There's no question that paying attention to your company's marketing strategy is something you need to do. The way you present yourself and brand yourself will have a direct impact on your bottom line. It's important to note that you need to go beyond this – you need third party validation as well.

What Is Third Party Validation?

Essentially, third party validation is just what it sounds like – approval from an outside entity that your company is worth doing business with. Think of it this way: Your marketing efforts are there to tell your potential consumers what you offer and what you'll do. Third party validation tells them that you actually come through on those promises.

Types of Third Party Validation

There are a few different types of third party validation that you can focus on. It's best to try to generate strong validation from as many sources as possible. Potential sources include:

• Reviews From Major Review Sites or Companies

• Seals of Approval from Consumer Advocacy Groups

• Online Reviews from Past or Current Customers and Clients

• Archived Review Scores From Review Sites

It's most important to focus on consumer reviews and reviews hosted on major review sites. These are the reviews that most consumers trust and that they utilize when researching whether or not a company is worth trusting.

Third party validation is a catalyst for improving your brand and reputation online. It has become more and more critical to separate yourself from others to stay unique while still building the same following as your top competitors. Before the age of the internet you could brand your company though you wanted and with enough marketing, you would accomplish just that. However, a brand is no longer what you tell consumers it is, instead it has become what your customer tell consumers it is. And that's a game changer.

Getting That Validation

The foundation of getting that kind of solid validation is nothing more than providing great service or products and delivering exactly what you promise the public you will give them. Beyond that, using tools and resources to help generate strong online reviews and to help drive up your online reputation will be the keys to standing out in today's crowded marketplace. It's in the hand of your customers and you owe it to your company to make sure you get informed by the public in the right way.

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