Building brand credibility is essential in business as it helps to generate trust in your products and services. While creating a reputation takes time and effort, regaining a customer’s loyalty is even more difficult. Therefore, as a business owner, you need to avoid taking any actions that could jeopardize the credibility of your brand.
Fortunately, there is a ‘shorter’ route to building your brand and reputation. It involves a website!
Studies have shown that more than 80% of customers consider companies with an online presence to be more credible than their offline competitors.
Create a branded website
In order to build your brand, your website design team should incorporate the following basic components in your website:
- Well-defined brand – This is the most basic element of branding. If you have no idea about your products, how can you expect others to understand your brand identity?
- Identifiable logo – It is often better to keep your logo simple. The important point is that it should speak to your customers. If you feel you need a logo, make sure you consult your designers and provide them with ideas about your ideal image.
- Engaging photos – Images on your website should evoke appropriate emotions from your audience. Ideally, you should incorporate photos of your company, products, staff and customers. If that is not possible, try to use pictures from online sources (they can be obtained for free or by paying a small fee).
- Keep it simple – Too much content could confuse your visitors so try to remove any unnecessary clutter. Your website should also have lots of white spaces while text should be kept to a minimum.
- Mobile-friendly – Nowadays, most people conduct searches on their smartphones, and more than 70% of customers decide to take action within one hour. In addition, non-mobile responsive websites are now ranking lower in Google’s search results.
Once your website has fulfilled these criteria, you can now proceed with more in-depth brand building.
1. Provide helpful content
Of course, if you are building a brand new website, it may be tempting to load it with glitzy videos and social media links. Although these elements are indeed part of the digital marketing arsenal, they offer little in the initial brand building process. According to web designer DeType, your site should educate your customers and answer their questions about your products and services.
Researchers for the 2015 B2B usability report discovered that building brand credibility through a website requires the inclusion of the following sections:
- About Us page
- Bios of every key team member
- Contact information
- Case studies
Make sure your contact details are complete and accurate. Remember, leads and potential customers will use this information and you wouldn’t want to lose an important sale because of a simple typo.
Remember, start out with your essential details before you even think about fancy videos. It is usually a good idea to compile a checklist to ensure that each of the above sections has been incorporated. Your audience will regard them as positive indicators of your company’s credibility.
About Us page
The About Us page is your initial attempt at building a relationship with your audience and it is where you should specify your business goals and vision. This is one of the most popular pages on a website so you must ensure that the content will engage readers. By doing so, you could gain an advantage over your main competitors.
2. Use branded email addresses
If you received an email from an unknown address, what would you do? You would probably send it to trash or spam, especially if it’s from a generic email account such as Gmail or Yahoo Mail. You are not alone in this. Studies have shown that nearly 7 out of 10 people would probably do the same.
It is not easy building your brand reputation if you are using a generic email account:
- Almost anyone can set up a Gmail or Yahoo email account
- A generic account appears unprofessional
- These accounts are often treated as spam if the recipients don’t recognise the sender
- It raises doubts about your company’s credibility
The worst thing about a generic email account is that it will make people doubt that your company even exists. By contrast, a branded email account will be an indication of the professionalism and seriousness of your business ethos.
To create a branded email, you will need a domain. This is well worth the effort as it will demonstrate your intention to remain in business for years to come.
Don’t forget to discuss the creation of branded emails with your website designer. As well as helping you set up this type of account, they will also arrange for your emails to be redirected from your previous address. This will ensure a smooth transition.
3. Foster friendly interactions with other online businesses
Influencer marketing is now part of the digital marketing landscape. Companies hire influencers to promote their products to their followers. This strategy encourages people to trust the products the influencer endorses. The idea is to build your brand based on the influencer’s well-established reputation. You can use your website to announce or incorporate any ongoing joint promotions with these influencers.
Another useful strategy is to search for businesses or individuals who have an audience similar to yours. If they are not your competitors, consider reaching out to them and start building relationships. You can then combine your resources for a range of specific activities, such as hosting events, cross-promotions or content collaboration.
4. Actively participate in your online community
People are often hesitant to buy products from unknown companies. Usually, a business has to interact with a potential customer on a regular basis before achieving a sale. It is imperative that you quickly find ways to engage with your audience about your products. You can do this by joining and interacting with an online community. Consider participating on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. You could also think about joining industry events to advertise your brand.
The primary purpose of social interactions is brand building. However, aggressively selling your products and services may trigger a backlash. For example, if a stranger immediately tries to sell you something, your immediate reaction is to back away.
However, if you are well known in the industry and have a trusted brand, people will come to you. One way to promote your business on your website is to include any industry events that mention your name or company. If there are pictures, all the better.
5. Check and monitor your website’s online reputation
Brand building requires a great deal of effort. Unfortunately, it can be much easier to destroy your online reputation despite all your previous hard work. Make sure you regularly check the reviews about your company, brand and products. If possible, contact anyone who has posted a bad review. Don’t antagonize them; just ask them how you could improve their experience.
One way of avoiding bad reviews is to maintain consistency with your product and service delivery. Don’t make promises you cannot keep as you will lose your customers’ trust and your brand reputation will suffer as a result.
Although small businesses don’t have the same resources as larger companies, as long as you deliver what you promise, people will trust your brand. If possible, provide testimonials from satisfied customers and acknowledge their loyalty.
6. Consider using tools to track trends about your company
It is quite easy to lose your hard-earned reputation. Therefore, it is vital that you monitor any online mentions of your brand. If you notice a traffic spike in relation to your company, consider joining the conversation and, if necessary, take steps to protect your reputation.
To effectively monitor any trends about your company, you will need tools such as:
- Google Trends
- Social Mention
7. Use your website to fulfil your company’s social responsibility
Socially responsible companies will attract more customers, hire talented employees and project an excellent brand image.
Furthermore, people need to have easy access to instant information so they can learn everything about your company in just a few clicks of a mouse. You should always document your company’s laudable activities and include them on your website. Once your audience sees what you do, they will view your company in a more positive light.
Donating to charity can help highlight how socially responsible you are as a company. However, there are easier ways of building your social reputation, including:
- Being committed to the environment – Consider initiating recycling, waste reduction and energy conservation policies within your company.
- Supporting the local community – You could sponsor sporting or social events to help support worthy causes.
Although these activities are usually conducted offline, you can write about them and post the content online. Your audience will soon associate these causes with your brand.Presented by Innovatis Group – association management company
The primary objective of a company website is to build loyalty to your brand. However, you cannot establish a brand overnight; you need to convince customers that your business is trustworthy and dependable. Once you have gained their trust, they will gladly recommend your products to others. You could say that customers are your most reliable influencers. A website is also a useful online platform for informing your audience about your products, promotions and other activities. Through appropriate engagement, you can greatly enhance your customer loyalty and trust.