Trust is perhaps the most valuable asset your business can have. Build trust with your target market and you can practically guarantee the success of your company through referrals and repeat customers.
Without trust, potential customers will be less likely to do business with you and instead turn to competitors. Building trust with your target market is absolutely crucial and even more so if your website is the primary source of revenue.
Jakob Nielsen from the Nielsen Norman Group said it best that On the average Web page, users have time to read at most 28% of the words during an average visit; 20% is more likely.”
Your website literally has seconds before a visitor decides to stay or leave. Fail to generate trust, and you will have a low conversion rate. Guaranteed.
So how can you build trust with your website?
With valuable content, social proof, and customer engagement via social media. Let’s explore each of these in detail.
1. Provide Valuable Content
The content you produce matters more than you think.
A content marketing study from Content+ revealed that people are more likely to follow brands on social media if they find their content interesting.
Content can you give a significant advantage over your competitors. Valuable content gets read. It gets shared. It attracts traffic. But most importantly, it brings in new leads and customers.
And it’s what separates average websites from the truly exceptional ones. Providing practical, valuable, and engaging content:
- Increases traffic: The real advantage of delivering content, whether through a blog or via free guides, lies in the potential to attract targeted traffic that is looking for exactly what your company has to offer.
- Increases your reach: Engaging content that sheds value is exactly the kind that spreads through social media networks, further increasing brand awareness.
- Builds an audience: Providing valuable content makes your company an authority in your industry and also a trusted source of information.
- Converts leads: Customers are more likely to do business with brands they trust and delivering content is one of the best ways to achieve this.
So what’s the best place to start?
With a blog.
It almost sounds too simple. But it also offers opportunities to build your business and reach your target audience.
82% of marketers who blog daily acquired a customer using their blog, as opposed to 57% of marketers who blog monthly – which, by itself, is still an impressive result.
And also that:
- Blogs produced a new customer for 43% of marketers last year.
- The benefits of blogging are impossible to ignore and is a great place to start if you are not already leveraging this medium.
What exactly do you blog about? Blogging topics can cover a combination of the following:
2. Add Social Proof With Testimonials and Case Studies
Social proof is powerful and it influences our decisions more than we think. We are often completely unaware how much of an influence such signals have on our actions and yet they permeate our society.
Pick up a book from your local bookstore and immediately flip to the back. Chances are you’ll find written testimonials from a credible source on why you should buy it.
And if you’ve ever done any shopping on Amazon, you’ve probably seen this yourself. Say you decide you want to purchase a new Kindle Fire. One thing you’ll see right below the title is a rating along with the number of customer reviews:
- Customer review sample
Social proof at its best.
The product has testimonials from some of the most authoritative brands in the world including Gizmodo, Mashable, and Time.
Implementing social proof on your own website can be done with the following:
- Social proof: Social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter are excellent tools for connecting with your target audience and building a following. But they can also be used to display how many Likes” or shares your site has through social widgets. If a visitor comes to your website and finds that each post has numerous shares through Facebook and Twitter, it shows that your brand has at least some clout in its industry.
- Testimonials: There is something powerful about a testimonial from a public figure. It lends credibility to the product and helps sell the product. A good testimonial instantly connects on a personal level.
And if it’s from someone or a brand you trust, you would be much more likely to follow through on making a purchase. If you already have written testimonials from customers, consider including them on your primary landing pages.
- Reviews: The 2012 Zero Moment of Truth handbook by Google revealed that more shoppers online rely on product reviews and ratings before making a purchase. The report also found that the average shopper is increasingly turning to more sources (i.e., search engines, social media, etc.) before buying. You can use this to your advantage by strategically including reviews and ratings on your pages to encourage more people to buy.
3. Engage With Your Audience on Social Media
Investing in SEO services can easily be one of the best investments you make. Ranking well for competitive keywords can ensure a steady stream of targeted traffic to your pages.
But social media cannot be ignored.
Social media statistics From the same 2013 State of Inbounding Marketing report as mentioned earlier reveal that:
- 52% of all marketers have found a customer via Facebook in 2013.
- 43% of all marketers have found a customer via LinkedIn in 2013.
- 36% of all marketers have found a customer via Twitter in 2013.
These numbers are significant.
If you are not already engaging on these social media platforms, then your business is missing out on a lot of potential revenue.
And it’s the reason why some of the largest companies in the world including Zappos, Ford, Starbucks, and Coca Cola incorporate social media in their marketing campaigns. Because it leads to increased brand recognition, customer engagement, and more conversions.
The bottom line is that content is extremely valuable. Using the tactics explained above not only increases your online presence but also builds trust with your target audience and dramatically boost sales for the holiday season.