6 Tips to Build Customer Trust Through Content
It may sound strange, but money is not the most valuable commodity in business; it’s trust.
As an integral part of all positive relationships, building and maintaining trust is an organizational responsibility aligned with strategic planning, financial awareness, and employee well-being.
It’s a simple equation: If customers don’t trust you, they don’t buy from you. And if you don’t sell, you don’t survive. But in an age of increasing frustration with fake news, clickbait, and online advertising and privacy concerns, it is more complex than ever to gain trust.
According to The Edelman Trust Barometer 2018, public trust in businesses has fallen steadily since 2013. A HubSpot study found that only 3% of people considered marketers and sellers trustworthy.
So what can you do?
Well, for starters, you can build trust through content. Here are some ways how.
1. Banish Jargon
Jargon, vague, acronym-es, buzz word. Whatever you name it, the truth is that your customers hate it.
While once upon a time, it was believed industry-speak made you seem more informed, that myth has been busted over and over again—with most, if not all, studies finding the inverse to be true.
Today, the business jargon epidemic suggests two things: either the consumer has no genuine concept of what they are talking about, they try to pull a proverbial ‘fast one.’
Because none of these options make you or your organization happy, the best solution is to remove the Jargon altogether.
2. Discuss Your Limitations
Your customers are not ignorant. They know that the world is not perfect. What’s more, they know that your products or services don’t either.
Sometimes, to help convince your users that you’re the best at Activity A, you may have to admit that you’re not that hot at Activity B.
And while this may seem counter-intuitive, it all stems from the human psyche.
A report from the Spiegel Research Center found that for products with a star rating review system, the likelihood of buying peaks at a star rating of 4.0–4.7 and decreases violently as the score approaches 5.0.
A study of B2B buyers found that only positive reviews seem insignificant, with 40% indicating that negative reviews can significantly help build credibility for a product.
Handling your products with integrity, warts, and all ensure that you come across as honest, genuine, and reliable.
And, given that 90% of consumers read reviews online before going on a business anyway, pretending to be something you’re just blocking isn’t helping, your case.
3. Partner With Trusted Influencers
Is it strange for an organization to promote ideas of a profession that directly benefits from the shortcomings of its products?
Probably. Does it work as a tool of marketing anyway? Definitely.
The fastest way to gain trust for many businesses is to partner with people who already have them.
It can range from supporting content such as webinars, ebooks, and blogs to promotional collateral such as direct mail and advertisements. Regardless of the industry you live in, there will always be an authoritative person or trusted influencer to work for.
The easiest part is finding out who they are; The hard part is convincing them that it’s to their advantage.
4. Promote Case Studies
Overall, case studies are vastly under-leveraged.
However, when used and promoted effectively, they serve as proof that your company can deliver on its promises. To this end, creating a wide range of case studies will illustrate your capability to achieve consistent results for a range of clients.
But creation is the first step. Promoting these case studies on your site and in sales collateral will yield better results.
Again, the Spiegel Research Center provides statistics – finding that posting five or more reviews online resulted in a fourfold increase in the likelihood of a purchase.
5. Instil Brand Uniformity
From sales to marketing and back again, it’s essential to make sure your message is consistent.
Discrepancies in what you display, say, and products are a quick way to lose potential buyers’ interest. After all, a contradiction can easily be a false promise, and you don’t hesitate to search the door. As soon as consumers think they’re being lied to, they won’t hesitate to find the exit.
Brand marketing should be a key tenant of your comprehensive marketing strategy to avoid such scenarios. Only with a consistent understanding of your brand and its values can you ensure that all communications remain true to type.
6. Teach Don’t Tell
Getting unbiased information is not a significant achievement. Everyone has a plan.
This is why, on average, customers need to review an average of 10 sources of information before they can feel they can trust a business.
What they are looking for is information that is controversial and unbiased. They want facts in their purest form, without the bells and whistles of clever advertising and the false promises of smart word-smithing.
It’s essential, therefore, that all information you grant into the online sphere is devoid of embellishment – regardless of whether it’s advertising or content in line with an inbound marketing strategy – as it’s only a matter of time before your customers discern the fact from the fiction.