By Suzanne Mitchell, Senior Director of Marketing at GoDaddy Australia
As 2021 dawns in Australia, it does so with greater stability and hope for businesses and individuals than since the pandemic intensified locally last March. The Covid-induced digital transformation boom has created, in its wake, a hyper-individualised world whereby audiences have more control over what, when and how they consume online than ever before. For marketers, this creates both opportunities and challenges.
With consumers today becoming increasingly selective, considered and careful with the brands they interact with, building reputation and trust has never been more important. Indeed, 90 per cent of online shoppers have chosen not to purchase from a company due to poor reputation. Today, to build trust at a time when it’s earned, not given, marketers must be creative, honest and reassuring. Here are some considerations to help build a trusted, credible brand online.
Embrace open, authentic communication
Whether in-person or online, authentic communication is – and will continue to be – key to help brands build relationships with their customers. Despite society’s growing reliance on the internet for work and play, people trust people, so ensure your online communications are real, inspiring and, at their heart, human. Marketers need to consider the type of personality they want their business and brand to convey. Do you want it to be informative? Witty? Personal? Every business is unique, and marketers must consider how to use that to their advantage. Using your personality as the foundation and guiding principle, share stories of the ups and downs of your business journey – including its roots, values and vision – to help connect and establish a relationship with both new and potential customers. If it’s appropriate to do so, sharing the downs as well as the ups helps to show your authenticity, and today consumers trust and care about interacting with brands that feel real and relatable.
Build brand consistency
An obvious – but often overlooked – way to build trust is through consistency across all platforms. Consistency, after all, helps to create clarity and build recognition which, ultimately, can result in increased loyalty and trust. From your logo and tone, to your delivery and the platforms you use, brand consistency ensures your audience knows who you are, what you stand for and why – wherever and whenever they interact with you. If your branding and tone is completely different on your website and social media, for example, it may be confusing for customers to recognise – and, therefore, build a relationship with – your brand. Similarly, it’s important where you’re active. Promoting your business across trusted media platforms helps build trust in your own brand as a byproduct of the consumers’ existing trust in the source. Not only does consistency inspire trust in existing and prospective customers, it can also help establish a clear philosophy and differentiate your brand from its competitors.
Invest in credible partnerships
Collaborating with like-minded, complementary brands can have a multitude of benefits for businesses wanting to boost trust in their brand. The beauty of corporate partnerships is combining different areas or voices of expertise to create something greater. So, consider how partnerships might benefit your brand. It’s crucial, though, that there is a close alignment in values. At GoDaddy, for example, we’re working closely with Mamamia’s Lady Startup team. There is a very natural synergy between their mission and ours; a passion for empowering female entrepreneurs and providing the community and foundation to help them start, run and grow rewarding and successful businesses. Bringing two organisations with a shared passion together like this can help make the mission more achievable. What’s more, establishing working partnerships with credible brands that appeal and are relevant to your target audience goes a long way in building a sense of trust through association and shared recognition. If a consumer trusts the brand that you partner with and has had a good experience with it, they may be more inclined to develop a positive view of your brand too. Not only that, but it can also help to build a community, whereby those consumers feel part of something bigger and more supportive.
If anything was certain in 2020, it was uncertainty itself. Thus far the shoots of recovery in Australia are encouraging, but trust – and the benefits it brings – is an important advantage, and one that can be hard earned and easily lost. For marketers, gaining a customer’s trust has taken on an even greater importance today. Yet by prioritising authenticity, consistency and partnerships, there may be increased opportunities to build trust with new and existing customers in 2021.
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