Trust. It’s the glue of every successful relationship. Whether it’s between you and your partner, you and your best friend, or you and your colleagues, trust is everything.
Trust is equally essential to brands and their followers.
People must trust your brand before they do business with you. People must develop a relationship with your brand and connect with your brand.
Trust equals transactions.
We live in a world of skeptics, and I am one of the biggest ones. When I do business with a company, whether it’s a kitchen remodeler or an athleticwear brand, I want to be confident I can trust their brand and that they will ultimately solve my problem.
And in today’s digital world, if a brand breaks trust with a customer, you better believe it’s going to blasted all over the internet. Just ask Volkswagen, United Airlines, and Uber.
When people trust your brand, they become loyal followers and brand advocates, which, in turn, encourages them to continue to purchase your products and services and sing your praises to their friends and family.
But when they don’t trust your brand? Well, watch out for the headlines and tweets, and be prepared to make a heartfelt apology.
7 Strategies That Build Trust For Your Brand
Are your business sales stagnant? Are your sales emails getting deleted? Is your social media following dead? Is your website traffic low?
It could be a trust issue. So how do you build trust through your marketing strategies?
1. Position Yourself As The Guide
At ROI Online, we’re BIG StoryBrand fans. And one of the first lessons StoryBrand teaches you is that YOU ARE NOT THE HERO. Your customer is. And you’re the guide.
Don’t brag about your product or expound upon the history of your company. To develop trust, you must prove to your customers that you can help they overcome their problems.
2. Be Empathetic
To get people to engage with your brand, you must have empathy. Demonstrate to your customers that you care about their problems and understand their frustrations. Prove to them you know how they feel. Declare you are here for them. And then show them how you provide the salve to their pain.
3. Offer Something Of Value (For Free!)
People always want something. We want to know,”What’s in it for me?”
Why should I read your sales email? Why should I follow you on Facebook? Why should I purchase your product?
To build trust, you must offer something of value. But don’t be stingy! Present a generous offer they can’t refuse, such as a free checklist, a free consultation or even a coupon code. But always ask for their email address in return.
4. Give Them Proof
Can your brand really solve your customers’ problems? Then prove it. Add testimonials to your homepage or include a testimonial in your lead nurturing email series. Feature before-and-after photos, if applicable, or photos of happy customers with your product. Create an online case study or showcase logos of your clients on your website.
When gathering testimonials:
- Include real photos of your customers, but take candid photos, not professional headshots.
- Ask them about how your product transformed them. How did they feel before they purchased and how did they feel after?
- Use video. Video is the future of marketing and people are more likely to watch a testimonial video than read one.
- Always ask permission to use a customer’s name, testimonial and photo.
5. Demonstrate Authority
You can’t just establish trust by simple saying you’re trustworthy. You have to have the experience, credentials and skills to back it up.
It’s like when you walk into a doctor’s office and notice one of the doctor’s smoking a cigarette outside. It doesn’t exactly fill you with confidence, does it?
But be careful when demonstrating authority. You don’t want to come off as arrogant or pushy.
6. Be Real
No one wants to do business with a robot. People desire connections. Express your brand’s personality throughout every marketing channel, from your website and social media to emails and print marketing materials.
Be honest, be personable, be helpful and most of all, be yourself.
7. Always Listen
What’s a surefire way to build trust with your customers? By listening to them. Understand their problems by creating buyer personas or asking them to fill out a survey (don’t forget that something free!). Offer solutions to their problems to show customers you actually hear them.
Interact with your followers on social media and respond to their comments (positive and negative). If they ask a question on your blog or submit a form on your website, reply to them.
Start building trust with your customers now. Implement each one of these tips into your marketing and position your brand as a trustworthy guide customers want to do business with.
Want to find out more about how StoryBrand can help your brand's marketing? Sign up for StoryBrand's online marketing course!