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Building Trust Online Through Digital Marketing

Building trust online: wooden building blocks that spell trust. The blocks are stacked on top of each other

The online world may seem vast and there’s space for all, but in reality, the digital landscape is a highly competitive place for businesses. As digital continues to grow and more brands emerge offering similar, if not the same, products or services, how can you stand out from the crowd? Winning over new audiences and retaining your existing client base is no mean feat and creating an identity online that creates trust in your brand is key to your success.  

In this article, we look at why you should invest your time and resource into building trust online and how this can benefit your business.  

Building trust: what’s all the fuss about? 

We all use the internet to find products, research companies and ultimately make purchasing decisions based on what we find online. With almost unlimited options available to people, brands need to consider why a potential customer should shop with them over a competitor. Decisions are made on factors such as price, product availability and how the user perceives your brand. Creating a trustworthy brand online is one of the most important things to consider when looking at your digital strategy and is often more influential than other factors such as lower prices.  

Putting trust into play 

While other factors such as price and speed of service may seem the most relevant for consumers, if a customer doesn’t trust your brand, nothing else matters. 

Let’s take a look at an example: 

You’re shopping online for a new sofa and have narrowed it down to two options: 

  • Option A: A new online brand you’ve never shopped with. They offer a sofa at a great price and delivery times are much quicker than competitors. However, you can’t find any reviews online, their social media profiles are not up to date and their website doesn’t have supporting content, only product pages.  
  • Option B: You haven’t shopped with this brand either and their sofa is slightly pricier with longer wait times. They have several blogs on their site about finding the perfect sofa for your home, you can see images of the sofas in real customers’ living rooms and an influencer you follow just posted an ad with them.  

While option A is the cheaper option, the brand isn’t displaying any trust signals to incite confidence from the customer. Option B might cost more but they have demonstrated across multiple channels that they can deliver what they’re promising.

What online tactics help to build trust in your brand? 

It’s clear that building trust online should be high on your priorities when implementing your digital marketing strategy. We’ve compiled some tactics to use online to help demonstrate your credibility as a brand. 

Understand your audience 

Who your audience are and what values they hold should underpin your entire marketing strategy. Armed with this information you can create a digital plan that is tailored to your user rather than a strategy with a ‘catch all’ approach. While it can feel tempting to jump on the trends bandwagon, make sure you only partake in online trends that align with your brand. By flitting from trend to trend, your brand appears disingenuous and displays a misunderstanding of who your audience are.  

Examine your bank of customer data to learn more about who your audience really is. You can also send out customer surveys to gain insightful information about your customers and what they think of your brand.  

Go heavy on the social proof 

‘Nothing sells something like a happy customer.’  

No doubt you’ve heard that expression time and time again but clichés are so for a reason. You can shout from the rooftop about your products but the best way to reach new audiences is through using your existing customers.  

User-generated content (UGC) is one of the most powerful tools available to brands to harness. Authentic and genuine content created by your customer base helps you to reach new audiences and build confidence in your brand. Unlike content created by you, UGC demonstrates unbiased and honest opinions of your products. 

A form of UGC, reviews are the lifeblood of building trust online. Positive and negative reviews help shape how users view your brand. Positive reviews from genuine paying customers help to promote your brand as trustworthy and credible. The idea of negative reviews may initially put some brands off featuring platforms such as Trustpilot on their websites but how you respond to negative reviews can also support your journey to building trust. Listening to feedback and making positive changes from it shows your audience you value their opinions.   

Create meaningful content 

Content is the backbone of your online offering. Creating engaging and valuable content helps to support your users’ journey with your business. By providing insightful content that helps guide purchasing decisions, you’re putting your customer at the forefront of your brand. 

Your website should be your audience’s one-stop-shop to understanding what products or services you offer and why they should pick you over a competitor. Consider creating: 

  • Articles with hints and tips about your products  
  • FAQ pages  
  • Guides 
  • Video content such as ‘how tos’ where appropriate 

Alongside providing your customer with top-notch content, your site structure needs to be intuitive to use. Users want information and they want it fast. Consider working with a web development agency to run user testing on your website.  

Harness your social media channels 

Social media should be part of everyone’s online strategy. With over 4.9 billion users, if you’re not heavily incorporating social into your marketing strategy, you’re missing out.  

Using social media to your advantage can be done through a number of tactics: 

  • Organic social: Any social media that isn’t paid for counts as organic social. Organic is great to build brand awareness and create an online community. 
  • Paid social: Does what it says on the tin. Paid social can help you reach new audiences who are highly relevant to your brand. 
  • Influencers: Working with influencers to promote your products is one powerful way to target new customers. Be sure to work with those who closely align with your brand to make sure you’re sending out the right message and targeting the right people. 

Social media can feel like a bit of a minefield. With new platforms frequently cropping up and trends emerging weekly, keeping up is no mean feat. Working with a specialist agency with experience in all things social can help to tie all your avenues together, creating a seamless approach to the social world.  

Get personal 

For certain industries, such as those in Your Money Your Life (YMYL) sectors, having a dedicated space on your site to introduce your team is important to drive trust. Businesses that require a higher level of trust between the consumer and the brand, such as legal, need to build a stronger foundation online with users.  

Consider adding sections to your site such as: 

  • Meet the team: Who are the key members of your team and what credentials do they have? 
  • Testimonials: Create a landing page on site to showcase positive feedback from happy customers. 
  • Case studies: While difficult in some industries, demonstrating the work you have delivered is one of the best ways to win over potential new business.  

Creating a digital strategy to build trust 

Fundamentally, putting the customer at the centre of your marketing is key to your success online. Take the time to build your online reputation, showcasing your brand as trustworthy and credible.  

As experts in all things digital marketing, we can help create a strategy geared toward building trust online. Working together, we will help you seamlessly integrate trust signals across your website, throughout your content and on your social media channels.

If you’re looking to take your digital marketing efforts to the next level, get in touch.