If you are looking to make an important purchase, where do you seek recommendations? Do you ask friends or family members or go to the Internet?
If you said friends or family, then you are in the majority. According to SalesForce, “92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising.” While many people turn to the Web for information, it’s not viewed as a “trusted source” like a personal reference is.
So, if you are a marketer or business owner, how do you instill trust in potential clients through marketing and advertising? It turns out that there are several helpful tricks. Here are just four ways that your company blogs help you earn potential customers' trust.
If you read our blog regularly, you know that we are constantly shouting this one from the roof tops! It really is critically important to your business. In this instance, think about your blog from a potential client’s perspective: what information would you want to see? Customers seek content that proves you know your stuff and can help them solve a problem or meet a need. Show them that you are a reputable source and help instill trust by offering quality contentand product information. You should update it regularly. Outdated data makes a blog appear like an afterthought or a forgotten task.
Keep Up Appearances
Content might be the most important facet of your blog, but be sure not to neglect its overall appearance. Avoid “back button syndrome” by presenting your blog in the best possible, professional light. Incorporate your logo, present clear contact information, and provide links to additional info on your website. Again, look at your blog through objective eyes: does it look like a reputable source of information? Logos, comments, links, etc. all lead to increased trusts.
Customer Service and Respect
While customers may be more apt to trust recommendations from an acquaintance, that does not mean they are immune to online reviews. In fact, many people rely on those reviews when researching products and services. Your blog is a powerful tool: think of it as an extension of your brand. You can help build trust by presenting excellent customer service on your blog: create a FAQ that addresses common questions clients have about a particular product or highlight a service through actual customer reviews and feedback. Don’t offer cheesy, infomercial style snippets. Give honest quotes from actual users who may have similar experiences. This shows that you value clients’ needs and respect their questions and concerns.
Know a thought leader in your industry? Ask him or her to be a guest blogger. This increases customer trust in a few ways. First, it shows that a leader in your field knows your company and thinks highly enough of it to write a post. It also shows readers that you have reputable content creators and that you aren’t just relying on one in-house marketer to draft all of your posts. As a bonus, it keeps things interesting by adding a new voice.
Blogs can be a double-edged sword for companies. While they present excellent opportunities for you to display content, they must also be used strategically. Think of your blog as an extension of your company—it should maintain your branding, uphold your customer service commitment, and display quality information. Use it strategically, not sporadically.