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Launching, operating, and maintaining a modern digital business is a lot easier said than done. Having now worked on my second business over the last couple of years, a few things have become crystal clear. The #1 thing every digital business competes for is – Trust. Trust seems quite attainable but in fact a lot more difficult to harness than you imagine.
Gaining the trust of prospects and clients depends on a variety of different things. It’s an effort that sometimes seems endless. If you are a digital shop offering digital marketing services or something similar, then trust is most likely at the top of your list. Trust is perhaps the #1 driving factor behind all business relationships.
The Current State Of Digital
The phenomenal infographic above, by the folks from Smart Insights, clearly projects the current state of digital. Consumers are absorbing information through a variety of different channels. An omni-channel marketing approach should be essential for any brand seeking to engage with their target audience. Each marketing channel presents an opportunity for your brand to capture the attention of your potential customers. Not only that, but also the ability to work towards development of mutual trust.
Earning the Trust of Your Customers
In business, it’s imperative to establish a strong level of trust with your customers. Such an accomplishment though, is not only a lengthy process, but also an extremely challenging one. How do you establish trust with your customers? There are a few things that you need to be absolutely adamant about in building trust.
You have to able to DELIVER ON PROMISED WORK. No exceptions! In order to build a high level of trust, it’s important to establish your digital business as a reliable resource. If your customers can not rely on you, then questions will arise. Unreliable once may indicate unreliable twice to your customers.
#2 Keep Your Promises
A lot of companies make empty promises. Whereas this has always been the case, with you competition so easily located by all, it is now far more likely that you will quickly lose a customer or lead. No matter how pure your intentions, making promises that you can’t keep will not get you too far. As I said, this mistake is quite common these days with digital shops. Fulfill your promises as you made them, or forget about establishing trust with your customer base.
This is a really big one. Telling the truth and avoiding fluff can be a huge determining factor for your digital business. It can be difficult at times to be honest though. Especially when a vast majority of clients seek instant gratification in the product or service you offer. Certain situations can be quite discomfiting, but it’s important to always maintain your composure. Be honest with your clients.
Leveraging Emotional Engagement
Not too long ago, I wrote an article on emotional engagement. In the current state of digital, 75% of consumers absorb information through blog posts and articles. While content marketing plays a vital role for any digital business, it’s important to focus on your message. The trust factor is essential with content marketing. How? The way you project your message to your customers can help build trust. This is one area that a lot of businesses are currently struggling with.
One of the viable ways of building trust with customers is through emotional engagement. As mentioned, it’s a bit of a lengthy process, but some consistency can help get you there. Great strategy in content marketing, paired with great storytelling, can assist in development of trust.
Think Relationship Building
Being in the service-based business is challenging in itself. The continuously slimming profit margins are depressing enough. If you add the lack of relationship building, then you might as well fold while ahead. No, seriously. Envision your customers as a significant other. Would you go to bat for them? Most customers definitely have such mentality. If you want to develop strong sense of trust with them, I strongly suggest that you explore relationship building.
Relationship building is one of the oldest forms of building a business. Creating new alliances is absolutely critical. Although maintaining existing relationship is even more impotant.
Maintain Continued Interest
Keeping customers continuously interested is extremely hard to accomplish. Our shrinking attention span prohibits us as human beings from paying attention to anything for longer periods of time. If you want to sustain the trust of your customer, consider keeping them interested. Easier said than done, right? You are correct! Most customers these days seek enticing propositions that will continue to peak their business interest. Pursuing an engagement strategy is a steep hill that will take you a while to climb.
Fortunately there are a few ways that you can maintain continued interest with your customers. Some of them you may in fact be already doing. Others may be somewhat new to you.
- Maintain a proactive newsletter with interesting and valuable information.
- Focus on providing enticing propositions that will engage on a business level with your customers.
- Show acknowledgement on social media by addressing your top customers on a personal level.
- Perform continuous surveying to acquire fresh feedback about your products or services.
- Run special promotions or events if applicable, to maintain some sense of excitement.
One of the most common mistakes in digital business is the lack of authenticity. Quite frankly though in this saturated market it’s extremely hard to be authentic. To maintain trust, however, authenticity is essential. What does it mean to be authentic in digital marketing though? You don’t have to necessarily reinvent the wheel. Not even close. But having a unique approach to the way you do things is a good start.