A step-by-step guide for building brand trust

With customers demanding more from companies — transparency, ethical practices and legitimate brand promises, marketers must pay closer attention to what it means to build brand trust.

Even when a company is delivering an amazing customer experience, fulfilling its brand promises and performing ethically, customers may not even notice in today’s competitive environment. It’s the job of marketers to make sure the right messages are communicated effectively through content marketing strategies

As part of a content marketing strategy, it’s critical to convey to customers that they can trust your company to consistently deliver on its brand promises. Use the following guidelines to build a foundation of brand trust over time.

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Why brand trust needs to guide your content marketing strategy

Brand trust is not a new concept. Organizations, from local businesses to Fortune 500 corporations, have long been attuned to the need to carefully build and manage a brand that earns their customers’ trust.

Yet, today, the need to nurture brand trust is more critical than ever. Recent statistics show that customer trust has been on the decline — with trust in businesses among the lowest ranked categories.

Forrester, in 2017, warned of this trend with projections of high customer confidence and low customer trust. In other words, customers are more willing to buy products and services. However, they’re less likely to trust businesses — a mindset that could negatively impact sales. A more recent study is backing up those projections. Most customers (58%) don’t trust businesses the way they once did, according to the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer.

Numerous factors contribute to a lack of customer trust.

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Win over more customers by building brand trust

Before your company can persuade a new customer to purchase its products or services, it has a significant hurdle to cross — convincing your target audiences that your business stands behind its promises and values. A company’s need to prioritize brand trust looks different than it did several years ago now that we are in the world of easy information via websites, social media and online reviews

Customers’ trust in businesses has been on the decline for several years now. Only 42 percent of customers said they trust businesses to do the right thing, according to Edelman’s 2018 Trust Barometer.

Whether this brand distrust has emerged from an environment of fake reviews, unsubstantiated brand promises or simply too many unfamiliar brands competing for their attention, customers need a compelling reason to identify your company as trustworthy.

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7 essential steps to launching a new brand

When you observe the trajectory of successful organizations, whether Microsoft, Apple or newer upstarts like the Dollar Shave Club and Warby Parker, it’s clear that innovation sets them apart from the competition.

But these companies also stand out because they built an effective branding strategy — one that is focused on a deep understanding of their customers’ needs throughout all stages of the buyer journey. They are able to excite their loyal customers long after their initial purchase.

Whether your company is just getting started or considering a rebrand, set a solid foundation through a branding strategy that reflects how well you know what your customers want and, in some cases, anticipate what they want — even before they do.

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How to market to today’s B2B buyer

Over the past several years, marketers have experienced a convergence in how they’re connecting with buyers in B2B and B2C spaces. For example, companies are now engaging with B2B buyers by building relationships and personalization, tactics commonly associated with the B2B marketing.

These changes are largely driven by the personal habits of targeted audiences, like those of Millennials who now make up 35 percent of the American workforce. Studies show that people in this age group are largely digital natives who trust customer reviews over brands and deeper levels of engagement. And they’re making up an increasing number of decision-makers in the work environment.

While there are a growing number of similarities in the way marketers reach B2B and B2C buyers, the B2B industry still presents distinct challenges that require a different marketing strategy. These include longer sales cycles, more decision makers and more content resources to guide the buyer journey.

Successfully marketing to prospective B2B customers requires a deeper understanding of these challenges, as well as their expectations at different stages of their buyer journey. The right B2B marketing strategy will differentiate your brand in relevant ways that lead to brand awareness and, eventually, brand loyalty.

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