Brand trust is not a new concept. Yet now, more than ever, the need to nurture brand trust is crucial. Before your company can persuade a new customer to purchase its products or services, you have to convince your target audiences that your business has their interests in mind and stands behind its promises and values. Companies must prioritize brand trust early in the potential customer’s exposure to a brand in the digital age where websites, social media, and online reviews making it easier than ever to form an opinion about brand trust.

Recent surveys have shown that customer trust has been on the decline, with trust in businesses among the lowest-ranked categories. In 2017, Forrester warned marketers of this trend with predictions of higher customer confidence with lower customer trust – meaning, we can expect to see customers buying more products and services while having lower trust in the business itself. On top of that, another survey showed that 58% of customers don’t trust businesses the way the once did.

Unfortunately, building brand trust isn’t a quick fix. With customers demanding more and more from companies – transparency, authenticity, ethical practices, and legitimate brand promises – marketers must pay closer attention to what it means to build brand trust. The solution lies in delivering your business’s value with integrity at every interaction. This goes beyond a business’s product or service and includes the marketing content you provide along the customer journey.

By using the following best practices, businesses can start building a better foundation for brand trust.

Make a Great First Impression

These days, a customer’s first impression of a new brand is most likely through a piece of content. Instead of seeing a product on a store shelf or as an image in an advertisement, customers are likely going to visit a business’s website or social channels to not only discover its products and services, but to decide if the business’s values align with their own. That’s why having great marketing content goes right along with making a stellar first impression. The marketing content must provide a sense of intrinsic quality that the visual craftsmanship of a product or its packaging have traditionally played.

For example, when building content around the company’s brand promise, maintain consistency with the tone, personality, and messaging outlined in your brand guidelines. A consistent brand presentation builds confidence among your targeted audience, as well as enhances brand awareness.

Make a Case for Brand Trust Early On

The content you develop should take into account the needs of your audience at different stages of the customer journey. This is especially true during the early stages of the journey. Content should focus on the core problem your ideal customer is trying to solve rather than pitching your solution.

To improve brand trust, start by reviewing the content you’ve already published. Does this content provide valuable insight on the problems customers face? Is it compelling? During the early stages of the customer journey, content needs to motivate people to continue to interact with your brand. When potential customers need additional information, they should be convinced they can find the answers from your brand. If customers feel that you know who they are and what they value, they will have a reason to trust your business and overall brand. This is a vital step in winning lasting customers. If they consistently experience positive interactions with your brand, you have a better chance of gaining a higher level of brand loyalty.

Avoid Lazy Calls-to-Action

Avoid the temptation to fill your content with super salesy calls-to-action or gated content at the expense of “awareness phase” content. Too many “buy now” incentives or too much gated content will turn customers off. Customers sense salesy content where the company places its needs above the audience, which ultimately damages brand trust.

Establish Trust with Social Proof

Winning over a customer requires more than just a one-time experience. Highlighting customers in your content can be an effective way to build brand trust when a prospect is ready to focus on finding a solution. The focus is not on your company, but on customers who are showcased as the heroes in testimonials, case studies, and use cases. This type of social proof presents content in a way that helps prospective customers see themselves and the possible outcomes they could achieve through a partnership with your brand.

By having a content strategy that consistently reflects a deeper understanding of your customers, it’s possible to establish and maintain brand trust in a competitive environment. So, give your customers what they want — a relationship with your brand that’s built on trust. By delivering valuable content that addresses their needs at the right time, you can build a solid foundation for brand trust and effectively win over more customers.