How would you like a little trademark erosion for your company? It may sound bad, but it’s often a sign of a company that’s achieved true brand authority. Take Band-Aid. When people need bandages, they refer to them as Band-Aids — even if they’re not.
That, my friends, is the sign of deeply-ingrained authority that usually takes a long time to develop. And you’d probably be pleased if your business became the Band-Aid of your industry.
Of course, you don’t want to wait for years to be seen as the leader in your market. You want to build your brand authority as quickly as you can. That way, you can snag all the upshots of being a go-to voice that everyone has confidence in. These include an increased volume of organically-derived leads, consistently positive user-generated content, and appeal among talented job seekers.
To gain more authority and raise your credibility factor rapidly, apply the following tactics.
1. Add digital PR to your marketing mix.
While billboards and TV commercials are still acceptable forms of PR, they don’t allow you to be dynamic and showcase your expertise. To enhance your pivoting capacity, you need to engage in digital PR methods.
Digital PR focuses on leveraging real-time data and the most advanced platforms to get in front of audiences in the moment. Relevance, a growth marketing agency, explains that “Digital PR does not replace traditional forms of media but rather augments and supports them. Online avenues introduce the opportunity to get your message and positioning out to the masses quickly and efficiently.” Digital PR helps to swiftly push out your brand name and enables you to engage with your audience, making it an excellent way to establish industry authority.
For example, you might put on a push to expand your brand awareness by doing outreach to be mentioned in articles on high-performing sites. Every time you’re mentioned and content “goes live,” you and your organization get instant recognition and validation. You can then link to your published content on all your owned media including social media pages. Handled consistently and professionally, digital PR can expand your reach — and your authority — exponentially
2. Highlight the expertise of your team.
You’ve hired the best people you could find to help grow your business. Even though they might not all possess decades of expertise, many will have impressive credentials. As individuals and a team, your brightest employees can help you improve your brand’s authority. However, it’s up to you to decide how to put a spotlight on them.
One straightforward method of highlighting your team’s prowess is to give workers a place on the “About Us” section of your website. Tout their achievements. Add their accolades. Link to any of their online shoutouts or published content, including their LinkedIn profiles. According to Great Place to Work, “creating a culture of recognition helps to retain top talent, increase employee engagement, and encourage high performance.”
Remember: Your people are one of the most important differentiators between you and your competitors. If you haven’t been tapping into their backstories and diverse experiences to build your brand authority, you’ve been missing out.
3. Sponsor an industry conference.
Your brand won’t get much buzz if you aren’t visible at industry events. Ideally, you want your corporate name to become so common that people say, “That organization is everywhere!” A good option for getting additional brand traction is by sponsoring an event like a conference.
Before you protest, know that you don’t necessarily need to have the deepest pockets to become a sponsor. Most trade shows, conventions, and similar gatherings offer different types of sponsorship packages. Seek out the package that will give you the most bang for your buck. Then, be sure to send some of your employees to attend the event.
Once you’ve joined as a sponsor, don’t be afraid to ask if you could present. Event planners may already have found a keynote, but it can be tough to find panelists and guest speakers. Presenting at an event with your industry peers is a great way to shine. It also gives you more to talk about on your website, social media, or corporate podcast.
4. Improve your service or product.
Whether or not you’re a fan of Apple’s products, you can’t deny that the company has incredible brand authority. Apple is well-known for creating tech and tech tools that break the mold. Thanks to its commitment to continuous improvement, the iconic company enjoys an enviable cachet.
No matter what you sell, you can always get better. Take Calendar, for example. Their meeting scheduler software builds on traditional calendar functionality by adding features like automation and app integration. Every time you make an upgrade or add a better feature to your offerings, you could nudge your authority. Just be sure that the enhancement adds actual value to your clients or customers. Otherwise, you might see a dent in your reputation rather than a bump.
To get the most authority mileage from an improvement, talk about it — a lot. Be vocal about an upgrade. Share a video contrasting a product before and after a facelift. Send media releases to journalists who write about industry happenings. Why be quiet when raising a (tiny) ruckus could also raise your brand authority?
Becoming an authority used to be a slow, years-long process. Not so anymore. Thanks to the Internet, it’s possible for your organization to grow your brand authority at a fast, sustainable pace.