Jan 28, 2019 11:01:37 AM
Posted by Nick Chasinov
Trust is an important factor when it comes to making your business a success. This isn't surprising when you consider the effect of data and the social age's impact on consumers' ability to detect if and when brands are trying to deceive them.
Regardless of the cause, growing distrust is shifting the paradigm when it comes to how a company interacts with its target audience. Now more than ever, credibility is one of the most important values to establish with consumers.
Here are six easy ways to gain tremendous credibility for your company among your target audience, building all-important trust in your brand.
1. Social Proof
Social proof describes the ability of a company to give credence to their product. For example, a company can put a section on its homepage listing "some of our clients" (or similar) and advertise partnerships with well-known (and credible) brands.
Another way to increase social proof is by publishing case studies, something that works even when an audience has very little exposure to your brand. Case studies can be a great way to promote trust with an audience of decision makers who are on the fence about your product.
2. Reviews And Testimonials
Companies in the business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) spaces can capitalize on testimonials. The vast majority of shoppers look to their peers and colleagues as a way of vetting a product or to ensure that it works as advertised.
People are more likely to buy things when they see that other people have had positive experiences. In consumer industries, providing social proof is practically a no-brainer. According to a BrightLocal survey, 85% of shoppers look at at least 10 reviews before making a purchase and 88% trust online reviews as much as in-person recommendations.
Now with so many review platforms like Yelp, Google Reviews and others, testimonials for your business have never mattered more. Make them visible and prominent on your homepage and any page that prospective customers or clients will visit when making a decision about your company.
If you don't have any reviews, use your resources to call past clients and survey them about their experiences, or use reputation management tools to measure how your brand is being talked about away from your domain.
3. Size, Growth Rate And Other Positive Metrics
Similar to social proof, people are more likely to trust a company that appears to be growing in size and market share. While a good reputation is one of many keys in driving company growth, it may work the other way around as well.
Large companies come with their own sets of problems. For example, they are heavily scrutinized about how they capture and process personal data, as I discuss in this article, and they're more likely to be targeted by cyber attacks. However, when it comes to giants like Amazon, consumers just trust them more than smaller brands.
Why is this? Because these companies are more well-established than the competition and this tends to breed credibility with consumers. That's why it's important to use any numbers your company has at its disposal to show the size and reach of your brand.
If you have clients in multiple countries, use language like "international" or "across X countries" to communicate that there's a broad group that trusts your company for the products and services you advertise. Using internal growth or an increase in social following can have the same effect.
4. Celebrity Influencers
In some markets, mainly B2C, celebrity influencers have more power than you could possibly get with your marketing budget alone, leading companies to leverage relationships with public figures and networks to market their products.
You'll see this in numerous TV commercials, such as Terry Crews advertising for Old Spice and Jennifer Aniston serving as the spokesperson for Aveeno, but it can be done on a more feasible scale for smaller companies. For example, it's not uncommon to see athletes in commercials for local businesses. iHeartRadio, a company that syndicates and manages radio stations across the country, offers marketing opportunities with on-air talent on local channels.
It's not uncommon to see companies that aren't market research firms do market research. Why? Because statistics help consumers understand the pain points that make them a perfect fit for a specific product or service. Let's use a hypothetical example:
Imagine that a yoga studio wants to start targeting people suffering from back pain. Staff members can easily conduct surveys in the community. They can now publish an article using claims from that data such as "65% of people suffer from back pain weekly" and use the data in marketing collateral.
This is a very simple (and probably not very realistic) example, but it is a strategy that countless companies use every day to nurture relationships and build brand credibility. Marketing research can also help you create a successful marketing strategy, as I discuss in greater detail here.
A demonstration of how your product works can be a foolproof way to convince consumers to trust the product in question, and it can go hand-in-hand with an influencer campaign. YouTube marketing has become popular with brands, and instant credibility can be built when you find someone with a large following on the video platform willing to try out your product or service on camera.
More Than One Way To Build Trust
Gaining credibility for your company works best when you approach it from a variety of channels. Some people may be swayed by social proof, but if others are more visual people, nothing short of a demonstration may be enough to get them to trust your brand. Once you start to gain credibility, though, it will become easier and easier as more consumers are on your side, and you'll start to see more opportunities for sustainable growth.
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