The world is full of ludicrous marketing spiels. Everywhere you turn, there are dubious claims from questionable brands, eagerly pushing you towards deals any sane person would avoid. It’s no wonder that shoppers have become quick to look past most marketing materials. Email inboxes fill up with unopened pleas to buy. PPC ads go unclicked and popups simply get blocked.
If you want your business to grow, then marketing is an essential component — so how do you actually make it stick? How do you bypass that skepticism and get your target audience paying close attention to the messages you’re trying to get across?
Well, it’s all about earning trust. If people can trust you, they’ll be willing to give you time to convince them.
In this post, we’re going to set out 5 simple tips for creating marketing materials that your customers (existing and/or prospective) will be far more likely to trust. Let’s get to them:
Use hyperbole sparingly
Here’s the thing about saying your product is the best on the market: even if it actually is inarguably the best (which is possible, though unlikely), people are unlikely to believe you. They’ve seen it claimed too many times. They’ve seen “easy-clean” products that are, in fact, extremely difficult to clean. Anything that sounds too good to be true is assumed to be false.
That doesn’t mean that you can never exaggerate. If you want to use fanciful language to explain how happy someone will be after using your product, and you can do it in an entertaining way, then go for it (you don’t want to bore people). Just don’t use any hyperbole whatsoever when you seem serious, especially when you’re talking about product features. If your product is really worth buying, show some confidence and stick to the facts.
Have consistent branding
It isn’t individual pieces of marketing material that you should be most concerned with: it’s all of them, and how well they tie together. Why? Let’s suppose that you created an incredibly trustworthy piece of content — something that won people over at a spectacular rate — then followed it up with something of lesser quality. Whether the latter would receive any goodwill would depend on its branding.
If it closely resembled the first piece, then recipients would mentally connect the two. If it didn’t, they might not really recognize it as coming from the same brand. Branding consistency is vital in all forms of business content because it saves time (would you create an invoice from scratch for each payment or simply use an invoice template?), but also because it ties brand productions together and allows positive perception — and trust — to accumulate.
Display trust badges
If there were a worldwide council of marketing experts with a renowned accreditation scheme, I might have been able to open this blog post by pointing you to an embedded badge saying something along the lines of “Top 100 Marketing Blogger”. There isn’t, so I didn’t have the option, but it’s interesting to think about how it might have affected your opinion if I had.
Trust badges are those embedded images that show awards and accreditations on everything from product compatibility to safety testing. And while you probably won’t have any to show regarding blogging, you should be able to show some regarding such things as social proof (e.g. Trustpilot widgets) and website security (e.g. the GlobalSign seal).
Include expert testimonials
We just touched upon social proof, but if you really want to earn some trust in certain fields, you need experts to weigh in on your behalf. What makes your products and/or services so good? Why do you stand apart from your competitors? Someone credible in your field providing a rousing endorsement of what you do can make a huge difference in how you’re viewed.
As for how you can win such a testimonial, it’s a lot easier than it used to be, all thanks to social media. When — and only when — you’re sure that your quality level is sufficiently high, reach out to suitable experts and ask them to review you. Provide them with free product samples and/or service trials to minimize the chance of them turning you down. In the end, all it will take is a positive paragraph from someone. That’s all you need.
Online authorship can be murky at the best of times. Blog posts are commonly published without author names attached, and this seriously damages trust. Readers can consider the arguments presented with no issues, of course, but they can’t reach any firm conclusions about the industry claims and the broad predictions.
This is even more of a problem with marketing materials. What happens if a product claim is made but discovered to be false? The company can simply say it fired the author, without anyone knowing if that’s even true. Every piece of marketing material should have full author attribution, even if it’s collaborative. That way, the truth of the contents will be connected to the reputation of the author, and it’ll be in their interest to be scrupulously honest.
Time to be Honest!
Your marketing can be smart, well-presented, impactful and well-financed, and utterly ineffective — and all it takes is a lack of trust. Deploy the tactics we’ve looked at, think carefully about how you come across to your target audience, and start making a strong case for why you deserve time and consideration.