An increase in brand trust affects your business from the top of the funnel, down to the bottom.
Simply having a recognizable brand will not make your business successful anymore.
It's much more complicated these days.
B2B customers are making more informed choices. There's more information for prospective customers to review prior to a sale than ever. And competition for attention is fierce.
As such, B2B companies aren't going to invest without being confident in your business and its ability to deliver on your promises.
Failure to build brand trust with prospects will result in a grounded deals.
When cold traffic on your site trusts you, your conversion rate goes up. When leads in your sales funnel trust you, the sales process is accelerated. Ultimately, it all comes down to being able to drive more revenue faster.
So let's get into it with six strategies to increase B2B brand trust and drive B2B sales.
How to Increase Brand Trust #1: Create and share video testimonials and video case studies
When you say it, it's marketing. When your customer says it, it's social proof. Case studies and testimonials showcase how your company has helped a customer on his or her journey—and in terms of building trust, there's nothing quite like them.
By harnessing your existing success stories, happy customers become your best marketers. And it's simply much more trustworthy than trying to pitch your product yourself.
Written testimonials are also great, but the challenge is, prospects know that written testimonials are often written by the marketing department and then "signed off on" by the customer. And while the customer would not have signed off if they didn't agree with the sentiment, an overly glossy review is a far cry from an authentic video testimonial that can't be faked.
Additionally, the participation needed to create a video testimonial increases the trust factor even further. Prospects know that your customer wouldn't go on camera unless that customer is a genuine advocate of your brand. The fact that they are willing to go on record, on camera for you, speaks volumes and puts video well above text in terms of credibility and impact. With that in mind, it's no surprise the number of marketing teams using video has increased to 81% in the past couple years.
What can you expect from using video testimonials?
- To persuade: When you let your customers do the talking, it gives viewers a sense of authenticity. Prospects see the faces of your happy customers and are confident you can help them too.
- To emotionally connect: Stories that foster emotions are more captivating than plain text. People relate to and empathize with faces in videos or films. A story told by a person makes the message more real and relevant to the viewer.
- To attract and engage: Video engages its viewers much more than plain text or images. People are more likely to play a video than read large amounts of text.
For example, check out this video testimonial for Robin—a technology company focused on solving the challenges surrounding conference room scheduling and desk booking—from their customer Datto.
Here, in less than 60 seconds, Datto shares the challenges they had prior, the benefits they've seen since, and why they ultimately decided on Robin.
Now, Robin could have shared all of this info on their own—but how much more credible is it coming from the mouth of a happy customer?
As we're fond of saying at Testimonial Hero:
When you say it, it's marketing. When your customer says it, it's social proof.
How to Increase Brand Trust #2: Maintain design and messaging consistency
Consistent brand representation across different platforms can increase B2B revenue by up to 23%.
But creating a successful brand takes time and effort. The goal is to make your customers recognize your messages no matter where that message appears.
60% of millennial customers expect to see brand consistency across different channels.
To make your brand memorable, you need to send out messages that are in line with your company's core values. This is brand consistency. Every single message that your audience sees needs to be in sync with what your company stands for and every other message they see.
So how do you do this? By making sure that your company's tone of voice, imagery, and color scheme are consistent.
Over time, these images and colors become the brand's identity. Customers are more likely to recognize, remember, and trust your brand if it is familiar to them.
ZenDesk uses consistent branding to portray the purpose of their company.
When they first launched, Zendesk had a happy buddha mascot. This mascot, along with their bright green color scheme, stuck with their audience. The designs were recognizable and consistent, and that professionalism helped to build trust among their prospective and existing customers.
After they expanded globally, Zendesk felt the need for something a little more sleek. They changed their logo and color scheme:
But it didn't take long for their customers to get used to the design, and trust never wavered.
Consistent branding across all channels. When they flipped the switch, they did it all at once, with a clean and efficient shift over.
Consistent branding shapes brand perception among prospective and existing B2B customers and evokes certain emotions from them. It also sets apart your brand from others in your industry.
Zendesk was able to create consistent branding by committing to a single design and messaging scheme. That same commitment to consistency allowed them to pivot and maintain their buyer's trust.
How to Increase Brand Trust #3: Share user-generated content
Recommendations and reviews on social platforms are invaluable to brand growth.
In fact, 85% of searchers find user-generated content (UGC) more convincing than any other content put out by the brand.
People trust other people who are like them, and this is true for B2B prospects as well. In fact, 91% of millennials trust online, user-generated reviews just as much as they trust personal recommendations. Effectively, user-generated reviews improve your customers' trust in your brand as well as your brand authenticity.
To understand the impact of UGC and reviews on growing a community around your brand, let's see how Buffer does it.
Buffer Engages Users To Build Brand
Buffer engages with their users and curates images from their community on Instagram.
Here is an example of Buffer's outreach message for their #BufferStories campaign:
Reaching out allows them to build personal relationships within the Buffer community. And what's more, Buffer is then able to capture high-resolution pictures to share that demonstrate their customers are engaged and truly love their solution.
In fact, within a year of trying out a UGC campaign on their Instagram account, Buffer grew their account by 400%. Not too shabby!
