When it comes to building trust, one strategy is seldom enough to yield the results you want. Rather, the process of building trust with B2B buyers and consumers via your digital marketing efforts is multi-faceted and calls upon various elements and channels to work in synergy.
With the business and consumer landscape forever changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, gaining the trust of potential buyers is now more important than ever. It’s vital in fact to ensure the profitability and survival of many B2B organisations. If you don’t have trust, you almost certainly won’t make sales.
For this, and many other reasons including client retention, credibility and reputation, building trust should run through every part of your digital marketing strategy and be prioritised over all else – even profit.
Build an emotional connection
By far the most powerful strategy for nurturing a relationship built on trust is to encourage an emotional connection. An emotional connection to your brand makes B2B customers far more likely to proceed past the quote stage and convert into a confirmed client.
Nurturing a buyer through the sales funnel from start to finish must be supported by clear communication, easily accessible customer service and an appreciation of their unique needs in order to build trust. Key to this is that you demonstrate an understanding of your client’s problems and the consequences of that issue. Digital tactics such as offering online customer service tools for out of hours enquiries, increasing customer satisfaction with faster response times to enquiries thanks to automation and the use of social media to deploy trustworthy and valuable outreach content all help with emotional connection building.
Ask questions of your current digital strategy. How you are encouraging an emotional connection? How are you following through? Could more be done? This is the first step to building a stronger bond with your B2B clients.
Prove your trustworthiness
You’re asking your clients to trust you with all or some of their annual budget but proving that you are trustworthy enough for that role can be difficult – especially in the digital sphere.
Online ordering and social media has opened up the playing field for businesses of all sizes across the globe, but for every happy ending, there are a series of horror stories where B2B companies have been severely let down or worse by companies they thought they could depend upon.
Trust is earned not asked for. You must prove that you are worthy of the trust of your potential clients every step of the way. From customer testimonials and reviews on social media to showcasing awards, memberships or certifications you hold on your website, these trust signals should be used whenever possible when communicating with your target market.
As Jeffrey Ritter states in Achieving Digital Trust: The New Rules for Business at the Speed of Light, ‘Every transaction creating wealth first requires an affirmative decision to trust. Building trust creates new wealth. Sustaining trust creates recurring wealth’.
Create an authentic voice
The term ‘voice’ in digital marketing terms is often overused but in this instance, establishing an authentic voice really is essential if you want your B2B clients to trust you with their business.
Your authentic voice is what ultimately convinces your customers have faith in your product or service. It must be consistent across all digital platforms for your content to be effective.
Alleviate data Concerns
As marketers and consumers, we’ve never been so preoccupied with personal data and security when it comes to our digital marketing efforts as we are today.
With major players such as HSBC losing the trust of both business and personal customers due to data breaches that could have been avoided, building and maintaining trust also has a security element that should be taken into consideration.
It’s simply not enough to ensure that you have fortress grade safety to protect the personal data of your B2B clients. You’ll also need to make the effort to convey the steps you are taking as a business to safeguard the interests of your clients from threats arising from hackers and cybercriminals.