7 Key Strategies for Building Business Credibility through Digital Channels
At the core of every business venture lies a branding strategy based on gaining and maintaining customer trust.
Entrepreneurs, and even professional marketers, often find themselves at a loss of how they should approach building business credibility. And that doesn’t come as a surprise. The thing is, trustworthiness isn’t something that’s easily generated. It needs to be built up methodically and nurtured so that it can thrive into positive customer-business relationships.
One of the easier ways to grow and nurture company credibility is through digital channels. As more and more consumers turn towards online shopping, this type of approach represents a natural continuation of all your offline efforts. Best of all, building business credibility through digital channels isn’t just going to reflect on ecommerce. It can also boost the reputation and trustworthiness of your brick-and-mortar business, giving you the chance to manage your reputation with more versatile results.
The Most Effective Digital Channels to Use for Building Credibility
Before you start planning out your strategies, you need to determine which digital marketing channels will be the best choice for your business.
Depending on your target audience, you might find that some platforms work better than others. Then, of course, there will be those that you’ll have to pay attention to regardless of your clients’ age and location.
What many business owners don’t understand is that website design impacts consumer trust. In fact, research has shown that in 94% of cases, users were distrustful towards brands due to web design elements. Besides the layout, amount of text, and the number of ads shown on your homepage, keep in mind that even typography and color schemes may impact your customers’ opinion of your business. Take no chances with this aspect of your digital presence, and hire a professional to design, develop, and maintain your website.
Search Engine Optimization
For the most part, businesses invest in SEO to boost organic traffic and cut advertising costs. And that’s a legitimate expense. However, you must not forget that your website’s positioning on search engine results pages also impacts the credibility of your business. The higher the position, the greater the likelihood of your company coming off as trustworthy.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is one of the best places to engage your audience. By keeping an active presence, you can actively manage customer relationships. Furthermore, you can generate proof that’ll testify to your business’ credibility.
The content your business puts out is in direct correlation to the value customers attribute to your products/services. The more helpful you are in solving their problems, the more likely they will be to trust you, and ultimately, the bigger the chances of them shopping with you. It’s that simple.
Again, though PPC ads are most often used to boost website traffic and conversions, it’s not a bad idea to remember that the way they’re formatted may help set you apart from your competition. Brand credibility and buyer protection can play a significant role in buyers’ purchase decisions. So, keep this in mind the next time you start up a Google Ads campaign.
OK, so for someone to give you their email address, they need to trust you in the first place. But the line between “intrigued enough to subscribe to a newsletter” and “so overwhelmed with emails that I’ll report them as spam” very much depends on your credibility strategies. So, make sure that you handle email marketing with all the care it deserves. When done right, it’ll prove to be one of the most effective ways of building strong relationships with your consumers.
Most people don’t trust ads. But, they do trust friends, family, and, of course, influencers. A well-presented endorsement could potentially expose your brand to a multitude of potential buyers. Even more, it could cement your place as the go-to company in your niche.
Online Business Databases
Thirty years ago, when people wanted to find a business that could fulfill their needs, they opened up the local yellow pages. Today, these print catalogs aren’t as widely available. However, most industries do have collective databases where business owners can list their services. In the end, the difference between getting something done by a registered company and a shady guy you found on Craigslist comes in the form of trust. You’re much less likely to be played by the former.
Strategies for Building Business Credibility through Digital Channels
Now that you’re familiar with the multitude of digital channels available to you, you can get started with developing the right strategies for each one.
Remember, as a business owner, you don’t have to do all of the things listed below. Instead, do your research, get to know your target audience, and invest in the activities that will provide the highest ROI. It’s OK to take things gradually, as long as you make sure to measure performance metrics and adjust your action plan as needed.
1. Ecommerce Design & Functionality
Businesses in every single industry need to develop trust, but those working in ecommerce feel the consequences of low credibility the most. When conversions directly relate to profits, you want to do everything in your power to optimize your webshop pages.
To ensure you get the design of your ecommerce store right, it’s not a bad idea to start from a customer-oriented approach. What is it that they need to know to be sure that your products are worth the investment? In addition to detailed product descriptions, readily available info regarding materials and maintenance, size guides, and user manuals, it’s also not a bad idea to invest in higher quality product photography.
For a great example of a trustworthy ecommerce website, take a look at Orizaba Original. You’ll see that each product detail page includes several images, a short description, detailed information about materials, and a verbal size and style guide. Thanks to all this, potential buyers get all the information they’re after, making it easier for them to decide whether it’s the right choice for them. For one, this manages expectations, keeping user satisfaction at a high level. But, more than that, it positions Orizaba Original as a trustworthy company that’s ready to provide its customers with the absolute best possible shopping experience.
2. Share Trust Seals, Safety Certificates, and Return Policies
Besides the informative, user-oriented approach we’ve talked about, you need to ensure the safety of your web visitors as they browse your pages.
Furthermore, you might want to include a trust badge on your website too. This has been shown to put users’ minds at ease, making them feel more comfortable shopping online and giving you their personal information.
3. Invest in Content Marketing
Most businesses view content as an inbound marketing strategy. And there’s nothing wrong with that. However, don’t forget that the content you put out also contributes to the credibility of your business.
