On a recent trail run, my feet hit a patch of loose dirt, and they shot out from under me before I could even realize what was happening. My tumble didn’t hurt anything (except the ego), but I did get some good-looking road rash/bruises on my left elbow, hand and leg.
A few days later, I went to an outdoor store to purchase a new tray for my bike rack. At first, the salesperson greeted me cordially and inquired about my needs. He then noticed my bruises and road rash, and immediately, his tone changed to casual and familiar. I’m certain this shift in personality occurred because the road rash gave me “street cred” that I wasn’t a poser or urban dweller who merely wanted bike racks for show.
What does this story have to do with your brand, website and online marketing? Both are about the importance of credibility – the connection between what you say about your company and what someone observes.
Have you ever been to a website that touts its cutting-edge SaaS technology, but the site itself was built according to design specs circa 2002? The narrow, static HTML, framed pages contradict the cutting-edge message. As a result, the viewer might begin to discount the website, its content or the company itself. After all, isn’t a picture worth 1,000 words? Better yet, according to Andre Agassi and Cannon isn’t, “Image everything?”
Given this scenario, what can you do to ensure your brand and online presence has street cred?
- Make sure your image reflects your voice/content. If you have an edgy corporate voice, you should reinforce it with interesting imagery that matches the tone. Fuzzy bunnies and kittens need not apply.
- Don’t tell people you’re great. Anyone can say they’re the best. Instead, gain credibility by proving your outstanding merit with case studies, testimonials, awards, etc.
- Demonstrate your specialty. Prove your merit and credibility with practical demonstrations of your talent. For example, if your company specializes in SEO, the site should rank well for high-value terms and be well-optimized. Nothing says, “red flag,” like a SEO company whose website is built entirely in flash and lacks even the basics like page titles.
- Play nicely with others. While you may secretly loathe your competition, trashing them on blog posts, marketing materials, web content, etc. simply makes your company look petty, as opposed to reputable. Gain credibility by taking the high road and focusing on your strengths.
- Present a consistent message. With so many ways to promote your company (email, social networks, website, online ads, etc.), there are plenty of chances to present an inconsistent or conflicting point of view. Be consistent by identifying your corporate voice, talking points, etc. and sticking with them on all mediums.
With these five ideas in mind, you can present a cohesive corporate voice and image that gives your company plenty of street cred – no road rash required!
Have questions about how I managed to fall down trail running or how to makeover your content so it has the cred it needs? Contact Round today.