What can you do to build trust in a market that is so difficult to penetrate?
According to the Gustavson Brand Trust Index in 2020, brand trust dropped to an all-time low.
The same researchers found a trait that could help restore trust the next year: authenticity. Brand trust and brand authenticity have a significant relationship.
Gustavson talks about authenticity in his talk on social responsibility. We believe you can use that approach to brand authenticity overall — showing your customers your human side.
How can your brand be more authentic and build trust with customers? Let’s discuss the importance and five ways that authenticity can be boosted for your brand.
The importance of authenticity
Your customers can decide whether your brand is authentic. An overwhelming majority of consumers believe authenticity is crucial when choosing brands to support.
Data-driven brand development can help you build a strong brand. However, authenticity-driven branding can also be helpful. First, use data to create your brand strategy. Then find authentic ways to make it feel.
Five Ways to Make Your Brand More Authentic
These are five strategies that will help you to strengthen your brand’s authenticity.
Social proof is a plus
It’s not the first time we have suggested social proof in marketing. It is one of the best ways you can build trust in your brand.
Social proof is evidence that customers are a fan of your brand. Consider customer reviews and social media posts, as well as case studies. These stamps of approval are a great way to build trust and authenticity.
Customers are more inclined to trust brands they know than people they don’t. Social proof can give your marketing a personal touch that breaks down trust barriers.
Social proof can be used to increase authenticity in marketing. This includes landing pages, social media posts, and websites.
You can think of creative ways to use your social proof. Descript uses customer tweets to create a complete testimonial.
The quote is based on real tweets, which you can find in the link below. Descript took that advice to heart and made it even more compelling.
Tell us your story
Your brand’s story is what differentiates you business. A strong brand has a mission, no matter how simple it is to make people happy or to do something more ambitious such as helping the environment. To build trust with customers, share the story of how your brand came about and why you do the things you do.
On a brand’s “About Us” page, you’ll often find their story. See how Trade Coffee shares its mission on its “Our Mission/About Us” page.
Here’s where authenticity comes in: They return to these principles in other areas of their marketing, such as their home page copy.
Trade Coffee is a website that sells fresh coffee from community roasters. It also shows how customers feel about those values on its home page. You don’t need to know your brand story yet. Think of ways you can connect your mission and the benefits your product offers your customers.
Are you looking for inspiration for your brand story’s narrative? Create a strong value proposition and then tie that back to the history of your brand.
Real images are best
Although stock images can be better than none at all on a website they won’t tell customers the real story of your brand or product. Stock images are not as good as real photos.
In your marketing, share real photos of your employees, customers, and product. Professional photos can be taken if you have the budget. Running short on money? You can find the person in your team with the best camera and pose the product or employee against a neutral background. Then press the button.
Bala is a manufacturer of footwear specifically designed for nurses. To market their product, they used real nurses’ pictures and used nurse feedback.
Find the people that make your brand special and share photos of them instead of photos of someone you have never met.
If stock photos are required, however, it is better to choose natural-looking images than ones that appear posed. Stock photos that look natural are a great way of improving your marketing imagery.
Keep it transparent
We’ve discussed authenticity in branding’s design, messaging, and feel. Your brand is built as you interact with customers. Your customers will perceive your brand based on your communication methods.
You can only build authentic brands if you live by what you say and are open with your customers. Transparency is the key to any healthy relationship between you and your customers.
This rule is more often broken than followed. If a brand makes a mistake, they take forever for the corrective action. They don’t even mention it.
Every brand makes mistakes. Keep your customers informed and apologize to them if you make a mistake.
Jacob McMillen, a copywriter and content strategist, shared a Calendly outage apology via Twitter. This shows that he truly wants to improve:
McMillen notes in the tweet that Calendly should’ve sent an email similar to this during the outage rather than after. However, the message in this email is strong. Calendly explains in the email what they did to resolve the problem and what they will do to prevent it from happening again. The best part is that the email comes directly from the CEO.
As much as you can speak, listen!
It’s easy to talk about yourself when you market your brand. Listening to your customers’ opinions about your brand is much more difficult, but equally important.
Listen to your audience and take the time to be still. For customer feedback purposes, you can use a variety of audience research methods such as surveys or social listening. Listen to your customers and address any concerns.
There are many ways that customers can share their feedback. CSS Hat asked customers to vote for the features that they desired on landing pages. This is an oldie, but a goodie.
You can free up resources to work on a more authentic brand
To build a brand that is authentic, it takes constant effort. To build trust and credibility with your customers, you’ll need to be open with them. You’re just starting to make your brand more authentic once you have all your marketing materials in place.
Unbounce’s Conversion Intelligence Platform manages landing page creation, copy ideas and traffic targeting, so you can focus on genuine customer communication. Smart Builder, Smart Copy and Smart Traffic will handle the heavy lifting so that you can focus on human touch to your brand.
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