In a world where competition is more intense than ever and customers have increasingly higher expectations, building trust is not only a priority but one of the best ways to differentiate yourself. We’re now seeing the emergence of “trust-centered” marketing and brands focusing on people over products in their marketing message.
Trust is becoming one of the most valuable currencies in marketing and will continue to be so when you consider that only 54% of US customers trust brands according to the Edelman Trust Barometer. This forces more companies than ever to focus on building a trusting relationship between their brand and their client base. Let’s take a look at why brands are working harder to earn our trust in 2020.
Trust in Traditional Marketing is Eroding
There was a time when citing the opinion of experts counted as marketing, but not anymore. Customers are more critical of marketing than ever, especially millennials. In one survey, it was found that only 3% of millennials viewed marketers and salespeople as trustworthy. In addition, only 1% of them said that a well-crafted ad was enough to influence them. This means that marketers are at a disadvantage and now have to work harder to gain the trust of prospective customers.
Customers are More Savvy and Have more Options
Businesses are also realizing that customers are much more informed about products and marketing in general. They not only have a wealth of options when it comes to products, but also when it comes to gaining information about them. They can check out authority sites for reviews, ask the opinion of some of their peers on social media, or watch videos from their favorite influencers. This is them trying to get an opinion from the people they trust, and this is the bond brands are trying to create directly with their audience without having to deal with an intermediary.
Trust Breeds Loyalty
Without trust, there is no loyalty, and without loyalty, any business will have trouble keeping a steady clientele. Not only that but when you build trust and genuinely care about the customer, you end up creating an army of advocates who will sing your praises and help boost awareness about your brand. It will also increase the sense of trust since your brand will be disseminated organically between people who share a relationship.
People want to Work for Brands they Trust
Employees of today are empowered by the number of opportunities that are open to them and have very much become customers of workplaces. Many businesses are realizing that and are trying to project a positive employer brand and gain trust this way. One recent Gallup study found that millennials in particular are looking for workplaces that fit their life goals and needs. Businesses are trying to transform their employees into brand ambassadors, which then results in better recruitment and retention rates.
This current crop of candidates also applies a lot more scrutiny to their employers than ever before. They are also more likely to look at a company’s background and ask for opinions from actual workers or acquaintances. According to the same Gallup study, 75% of millennials said that they turn to friends and family when making career decisions, which was 14% more than baby boomers.
Brand image also makes a huge impact on turnover rates, especially on younger candidates. It was found that younger employees who were proud of their employer were up to 19 times more likely to say that they were intending to stay with them over the long term.
How can Your Business Build Trust?
Now that you know why building trust is so important, how do you do it for your business? Well, the very first thing is to focus on authenticity and genuinely try to benefit your customers.
As a matter of fact, one study by Bonfire Marketing found that over 60% of customers would go for an authentic brand when given the choice. Unless you have a solid product and service to fall back on, trying to build trust through your message alone will eventually backfire and people are going to learn the truth about what your brand is actually about.
The next step is to look at alternative marketing methods that will allow you to build authority within your niche without actively marketing. No trust building effort is complete without a solid content marketing strategy. Content is what allows you to share your expertise and turn from being a seller to becoming an actual resource.
Content marketing doesn’t stop there, however, and involves virtually every interaction you have with your customers. When it comes to email marketing, for instance, personalization is essential. The more personalized your interactions, the more chances you’ll have at building trust. Personalization is only made possible through segmentation and by observing your audience’s behavior across platforms and devices.
Community engagement is another great way to build trust in your local market and build brand awareness. Sponsorships are in large part used as trust building tools and can be great at doing so when events align with your brand’s image, goals, and your core clientele.
However, one of the most efficient ways to build lasting trust in your brand is to practice transparency. The way you solve complaints with clients, for instance, will play a major role in building trust. Making yourself as available as possible and being ready to address your errors directly and publicly when needed will go a long way. Doing things like demonstrating how you use your customers’ data and allowing your customers to ask questions on a public forum will also help make you seem more transparent and, therefore, build trust.
There is no successful marketing without building trust nowadays, and if you don’t learn how to do it, your efforts will ultimately be in vain. So, before you devise a plan, make sure that trust building is central to it, and don’t hesitate to ask someone who understands it how you can reach that goal.