campaigns. In this cluttered space, with thousands of options to choose from—literally at your fingertips—how does your brand stand out in the crowd?
It’s true, that single word is a major factor in being selected by your prospects, growing your leads, increasing customer retention, and boosting profits. Credibility helps to influence people’s behaviors, actions, and way of thinking. People are more likely to want to do business with a brand that is transparent and trustworthy, with a positive reputation. PR initiatives can help your brand attain those desirable attributes and more. (PR is most effective when supported by strong branding and marketing programs, which is why SPINE provides services across all three disciplines.)
So why should your company focus on credibility?
Here’s an example: Many of our clients are service-based businesses, competing in extremely crowded marketplaces. Your company must stand out from the crowd to grow your business. If I’m a potential customer, I’m going to do my research before selecting a service provider. I may start by visiting your website and social media pages. Do you have them? Are they filled with current, innovative, and engaging content? Do you showcase the services you offer, the quality of your team, and the impact of your products? And are they presented jargon-free so that anyone seeking to do business can easily understand what you do?
If the answer to all of those questions is yes, then I might look at reviews to see how previous customers have rated your business. Is this something you encourage customers to do? Are reviews available on your site or only through a web search? Are they favorable? And if some are not, what have you done to address them? Do you demonstrate that customer feedback is important to your company—and that even when things don’t go quite right, you fix them?
Finally, I may look to see what your company is doing to support the local community, the environment, or the people you do business with. At a time when many consumers are seeking out responsible corporate citizens, it is more critical than ever to work toward a social responsibility goal. And if you are actively giving back—brag about it! This is something to be proud of!
In a world with thousands of companies to choose from, a digital presence that highlights the impact and quality of your work—one that speaks to me, on my level, to explain what you do and show you care about more than profits—will most likely earn you my business. And the perception that a company creates with its public helps to establish credibility in the industry.
So how can your brand build credibility?
- Create a social media footprint: There are more than 660 million users on LinkedIn and 2.5 billion users on Facebook each month. That’s a huge audience to get your brand in front of! Establishing your brand voice, building a strategic editorial calendar of what and when to post, tracking analytics to see the content your followers are most interested in, and sharing important information about your business and industry with your audience will help to create your company’s social media footprint and establish your brand as a credible source.
- Build brand awareness through the media: Forming strong relationships with journalists, pitching content to industry publications, and drafting press releases with critical updates on your company will help get the word out about your brand. Earning placements in reputable industry media outlets like trade publications, prominent podcasts, and association blogs will help you establish credibility among the people you do business with, and can help reach potential new audiences through additional exposure.
- Establish executives as thought leaders: Leverage the experience of your executive team to position them as thought leaders within their industry. Create a blog, serve as a key source for journalists, and pitch executives as keynote speakers and panelists at industry events. As your leadership team members become more trusted sources, your brand becomes more credible.
Looking to bolster your brand’s credibility through a proactive public relations strategy? Contact SPINE to start planning your customized approach.