Coca-Cola. Band-Aid. Kleenex. Oreo. Nike. Ford.
You know these brands well. Have you ever considered why? Contrary to what you might think, it’s not because their products are necessarily superior to other brands. Instead, these brands all have one thing in common that has resulted in their continued success: Brand authority.
Your brand can be authoritative, too. By creating compelling content, you can start to build brand authority in your own niche. But before we talk about how to do it, let’s first dive into why it matters.
Why Is Brand Authority So Important?
Us human life forms have a thing for authority. It’s why celebrity endorsements for products work and why the USDA Organic seal makes those bananas a little bit sweeter. The secret sauce? It’s trust.
Brand authority simply means that consumers have placed trust in your product or service.
For example, we know that when the first winter colds hit our homes, those lotion-filled Kleenexes will be a welcome relief from the constant wiping and blowing. Or, when we need a cookie to go with our glass of midnight milk, the Oreos in the cabinet are often our first choice.
First choice. When you have authority, that’s exactly what you are. When your customers trust you, they choose you. That’s the basis of brand authority.
- According to a recent survey, 90% of consumers are willing to pay a premium for something when it comes from a brand they trust.
- In a study completed by Edelman, 70% of consumers surveyed (of all groups, genders and income levels) said that trusting a brand is more important today than ever before.
- Another study by Edelman found that 61% of respondents are prepared to advocate for a brand and 57% are prepared to purchase new products or services from the brand if they fully trust it.
The bottom line: Trust and authority are critical for growing your business. And its up to you to do what it takes to build it.
Ready to build authority? Send us a message. We’re here to help!
The Rise of Misinformation vs. Brand Authority
Another battle your business must fight to build trust is the ever-growing fear of misinformation. This is especially true when it comes to representing your brand online.
A recent Harris Poll titled “Trust in U.S. News Media” by Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism found that 8 in 10 people said they were concerned about what is real or fake on the internet.
This mindset can have a serious impact on your brand. Consumers are looking for brands that prioritize trust, transparency and authenticity in everything they say and do. You must prioritize the same to build awareness, capture loyal customers and grow.
How to Create Content That Builds Brand Authority
There’s power in your message when it comes to building trust and breaking down your audience’s fears. You can (and should!) share that message through content.
Content is everywhere during the customer journey, from ad copy to blog posts. This means you have so many opportunities to solidify your industry know-how, be open and authentic about who you are, and showcase the quality of your products and services.
Let’s dive into some tips and tricks you can start using today to create marketing content that builds authority and trust.
1. Know Your Audience
If there’s one thing we’re constantly talking or writing about, it’s knowing your audience. Here’s why:
You can’t create valuable content for or build a lasting relationship with someone you don’t know.
While we’ve always got a “can-do” attitude around here, you simply can’t connect with someone you know nothing about.
Connection is critical to trust.
Next Step: Create an ideal customer avatar, if you haven’t already, to define who your audience is on a deeper level. Then, and only then, can you create content that fulfills your audience’s needs, eliminates their fears, answers their questions and garners their trust.
2. Keep Your Content Consistent
Wishy-washiness (we declare that as a word now) is a surefire way to break trust. For example, if your blog says one thing about your service and your website copy another, this is a red flag for your audience.
Consistency goes further than just what you say, too. You must also be consistent in how you say it. Your unique voice and tone should be consistent across your copy so that when your audience reads something from you, they know it’s yours.
If we asked you what Coca-Cola’s brand colors were, would you be able to tell us? Probably. The red can and white lettering is burned into our brains. You want to do the same with your content.
Next Step: Create a brand style guide (BSG) for your business. A BSG helps you clarify your message by outlining your brand message, audience and editorial style. Plus, it’s easily shareable with everyone on your team so that no matter who creates content for you, it’ll keep your brand consistent.
3. Don’t Be Stingy With Your Knowledge
We know it’s tempting to treat your business like a chamber of secrets, Harry. But listen, your audience is looking for solutions. Answers. Advice. Sharing your knowledge in your content is a surefire way to deliver.
Your audience won’t soon forget how your downloadable guide helped them one night after a grueling Google search. And the next time they need a solution? They’ll come running right back to you.
Next Step: Start by finding questions your audience typically asks about your industry. You can do this by scouring Quora or using keyword research tools such as Google Keyword Planner or Answer the Public. Then, create content such as social posts, blog posts or whitepapers that answer those questions.
4. Create Content of All Types
One of the best ways to build brand authority is to simply show up how and where your audience needs you to. Not all the members of your audience want to read blog posts. For example, some might enjoy a video or an infographic.
The same goes for platforms. Some of your audience may enjoy visiting blogs and others may simply like scrolling through social media. The key is to create content wherever your audience likes to hang out.
Next Step: Create one new type of content this week. For example, if you’ve never created an infographic, try it (it’s simple using tools like Canva). Or, create a Quora profile for your business and answer a few questions from those looking for answers in your industry. The sky’s the limit here.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Lean on the Expertise of Others
You’re not alone in your industry. And like The Beatles once said, you can get by with a little help from your friends. Don’t be afraid to link to other sources in your content that are trusted by those in your niche.
This helps boost the quality of your content and shows your audience that you care about delivering trustworthy information above all else.
Next Step: Make a list of trusted sources you can lean on when creating content. For example, if you’re an attorney, the American Bar Association might be on your list. Or, if you write healthcare-related content, the CDC and the American Heart Association might be good choices.
Try these tips and see what works and what doesn’t for your audience. You can then make changes as time goes on. Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t! Building trust is a process. As long as you prioritize delivering value to your audience across the board, you’ll get there.
Ready to Build Brand Authority? We’ve Got You!
If you’re ready to build trust and authority, we’re here to help through content creation. Whether you’re looking for blog posts or someone to help you clarify your brand message, you’re in the right place. Reach out to us today!