How to Build Brand Authority Online (Not Just In Person)
For many, building a brand that stands the test of time can prove to be a daunting prospect.
There’s just so much competition out there, especially online, and sometimes the idea of producing a brand that holds authority goes beyond the walls of our imagination.
Even with all the competition that seems to dominate the market today, your brand can successfully build its authority and create an outstanding, everlasting online presence.
So let’s break down the barriers and start building a strong brand that will pump your business and drive your sales.
What is Brand Authority?
You’ve most likely come across this term many times when seeking for ways to bolster your brand, particularly in regards to your online presence.
If you haven’t yet, check out our Ultimate Guide to Small Business Branding. Once you’ve read that, you’re ready to start building brand authority online.
But is actually meant by brand authority? And how can you build of your own?
Brand authority is mainly described as the high recognition of a brand’s ability and expertise within its field. This is usually perceived through consumers — the wide world that so happens to be your audience.
“Brand authority is not a status you can confer on yourself; rather it’s a reputation and an element of trust that others assign to you.” — Paige Weiners, Senior Marketing Communications Manager Of Blue Fountain Media.
Does that mean that you have no control over how your brand is perceived, or whether it holds authority online?
Not at all!
As a business owner with many marketing tricks up your sleeve, building strong, irrefutable brand authority is not out of reach. You have a measure of control in regards to where your brand stands in the market.
It’s not about where you are against your competitors or how many clicks you get. It’s all about how you structure your brand online and how you conduct yourself.
You need to prove to others that you have authority — even superiority — in your field. Let them see for themselves that you’re an expert at what you do, even if you are just a beginner.
What Brands Hold Strong Brand Authority Online Today?
It seems like the brands that do well are the brands that are making the best use out of the online world of marketing.
Everything is online now; people shop online, search online and read online. So in order to build brand authority and reach a large audience, many businesses have made the best use out of the internet and have completely taken charge of their own brand authority.
Let’s look at a couple of brands that have built great brand authority online.
Amazon has created an online empire of shopping, reaching millions with a variety of retail products.
They have even reached a larger market by including services that enable you to watch, buy and rent movies online, listen to music and get next day delivery — all from your own room!
How do they do it?
They keep everything simple. There are no hidden surprises, no extra fluffing and no shady sellers on their site, meaning consumers will keep coming back to reliable old Amazon to make a purchase.
They have a simple layout, clear content, and they make it easy for users to work through their site and browse a wide range of products.
They have also gained high recognition from the big boys, like Google and Microsoft. Therefore, many consumers have trust and confidence in them as a reputable brand; and they don’t even have to move an inch off the sofa.
It hasn’t been long since Avon took up the online world. In all honesty, they did pretty well offline and have been an underdog in the cosmetic and beauty industry.
In comparison to similar brands, they stand out as unique when it comes to their customer service and user experience, driving them to build a powerful brand and have complete brand authority without singing and dancing about it.
How do they do it?
Avon is unique in the way they interact with their customers. They create an amazing user experience online and offline, making it interactive an engaging for their customers.
They have built brand authority through the testimonials of other strong, reputable brands, such as celebrities, and use comparative techniques to set their products above the bar.
But most of all, they are personable and friendly with their customers, treating each customer as an individual — as if they were old school friends. This promotes trust and confidence in the brand and makes customers feel cared about and comfortable.
Not many brands in their field can create such a rapport with their customers!
But the important question is this:
How can you imitate them and build your own brand authority online?
What You Need to do to Build Brand Authority Online
There are a number of things you can do to become a powerhouse online and strike gold with your brand authority.
You will most definitely be doing some of these already, but you may need to reanalyse and re-evaluate how you do them in order to build strong brand authority online.
1. Produce Powerful Content
One of the most effective ways to build brand authority online is through your written content. This is what is visible to your audience, and this is how they will learn about you and communicate with you.
Having a blog in your niche is a great asset. In fact, without this, you may find building a brand authority online next to impossible.
A blog will allow you to create new, fresh content that will reach out to your audience and show them how much of an expert you are in your field. It will show your customers that you are knowledgeable and professional and are seeking ways to help ones like them improve in a certain area.
Not having a blog is definitely a digital marketing pitfall, and you want to avoid making that mistake.
That being the case, you need to construct on point, relevant content that communicates the answers your readers are looking for.
You need to show that what you have to say matters; show them that it will benefit them in some way and you will be able to assist them further when they need it.
You’ll then find that they will come running back to you time and again, will spread the word to others, and will talk about you online.
