The marketing landscape has been a wild ride in 2020. Businesses have had to close, open, close again, ramp up again, and so on. It’s been less than optimal for business owners and their staff, to say the least.
However, it’s been just as hard on consumers. Many have had their favorite companies go out of business or limit their offerings, and have been forced to go elsewhere. What matters to them most in their search and purchases, then, is brand authority.
What is Brand Authority?
Brand authority refers to the amount of trust consumers have in your brand. I.e., your reputation. With all the distrust people have in the world right now, they are looking for security in their purchases.
Here are five things small businesses can do to increase their brand authority in 2021.
Get to Know Your Audience
People trust people more than companies. A memorable connection made with a person on your team will far outweigh the latest marketing promotion. Here are some ways you can make better connections with your audience:
- Answer common questions on social media and email marketing
- Go live on social media or post videos to get a real person in front of your audience
- Consider hosting an online webinar
- Send out a survey to current and previous customers asking for feedback on how to improve a product or service
Highlight Your Expertise
One of the best ways to increase brand trust is to display your industry expertise. This can be done in several ways:
- Write blogs or articles highlighting industry trends and data (added SEO bonus here)
- Have a featured post or newsletter from the owner or in-house expert once a month
- Work to get featured on other industry podcasts, websites, or social media
- Speak at events or webinars
The important message here is to demonstrate your knowledge to your audience in helpful ways. Remember: slogans, taglines, and beautiful branding are great, but they only get you so far. In what other ways can you earn your audience’s trust and show your expertise?
Showcase the Trust You Have
People are highly influenced by others’ opinions. 91% of people trust online reviews, according to revlocal.com. This is because online users do not see reviewers as strangers first, but rather peers. Therefore, you should make a strong push to display the reviews you already have and work to request new ones.
We advise our clients to send out periodic emails to previous clients and customers requesting an online review. It’s important that these reviews are posted on public, high traffic sites like Facebook and Google. In order for people to review you on Google, you will need to create a Google Business Profile. If you have not created one, you should stop reading this and do so! It will significantly help your SEO, and provide an easy way for prospects to contact you. You learn how to create one here (or we can help create one for you)
If you are not comfortable requesting reviews, remember one of the main reasons we request feedback is in order to best serve our clients. When you put it in the perspective of, “help us help you”, it’s easier to reach out, and also helps build trust.
Associate with Other High Trust Brands
If you are short on opportunities to showcase your own brand authority, try to highlight your association with brands who do. For example, we have a client who is a custom home builder in the area. We are working with them to highlight case studies and featured stories on social media of reputable vendors they work with within the community. This association helps build trust in their own brand and also increases awareness with a potentially new audience.
Brainstorm ways you can team up with similar businesses in your community. Which ways can you help provide value to your audience and help increase your brand authority? Here are some additional ideas to keep you going:
- Host a giveaway
- Host a live Q&A
- Develop a product combination set with another company to be purchased together (I happen to love craft beer and see breweries team up all the time in this way)
I believe if you begin to incorporate these strategies into your content marketing plan, you will not only increase brand awareness but begin to increase trust in your brand as well. That trust will be the foundation you need to continue growing in 2021.
If you have any questions about the above tactics or want to get in touch, you can email me at [email protected]