According to a report by Nielsen, consumers trust recommendations from people they know and company-owned websites more than paid advertising, whether it’s TV, print, digital, or radio.
This should not come as a surprise. Consumers always put more faith in personal recommendations than in sources they’re not familiar with. In fact, “recommendations from people I know” got the highest score on trust, with 92 percent of respondents trusting it completely or somewhat.
Right behind personal recommendations are consumer opinions posted online, which scored 70 percent; editorial content such as newspaper articles, and companies’ websites both scored 58 percent.
Magazine ads (47 percent) and newspaper ads (46 percent) are both more trusted than social network ads, which scored 36 percent.
Display ads on mobile devices, and text ads on mobile phones are the least trusted forms of advertising. According to the report, only 33 percent of respondents trust display ads while 67 percent don’t trust them much or at all. Text ads on mobile phones fared even worse, with only 29 percent of respondents trusting them completely or somewhat.
With cell phones being so ubiquitous, and social networks on the ascendance, I would think they would have performed better. But just because people congregate around social networks doesn’t mean they will automatically trust and buy what’s advertised.
Trust is built from familiarity with the product or brand and the knowledge that one’s friends use and recommend them.
So How Can Marketers Build Trust?
Building trust isn’t hard; it isn’t easy either. It’s simple. And one of the simplest ways that credible marketers build trust is to have a money-back guarantee. It works. It eliminates, or at least reduces the perceived risk people have in buying your product or service.
If you run an online business, your prospective customers don’t get the chance to meet you in person. So you must do all you can to show credibility in their eyes, like bringing your identity forward and removing obstacles and distractions that get in the way of customers doing business with you.
Whether your business is online or offline, you should provide information on how your product meets people’s needs, desires, and wants. Ask yourself what action you want your customers to take and provide an easy way for them to do it. Or they’ll go someplace else.
You should also include your track record in your marketing material. It shows that you’re a professional; that you’re credible. And equally important, it serves as evidence that your product or service will fulfill the customer’s needs, wants, and desires.
It’s not surprising that when it comes to trust, respondents gave “recommendation from people I know” a score of 92 percent. Customers will always buy from people they know, like and TRUST.