This article has been contributed by David Hehenberger.
In today’s online world, credibility is often what differentiates a successful brand from one that just doesn’t make it.
The internet is full of shady articles, questionable videos, and people that are doing their best to sell you nothing but smoke.
In such a climate, you can’t blame users for wanting to be certain they can trust you before your relationship becomes transactional.
Fortunately, there are plenty of things you, as a brand, can do to showcase your credibility.
In this post, we’ll take a look at the eight best marketing tactics you can rely on to boost your credibility and trust.
8 Best Marketing Tactics Guaranteed To Build Brand Trust in 2023
1. Provide Exceptional Social Proof
Social proof is a very effective way to improve your brand’s credibility and trustworthiness. It sends a clear signal that you are real, legitimate, and the kind of business your visitors should be comfortable interacting with.
Image source: financesonline.com
However, in order for it to work exceptionally well, the social proof you reach for also needs to be of the highest quality. Simply slapping a couple of reviews on your homepage won’t really cut it.Start by featuring third-party aggregated reviews. Both Google and Trustpilot are excellent for this purpose. They lend a very high level of credibility, and incorporating them is super simple. All you will need is the right plugin.
Make sure to also actively seek out reviews from your customers and clients instead of just leaving it up to them. Send out a friendly email asking for a review. Don’t focus on what you will gain from it. Instead, explain why the recipient should care about sharing their opinions and experiences: to help others.
You can also combine your customer reviews with user-generated content. Simply allowing (and asking) reviewers to upload their own images of your products in use will give you access to the best kind of UGC and instantly make each review more credible. After all, it comes with irrefutable proof the reviewer is your actual customer.
US Fireplace Store provides social proof really well on their website:
- They feature reviews for every product.
- They prominently display ratings for each product on their homepage.
- Their reviews come with user-generated content, giving potential shoppers home decor and fireplace installation ideas.
Image source: usfireplacestore.com
Another technique for generating exceptional credibility is to create the impression of parallel real-time purchases. When first-time customers are browsing your wares while seated at their laptop, they have no idea how popular your store is.
While they may not consciously ask themselves: “When was the last someone bought something from these guys,” the notion may be forming in the backs of their minds.
A real-time sales notification popup goes a long way towards making the shopper feel like they’re standing in the virtual equivalent of a thriving store, with customers all around them making purchases.
Orizaba Original shows us how to implement this credibility mechanism beautifully. Each page on their site periodically shows a popup containing the details of the store’s latest sale. Giving a name and a location to the shopper adds further credibility to the notification, as does the product they bought.
2. Offer Visible Social Support
Customer service plays another vital role in how your customers will perceive you. In fact, a third of all customers will switch to another brand after a single poor customer service experience.
Image source: financesonline.com
Good customer service is timely and helpful, and it takes into account the customer’s frustration. Even the best-written email and the most efficient solution can be frustrating if it arrives several days after the initial customer service contact.
Instead of relying on email and chat alone, offer social support, which will enable you to help your customers more efficiently and in real time. Plus, it also shows your follower base and target audience that you care.
Admittedly, social support can be tricky. It will require you to be timely and efficient while still incorporating your brand’s voice and key messaging and dealing with all sorts of comments that the entire internet is privy to. The key is in keeping your cool no matter what and never allowing yourself to lose your temper.
Two brands you can learn quality social support from are certainly Starbucks and Wix.
Starbucks is super active, very personable, and they do a marvelous job of monitoring their mentions. They will reach out to a follower just to wish them a happy birthday or to congratulate them on getting a new job. They will also reply to complaints and go out of their way to help a customer out, if they notice someone has a question or has faced an issue with their services.
They have even been known to share at-home recipes with their audience, proving that they are about much more than just making a sale.
Wix does social support in a different way. They’ve created a channel that is entirely dedicated to customer support, where their staff troubleshoots all kinds of issues. This is a great tactic if you see a high influx of support queries, as they won’t clutter your main feed.
Image source: twitter.com/WixHelp
3. Publish Explainer Videos
Explainer videos serve a dual purpose. They help you deliver your marketing message and also happen to improve your brand’s credibility.
They give you the chance to explain what your brand or a specific product or service is about. Video is inherently capable of packing more information than written content. Even a short one can easily convey intangible elements such as atmosphere and emotion.
When shooting your explainer video, consider what your audience will want to hear and see. Can you provide a how-to guide or perhaps answer some common questions? Should you focus on a specific feature or merely tell your story?
Let’s take a look at a couple of different examples.
Wine Country Gift Baskets has shot a video that serves to outline what the service is about and what the benefits of using it are. But at the same time, it’s made to evoke a wide range of positive emotions. It helps customers feel good about placing an order.
