Trust is a key factor in any strong relationship, including the one between a company and its customers. Today’s consumers want to buy from businesses they trust, so it’s wise for companies to cultivate that trust through their marketing and advertising efforts.
As top industry leaders, the members of Ad Age Collective know the importance of developing customer relationships, as well as the most effective ways to do so. Below, they share 10 strategies they use to authentically connect with their audience. Try their recommendations in your next marketing campaign to help you improve customer relationships.
1. Provide social proof.
Adding social proof to your site is a great way to increase the trustworthiness of your brand. Social proof can include adding featured press, influencer postings, reviews or testimonials. Any of these options helps a potential customer see you are a legitimate company that others have trusted, which makes it easier for them to as well. - Troy Osinoff, JUICE
2. Have clear actions.
Actions speak louder than words. In the specific case of marketing, actions give the words, images, messages and methods we use to build trust credence. As a company, if your deeds reflect that you understand what your customers and prospects want and need from you, your marketing will be exponentially easier and stronger. - Todd Morgano, Falls
3. Deliver relevance.
The most important component of building trust is the simple act of delivering relevance. When you're relevant to your audiences, then you build trust. But trust can't be built in an instant. It has to be built over time. And the way to do that is by reliably delivering on what you say. A brand is a promise, which must be fulfilled. - Marc Landsberg, SOCIALDEVIANT
4. Ensure consistent messaging.
It's important for a brand's personality to come across in a consistent way across all touchpoints. This consistency allows consumers to understand the brand, which leads to acceptance, adoption and even advocacy. Brands that deliver inconsistent messaging and appear to have multiple personalities risk confusing consumers. - Issa Sawabini, Fuse
5. Exceed expectations.
Consumer trust begins by you delivering products that exceed expectations beyond those set by external communications. Meeting expectations is no longer the bar for trust-building. Rather, consumers need to feel that they "won" by receiving more benefit than what was claimed by the advertiser. That is what enlarges faith in the brand for any future relationship. - Reid Carr, Red Door Interactive
6. Use personal, timely outreach.
Like any relationship, coming on too strongly erodes trust. Respecting customers’ time and attention when communicating with them matters. Instead of inundating them with spam or cold calls and hoping for a reply, treat customers right by using data insights to better understand their interests and the right time to reach out. Personal and timely outreach can help you earn their trust and respect. - Latane Conant, 6sense
7. Offer relevant expertise.
Display your expertise in topics relevant to the consumer as well as to your branding. People want to have reliable sources of information, and you can provide it. My firm always provides information on SEO and marketing, contributing knowledge gleaned from years of experience and research. Identify your target audience and your specialty, and combine the two to provide value to your ideal customer. - Duran Inci, Optimum7
8. Show your face.
People trust a brand when they see a real face or a real person representing the brand. If you're a business owner, consider placing your picture and professional details on your site so people know who you are. Do interviews, podcasts and videos and share information. You can also look at online influencers as inspiration. Their careers rely on their persona and the trust they inspire. - Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
9. Focus on consent, care and fulfillment.
Every strong relationship is built on consent, care and fulfillment. To build trust and loyalty and honor that foundation, advertisers should focus on audience development, insights and cultivation strategies that help ensure communications are wanted, meaningful and drive great outcomes for the stakeholders at the right pace. RFM metrics are key to measuring how well we are doing. - Lana McGilvray, Purpose Worldwide
10. Be human.
Trust comes from action. Action that leads to trust comes from showing that you know and care. So consider a very simple four-step approach: see human, think human, feel human, act human. That will help connect and build the foundation for trust. - Arjun Sen, ZenMango