Becoming a trusted brand

Sarah Ball, client strategy director at Balls2 Marketing, talks about the power of digital PR and how it helps businesses become trusted brands.

Trust plays a big part in choosing who we buy from or who we do business with. Becoming a trusted brand is always a solid basis for growing companies and an effective PR strategy is behind most successful marketing campaigns.

Google relies on trust when sending people to the best source of information for their search term. Website owners who have tried to short cut trust with quick-win ways to generate traffic continue to be heavily penalised by ongoing changes in Google’s search algorithms.

As a marketing agency founded on well-written content, our clients have always benefited from Google’s focus on trusted websites. Some of the blogs we originally wrote years ago continue to attract consistently high volumes of traffic because of the way they’re crafted, being part of the wider marketing strategy.

It’s the strategy that’s the difference between a short-term campaign and a long-term plan designed to build trust in your brand. Your brand is unique, it’s far more than the logo and the strapline. It’s about how you operate, what you do, why you do it and the benefits for your customers by dealing with you and your team.

Goals are always specific to the company. For instance, we often work with companies that are looking for growth by entering new markets or adding new products, but similarly we could be tasked with growing business through an existing customer base.

A digital PR strategy is designed to position your brand both online and offline as trustworthy. It can talk direct to customers – on your own website or on social media – or through influencers to get them talking positively about your brand. It could be a blogger or someone on social media with a big following, but newspaper and magazine editors are just as important. For PR professionals, it’s about media relations, something we are taught from the get-go.

Digital PR is based on great strategy and uses digital media to get the best results. It’s the way digital PR is distributed that boosts impact, using online channels including search engine optimisation (SEO), content marketing, influencer outreach and social media to deliver the growth strategy.

This multi-channel approach means that the level of visibility of your brand increases, and more relevant people will find it. This in turn will start conversations with potential customers, or continue conversations with existing ones.

Being digital is much easier to track. We use web analytics to see which sites are referring visitors to your website and track their actions. It means we can show quantitative data by counting clicks, visits, likes, reach, followers and opens.

However, it’s not just about counting clicks. Tracking sales and profits is the focus in most business PR strategies, and what we find is because we have an understanding of our client’s businesses in the context of the industry, we can measure and monitor against their goals as well as looking at industry trends.

It’s also important that the reputation and trustworthiness of businesses are tracked, and we monitor this through qualitative analysis.

All Balls2 Marketing writers are active members of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and keep up to date with all the latest good practices through continual professional development (CPD). There have been so many changes in recent years as the importance of online has increased exponentially. As a full service agency we offer a complete range of services, but we base strategy within the discipline of PR because it’s simply the best way to get results.