Ten Trust Elements Every Brand Needs [Research]

Do Consumers Trust Your Brand?

Build consumer trust with these ten pointsTrust is a critical element for consumers, without it you can’t enter a consumer’s product consideration set. As an integral part of content marketing and social media, trust is the filter through which consumers evaluate brand and product information. This is even more important in light of the fact that consumers don’t trust advertising! 

When it comes to consumer trust, making use of content marketing resources without a hint of promotion is a necessity. Here are five findings from the  2012 US research by About.com and Latitude Research to support this point. Of the more than 1500 Americans surveyed:

  • 84% won’t consider a product that doesn’t pass their trust standards.

  • 71% don’t trust a brand that doesn’t provide promotion-free information.

  • 83% trust brands that offer resources through the entire purchase cycle.

  • 82% aggregate and check information veracity.

  • 62% trust brands that help them use purchased products better.

To ensure your content marketing builds trust, here are the ten trust attributes as ranked by consumers, based on the 2012 US research by About.com and Latitude Research. 10 Consumer trust elements and importance - research

  1. Accuracy. Don’t give consumers misleading or false information since they’re going to check it against other sources such as consumer reviews and their social network. Actionable Marketing Question to Ask:  Is your information valuable and can it be verified by other sources?
  2. Transparency. In today’s social media savvy world, it’s critical for businesses to be open in their dealings with their customers. Actionable Marketing Question to Ask: Are your organization’s motives clear to consumers? Can they tell when you’re truly trying to help them, not sell them?
  3. Expertise. Be recognized in your field and share it with your prospects, customers and the public. Actionable Marketing Question to Ask: Does your organization have authority in your category? Does the information you share provide value for your prospects and consumers?
  4. Choice. Offer customers different alternatives based on their needs. No one wants to feel forced into having only one option. Actionable Marketing Question to Ask: Does your organization offer choices and different solutions? In other words, do you appreciate consumers’ purchase process?
  5. Awareness. Actionable Marketing Question to Ask:  What’s the experience of other consumers and their social connections?
  6. Relevance. Actionable Marketing Question to Ask: Is the information your organization provides consumers on a specific topic or product pertinent? Does it take into consideration the consumer’s needs?
  7. Fairness. Actionable Marketing Question to Ask:  Do you offer information that provides the positives and negatives of different products or solutions?
  8. Format. When your audience is overwhelmed with information, it’s critical to ensure that they can quickly find the facts they want and need. This translates to findability on search and the use of bolding and outlining. Don’t forget your target consumer may be getting the content on the go via a mobile device (smartphone or tablet.) Actionable Marketing Question to Ask:  Is your information and content easy to find and quick to consume?
  9. Relatability. Offer information that consumers can understand. Skip the gibberish and write in plain English. Treat your audience with respect. Actionable Marketing Question to Ask:  Does your organization relate to consumers’ points of view and respect them?
  10. Exclusivity. Realize that consumers want to be recognized. They want to feel that they’re special to you. Think in terms of how you can tailor your sales process to meet their needs, not yours! Actionable Marketing Question to Ask:  Do you give consumers special benefits in the form of discounts or other offerings?

As a marketer, the best way to win consumers is to build trust through the use of content marketing and social media. Ideally, provide prospects with the information they want and need at every step of the purchase cycle including customer reviews, both the good and the bad.

What does trust mean to you as a marketer? How should companies use these points to increase their trustworthiness?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Here are some related articles on trust.


Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/criminalintent/3661629219/

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