It’s no wonder that reality TV has exploded over the past few decades. People love it when things get real – and marketing is no different. These days, people would rather believe online reviews or user-generated content than advertising, so it’s imperative for your brand to be perceived as truthful and authentic.
In PwC’s most recent consumer insight survey
, more than one in three customers ranked ‘trust in brand’ among their top three reasons that influence their purchasing decisions, other than price. As Steve Jobs rightly said, a brand is simply trust so let’s look at ways you can boost your credibility online.
This might seem like obvious advice but should be your first port of call in building trust. Take a close look at your marketing materials to see whether you are deliberately misrepresenting prices, product benefits or features. What’s the point in overpromising and underdelivering if you are only going to be stuck with a bad reputation and unhappy customers?
Great client service always tops the list of customer desirables. Besides promptly answering queries or responding swiftly to complaints, see how you can provide valuable information through your online content, whether you share how-to videos, demos, recipes, make-up tips or surf reports. If you are an expert in a certain field, find ways to share that knowledge. It’s a sure-fire way to win trust.
Customers love to put a face to a name and respond well to brands that are personable. Besides sharing photos of yourself or behind-the-scenes pics of your team, consider using audio such as podcasts or live broadcasts (stories) on social media to show a bit of a personal side.
Don’t be afraid to admit when you mess up. You are only human; and humans make mistakes. Win customers’ trust by admitting what went wrong and what you are doing to fix it. Everyone loves a bit of vulnerability – it creates a customer connection that you just can’t get with premeditated, edited content.
Be live (use video)
Video as a marketing tool is incredibly powerful but also works wonders in earning customer trust – especially if you create live video events on the likes of Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. Social media is all about being in the now, so there’s no better time than the present to show customers exactly what’s happening, as it happens.
Be open to opinions
Finally, use your customers as your brand ambassadors. Be open to their product/service reviews and testimonials and take the good with the bad to keep things balanced and authentic. User-generated content not only saves you time and money but is also vastly more popular with customers than any paid media.