With all the competition out there, projecting brand authority seems like an uphill battle. Every company tells their audience that they’re the best, whether or not they’re actually able to deliver.
But, what if I told you that you can still build your brand identity in a manner that’s rooted in trust and authority regardless of industry or market saturation?
What is Brand Authority?
Brand authority is more than just another marketing buzzword. On a general level, it’s how an enterprise imparts a strong image of leadership, expertise, and ability within their field.
The approach to branding is different depending on whether you’re a startup, small home-based business, or an established corporate leader. The goals, however, are the same:
- to gain trust
- to establish your company as the go-to that customers count on
- to alleviate cutomers’ pain points or improve some aspect of their lives
However, authority isn’t something you can just declare. It’s a characteristic assigned to you by customers and the general public based on performance, reliability, and other factors. It can’t be manufactured, but it can be built over time.
Here’s how to do it in seven easy steps.
1. See Yourself as the Customer Sees you
It’s difficult to know how you’re perceived until you step back and view yourself from the outside. Take an objective look at every facet of your business from its mission to social proof.
Are you someone you would trust?
If necessary, hire an outside consulting firm to evaluate your marketing strategy, social outreach, and online reputation. Once the results come back, make necessary changes toward improvement.
2. Showcase What You Bring to the Table
The next step toward establishing authority is to let your products and services shine. What’s your “X factor”? This is the set of unique distinguishing features that set you apart.
Rather than telling how great you are, show prospects what you bring to the table by highlighting benefits on your website:
- through descriptive text and images
- through customer testimonials
- by listing any qualifications or certifications that make you an expert in your field
3. Stay Consistent and True to Your Mission
Customers crave stability and transparency. Make sure your marketing efforts are consistent with your company mission and vision. Create a unified brand identity that’s the same from platform to platform and interaction to interaction. That includes everything from your logo to your website and all of your messaging, both internal and external, public and private.
4. Keeps the Lines of Communication Open
There are few things more frustrating than lack of communication. If your customers can’t reach you when they need assistance, it damages your reputation. With that in mind, remember to:
- Keep the lines of communication open.
- Provide multiple points of contact
- Address issues publicly in a timely manner
- Interact with customers frequently on social media.
These points above not only instill trust and demonstrate accessibility, they also provide a better customer experience.
5. Create Quality Content
Even if your primary business model isn’t a blog, creating fresh, relevant content that’s of the highest possible quality will go a long way toward demonstrating authority.
Industry-related blog posts and articles provide added value to the customer relationship while showing your expertise. If you don’t have the time or the talent to create new content on a regular basis, you can always outsource.
6. Link to Relevant, Authoritative Content
In addition to producing authoritative content on your own website, you should include back links to other industry leaders. Not only does Google judge you on the quality of your content and outside links, you’ll open up your business to a whole new audience with a demonstrated interest in your products or services.
Just make sure to choose high-value, recognized leaders and reputable websites. You can learn to check the authority of any website, known as their DA score, here.
7. Demonstrate Authenticity and Transparency
People who are trustworthy have nothing to hide. That goes for businesses as well. Consumers want to know that there are people behind a company, people who are honest, authentic, and mean what they say. They stand behind their products and services while acting with transparency and integrity.
Provide your audience with opportunities to see you and your team in action through video, images, and events. When you want to provide more personal interaction, create webinars, live call-ins, and demos. Share stories that connect you with customers, and encourage them to share their experiences with you.
Brand identity and authority aren’t characteristics that can be created overnight. This facet of branding has little to do with competition or market shares. It’s about how you present your company to the online public and how you conduct business. In order to be sustainable, a business’ reputation takes time to establish.
By following the above steps, you’ll fast-track your authoritative image and build a growing base of loyal customers in a manner that’s organic and lasting. But, you have to be able to back up your claims with action.
Our goal is to provide you with a road map toward creating a business optimization action plan. What you do with it or how far you take is up to you. Good luck!!