Use Third-Party Validation as a Marketing Strategy
As a company in this day and age, there are many things you must do to be considered “relevant,” including having a solid website, social media presence, and reviews. If you don’t, you’re dead in the water. Your ability to earn trust is out the window; it’s not going to happen because you’re not even giving it a chance to happen. You’re off the grid.
That said, being “relevant” is not good enough anymore. You need to be an expert—and you need to be an expert over and over again, so that you’re always an expert now. That’s where third-party validation comes in.
The content and marketing material on your website or your social feed simply is not trustworthy. You wrote it! Of course it’s going to be self-promotional. You have your company’s best interests in mind. You know it, potential customers know it…
Sure, this content makes you relevant by giving your company some SEO legs, but no one’s going to hire you because of it. “We opened a new office! Check out our latest press release.” Sound familiar? No one really cares. But, if your new office is in an up-and-coming new community and you’re investing in its growth, and a local, third-party paper picks the story up to talk about how great this is… people could care about that.
A “third party” simply consists of someone(s) not directly connected to the consumer, but that has or have influence over that consumer—be it via relevancy, thought leadership, or social.
This is why adding third-party validation, testimonials, and earned media creates a necessary depth and credibility to your content marketing efforts. When consumers click on the “In the News” section on your website and see those big, reputable names they’ve grown to trust, turn to you as an expert, that means something. Or, if a prospective customer is scanning one of their go-to publications and sees your name (and a link to your website) commenting on something they’ve just been thinking about, not only do you have a new potential client, but you are also earning Google’s trust, as the consumer clicks through to your site from a more prominent site.
The experts that media outlets choose to quote/publish/highlight/recognize, reflect on them as a trusted brand. There is an innate vetting process involved, and readers and consumers respect that process. In other words, “If these people trust this source, so do I.”
Further, do not relegate these earned media placements to a sub-page on your website. Display awards, bylines, and quotes prominently, highlighting the impressive and eye-catching name of the influencer, whether it’s a person or a media outlet. More on how to best leverage your earned media placements here. The quicker customers see that reputable, third-party sources are recognizing you as a thought leader, the quicker you earn their trust. And trust is the name of the game.
Author: Dani Miles is the founder and owner of Impressi Marketing, LLC, an earned media company based in Park City, Utah. Impressi is results-driven and only charges when the company secures and delivers media placements, such as quotes, articles, and awards. Prior to starting Impessi, Dani built the marketing and sales management departments at one of the largest investment advisory firms in the country, as well as worked in the home entertainment division of Sony Pictures Entertainment. Executionists and Impressi work together to bring additional value to client engagements.