Creating a positive reputation for your brand is an important building block for long-term success. But these days, establishing credibility can be a momentous challenge in the highly overcrowded marketing world. Consumer trust and confidence in brands has steadily diminished over the past few years, and now 42% of consumers report that they do not trust businesses or the messages they put out.
So, how can new and existing brands establish a positive, trustworthy reputation with customers? Let’s discuss four simple ways to get started.
- Encourage Employee Sharing
Employees sharing positive information about their company via social media, branded articles, or even verbal recommendations can make a huge impact on your credibility. It also increases the likelihood of a purchase, as 70% of consumers trust business and product recommendations from peers over businesses.
Companies that encouraged employee advocacy, specifically through social media sharing, reported a 79% lift in brand visibility, 65% higher recognition, and 31% experienced a 20% growth in revenue. These numbers go to show that a little bit of sharing with your team members can do wonders for your brand’s credibility – as customers are more trusting of messages that come from “real people.”
You can help your employees start to engage with social sharing by collecting libraries of branded content they can share, such as quality pictures or articles written about your company. Ask them to participate in the content themselves, pen their own blog posts, or film interviews to share their own experiences. This is a fantastic way to establish a valuable source of trustworthy content that your brand can use.
- Sell Knowledge, Rather than Just Products
Highly informative content is easily one of the best (if not the best) ways to build up your reputation as a leader in your niche. By generating content that is focused on key areas of interest within your industry, or posting discussions about the latest breakthroughs, your customers will see your company as an expert source of knowledge and insight. It can also strongly influence their decision to purchase your products or services, especially in competitive fields like B2B sales. In fact, 45% of key decision makers credited a brand’s thought leadership content as a powerful factor in making a purchase, and 82% reported that it made them trust the vendor even more.
This doesn’t only apply to B2B executives who are already experts in their field; educational content has the same effect on everyday consumers as well. One study found that when customers read a piece of thought leadership content, the number who found the brand trustworthy shot up to 64%. Over time, this number increased to 73%!
Quality content can not only improve your brand’s recognition and reputation; it can turn into an additional stream of income, too. You can share your business’s quality content by selling self-published e-books, online courses, or even hosting webinars to build up your position as an industry leader.
- Utilize User-Generated Content
Once again, it is important to remember that consumers these days are extremely wary of branded advertisements. They trust recommendations from people and peers far more than they do when it comes straight from the company itself. 70% of customers trust consumer opinions that are posted online, while less than 50% trust traditional advertisements, like commercials or social ads.
This is why encouraging user-generated content is such a powerful tactic for marketers in building brand trust. 75% of customers believe that when brands use UGC regularly in their content, it makes the business seem more authentic and trustworthy.
When a business includes reviews from customers or pictures of real people using the products, customers may be more likely to buy, and definitely more likely to trust the brand. Encourage your customers to share their experiences with branded hashtags or run promotions asking for them to post pictures or videos. If your company has its own hashtag or a tag related to your industry, take a look at the content people are posting and see if it could be valuable to share throughout your channels.
- Focus on the Founder
The stories of notable people such as Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg helped to define their respective brands. People were able to see a connection between the person and their business, and it certainly helped to boost their success.
While the founder of your business may not be a Steve Jobs-level of inspiration, chances are, they have wisdom and experiences that others can benefit from. It is also interesting to note that 77% of customers are more likely to purchase from a brand whose CEO is active on social media and has a strong personal brand. A social CEO can have a positive influence on a brand’s perception as well. One report found that companies with CEOs who blogged regularly or participated in social media are seen as innovative and, more importantly, trustworthy.
A business founder does more than just start and run a business; in many cases, he or she is the face of the company. Their opinions and messages can be a powerful tool for the business to connect with customers and increase credibility in the market.
Brand trust is something that must be built over time, and the best way to do this is to establish credibility within your niche. By positioning your company as a leader in your industry and supporting your ideologies with highly educational content, you can begin to foster profitable trust between you and your customers.