Interviews with Successful Online Marketers & Entrepreneurs

How to Create a Trustworthy Brand on the Web

People have no reason to naturally trust your brand just because you have a website or put up a social media post. In order to make your brand one that consumers trust, you must pay attention to the little details of your online branding and put in place policies that garner loyalty from your users. 

In Edelman’s latest research on brand trust, they found that 67% of people are more likely to try a product if the brand has a good reputation. However, if the company doesn’t then build trust and relationships, many stop buying that product soon after. The survey looked at the responses from 16,000 people and has a .8% margin of error.

Any successful relationship is built on trust — including the relationship between brand and customer. Here are six ways of building trust and some examples of other businesses already successful in this area. 

  1. 1. Keep Your Promises

Brands are making bigger promises than in the past, including promises about social responsibility, standing behind their product and customer service. However, until the consumer experiences a problem and the company follows through on that promise, words aren’t actions. One of the quickest ways to lose consumer trust is to promise excellent customer service or a full warranty and then not deliver. 

Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance makes a promise right on their home page that reads “We do more than cover you — we care for you.” They go on to explain how they care for their customers by giving them attention and understanding. This is a pretty big promise, and if they fail to deliver, people will go to another insurance agency. 

  1. 2. Personalize Your Message

Are you more likely to trust someone you’ve met and interacted with or some random person you pass on the street? If you want people to trust you, you must give them reasons to, including personalizing your message and gearing it toward your target audience. Make sure you target photographs to your typical user and remain consistent with your tone and voice. Consistency is one way of building trust. 

  1. 3. Highlight Awards

Awards and professional memberships show that someone else out there thinks you’re doing a good job. Go ahead and enter local contests as well as national ones. If you have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, display the emblem on your home page. These are all subtle trust factors indicating to users that they can trust you. When a bigger organization puts their name behind you, it gives you a new level of authenticity. 

D.B. Krieg shares their awards right at the top of the page, showing their rating as a top contractor since 2015. They also list that they have an A+ rating with the BBB. All of this content adds to the level of trust new leads put in them. 

  1. 4. Watch Your Ads

The ads you allow on your website can have a big impact on how other people see you. If you’re just trying to grab some additional income by throwing up any ad you can, those ads won’t really serve the purpose of helping your typical user.

Instead, filter the ads and make sure they’re highly relevant to your particular audience. If you mostly get working moms as visitors, they probably aren’t interested in the latest male muscle-building supplement, for example. Show people they can trust you even when it comes to the outside information you bring them. 

Recipe Girl does a good job of showing only ads their typical audience member might be interested in. Note how the ads are unobtrusive. One sits at the bottom of the page and can be exited out of with the click of the button. The other ad is in the right sidebar about halfway down the page. Users know they can trust Lori Lange to give them recipes without trying to push products on them. 

  1. 5. Offer Excellent Service

In a recent survey by Zendesk of 1,044 consumers in the United States, researchers found that after a poor interaction with customer service, a whopping 97% of consumers changed future buying habits based on that interaction. If your customer service isn’t up to par, you’ll lose customers — and you may lose a lot of them.

Make a commitment to good service. Add live chat to your site and staff it with trained live agents. Set some firm policies in place, but give your employees enough leeway to make good decisions that keep your loyal customers happy and coming back in the future.

  1. 6. Gather Testimonials

Do you already have some avid fans of your products or services? Ask them for testimonials and place those positive praises on your front page. Add a photo of the customer too so that people can see they’re a real person and you aren’t just making up stories and putting them on your site (never do that, by the way!). This type of social proof is more convincing than anything you can say about your own brand.

Bizzabo highlights what their customers are saying about them on their testimonials page. They use thought bubbles that make one think of a live chat or text messaging on an iOS device. They share short testimonials along with small profile images, and the thoughts look as though they’re from Twitter or Instagram and include name tags and sometimes hashtags. 

  1. Creating Trust

Don’t expect to gain the trust of your customers overnight. Building trust takes time and consistent effort. Become a partner with your buyers and show them you care about keeping their business for the long term. With ongoing effort and small changes over time, you’ll soon have a brand name that people recognize and see as legitimate and worth trusting.

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