Ashley Zeckman

Authoritative, Credible & Trustworthy: 3 Attributes of a Successful Digital Marketing Strategy

Ashley Zeckman on May 19th, 2016     Digital Marketing, Online Marketing


There was a time in the not so distant past when marketing and reality did not always align. Companies could create a genius marketing campaign to promote a crap product without much backlash. Customers would receive the product which was clearly not as advertised, and had little recourse to spread the word.

The interconnectivity of today’s world is helping to keep marketers honest. Even one bad experience can ruin a company’s reputation and cause irreversible damage to their business.

When companies hire individuals or agencies to help with their digital marketing initiatives, they want to work with marketers that stand for the same things that they believe in.

Why? They know that if there is this alignment, both parties or teams can more efficiently work together to meet business goals and objectives, generate new business, and better serve current customers.

But what does it truly mean to be authoritative, credible and trustworthy in the context of digital marketing and how can you achieve that status as a marketer?


: having or showing impressive knowledge about a subject  
– Merriam-Webster

It may come as no surprise that building authority requires a lot of hard work. And, it’s a never ending job. In order for an individual or a team to become authoritative on a particular topic it takes research, problem solving, process development, execution, testing and evolution of process.

To simply absorb knowledge on a topic and speak to it without having first-hand knowledge of what it really takes to strategize or execute on that thing is not how marketers should go about building authority.

In order to be authoritative, you have to walk-the-walk even more than you have to talk-the-talk.

Part of building authority requires taking an integrated, omni-channel approach to your digital marketing efforts. By sharing similar and connected information on multiple outlets you will be able to create signals of authority that point back to your company as the best answer for whatever your customers are looking for, wherever they are searching.

Below is an example of some of the digital marketing tactics that can be used to create authority on a particular topic.

Build Authority



:able to be believed
– Merriam-Webster

To become credible in the eyes of your customers, you have to have repeatedly shown that you are a trusted source of information. There is no “quick fix” for becoming credible, but there are actions you can take to begin building confidence in your message.

If you want your brand to be the go-to source for information that your customers are looking for, you have to look at who they consider to be credible. Perhaps there are other brands or even influencers within your industry that your customers look up to. By taking a look into what these other people or companies are doing that makes them so credible, you can get a glimpse into what steps your brand can take to begin building that same rapport.

One way to do that, is by incorporating influencers into your digital marketing strategy. By aligning your brand with influencers that your customers already consider credible, you are creating a connection and affinity between what they say, and what you say.


Build Credibility


: able to be relied on to do or provide what is needed or right
– Merriam-Webster

One of the signs of a trustworthy marketer is their ability to admit to successes, and failures. Positioning things in a positive light when they were not successful or failing to recognize areas of opportunity are a major misstep and should be avoided.

One way to show that you’re trustworthy is willingness to rectify a situation for a customer or client that has gone poorly. The other is to quickly identify when something is going south, bring it up immediately and redirect your course to provide positive results.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a marketer at an agency working with a brand, an internal marketer reporting to your leadership team or a marketer handling a customer situation; you must provide transparency to build trust.

Doing the right thing is not always the easiest course of action but it will show that you can be trusted and therefore create a stickier relationship.

Does Your Digital Marketing Strategy Include Authority, Credibility and Trust?

Each of these qualities are earned over time and take commitment on your part to strive for greatness. Consciously choosing to follow each of these principles may sometimes be the harder decision, but in the end, it will always be the right one.

Header image via Shutterstock

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Ashley Zeckman About Ashley Zeckman

Ashley Zeckman is the Director of Agency Marketing for TopRank Marketing. In addition to finding innovative ways to showcase the exceptional work of her team, she is also responsible for creating digital marketing programs that drive customer acquisition and growth for the agency. Her background includes expertise in everything from content marketing strategy to branding, account management and social media.

Outside of her role at TopRank Online Marketing, Ashley prides herself on being a great home chef, painter, prankster and dog mom.