But it’s not just about the content you create on your blog.
It’s about every bit of content you produce.
Every single piece of content you place online will have an effect on your brand authority.
Think about your website copy — how fresh and relevant is it right now? Does it need updating? Re-writing? Re-shaping? Is it accurate and easy to read?
And what about when you send out newsletters, post ads, update on social media or send messages to clients — what is your content like there?
It may seem insignificant and perhaps unnecessary to have powerful, beautifully written content all the time, but what your readers see with their eyes matters. One spelling mistake or misused word can be the difference between a potential client connecting with you or turning to someone else.
2. Create the Best User Experience
It’s true that we should never judge a book by its cover.
But what if that’s all we had to go on — the cover, or the virtual face, of a business?
That’s why your brand “cover” means everything.
It’s all about showing your audience that you’re a professional; not just by the way your brand appears online but also how it functions.
Is your site easy to navigate? Is it spacious, clean and easy on the eye? Does it transfer correctly on different platforms (on a tablet, or mobile device), or does it lose its makeup when looked up on a smartphone?
How your site functions will determine how your brand functions, so it’s vital that you make sure your site is a place where users will enjoy spending time on.
When you engage customers through with your brand experience, you will see the benefits. Their trust in you will flourish, and the line of communication with them and your brand will grow stronger.
Controlling each of your brand touch points and ensuring consistency goes a long way in building an authoritative and trustworthy online and digital presence.
Be sure to make it a habit to create experiences that not only resound with your brand but also make your brand resound with your customers. Stay true to your brand’s integrity and show your audience that you own it when it comes to your expertise.
“Look at your brand’s personality. Delve into its story. Create memorable and measurable experiences around them. Then watch the love pour in.” — becausexm.com
3. Establish Reputable Links
Building brand authority online also involves getting Google to like you.
And yes. We’ve talked about this before. But even though it may seem a little basic, it’s a fundamental part of building brand authority.
A great way to achieve this is by getting yourself linked to from other websites and blogs. This could be done by simply leaving a testimonial for someone who has worked with you, or perhaps by writing guest posts or being featured on other people’s social media and sites.
This may involve an element of content marketing in order to establish these links, but when you do, Google will see that your brand is a brand worth talking about and will recognise you as an authority in your field.
We all know just how much everyone trusts Google.
So if they trust Google, they will trust you.
An even easier way to do this would be to post meaningful, positive, helpful comments on other people’s blogs and to provide solutions to queries when needed.
This way, you’ll be broadening your audience and attracting new customers by showing you’re a boss at what you do.
4. Gain High Recognition
Gaining high recognition goes hand in hand with building strong brand authority. The more recognition you get from higher sources, the more people will see you as a force to be reckoned with.
Start by earning testimonials and reviews from previous clients and power up your social media by replying to any mentions you get on Twitter and likes you gain on Facebook.
Make sure to do the same for others as well. No one likes a glory hunter, so if your work is being shared or your name is being mentioned by others, be sure to do the same.
Gaining traction on social media is probably one of the strongest ways to build brand authority online.
Social media has a power that goes beyond what we understand and spreads its wings in the far-flung corners of the earth.
So if you are gaining recognition in sources like these, you will no doubt see your authority blossom.
But choose wisely.
If you are trying to gain recognition through others, make sure you choose partners or associates who have firmly established their brand authority. You’ll then be able to work together, and your authority will become clearly recognised by the world of online readers.
5. Showcase Your Services
Don’t forget to showcase your brand online.
You need to show your authority, not just tell; you need to let others know what you do well and how you can help them.
Don’t shy away from the prospect of posting your services online. Let others see for themselves how good you are!
A great way to do this is to use your website to promote your services, adding testimonials, reviews on your products, and the likes. Be sure to add any certificates, qualifications, and experiences you have so you can prove yourself worthy, as it were.
And most importantly, show you are confident in yourself as a business owner.
When you are confident in your brand, so are your customers. So make it your goal to strengthen your confidence in order to build a brand authority you can be proud of.
Why Is It Important to Build Brand Authority Online?
In order to be successful in business, your brand needs to be one that people trust. You need people to be confident in your services, your products, and in you.
Having brand authority will completely change the way the world sees you. You will stand out as a brand that knows its stuff — one that will be worth investing in.
And to top it off, Google will reward your brand with a higher ranking, meaning that people will be drawn to your brand in an instant.
What better way to enrich your business than to prove your talents and strengths?
Now is the time to build brand authority online and watch your business flourish.
11 min read