It won’t have escaped your attention that we are living in strange times. As the coronavirus spreads around the world, a flurry of information, facts, and myths fly back and forth as people try to make sense of the crisis.
In 2020, brands hold considerable sway over their audiences. Experts in their niche and publishers in their own right, many customers look to the brands they love for advice and guidance.
Just looking at the emails people have received from supermarkets, coffee shops, and other retailers reassuring customers that they are doing everything they can to stay on top of the situation.
In an age of fake news and at a time when expertise and authority matter more than ever, it’s crucial that every business, no matter how small, crafts a brand that customers can trust and believe. Read on to discover how you can achieve just that.
Thinking about using COVID-19 in your marketing? Make sure you do it right. Click here for a guide to sensitive hot topic marketing.
Take advantage of the opportunities afforded by your website
Your website is the nucleus of your entire online strategy. It is the hub through which all of your customers are routed. Consequently, it’s crucial that you take advantage of all the opportunities it provides to create a trustworthy, authoritative website.
Display TrustPilot reviews prominently on your homepage. These are genuine, independent reviews of your business, and thus convey greater authority and trust than any branded content ever could.
Your About page also plays an important role in creating a sense of trust from your audience. Use this to convey your credentials as a business, identifying awards, employee skill sets, and other achievements that highlight your expertise as a brand.
HubSpot is a shining example of an About Us page that inspires trust and faith:
As well as a personal, person-centric story that focuses on the individuals behind the brand, HubSpot also includes a few facts and figures about their growth. These numbers act as a form of social proof, highlighting the weight and value behind their brand.
Top tip: make it personal. Adding a face to your brand nurtures a sense of personality, encouraging further trust from your audience.
It’s worth reevaluating your Frequently Asked Questions page too. A comprehensive and detailed FAQ page heads off customer queries and is another opportunity for you to showcase your expertise and authority.
Share only trusted and authoritative third-party sources
Your social strategy is one of the key touchpoints between you and your customers.
While part of that will consist of sharing your own content, a large part of your social strategy will involve sharing other independent sources related to your niche. They could be mainstream publications that publish content related to your niche, or it could be publications specific to your industry.
If you share third-party sources, make sure they are authoritative and respected websites. A lot of this can be detected through a basic sense check. If it looks shady, it probably is (this is a useful guide for checking publishers yourself).
Government-affiliated websites are obviously safe bets, as are certain news publications. That said, avoid clickbait tabloids and opt for more respected publications.
The content you create says a lot about your brand, but so too does the content you share. Make sure you only share respected, trusted, and authoritative sources, and you will look respectable, trustworthy, and authoritative as a result.
Create content that is relevant to your industry and in general
Your business’s content strategy plays an important role in crafting a brand that your customers can trust.
Your content is your brand’s mouthpiece, a place for you to extol your company values and showcase your expertise within your industry.
Indeed, it is this latter point that matters most when it comes to your content.
The content you create should be comprehensive, well-researched and, crucially, relevant to your industry.
Shopify is a good example of this at work. Its content strategy is peppered with industry-specific articles and interviews that add value to their specific audience of entrepreneurs and small businesses.
Shopify’s blogs are regularly updated and always fresh (as evidenced in the coronavirus-themed content in the screenshot above). By being reactive and relevant, Shopify crafts a sense of trust around its brand.
In the same vein, your content should be relevant, both to your target audience and to the wider situation surrounding your industry. If coronavirus impacts your audience (and, let’s be honest, there are few industries that aren’t), create content that addresses those specific effects.
Strive for impeccable customer communications
Beyond your content and social media, there will be times when you have real, two-way conversations with your customers.
The way you respond to customer complaints and queries can have a dramatic impact on the way your brand is perceived in terms of trust.
Use social media tools to monitor mentions of your brand online and insert yourself into the conversation — where appropriate.
Acknowledge your customer’s situation first and foremost — don’t devalue it, even unintentionally. Reassure your customers that you value them as individuals and want to help them achieve a resolution.
It might sound simple, but by continually reminding your customer that they are your top priority, helps foster a sense of trust and comfort that does wonders for your brand.
Build this reassurance into your chatbot scripts too. This will help allay any concerns and help customers feel valued and respected — it’s a simple element but one that goes a long way.
As the coronavirus pandemic grows, your customers will be seeking reassurance and authoritative facts from the government, as well as the brands they love. Follow the tips above and craft a brand that your customers can trust and believe in 2020.