Several pathways to maintaining market share during the COVID-19 pandemic have emerged as clear leaders, but few as influential as a brand’s ability to present itself as credible to existing and potential clients. Make sure you understand how to properly establish brand credibility online.
There’s no denying that the COVID-19 outbreak in America has done much to negatively impact the marketing and advertising industry; however, while the pandemic has changed how we do business in many ways, the massive quarantines and city-wide lockdowns have also established certain business principles as crucial paths to future survival. Several pathways to maintaining market share have emerged as clear leaders, but few as influential as a brand’s ability to present itself as credible to existing and potential clients.
How Brand Evolves into Brand Credibility
Think for a moment about what foundational elements of your organization differentiate your business from the competition. Aside from aesthetics and brand identity elements such as your company name and logo, or the tagline you use in marketing campaigns, are you reinventing the wheel in terms of products or services?
Chances are, you’re relying more on product differentiation, a unique customer experience, and exceptional customer service to provide yourself with a competitive advantage. Another method of establishing and increasing brand credibility and differentiate your product from the competition is to create the perception that your brand has the ability and willingness to deliver a product or service consistent with your messaging. Over time, both your ability to follow through on your marketing and advertising and customers’ positive experiences with your brand will start to coalesce into brand credibility.
A concrete measure of how consumers feel about your ability to deliver a quality product or service is your net promoter score or NPS. This value is calculated by taking the overall percentage of consumers who rate your company on a 10-point scale a 9-10 would recommend to others minus the percentage of users who scored your brand a 6 or less on the same scale.
While NPS isn’t a comprehensive figure and doesn’t give a complete gauge of a company’s actual credibility, it does provide a starting point that can help inform where you can make improvements.
The Pandemic Has Put a Spotlight on Brand Credibility
The coronavirus outbreak has significantly—and some think permanently—impacted how consumers interact with companies. Now more than ever, consumers are showing an increased interest in the values and ethics of not only the brands they choose to consume but also the suppliers of those brands.
A Salesforce Survey from July to August of 2020 had 90% of its respondents affirming that how a company acts during a crisis event reveals a brand’s trustworthiness. In the past, consumers might have packed this away for future decisions and maintained their consumption habits, but the study also showed an increased vigilance on the part of consumers, as well as a willingness to act.
That same study found that 71% of consumers have started to pay more attention to whether a company is acting ethically and socially responsible during the pandemic. 61% of respondents said that they had stopped using a brand’s services or products specifically because of a value misalignment.
Now is the Time to Focus on Building Trust
The data is there showing that your customers and target audience are being increasingly vigilant in their consumption behavior. The numbers also point to a huge number of businesses scaling back on advertising and marketing efforts, so the last thing you want to do as a brand is to join the crowd and become complacent.
You have the audience and the platforms already in place to affordably and effectively communicate with your base and attract new business. Now is the time to create a perception that your brand can deliver goods or services that are in line with your audience’s expectations and values.
What Can Your Business Do to Build Brand Credibility?
Whether your business is still on lockdown or you’re experiencing a resurgence in your industry, the reality is that very few businesses are pouring money into traditional advertising and marketing efforts. Luckily, most activities you can do to build your brand credibility will cost your company very little depending upon how you approach it, and the return on that investment will be amazing. Here are three ways you can affordably and easily increase your credibility in spaces where you should already have an active presence.
More Content Please!
Increase your search engine exposure by increasing the number of educational content relative to your brand. Write blogs geared not towards selling, but information, educating, and providing solutions for the types of problems your target audience might be looking to solve. In this way, you become a consumer’s go-to website for trusted information and solutions. Structure your inbound marketing infrastructure to filter reader data back to your sales team and let them take it from there.
Engaging with Social Media Reviews Creates Opportunities for Social Proof
Consumers like to talk about and share their experiences with a brand with their peers and other customers. Engaging with your audience and providing content on these platforms provides visibility and exposure, and a chance to show potential clients what the customer experience with your brand is like. Go out of your way and make one customer’s day, and thousands of potential clients might see that interaction, legitimizing your messaging of being a responsive and fair operation.
Don’t Let Reviews Go Unanswered
There are many review sites online, a large number of which are industry-specific and allow businesses to claim free space they can use for messaging and posting content.
These platforms provide further opportunities to engage customers in a public forum, which at the very least shows your brand is concerned and wants to make things right for those who have had a bad experience. It also allows you to encourage those who’ve had great experiences to tell others that might see the reviews why their experiences were great, strengthening the power of that review to convert a potential lead.
The Credibility of Your Business Is In Your Hands … And Ours
Businesses must understand and accept that their credibility is a driving factor in whether consumers choose to patronize their business—and that customer mindset isn’t going away anytime soon. Business credibility needs to be a driving and central force in marketing strategy meetings for years to come.
To learn more about how to increase your brand credibility with clients, and establish a solid roadmap for your business moving forward, reach out to the team of professionals at UpCity today.