Aisha Kellaway, the founder of Scarlet Roo, kicked off Digital Gaggle in style last week. Having popped over from nearby Oxfordshire, Aisha (aka Skippy) inspired attendees with her talk about the importance of reputation and credibility. We all left knowing that without strong credibility and a good reputation, no amount of marketing and advertising is going to work.
Skippy began her talk by introducing the four types of credibility. Presumed credibility is the holy grail. You’re a recognised brand with a good reputation (winner). Then there’s reputed credibility, which is earned from either recommendations or endorsements from friends or other organisations, as well as citations from other websites. Next is surface credibility. This is much more in your control and you have the ability to influence and change this! Surface credibility includes the quality of your content, your web design and user experience. Finally, there’s earned credibility. This is harder to control. In the words of Skippy, ‘you need a shit hot product!'
Remember guys, brand is just another word for reputation and image. You don’t get a reputation by just claiming something! It was this that led to one of the best slides of the day - your reputation precedes you!
Image taken from Skippy's presentation, courtesy of Author Your Brand.
Who are you targeting?
Skippy had three top tips to help attendees understand who they are targeting so that they could communicate better with their customers.
1. Perform a client/customer audit – Understand who’s the most valuable and least trouble for your business. Focus on finding more business' like this to work with.
2. Survey your top customers – Find out basic demographic information about the people that buy from you and understand why they chose you and what they like about your service. Feed that into your marketing.
3. Segment users – Make sure you are targeting customers based on their demographic, location, needs and wants. You can tailor your messaging based on this information.
What are your users thinking?
Central to improving your reputation and credibility is understanding what your users are thinking! Skippy gave some great practical tips for how you could go about doing this.
1. Analyse reviews - Collating reviews can be vital to understanding what your users are thinking. Use this to look for trends in the language used. This information can be used to enhance your messaging and speak to your target users in THEIR language.
2. User testing - Visit usertesting.com to gain detailed insights into the thought processes of your audience. Want to know what their first impression of your site is? This tool will help you do that!
3. Analytics - Hotjar is a great tool for helping you get a really great understanding of what your users want, care about, and interact with on your site. This tool can assess search queries, heat maps, mouse tracking and even scroll activity. Hurrah!
How to boost surface credibility?
Need some simple tips to help boost your brand's surface credibility? Skippy had that covered too...
- Make your contact information easy to find and make sure that you offer multiple ways for your customers to get in touch. Some people may prefer a phone call over a chatbot so bear this in mind.
- Use ordinary words to say extraordinary things. Don't bamboozle your customers with flowery language.
- CHECK YOUR GRAMMAR *crosses fingers that this blog is grammatically correct*
- People buy into people so make sure you bring some humanity into your website. For example, you can do this really simply by uploading photos of your team to your site.
- Include social proof on your site. Client testimonies should have pride of place.
- Make sure your site works! For example, make sure your 404 pages are branded and put the onus of any mistakes on yourself.
- Prompt your customers to leave a review and make it easy for them to do so. On another note: don't be afraid of negative reviews. This is your chance to make things right and show that you have acted to fix something.
- Finally, be transparent about what you do with data - with GDPR round the corner, you don't have a choice to not do this anymore.