by Nicole Inal

In today’s consumer landscape, we are faced with thousands of choices daily. Choices around which phone to buy, which clothes to dress ourselves or our families in, who to trust with financial advice, and what car to buy. But as marketers, or companies who leverage marketing to support business growth, we must consider what it is that these companies are doing that makes us trustthem. And buy from them. 

What we’ve seen from brands like Apple, Toyota, Disney and Visa is consistency in their vision, messaging, actions and ultimately their products. Whatever their unique identity is, it’s consistent. It’s predictable. Consistency in the valueof the brand is what builds a relationship with us as consumers, so we learn to trust them. And it’s that trust that sells. 

Trust is in interesting concept. Most brands are trustworthy, and many of them leverage marketing to tell target audiences that they can be trusted. They have good products and customer service, but is that enough to get consumers to buy? Many think it is. 

Here’s an example. Have you ever walked through the garment district in a major city and seen Gucci purses, wallets and belts for sale in the back of a van for a fraction of what you would buy them in store? And a salesperson telling you that you can buy this Gucci wallet for a great price. Naturally, you don’t stop to buy anything because you don’t trust the salesperson or the quality of the goods. There’s no way those are real. 

This is the way a lot of brands operate today with their marketing, and don’t even realize it. They connect with a potential client or customer through social media, email or make brief contact at an event, and immediately begin pushing their products and services, without taking any time to develop a relationship of trust. 

With all the competition in the marketplace today, it’s essential for marketers to create trust with potential customers. Let’s be real, most companies – including yours – have a great vision, innovative products and are trustworthy. But is that vision and trustworthiness being feltby your target customers, and inspiring them to buy your products? 

When was the last time you bought something off a TV commercial? Or a billboard on the side of the freeway? Same concept. We must spend far less time pushing product and more time building trust. 

One of the most powerful ways to earn customer trust is to create compelling content. What exactly is meant by “compelling” content? This is content that:

  • Clearly demonstrates the authority and expertise of the author
  • Adds significant value and knowledge to the reader
  • Makes readers want to share the content with others
  • Assures the reader that the author can be trusted on a particular subject

This content is Googleable, shareable and scalable. And puts you on the path to building trust that sells. And it needs to live in every aspect of your marketing program: social media, blogs, email, website copy, influencer programs, PR strategies and digital advertising programs. 

Taking time to build a relationship with consumers isn’t easy either. But as the saying goes, “slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.” (We’ll put a dollar in the buzzword jar for that one). But it’s the truth. 

Creating this compelling content is the first step. From there, the team (from the top down) must take those messages and this approach, and internalize it, live with it, and then be able to vocalize it so that it lives and breathes in every aspect of your company culture. This includes, the way you do business, how you talk to clients and prospects, how you solve problems and how you innovate. It must be everywhere. 

That is how Apple, Toyota, Disney and Visa win. You don’t have to have Apple budget to do it either. But you must be purposeful and effective.