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Building credibility is one way to stand out with your target audience. When our prospects and customers believe in us, our knowledge and products can help build a relationship over time that can be mutually beneficial.
There are several layers to building credibility online. Also, keep in mind that things evolve. For example, I currently recommend that brands try podcasting and even virtual reality video if your content can be visual. Blogging is also not dead. It has just evolved.
Put the customer first in all your content
Using the StoryBrand formula can help you with building credibility. Always put the customer first and address how you’ll help them reach their goals and solve their problems.
Share good brand stories
Create a Content Performance Culture where team members always work toward getting results from their content.
Steps to building credibility
Sharing brand stories as part of the COPE model and building a Content Performance Culture are all necessary and worthwhile steps. But they can take time and effort. So are there some quick-win strategies? Of course, but don’t forget establishing credibility is a marathon.
Author John Weiler wrote “Instant Credibility Online” and offers 25 tips that are relatively easy to implement within six months.
He covers domain strategy, what type of email to use (preferably a professional domain), and using numbers that highlight your credibility.
One of the strategies John mentioned was highlighting success metrics.
You can listen to John’s tips on this episode of the Business Storytelling Podcast.
“There are a lot of ways to build credibility online,” John said. “There are also different degrees.”
The different levels are:
- Starting out
- Expert level
- Influencer level
“A lot of businesses are actually already experts and even when you are just starting out but a lot of them don’t know how to communicate that,” he said.
Also keep in mind that higher levels take more effort, time, and budget. I do think anyone with topical knowledge can become an influencer, but it takes practice, grit, and tenacity to push forward, which I also share in my content philosophy.
List your years in business
“This one you can do today,” John said. Add to your website how long you’ve been in business. What’s your experience?
- Doing digital marketing since 1995, before we even called it that.
- 35 years of marketing experience in all channels
“That’s if you’ve been in business for a while,” John said. “And if you haven’t been in business for a while there’s a way around it.”
For example, his business opened 6 years ago, but he’s been professionally writing for 11 years so it’s okay to say: “Professional writing services for over a decade.”
Show numbers to show your expertise
John said he’s written about 700,000 words for clients. Highlight that number to show off your experience.
To find numbers to display “think of what’s my product in its smallest form,” he said. “And then just quantify that and put it on your website.”
To be seen as an expert you have to sound like you know what you are talking about, which is why it’s important to highlight what you’ve done and what you’ve accomplished.
When it comes to word counts, that’s also a good way to talk about output goals. While shorter content can work, all kinds of studies show that longer content that goes in-depth can outperform shorter, thin content.
I tell project teams: My average post is somewhere between 1,000 and 1,500 words and that’s probably a good goal – as long as we still have something of value to add.
On the homepage
Show off your numbers. List the highlights of what the company has done.
- Words written
- People reached
One of the metrics I always love to share (when it’s good!) is the audience number. For example, our website reaches 3 million people or has reached that many people. Don’t make it up, but find true numbers that highlight your awesomeness.
Become an author
Consider guest posting
Consider pitching guest articles to well-established sites. There certainly is value in them linking to your site, but even if they don’t you can still say: “As seen on the Content Marketing Institute blog, etc. etc.”
Consider having a media page where you link to all guest posts, podcast appearances, and other media mentions.
Read next: How to set up a media page
The podcast version of guest posting is to appear on other people’s podcasts. Connect with podcasters and reach out when it makes sense. But don’t pitch a topic they already covered at length. Pick something unique and listen to a few episodes.
Driving the right numbers
Of course, it won’t matter if the numbers don’t move. Keeping in mind which metrics to focus on is also important to drive brand awareness and ultimately revenue.
Michael Buzinski in “Rule of 26” shares the three metrics that help drive revenue from websites.
Building credibility online through authentic marketing can be extremely rewarding and is easier than ever. Follow some of these simple tricks, keep pushing forward, and try to be perceived as the expert that you are.