4. Write High-Value Long-Form Content
In order to prove to your visitors that you are a source to be reckoned with and a source that can be trusted, work on populating your content calendar with high-value long-form content that they will actually want to read.
Image source: mariopeshev.com
Start by doing some googling yourself, and identify the questions your target audience is asking. Then create a post that is one of the absolute best resources on the subject.
For a great example, take a look at this post on body recomposition from Transparent Labs. It’s the kind of content you should be striving to create. It is 4500+ words long and full of actual scientific facts that are backed up by appropriate references.
The author is also an expert on the subject, and he speaks with volumes of authority. A reader won’t be compelled to question whether he knows what he’s talking about. There’s even a scientific advisory board backing him up.
Image source: transparentlabs.com
The level of detail is exceptional, as you also get a list of dietary recommendations and a workout plan.
This is the type of content that will help you rank, acquire organic backlinks, and prove that you are someone whose opinion matters.
5. Showcase Customer Stories and Case Studies
Telling a story other than your own can be another great tactic to employ. It helps you widen the narrative and provide further detail about your brand without sounding like you’re bragging.
Customer stories are also a great form of social proof, and they can make you more personable too. Plus, they are a great format for imparting knowledge. Visitors will love to read them, as it enables them to learn from those who have been in the same boat.
Case studies, on the other hand, are proof that your product or service does what you advertise.
Hubspot happens to do both very well. While they do publish a very high volume of content on a regular basis (and some of it is more interesting), all of their posts are valuable and actionable. Their case studies are in-depth, share real-life figures, and aren’t extremely sales-oriented. Rather, they let the data speak for itself.
Image source: hubspot.com
6. Publish Fresh Industry Knowledge
Alongside case studies, you can also add industry research to the list of high-quality content you publish. It will take longer, and you will need to adopt a very specific approach, but you are privy to a whole host of industry-specific information already.
For instance, let’s say you sell shoes. You don’t have to manufacture them to be able to create a knowledge base of interesting facts, even if they’re just for fun. You can, for example, determine which style of heel women prefer or which shoe color is the most popular among which age group. And so on.
If you can collect large volumes of data, this task will be much easier, which is why so many marketing agencies and SaaS brands publish this type of content. Just think of Ahrefs and their reports (like this one on the most visited websites). They are able to use their big data muscles to create these unique and popular posts.
Wyzowl does an annual report on the state of video marketing, which also falls into this category. However, their content is based on manual labor, as they have surveyed 813 people to compile their article.
Image source: wyzowl.com
Whichever approach you choose, make sure your data is valid and that you present it in an interesting way. You’ll certainly want to rely on plenty of visual aids.
7. Put Forward Realistic Claims
While your sales copy needs to be the best it can possibly be, you do need to refrain from making unrealistic claims. The wilder a claim sounds, the less credible you will sound. Most people won’t believe anything that sounds too good to be true – even if it actually might be completely true.
Focus on highlighting the benefits you can offer and backing up your claims with as much proof as you can muster. Whether you link out to your case study, quote a satisfied customer, or flex some figures, claims that come with some proof will work best.
When you write your copy, focus on the benefits a user will have rather than the features of the product or service itself. Customers will always want to know what’s in it for them.
The Flamingo website does a great job in this regard. We’re not promising the world, like many of our competitors are. We don’t ever claim that our customers will be able to achieve the impossible in practically no time.
Image source: helloflamingo.com
Instead, we use subtle references to the benefits and rewards of using our solution, and it hits right home.
8. Have an Engaging Social Media Presence
Finally, you also want to make sure you take to social media and prove that you are credible and worth someone’s time and money.
As we spend over two hours a day on average on social media, it’s perfectly natural that we will use this time to engage with our favorite brands. We will also look for new ones, watch a lot of ads, and follow new businesses, too.
Image source: datareportal.com
An active and engaging social media presence means that you not only share updates about your brand but also:
- reshare UGC
- chat to your followers
- get involved in discussions
- generally behave as a person would on social media
GoPro does a good job, for example. They are active on all the major networks, and they devote their time to demonstrating why their camera is unique as well as highlighting the amazing clips their customers have shot.
You can easily do the same. Monitor your mentions and all relevant hashtags, and focus on showcasing your human side and building relationships, as opposed to selling your wares.
While applying these marketing tactics will take time and a fair amount of effort, all of them can help you take your brand credibility to the next level. Consequently, they’ll make it easier for you to grow your business and reach an even wider audience.
About the author: David Hehenberger is an accomplished SaaS entrepreneur and coffee enthusiast. He’s the founder of Flamingo, a leave-management tool for people-focused teams.