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Using Ranking Authority To Promote Your Business

The concept of ranking authority is an interesting one, which can easily be applied to anything from promoting your products, to services, even to your app’s popularity. However in some cases people aren’t sure the best way to frame their rankings to be as useful as possible. So today we will look at using ranking authority to promote your business and go over the right ways to do it and wrong ways to avoid.

What is Ranking Authority?

In a nutshell ranking authority is the psychological association a customer will make with your given ranking in a certain area to how great your product or service is. For example, having a book at number one on the New York Times Best Seller list is a huge feather in the cap of an author and demonstrates to other readers that this book has merit.

Similarly being on the Best Seller list for 20 weeks is another way to demonstrate ranking authority to an audience.

There are all sorts of rankings out there that cover a wide range of industry and services. It is always recommended from a branding aspect to promote your rankings and show that authority because that quickly leads to trust in the marketplace which will increase conversions.

But, what do you do when you rank #29 on a list of something in your industry? Obviously being ranked at all is a feather in the cap, however if you aren’t in the Top 5 is there even a point in promoting it? How can you best frame it?

Using Ranking Tiers to your Advantage

A ranking tier is how we commonly associate ranks like Top 10, Top 20, Top 50 or Top 100. In our society those numbers are familiar and expected. Really anything ending in “0” or “5” is considered normal such as Top 25. This happens based on constant repetition in our culture so we are used to, and expect to see, rankings in this format.

Using A/B testing we have seen that people tend to prefer the common ranking tiers to understand how a business or products ranks versus the actual ranking, unless that ranking is in the Top 5. For example, if you rank at #29 for annual sales you would say Ranked Top 30 in Sales. While people would still buy from you if you promoted yourself as Ranked #29 in Sales, it is going to have a lesser effect because that abnormality throws people off.

Let’s say you are ranked #99 in App sales for a month. You would use the 100 tier and say Top 100 in App Sales for the month of X.

Always Frame Your Ranking!

If you have a ranking, you should be showing it. Companies that showcase a ranking outperform those who show no ranking in A/B evaluation tests. People prefer someone who at least ranks versus not ranking at all, which is often considered lesser even if they never competed.

After all, you can say you are the fastest runner in the world but if you aren’t willing to step up to the line with Usain Bolt, how many people will really believe you?

So, if your brand, product, or business has received a favorable ranking it is always a good idea to promote it. However, there are exceptions to every rule:

  • A low ranking in an obscure category might not carry much weight. Being in the Top 100 baseball players of all-time is a huge honor when you consider how many people have played the game. Being #99 of 100 makers of tennis balls just doesn’t carry the same weight.
  • A top ranking for a movie on Rotten Tomatoes is good as it is a reputable rating site. A top ranking on Tommy T’s Totally Tubular Flix just doesn’t carry the same weight.

You can still utilize rankings such as these, but they just need to be framed in a way that accentuates the points you want to make. For example, “Rated One of the Best by independent rating sites,” sounds much better than Tommy T’s, unless Tommy T has a huge following.

On the flip side, if you don’t have good rankings look for ways to earn some. In some cases you might need to drop down to a more local level to earn a higher rank such as earning your local Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year award or a Top 5 Business in Sales from your local newspaper.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that using ranking authority to promote your business, products and services is a good idea as long as you understand the best ways to frame and promote that rating. As always, perform your own A/B testing to ensure your audience will respond in the most positive manner to the way you frame your message to ensure continued success.


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