By Heidi Myers, Meltwater

Brand credibility can provide significant value to businesses. Indeed, credible brands have an increased chance of building loyal relationships and bouncing back from a crisis. While some brands are fortunate enough to have a century of experience under their belts, others are starting the brand credibility building process from scratch.

Hands up who has 100 years to build a successful brand? That’s what we thought. So here are a few tips on building brand credibility in a more realistic period of time.

Conduct a competitive benchmark

Positive media coverage in well-respected publications can act as an endorsement for our brand and is therefore a sure way of increasing brand credibility. A media coverage benchmark can help identify credible journalists with whom to forge relationships in order to improve chances of media interest.

We should be benchmarking share of voice and coverage volume against competition and honing in on the differences in sentiment. By looking at the key themes via a conversation cloud, analysis can determine who is coming up trumps and why.. Here is an example of a competitive benchmark search analysing River Island and Topshop. You can try this for yourself using the search on our homepage.

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 a brand as thought leaders, attract interest from desired publications, improve SEO and offer us a means of telling our brand story. Get involved in the below forms of content to improve brand credibility:

• Event speaking opportunities
• Run a blog or become a guest blogger with a credible PR partner
• Create and circulate white papers
• Use brand advocates and benefit from positive word of mouth via client testimonials and case studies

I solemnly swear...

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 is a promise and once that promise is broken it’s hard to put right. If we guarantee 16 hours of battery life in our advert then we must be consistent in delivering the product performance promise and be cautious of over exaggerating the truth.

Have your ears wide open

Listening is about inviting engagement and being approachable and accessible. Building brand credibility via listening can be as simple as showing that we care by acknowledging and taking feedback on board. Listening can also improve brand credibility by humanising the company and improving relationships between the brand and the audience.

Our audience are likely to talk about our brand elsewhere such as on blogs and forums if we’re failing to communicate with them. Social intelligence tools, such as Meltwater, can help us make sense of conversations online by finding conversations about our brand, competitors and industry.