I’ve seen first hand how advertising builds trust. This is especially true for local businesses who advertise in local media.
Small Business Advertising Success Secret: Be Trustworthy
Advertising in local media helps to build trust in the eyes of consumers.. I’m not sure why this is. Maybe it’s issue of trust being transferred from the local media to the local business. Maybe consumers know that a business has to spend money in order to advertise. Whatever the reason, I’ve noticed that when small businesses advertise in local media -they’ve taken an important step in establishing the trust needed to win a customer’s business.
Advertising your small business in local media is just one step in establishing trust. In Small Business Advertising Success Secret #1, I recommended that small business owners take another big step in establishing trust and find out why customers chose to do business with them by asking for testimonials. It’s not only a great way to discover how your customers are actually using your product – but it’s also a great way to build trust with prospective customers.
Advertising builds trust
Featuring testimonials is a great way to build trust with your prospective customers. Sometimes – those testimonials can change the direction of your marketing – and your business.
Vonage was a pioneer in the VOIP phone service arena. In the early days, Vonage targeted ‘everyone” with their advertising and marketing messages. Their message was simple – “dump the phone company and save money without sacrificing call quality”.
After a while, Vonage decided to change gears. They asked their customers for testimonials and offered a potential appearance in a television ad in exchange. After this experiment, Vonage changed their advertising strategy and their target audience. They stopped targeting “everyone” and began targeting those with family and friends all over the world. They also made another change, one designed to inspire trust. Instead of using actors, their marketing message was now being delivered by real people. As a result, they began tightly targeting a key niche market while building trust with prospective customers.
There’s something reassuring about knowing that REAL people who look like you and speak like you are using a product or service.
Testimonials are just one way to build trust with prospective customers. There are other ways to build trust. Can you commission a university study for an unbiased opinion about your product’s quality? Perhaps you could get the endorsement of a respected authority figure. This is a very common method used to build trust with a target audience.
Of course, many of the basic elements that build trust are what many people think of as “branding’. A professional logo, a well designed web presence and prominent signage are among the most basic “trust building” tools in your small business marketing arsenal.
Building trust is an essential part of building small business advertising success. If prospective customers don’t trust you – they won’t do business with you – it’s just that simple.
Edited for content October 25, 2021