Author: Casey Yuan and Jakob Philippe

Summer Intern Insights: 5 Steps to Increase Consumer Trust in Your Brand

Summer Intern Insights: 5 Steps to Increase Consumer Trust in Your Brand

If you’re a content marketer, you know you need to build consumer trust and loyalty. But do you know the best ways to do so?

We decided to survey brands and consumers to find out for ourselves.

The surveys mirrored each other allowing easy comparison between both sides, and also between financial and nonfinancial brands. Brand surveys were sent out via email and social media, whereas consumer surveys were collected directly on the streets of NYC. We learned a lot! Here are some of our most interesting findings.

1. Product quality comes first

While we wanted to learn how brands build trust and loyalty, according to the consumers we interviewed, the answer was simple––before content, you have to have a great product. Over half of consumers rated it the most important driver of their trust, more than past service or reputation. Some consumers even stated that as long as they love a product, a high price or past scandals matter little. Once you’re confident in the quality of your product, your customer service experience should come next, which 31% of consumers ranked as most important. We also found that a great product can lose clients’ trust if it goes hand-in-hand with poor customer service.

2. Don’t oversaturate your audience

We looked at cadence: how often are consumers looking to hear from brands? We found that a little bit of space can help. No one wants to be bombarded with daily updates, but you do want to remain at the forefront of consumers’ minds. The fine line between too much and too little can be hard to distinguish––our research even suggested that it varies by industry. If you’re in the financial sector, aim for one email newsletter a month. If you’re a non-financial company, you can get away with weekly updates.

3. Industry matters for channel

For consumers, communication styles matter. Our research found that an overwhelming majority of consumers (75%) prefer financial brands to communicate to them through email, with while most to learn about non-financial firms through social media, (35%) or company websites and blogs (26%). So financial brands should plan on initiating contact, while non-financial firms should allow consumes to engage more proactively with the brand on social media and other digital channels.

4. Articles are alive and well––and being read

As consumers devote ever more time to digital media, you may worry if your article content still carries its weight. If so, you’d probably be reassured to know that, in our surveys, consumers rated articles as their preferred content type, more so than podcasts, infographics, and even videos. The percentages of article-boosters differed slightly with regards to industry, reflecting 86% of financial brands’ consumers and 59% of non-financial brands consumers respectively. Nonetheless, in the ongoing quest for eyeballs and attention, article content is still the steady workhorse of content marketing.

5. Let your brand speak for itself

As brands think about using influencers and even more traditional endorsements, they may want to listen to consumers—even if results seem positive, consumers may not be influenced. According to our research, while most brands who make use of endorsements found them to drive results, most consumers interviewed (over 60%) reported that endorsements have no effect on their loyalty to a particular brand. Perhaps consumers simply are unaware that they have been influenced by public figures. Or brands don’t want to believe that a significant investment isn’t paying off. Regardless, money spent on influencer endorsements should probably be spent on core investments, like improving your product.

Main takeaways

Knowing how brands can build trust and loyalty with consumers is essential to ultimately doing so through your content. Brands need to know where consumers derive their trust (your product), where they should reach consumers (email or social), what content to send (articles) and how often they should send it (not daily!). We hope our insights give confidence to marketers already focusing on these items, or provide an opportunity for them to reexamine their content strategies with an eye to their audience.

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