Blogs posts, ebooks, videos, webinars, and white papers are all ways for you to offer something extra to your audience. If they find the information relevant and helpful, they will automatically view your business as credible and trustworthy.
For example, take a look at MOZ, a brand aiming to establish itself as the best SEO tool on the market. Knowing that they’d need to go the extra mile in showing potential clients their worth, their content marketing team came up with the concept of the SEO Learning Center. Here, potential clients have free access to a rich database of text and videos covering every single aspect of search engine optimization. As they’re sure to find the content helpful, they will automatically perceive MOZ as a credible company, thus increasing the likelihood of choosing their services.
Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to content marketing as a way to boost credibility is that consistency positively impacts the relationships you build with potential clients. Sticking to a schedule will ensure that anyone interested in your services knows when to expect new content. And, with time, it’ll help your brand go from a one-time source of information turn into a habit and go-to resource.
4. Provide Stellar Customer Support
Did you know that businesses in the U.S. alone lose more than $62 billion due to poor customer support? In fact, your customers are more likely to switch to a competing brand than to give you a second chance following a poor customer support experience. Combine this with the knowledge that most consumers expect their questions to be answered within 30 minutes, and it becomes clear that credibility and trust very much depend on your customer service team.
However, the fact is that unless you use chatbots (which are a great tool, by the way), your representatives are not that likely to be around 24/7. So, it’s a great strategy to equip your website with all the digital resources and tools they may require.
A company doing this exceptionally well is LFA Capsule Fillers. Along with detailed product descriptions and numerous educational articles, they also include free tools that their customers can use when creating supplements. So, several density calculators allow consumers to better plan out their production process, while size charts, product data, and FAQs help anyone make better-informed purchasing decisions.
Combined with a noticeable CTA button inviting customers to contact them, these strategies allow their users to get immediate answers, no matter their location in the world.
5. Display & Encourage Social Proof
What’s the one thing 91% of people do before shopping online? That’s right, reading reviews. So why not take advantage of this fact to build up the credibility of your business?
Something as simple as adding a credentials section to your homepage (as done here by Future Visions Remodeling) is sure to instill a sense of trust in your potential customers. Moreover, displaying genuine user reviews on product pages will take your credibility as a reliable business a step further.
If you’re just getting started with your online business, it’s not a bad idea to follow up with your buyers and ask them to leave a review of your products. Or, you can encourage them to share user-generated content on social media by using a hashtag or by tagging your official accounts.
If things don’t go as planned and you end up getting a not-so-great review, do not panic. Actively working to support and resolve user issues (especially when it’s done transparently) is guaranteed to help you boost your business’s reputation. In fact, even a well-handled negative customer experience can have a positive impact on your conversions, as long as you act promptly.
6. Avoid Spam at All Costs
Did you know that 45% of all emails sent daily are spam? And once your messages are listed as spammy, your chances of coming off as trustworthy reduce significantly. So, even if you’re not pretending to be a Nigerian princess to make money in illegitimate ways, there are some rules you should heed so that your communication is perceived as genuine.
- Don’t reach out too often. For company newsletters, the sweet spot seems to be an email every 2-4 weeks. For social media posts, aim for 1-14 posts per day, depending on the platform you’re using.
- Make sure that all your content is relevant to your audience. Allow them to choose topics that interest them, and only share resources which will resonate as valuable.
- Use high-quality images/graphics, make your copy readable, and stay consistent with your visual branding. This way, your audience will become more familiar with your content and you’ll be establishing your presence as a reputable brand.
- Be original. The spray and pray approach hardly ever works, so don’t expect it to provide the results you’re after. Instead, look for ways to give consumers something new that they’ll be happy to have read.
7. Advertise Responsibly
Finally, as a business owner looking to build credibility through digital channels, you need to understand that your results won’t just depend on design elements and trust certificates but also on how well you manage customer expectations.
Unfortunately, many companies tend to oversell and under-deliver. This practice may provide temporary profits boosts. However, it inevitably leads to a loss of trust in the long run. So, instead of looking for ways to make a quick buck through advertising, look for ways to highlight the unique benefits your business offers.
If you take a look at this Google Ad by Auto Europe, you’ll see that their unique proposition value isn’t being the cheapest. After all, that can be a difficult promise to deliver on. Instead, what they do point out is that they’re a trustworthy company with 56 years of experience and no cancellation fees. Sure, not all consumers will gravitate towards these promises. But, those who want quality service will definitely find these two points to increase the brand’s reliability.
As you can see, there are numerous things you can do to boost your brand’s credibility.
What’s important is that you choose the actions and strategies that are sure to deliver results for you. There’s no point in producing a podcast or YouTube video series if those types of content won’t provide your consumers with value. However, paying attention to the way you manage expectations, putting buyer security first, and offering stellar support very much do pay off, no matter how costly they may seem.
Take things step-by-step, and develop a strategy that will resonate with your audience. Building trust and credibility takes time and constant care. So, above all else, what you want to do is work on the consistency of your results and the satisfaction of your customers. A spotless reputation is sure to follow.