The Importance Of Audience Trust In Digital Marketing
In this article, Robert Caruso looks at the overriding importance of building audience trust – the foundation of all healthy relationships. It is another in our “Great Articles You may have missed” series.
Growing And Building Audience Trust
Trust is one of the most foundational components within relationships. This is true for both digital marketing and brand content. If you don’t trust a person or a brand, your relationship with them will take on predictable patterns that impact how you engage or not. Increased trust with a person or brand will often lead you to interact, engage and consume content that the brand produces more frequently. A lack of trust for a brand or person will clearly drive a divide between them and you, causing you to often ignore their content.
If trust is a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or some brand, then it is something that has to be earned. In order to gain trust of a target audience, confidence has to be gained that provides an assurance to the customer that you are legitimate and that the things you say, the content you provide and the solutions that you offer can be relied upon at a personal and emotional level.
When you do brand marketing in any medium, you are asking your prospects to place confidence in you. So how do you build trust and instill confidence in your customers?
How Do You Build Trust With Your Target Audience?
Building trust with your target audience is the foremost objective when doing any kind of digital marketing or even offline advertising. If your customer can’t trust your brand, they will never trust the product or service that you sell. More importantly you’ll never complete the sale and get their money.
Just as in personal relationships, trust is built over time typically and this is done through continued, reliable experiences. Likewise brands have to earn trust over a period of time that matches actions with messaging. Though many people concede a minimal level of initial trust to people or brands that they come in contact with for the first time, the furthered trust building depends solely on how well the brand acts after that first contact.
Not following through on what you say, or missing appointments or saying one thing and doing another, will always diminish the trust that you have in someone. On the contrary, when your brand messaging, content and digital marketing is backed up by how your brand treats its prospects and how well your product or service delivers on its promises, will deepen the trust level with your target customer.
Marketing trust has to be earned. It should never be demanded or expected.
Four Key Elements To Building Brand Trust
Over time, your brands job is to build trust. Not just trust in your brand itself, but also trust in the content that you create, the products and services you offer, as well as the messaging that ties them all together. You can trust a brand, but not like their products. You can also like a product and detest the brand that sells it. So if you are only building certain areas of trust with your target audience, yet in other areas creating distance and distrust, you are missing the boat. Brands must be reliable to their customers and prospects from all perspectives.
Here are four key elements to building brand and marketing trust with your customers:
There is probably NOTHING more important in digital marketing and building trust with a target audience than consistency. By consistently putting out exceptional content that your audience can rely on, you inherently build trust. Since real trust takes time, your effort in being consistent with content creation will result in brand confidence, even if you are not aware of the person or company that is consuming your content until they reach out for a sales call, product demo or more information on your services.
When your brand consistently produces content that is relevant to your customer’s life or business, you make an impact on your reader. Creating content that speaks directly to your prospects needs, issues or interests, outside of your products delivers value in ways that go beyond sales. It builds trust!
Being a reliable source to your intended audience is the foundation of trustworthiness. Your brand should be creating content that is proven, reliable and backed up with facts and research. Do NOT underestimate the trust that comes from PROOF!
Most large brands continually diminish trust with their customers online by ignoring them. When your customers and prospects mention your brand, share your content or endorse you within the public domain, you have got to acknowledge them. A simple thank you or even a like says that you appreciate them and acknowledge their faith in you. Take the time to engage with the people who share your content and support your brand.
Who Shares Your Content Also Builds Trust With Your Target Audience
On a related topic to brand trust is building trust and confidence in the content that your brand is producing. Though the same top key elements above also apply here, there is interesting research that shows an additional component that will add credibility to the content that your brand creates. That is WHO is sharing your content.
The study conducted by The Media Insight Project indicates that who is sharing your content has a significant impact on various trust indicators as a result. The research showed that when a trusted person shares content, half of the people surveyed automatically considered it to be reliable and trustworthy, regardless of the content or material contained within the article. Compare that to only 35% giving content credible ratings when shared by someone who does not have a level of trust with the audience.
This research lends credibility to building relationships with trusted industry leaders in order to impact not only the distribution of your valued content, but the perception and impact that the content will have.
Trust Builds Relationships and Relationships Drive Revenue
As we continue to work with brand clients across both B2B and B2C segments, we are continually seeing the trust requirement played out in what we do for them. We are consistently creating highly valued content and integrating it within a larger, cohesive and integrated digital marketing strategy that builds trust, expands reach and increases brand exposure. When trust is at the forefront of the tactics and messaging that is being produced, and the company’s mission and integrity is established around doing what they say that they will do, the results are easy to achieve. Trust breeds confidence.
Over To You
How does your brand build trust with your target audience?
About Robert Caruso: Recognized on Forbes list of top 40 social media marketers, Robert Caruso is a social media, digital marketing and technology professional with over 20 years creating, planning and executing strategies within various industries. Robert was the co-founder of Bundlepost and holds multiple internet technology patents.
Robert writes, speaks and consults on social, relationship and digital marketing
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