As someone who works in advertising, one of the biggest challenges I face on the marketing side is trust. How do I get someone to trust me?
But I understand this as a consumer as well. I consider myself a savvy consumer – and I need to trust someone before I’m willing to buy from them.
As an advertiser, one of the most important things I need is to build trust through my ads, copy, videos, and landing pages.
There are a handful of tools I can use to build this trust.
First, social proof.
Social proof means “are other people using this product successfully?”.
I use social proof nearly every time I buy something from Amazon.
I look for a combination of the most reviews (indicative of the number of people using the product) and the quality of reviews.
If I can get 4.5-5 stars, I’m extremely confident it’s a good product.
Once I get below 4 stars, the product becomes suspect in my mind.
This is one thing that has set Amazon apart from other retailers. If I walk into Walmart, I just see the price and the package. I don’t get any social proof (other than the fact that it’s at Walmart).
But this isn’t consumer advice email. I only bring this up to show you how consumers are using social proof everyday.
If you have a restaurant, service, or product. Seek reviews. Take negative reviews seriously. And use testimonials as often as possible.
Second, is celebrity endorsements.
Before you write this off, let me explain. In today’s digitally diverse world, celebrity endorsements should be re-labeled “influencer endorsements”.
It’s not just basketball players, but you can reach out to the big players in your space.
If you sell a digital camera, get it into the hands of vloggers.
If you sell baby products, get them into the hands of mommy bloggers.
If you sell backpacks, get them into the hands of hikers with large Instagram followings.
Endorsements are a form of social proof, but they are a unique form. When a celebrity endorses a product, they are lending some of their credibility to the product.
If Air Jordans are good enough for Michael or UnderArmor is good enough for Curry, then they’re good enough for my pickup basketball games.
Finally, there’s brand.
Brand is a broad category that encompasses the look, feel, and associations that happen with your product.
Everyday we buy cars, shoes, clothes, food, toiletries, medical care, fuel, and nearly everything else based on brands we know. We expect consistency. We want a consistent, predictable experience.
I can be in a brand new city, walk into Chipotle, and have the exact same experience as I have in the one across the street from where I live.
Sure, the brand may be in my head, but I trust that they are going to deliver on their promise.
Building a brand is way to complicated to fully address here, but focus on building a positive brand experience from day one. Even the best social proof can’t undo a bad brand experience.
In the meantime, build trust. If you want to be around in five years, it’s everything.