Have you ever pulled up to a brick and mortar business only to drive away because the storefront appeared unsafe? Or similarly, have you clicked away from a site because of poor web design and a cluttered home page?
Whether you like it or not, consumers are judging your business and professional credibility. Are you losing revenue because your business appears untrustworthy? Every marketer must occasionally step back from the strategic planning of internet campaigns and consider the larger picture. If consumers don’t trust your business, then you won’t be able to grow it regardless of your marketing efforts.
Why Credibility Matters Online
Credibility comes before profitability.
As the internet continues to mature, consumers are more skeptical about the content they discover online. In the 1990s, the popular mantra was, “You can’t believe everything you see on television.” Today, it goes, “You can’t believe everything you read online.” Businesses must be strategic in establishing professional credibility to earn consumer trust – and ultimately earn their business.
It’s frustrating, not to mention ineffective, to craft marketing campaigns that fail to reach business objectives. When marketing campaigns fall flat, it’s tempting to blame it on inefficient strategies or tough competition. In some cases, however, promotional content goes flat because consumers don’t trust the brand behind it.
Credibility matters for the following reasons:
- Seeing is believing. Consumers and potential business partners aren’t going to take a financial risk on your services or products unless they trust that your solutions will solve their pain points. Since we humans are visual creatures, seeing truly is believing.
- It creates a social license. When people trust your business, they’re more likely to share your content or talk about your services with their friends. In other words, credibility influences consumer behavior.
- It is the end goal. You don’t build business credibility to market. Rather, you invest in marketing to build credibility. Professional credibility is what ultimately drives potential clients to open their wallets and complete a transaction with your company.
Small businesses and major corporations alike must evaluate their online presence and the image it sends to potential clients. Fortunately, professional credibility can be built, improved, and optimized to help your business grow.
How to Build Business Credibility
Establishing business credibility is easier than you think, but it requires intentional planning and implementation. As your company’s reputation grows, your business will become a leader in its industry and you’ll have an easier time converting targeted leads. To build credibility, your business must:
- Be transparent. According to Forbes, business transparency attracts top talent, builds consumer trust, and helps internal key players better facilitate company objectives. When it comes to marketing, one of the easiest ways to create transparency online is to utilize your social pages as customer service platforms. Responding to consumer questions, complaints, and comments on your social pages showcases your commitment to customer service.Consider McDonald’s, which has been the target of health critics accusing the company of using pink slime in its chicken nuggets. The fast food chain recently released a video documenting its true manufacturing process for food. This simple move for transparency is McDonald’s primary way to combat these online rumors. So far, the strategic play appears to be working, as the video has accrued over 3 million views.
- Follow-through. Positive word of mouth is critical to growing any business. If your business says it will do something, then you must follow through. From employees helping customers resolve issues to honoring a coupon, your business must keep its word on its promises and commitments. This establishes credibility by showing that your business is trustworthy and ethical.Furthermore, failure to follow through on promises increases the likelihood of negative reviews online, which can set your marketing efforts backwards. Consistent customer service is vital to building a positive online reputation that attracts new clients. If a business can’t follow through on simple promises, then why should consumers trust its marketing message?
- Build character. If your business already has core values and a mission, then it’s vital to reveal this character to the public. Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to build character online. Regularly curated content that reveals your organization’s goals and commitment to customer satisfaction establishes character.Instead of investing in promotional content, it’s important to invest in marketing that provides value to your target audience. In today’s highly digital world, consumers are turned off by businesses that are overly self-promotional. Instead, build a trustworthy business character by creating content of value for free. Whitepapers, how-to articles, and lifestyle blogs are all effective ways of establishing a positive online image.
- Showcase expertise. Talk is cheap. Before potential clients spend a dime with your business, they want to know why they can trust you. Experience, credentials, and thought leadership are all necessary to showcase expertise in your industry. Case studies and whitepapers are some of the most effective avenues to establish expertise through content. This is also an opportunity for your organization to showcase customer testimonials.
- Remain professional. The key to establishing professional credibility is to behave professionally no matter what. There are many unexpected events that can happen online such as unflattering reviews, website failure, and negative advertising from competitors. Regardless of what comes your way, it’s vital to remain professional in every online interaction. When you maintain confidentiality, respond thoughtfully, and interact with consumers intentionally, you’ll be able to remain professional in each situation.
At Synerge-marketing, we help businesses in every industry build credibility through transparent and meaningful website design and inbound marketing programs. From valuable content to optimized websites, our team of professionals is committed to helping you create a trustworthy, respected and credible business.
Credibility shouldn’t be an afterthought buried under your marketing ambitions. Rather, it should be the end goal of your marketing efforts. By building professional credibility, you’ll have an easier time convincing potential clients to conduct business with your company. Building business credibility takes time, but it’s an investment worth making.
Contact us today to learn more about how to create professional credibility.
Want to learn more about how to create professional credibility in your website design?
In business, first impressions are everything. We deliver professional web design services using a concept-driven design approach that defines your brand and business, establishes professional credibility and captivates your target audience. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation.
About Synerge-marketing, Digital Marketing Agency CT
Synerge-marketing opened its doors in 2007 with a mission to help companies leverage the web in order to communicate their brand value, attract new customers and grow their businesses through digital marketing strategies and technologies. The perfect mix of art and science, our teams are customized based on client needs and are made up of only senior-level professionals – no interns, junior account execs or offshore resources. The synergy is created by combining the talents of certified marketing strategists, branding and interactive designers, technology gurus, SEO specialists and content writers with your team of experts to deliver ROI via long term partnerships.
By leveraging our top level resources and diverse skillsets, we provide tremendous value to organizations by acting as an extension to your team to achieve the goals you define as success.