May 24, 2016 / by Maria Materise

Your audience is skeptical of your brand. They want to know that you are honest, trustworthy and reliable before they do business with you. But your communication alone won’t always convince them your brand can deliver on its promises.

So how can you build trust and gain credibility in your industry? You need to become a thought leader.

Becoming a thought leader takes time and a targeted strategy. To ensure you’re making an impact in your industry and gaining authority, there are several factors you should measure. Here are three areas to pay attention to:

1. Awareness


How familiar is your audience with your brand? You need to ensure your brand’s name and products are recognized in your industry – and for the right reasons.

To grow awareness, look for opportunities to showcase your industry knowledge. This includes speaking engagements, bylines in trade publications or guest appearances on webinars or podcasts.

Start by establishing your goals. Where is your audience and how will you reach them? How many bylines or speaking engagements will you aim to score in a given time frame?

Compare your success against past months. Look at other metrics, such as share of voice and your website traffic, to see if you notice any improvements since engaging in thought leadership opportunities.

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2. Awards

If you’re looking to gain credibility that will last, an award may be the perfect accomplishment to strive for. Awards establish your brand as a leader in your industry and help to boost your reputation.

Set a goal for how many awards you’ll apply for each quarter. Be realistic about your possible wins – an application won’t always mean a win. Focus on the awards that are most important to your brand and make sure you meet all the criteria before applying.

Measuring the value of an award, however, can be difficult. A good way to do it is to compare against competitors. Is your brand winning awards over competitors or are they beating you at every turn? Do competitors outrank your brand on top lists? Think about what you can do to surpass them the next year.

3. Earned media


Getting your audience to pay attention to and trust your brand isn’t as easy as merely sharing a piece of content. In fact, 83 percent of consumers trust recommendations from their peers over branded content. You need to reach your audience by partnering with the people they do trust: influencers.

Coverage from influencers, bloggers and journalists will help your brand to reach new audiences and build on your credibility. Gauge the success of your media relations program using media monitoring software. Track your coverage and see how many people are talking about it and engaging with it. Look at likes, favorites and social shares.

Remember to always include tracking links with your pitches. That way, you can track how your contacts are interacting with your pitches. The information you gather can be used to improve your outreach efforts and make your pitching strategy more effective in the future.


Images via Pixabay: 1, 2, 3

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About Maria Materise

Maria Materise is a content marketing specialist for Cision. Formerly a copywriter, she enjoys creating content that excites and inspires audiences. She is an avid reader, movie trivia geek, Harry Potter fanatic and makeup junkie..