A key to any successful marketing campaign or strategy is trust. Your audience has to trust that the information you are providing them is reliable and something they can act upon.
It takes time to develop trust, but if you are able to do it then you will have something a lot more valuable than customers. You will have advocates who will tell others about your business. Not only will this keep your business going and customers coming back to you, it’s also essentially free marketing.
So how do you develop trust?
There are several different ways you can develop trust with your audience. One of the underrated, and often unspoken, tactics is consistency.
What does it mean to be consistent in your marketing efforts?
Let’s examine the different ways you can be consistent in promoting your business and why consistency is so important to developing trust.
We will start where we see most businesses making mistakes when it comes to consistency. Branding is such an important part of your marketing strategy because it is how others identify your business. Think of Nike, McDonalds, or Apple. As you read the names of those brands you can see in your mind their logos, colors, and style, right?
This is because for years, even decades, they have worked hard to cultivate a certain image for their brand. They would not have been able to do this if they were inconsistent with their branding efforts. The reason you can see these logos in your head or hear a particular jingle is because they were presented to you the same way over and over again.
This is what you want for your business and brand. Make sure that you use the same logo, the same colors, the same tagline, the same everything. Doing so will allow your target audience to recognize who you are and become more familiar with your brand.
Next up is messaging. There are many angles we can go with here, but for the purposes of this blog we will keep it simple and focus on tone and style. We’ll stick with our examples of Nike, McDonalds, and Apple and examine the messaging you see in their ads or commercials.
Nike focuses on the athlete, and their messaging is all about motion and being active. For Apple it is being at the forefront of new and (dare we say it) stylish technology. McDonalds is about convenience and inexpensive food. Their messaging is about getting food quickly at a great price.
Similar to the branding point, consistency in messaging is all about allowing your audience to identify you in a certain way. By being consistent in your tone and style you allow your audience to become closer to who you are and what they can expect from you. This makes the buying process a lot easier because they trust what you are saying.
Frequency is a little difficult to pin down because there is no one “right” way. The only wrong way to do it is to be visible only sporadically or to disappear entirely. So, whatever you do, make sure you consistently promote yourself and your business, whatever consistency is to you.
For example, if you produce a weekly video, try publishing your videos at regular intervals, preferably on the same day at the same time. The same goes for marketing emails, live videos, or even basic messaging. That way, your audience knows when to expect something from you and can even begin to look for it.
Your target audience is most likely busy and the competition for their attention is fierce. If they cannot trust when they will see content from you, then you run the risk of being ignored and forgotten.
Policies and Procedures
This is a simple one here. When we speak about being consistent in your policies and procedures we are essentially saying to be consistent in how you do business. This refers to things like returns, exchanges, pricing, promotions, and even the hours of your business.
Your audience must be able to trust that you will conduct business in a fair, equitable, and helpful manner.
The last way to be consistent is to be available when your current or potential customers have a question. This does not mean that you have to always be available. No small business can do that. However, you can say something like, “we respond to all inquiries within 48 to 72 hours” and actually do it. Or you can set aside a time during the week to respond to any comments, questions, or complaints. You might even consider going live on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube to address questions. This can create an even stronger bond and level of trust.
The key here is for your audience to believe that you are willing and able to address their concerns.
Being consistent in your marketing efforts means that you are giving your audience a way to trust who you are, what you do, and believe the information you provide is reliable and something they can act on. If you are consistent in the ways we outlined above, over time this will result in customers becoming not only loyal, but advocates for your brand and business.