How to Increase Brand Trust #4: Engage with your customers
Your customers are the reason you do business. Connecting with your audience shows them that you care about their concerns, and it's also highly productive! Your customers are the best source of product and service feedback to continue to improve your offering.
That said, on average, only 29% of B2B customers engage with companies. When that's the case, a disengaged audience will not trust your brand as they are not sure if you are listening to their problems and concerns.
What's the solution here? Possibly the easiest way to engage with your customers is to be responsive, friendly, and conversational on social media.
Every demographic hangs out on some social media platform (whether Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn). The trick is to find out where your target audience spends most of its time.
For instance, customer service interactions through Twitter have shot up by 250% in the last two years.
And those interactions have positive repercussions on your business' growth. Answering social media complaints or issues can increase customer advocacy by 25 percent and build brand trust and loyal brand advocates.
Slack Prioritizes Customer Engagement
They emphasize the importance of building relationships by enhancing the customer experience.
"We're not just here to answer questions and clear the queue. We build relationships. We're part of the customer's experience."
— Tuan Tan, Customer Experience Manager at Slack
In particular, Slack's support team loves to add witty one-liners while they help their customers out. This makes the user experience pleasant and memorable—a far cry from the support experiences we've all encountered that are more transactional and focused simply on "closing the support ticket."
How to Increase Brand Trust #5: Publish great content
Content marketing has become standard practice today. In fact, about 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing to reach their customers.
Why? Quite simply, it's a great way to increase brand awareness and build trust in your brand. It shows people that you are knowledgeable in your industry and are an authority in your niche. Rather than interruptive advertising, you can focus on being helpful and providing value to your prospects. This earns their trust in far greater ways than relating to "push" tactics like ads or outbound prospective alone.
In spite of this, did you know that around 63% of businesses don't have a documented content strategy? That's unfortunately high, considering how crucial content marketing is for any B2B business.
What content marketing methods have been proven to have the highest ROI?
- Blogs - Blogs are the most popular types of content, and are great for your SEO. They help to educate your target audience and position you as a thought leader.
- Video content - This type of content is more easy to digest, but typically harder to create. Video content can be educational, promotional, fun, or filmed live (like a conference or a webinar).
- Infographics - Infographics help condense a great deal of information into a visually-appealing format. You can use them to deliver data in a small, easy-to-consume, and aesthetic format.
- Ebooks and whitepapers - These are long-form content types that can be email-gated for customers to download. Both are detailed and comprehensive, and deal with a specific topic.
- Social media content - Bite-size and easily shared, social media content helps you reach out to your audience on a personal level.
How to Increase Brand Trust #6: Host live webinars and livestream on social media platforms.
95% of marketers believe that webinars are key to lead generation. And they're not wrong.
As we have already seen, video is one of the most popular forms of content. Sharing live Q&A videos or hosting webinars helps you come across as a thought leader and industry expert—which can be a powerful way to build trust with your audience.
And even if people don't end up attending the webinar or have to leave early—you're still about to capture their contact info so you can further nurture them towards a sale in the future.
Live videos give your customers an extremely authentic and immediate view of your company, as by definition, they're unedited. In a world of increasingly overproduced content that feels a bit too glossy and staged, live videos and live webinars can provide the refreshing jolt prospects need to engage and build trust with your brand. With that in mind, it's not surprising that 89% of webinar hosts agree that webinars are one of the best ways to showcase and grow their business.
SEJ Utilizes Webinars to Engage and Increase Brand Trust
One good example is Search Engine Journal. SEJ hosts great webinars that people almost always flock to. A key part of the strategy is of course to design high quality, high converting landing pages for their webinars that compel people to sign up.
A good webinar landing page has a strong, concise, and compelling headline. It should consist of brief paragraphs and a prominent CTA (Call To Action) button. This way the page is easy to skim through and is effective in conveying your message.
Here's SEJ's webinar landing page:
Your webinars should be impactful and well-planned. Above all, you want to make sure that people attend them and get great value out of them. You always want to make sure to over deliver and prospects are glad they invested their time in attending. Ultimately, if you can continually deliver value through your webinars, your customers will trust you and see you as experts they can rely on to solve their pressing challenges. They will see you as a company that is willing to share helpful information and advice, and continue down your marketing funnel to set up a product demo or start a free trial with you.
It's Your Turn to Build Your Brand Trust
Now you have a few ways to showcase the quality of your brand and use it to develop trust and build a solid relationship with your customers—especially if you let your customers speak for you in the form of video testimonials or user generated content.
As we're fond of saying at Testimonial Hero—happy customers are your best marketers!
The Testimonial Hero Team
A good brand strategy includes brand consistency, UGC, and customer engagement. It also involves creating a content plan that includes authentic video testimonials like the ones created by Testimonial Hero. Ultimately, these will help build trust among your prospects, increase inquiry into your product, attract higher quality leads, and drive more sales.
Of course, different brands should have different strategies that cater to their niche audience. Every situation is slightly different, and it's up to you to figure out which mix of tactics will bring the greatest return on investment for your company.
Testing your tactics and putting a little effort will go a long way towards you building trust with your prospects. Your brand and content moves will begin to compound and the rewards will be tremendous.
Whether it's that initial conversion for a lead at the top of the funnel—or the final sign-off on a multi-year contract—it all starts with trust.