How to Build Trust Online

by | Aug 15, 2022 | Branding, Content Marketing, Digital Marketing, Marketing Strategy

Your Guide to Building Authentic Consumer Relationships

In this post, Signature W Studio covers the importance of gaining online trust and why an authentic voice is extremely important in today’s ever-expanding digital marketplace. Specifically, we’ll review:

With more than 9 million online retailers in the world, it’s easy to see how difficult it can be to gain consumer trust and secure conversions when audiences are constantly bombarded by an array of branded messaging. Building an authentic voice that people can trust before doing business with you is an essential part of any successful marketing plan — and in no place is it more important than on the web.

Few marketing professionals sum this up better than Rand Fishkin:

If you’re like many other business owners, you might be wondering how exactly to compete against the crowd of online voices and earn the awareness, respect, and trust of those who might make a purchase without ever meeting face-to-face? With everyone — including Gen Z consumers — preferring to buy from authentic sources, what strategies should be in place to strengthen and safeguard that sense of authenticity?

Investing in brand is a great place to start: The best marketing strategies are guided by trustworthiness, relying on the principles of EAT (expertise, authority, and trust) to rise the ranks of the world’s most popular search engines. Additionally, businesses will need to strengthen their branded SEO efforts in order to make the biggest impact.

Why Gaining Online Trust is Important

The highly saturated digital marketplace has made it impossible for consumers and businesses alike to enter the online atmosphere without being overwhelmed by outreach. From 6-second, non-skip ads playing before a YouTube video to display ads appearing in their email inbox, branded messaging is happening en masse at all times.

In order for brands to remain competitive and reach the right audience, they need to not only be their authentic selves, they need to have authentic messaging. According to Matthew Hunt of Automation Wolf, “it takes seven hours with 11 different interactions in four different locations to earn the trust of a user, in order to create opportunities to work with and sell to them.” This is why it’s important to leverage multiple content types to “create a community of trust” that users can keep coming back to for reliable, genuine experiences. Each one of these interactions must be intentional and personalized in order to have the maximum impact.

How Do We Become More Authentic Online?

We’ve spoken at length about the importance of authenticity, but what exactly does that mean? Authenticity can only come from humanity, and therefore is characterized by deeply human, hyper-personalized experiences and interactions that cannot (and should not) be replicated by technological means. Mastering the art of authenticity for your brand means illustrating its unique personality in a way that brings people beyond the digital representation of you and into the true essence of your company.

There are many different ways in which you can achieve a higher degree of authenticity within your brand’s overarching marketing strategy, including:

  • Video Content: Using video is a great way to present yourself beyond the flat 2D images shared across your social media channels. Create as much video content as possible with you and your voice prominently featured.
  • Brand Persona: People want to like who they do business with, so find opportunities to connect with consumers on shared interests. Bring your unique personality out by showcasing your personal interests, hobbies, and attitude.
  • Your Persona: The way you interact with others online is just as important as the way your company engages with users. Make sure your personal profiles highlight how your past experience has directly influenced the company. Find ways to showcase how your journey with the company has made a positive impact on your life.
  • Show Excitement: Flat, unenthusiastic messaging can be detected from a mile away, so keep it far from your brand’s online presence. Always show excitement and enthusiasm for what your company is able to do for its customers.

How Is Trust Built Online?

If you’ve stuck with us this far, you’ve probably noticed a common thread here: Content is king when it comes to maximizing authenticity. But exactly what types of content are more likely to help build trust with your brand online depends on a number of factors. There are a few different content types, each of which are designed to help brands meet specific objectives. These include:

  • Macro Interactions: This is content created through the published, public-facing interactions you have with your audience members on your social media channels, review sites, and other digital platforms. Rather than simply stating, “Hey, just following up,” macro interactions give your brand the opportunity to make engagements more purposeful and personalized.
  • Link Building: Not only an excellent SEO strategy, finding opportunities to build links back to site with high domain authority is a great way to show consumers that other publications are willing to link to your business and publish your work.
  • Community Content: Sharing content to your brand’s profile is one thing, but it’s important to take the next step by sharing that same content to groups. Facebook Groups that belong to your target audience a great place to start. Follow the same people and form larger group conversations more easily around your topic.
  • Niche Content: Identify the niche content types and topics that your target audience likes the most and build upon that to help grow your consumer base and strengthen trust in your community.
The most important thing to remember when creating content for your audience is to remain solutions-oriented. Show consumers that the solution you present is meant for them and them alone. Taking a one-size-fits-all approach to your messaging and engagement is a sure-fire way to turn audience members off altogether. Tailor your messaging to your prospect: If they’re a dog boarding facility, your outreach should reinforce that you built this solution specifically for pet businesses.

Want More Branding Tips Like This?

Now that you’ve learned how to build trust online for your brand, it’s time to brush up on your strategy for implementation! Here are some articles you might find helpful when working to strengthen your online authenticity:

Bill Reinhart

Bill has been an active marketer for over 15 years with experience leading teams in web development, SEO, and lead generation. Bill founded Signature W Studio in 2018 in Charlotte, NC. Bill's goal with Signature W Studio is to create lasting partnerships with his clients.

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