As marketers, one of our main concerns is to optimize campaign results. To achieve this, we analyze the data of our activity and based on them we make the necessary decisions.
This process is the most suitable. But it has a problem. The analysis of the data tends to move us away from reality, it makes us lose perspective little by little. We stop seeing things in context. We got so close to the tree that we stopped seeing the forest .
When working with metrics, it is easy for us to forget that we are communicating with people, factors external to our marketing activity and intangibles that directly affect our results.
Customer trust is an issue equal to or more important than CTR, conversion rate, traffic received, acquisition costs, etc. and not so easy to manage. I’m talking about:
- Audience profile : have we correctly defined our Buyer persona ? Do we know our audience well? Are we clear to whom we are addressing and what motivates their purchase?
- Value proposition : is our product or service what our client is looking for? Do their functionalities respond to what they really need?
- Positioning and Brand : do we have the right positioning? Does our communication focus on what we do best and what our audience is looking for? Is it differential with respect to our competition? Does our brand strategy adequately reflect this? What segment are we in (top 5, medium, low)? How does this affect confidence building?
- Market : what about our competition? Is it stronger than us? Are they being better at capturing the interest of our audience?
- Marketing strategy : is our strategy the most appropriate to accompany our audience in the purchase process?
- Web : and a fundamental part, is our website capable of transmitting our message and positioning? A bad online experience ends with a commercial possibility.
I could go on to list factors such as customer support, communication, etc., but these are the most important. What I want to highlight is that:
The explanation for the results of marketing campaigns often lies beyond the data we handle.
If we continue analyzing along these lines, what are we trying to achieve with our marketing activity? Influence the purchase decision. And beyond the objective factors (functionalities, price, etc.), what do we have to work to make them buy from us, what is the last factor that makes our audience decide? Trust as a business value.
All the factors that I have just mentioned are part of the methodology to define a marketing strategy , and they directly influence how to generate trust in the client.
Customer trust is a key factor in selling to the end customer (B2C) , but even more so in selling between professionals or companies (B2B), where the buying process is much more thoughtful and subject to professional criteria.
B2B buyers are clear that if their trust value in a company is not enough, or they do not trust us, they do not hire us. In addition to risking their professional prestige, they are putting the future of the company at risk.
Marketing strategies to build customer trust
As we have just seen, the value of trust in a company and the consequent generation of trust, is the sum of many details, from marketing we can work on giving them visibility , but customer trust and trust as a business value is something that must be breathed in the culture of the company.
What is the best way to build trust in B2B? What do we have to demonstrate to our future clients? Knowledge and experience .
We have to make them see that we know how to do it and that we have done it before.
Without this basis the factors mentioned at the beginning of the article would not hold.
If we go to the field of marketing, and assuming that we have worked on these factors, how do we translate this need to know how to build customer trust into specific marketing actions that convey it?
Before I start with my proposals, we must take into account one important consideration.
The size of the target population in B2B is usually quite small (and more if we compare it with B2C), so in the balance between quantity and quality, we must prioritize quality. We have very little opportunity to capture your attention and we cannot risk a bad image.
Quality content to position your company
If what we want to transmit is knowledge and experience, quality content is the basis for generating trust in digital marketing and something easily actionable.
Content is a great ally to create trust in all phases of the purchase decision process, and allows us to adapt it to each phase:
- Knowledge : short pills closer to today that allow us to integrate into the day-to-day life of our audience and show that we are in the gap.
- Consideration : articles of greater depth, whitepapers , client portfolio, training, etc. that serve us to demonstrate knowledge and also capture a database of interested parties.
- Action : Product demos, real case studies and webinars .
- Loyalty : combining and segmenting the previous content, we can offer very valuable information to our clients.
The great challenge: How to generate content internally?
The main challenge of content-based strategies is in the definition of the plan, and above all, in the generation of the content itself.
People who have to write content in order to build trust are often very busy and unconvinced of the effectiveness of content and / or the Internet as a marketing tool.
We can try to impose a plan and delivery dates, but this route has a limited duration and involves significant wear and tear.
For this reason, I propose that we begin to involve the people who are going to participate from the first moment in the process of generating trust as a business value:
- Definition of the content plan: starting with having them to select the most appropriate topics for each phase of the purchasing process.
- Evangelize within the company with a combination of data and practical cases, which make them understand their role within the strategy.
- Follow-up: provide data on the results obtained with your content and indications on ways to improve them.
And of course, we can count on the support of an external agency to help us generate this quality content. The difficulty in B2B is in finding experts in the field who can write with the quality that the company needs.
Although it is clear that the content alone does not work. It is convenient to remember that to be really effective.
We have to rely on other marketing disciplines such as SEO, email marketing, social networks, online advertising and web usability.
Influencer Marketing for B2B
With the content we have shown that we know, but in B2B this is only the beginning. Since we must relate it to the talent that works in the company or collaborates with it.
Just as we are going to generate content of greater or lesser technical depth, the people who generate it must have different profiles.
In my opinion, the more current and visible the content. The greater the specific weight of the person who generates it should be. And the more technical it is, the closer this person must be to the customer on a day-to-day basis.
We are talking about associating content with people, and people with companies (brands). For this we can use:
- Company employees: everyone can play an important role. But we must select those who provide us with greater value and flexibility (from the management committee to technicians).
- Industry experts: as in B2C where it is more common. We can use experts who speak on our behalf and help us generate visibility for attributes
- People of a certain weight in the industry who have a profile similar to that of our buyer persona . Feeling identified is one of the most powerful arguments.