One of the most important components of a successful online business is trust. If you cannot build trust with consumers, it will be hard to make consistent sales. Building trust largely involves growing your authority and credibility, helping visitors to feel positive from the first interaction and through the entire sales process. With so many brands competing for attention, it can be tricky to grow your authority within your target industry. Using the following techniques, though, it is possible to become an authoritative brand that consumers feel confident dealing with:
Reviews and Testimonials
Consumers rely on reviews and testimonials to help with buying decisions. Consumers use review sites to actively seek out the opinions of others, with platforms like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google My Business offering star ratings and comments. Testimonials are often featured on websites, potentially showing the thoughts of buyers or recognized brands. Even if people don’t read the testimonials fully, their presence can have a positive impact.
Along with reviews and testimonials, there are other ways to leverage social proof to build authority. You can use social listening tools to monitor brand mentions on social media, reposting the content to your own feed where appropriate. Also, your employees and customers can become representatives for the brand with some incentives and assistance. You could encourage people to post on social media, using a unique hashtag that grows in recognition as more people use it.
Influencers have spent considerable time building up a following who trust their opinions. If the marketing is done correctly, partnering with these influencers can enhance your authority within the niche. The key is to create authentic campaigns, using influencers who are a natural fit for your business and believe in the brand. Authentic recommendations from a number of key people can lead to a huge growth in brand authority.
Content marketing is great for building authority as you get to display your expertise, knowledge, or creativity to consumers. The content should represent the brand itself, providing something valuable to the target audience. For example, a fitness brand could offer free workout programs or a restaurant might give cooking tutorials and tips. This content, assuming it is distributed effectively, will draw audiences in and help display a larger footprint within the niche.
Develop a Brand Message
Audiences may encounter your business in a variety of different places. You will likely have a main website, a blog, social media properties, and a network of sites to syndicate content with. In order to build authority, it is important that you develop a brand message and voice that remains consistent across these platforms. Consumers will see that your brand has a distinct personality and perspective, increasing the trust they have for your business.
Businesses often dedicate resources to improving their conversion rate. While a better conversion rate can be gained from tweaks to sales pages, updated opt-in boxes, and alternative checkout facilities, less focus is placed on becoming an authority.
When you have gained authority status within your industry, consumers will be primed to purchase from you. There will be far fewer objections to overcome as trust will have already been gained. Authority and credibility are vital aspects of building an online brand, so make it a central pillar of every marketing campaign you create.