Brand credibility can provide significant value to businesses. For example, credible brands have an increased chance of building loyal relationships, bouncing back from a crisis, and benefitting from less price-sensitive customers. For those of us who don’t have a century of experience under their belt, here are 4 tips to get started.

1) Better Media Analysis Leads to Better Coverage

Positive media coverage in well-respected publications are endorsements for our brand – and as such are a sure way of improving brand credibility. Today’s communications programs are about getting the right coverage from the right person (whether that person is a journalist, a blogger or a social media influencer) – and that means that we need to find the folks talking about the right things to the right people. With that in mind, building a media list isn’t about beat or publication anymore, but rather about how that person’s influence can move our brand story forward. Figuring that out requires big data media intelligence that can steer us in the right direction. For example, finding a journalist who’s written positively about our industry is a lot more powerful than finding one that works for X publication.

In addition to finding our influencers, we should also look at our competition to see what’s working for them from an earned media standpoint.

Here is an example of a competitive benchmark search analysing mentions of River Island and Topshop in the media. We can take analysis a step further to improve brand credibility by zooming in on the differences in sentiment and key themes via a conversation cloud. We then know what to avoid/ improve on in order to receive positive press.

(You can try a competitive benchmark for yourself using the free search engine on our homepage.)

2) Jump on the Content Bandwagon

There are a number of ways in which creating content improves brand credibility. For example, content marketing can help position our brand as a thought leader, attract interest from desired publications, improve SEO and offers us a means of telling our brand story. We should be getting involved in the below forms of content to improve brand credibility:

TIP: Work with your corp comm, PR and social media departments to make sure that everyone is aligned on strategy and telling the same story.

3) Be (Consistently) Transparent

Honesty really is the best policy. Trust and transparency are critical drivers of brand credibility that we must nurture and respect. We can increase brand credibility by working on consistency. A brand relationship is a promise, and once that promise is broken it’s hard to put right.

The most obvious case for building trust is truth in advertising: if we guarantee 16 hours of battery life in our advert, well, our battery better deliver. But brand trust goes both wider and deeper, from things like what customers expect from our customer service departments, what array of merchandise we might carry in any given store, or what sort of articles we’re writing on our company blog.

4) Keep Your Ears Wide Open

Listening is about inviting engagement – and to do that, we need to be approachable and accessible. Building brand credibility via listening can be as simple as showing that we care by acknowledging and taking feedback on board. All good conversations start with listening: just like in real life, we improve our relationships with people when we understand their point of view. The flipside of this, too, is that people will talk about our brand elsewhere (such as on blogs and forums) if we’re failing at communicating with them. Social intelligence tools can help us make sense of conversations online by finding conversations about our brand, competitors and industry.