Facebook. Twitter. Pinterest. These are just some of the prominent social networking websites shining in the ever-evolving realm of digital marketing. Recent lifestyle trends have led the marketing industry to believe that advertising is shifting to welcome the digital age. Facebook and Google analytics show that advertising through social media could increase sales and maximize exposure.
But what about trust? Isn’t earning consumer trust a big part of a marketing plan? Unfortunately, this is where online marketing companies fall short, despite their effort to make advertising a little more personal.
Last week, a recent study released conducted by Forrester Research found that only 15 percent of Americans and 10 percent of Europeans actually trust social media advertising. That’s a pretty dismal number considering how much time and money marketers put into social ads. Instead, the study says consumers trust recommendations from friends, online reviews, search engine results and content on company websites more than social media marketing.
So then what’s the problem? Well, most marketers only see social media as just a way to infiltrate lives and their ads reflect that. Sure having a sponsored ad helps get additional clicks, but only trust helps seal the deal.
Here are a few tips that should help brands and marketers warrant consumer trust:
- Strive for more professional reviews: Form relationships with journalists and bloggers. People trust their opinions because they’re usually confined to a specific niche. Good bloggers develop a relationship with their readers and can easily influence consumers through writing. For instance, a surfer would more likely trust a surfboard review written by a surf blogger than a general sports blogger.
- Improve SEO strategies: Consumers don’t really trust sponsored results on Google or Bing, so try beefing up your SEO to garner higher natural rankings. Hiring an online marketing company to build a personalized SEO strategy could really help get more consumers to click on your website.
- Write more brand content: Become an authority on your client’s brand, not just a representative. Consumers gravitate toward knowledge, so creating more shareable content that relates back to your client’s industry would signal that you know what you’re talking about.
- Interact on social accounts: Consumers might like your page on Facebook or follow you on Twitter without ever making a purchase. It’s really important to eliminate “empty fans.” Do this with interaction! Don’t just post ads. Make your page fun and responsive with contests or industry updates. Fans will want to purchase your product if they feel like you care what they think. Consumers are more likely to recommend your product to others if they realize actual humans are regulating their social media pages. No one likes social media robots or spammers!