In today's digital landscape, building trust has become a critical component of successful B2B marketing. As face-to-face interactions are increasingly limited, establishing trust through digital channels has become more important than ever.
Regardless of the new technology created, people like to do business with others they know, like, and trust. And marketing tactics that foster that type of relationship building is key to winning customers over.
In this article, I’ll explore strategies for building trust in four key digital marketing channels such as cold emails, websites, blogs, and social posts. By implementing these strategies, B2B companies can foster credibility, enhance brand reputation, and strengthen relationships with their target audiences.
Let’s dive in.
Channel 1: Building Trust in Your Emails
First, let’s take a look at the content in your cold outbound emails. What is the first thing you say to a potential customer?
Far too often I’m finding that B2B companies fall into the trap of writing emails that read like this:
We are [Company Name], a [service] company providing [specific expertise] to [market vertical] companies. If you are looking to stop [pain point] and [pain point] and instead want [benefit] and [benefit], give us a call.”
At first glance that seems like a decent beginning to an email. It addresses the lead’s pain points and offers them benefits. But nothing in that email that develops the “know, like, and trust” that is required in today’s noisy digital world.
Consider this email opening like this instead:
Hi [first name],
I noticed that you are in the [market vertical] and provide [lead’s services] to your customers. I thought this [blog link] we recently wrote about [big idea] might be useful to you.
Right out of the gate, this email isn’t about the sender, it’s about the receiver. It acknowledges their expertise and offers them a gift.
We call this “making a deposit in the emotional bank account.” It’s similar to “can I buy you a cup of coffee?” in the dating world. It is an act to develop the relationship before trying to sell anything.
When building cold email campaigns, remember that the first goal of the campaign is to develop a little “know, like, and trust” so that the lead might be open to your offer later.
Channel 2: Building Trust on Your Website
Your website hosts a lot of things about your brand, but one of the most important elements is the testimonials section. You should always have three solid testimonials right on your home page (I don’t care what your web designer says).
This section of your homepage provides social proof that you are known and liked by other companies in the market. This also goes a long way to having your website visitor extend some trust to your brand as well.
Pro tip: Three good testimonials is the right number to have on your homepage. More is not necessarily better.
You may be thinking that getting testimonials is hard. But I promise, it isn’t as hard as you think. Here’s my secret for getting testimonials: You write them for your customers. That’s correct. You write them. Here’s how that works:
- You write the testimonial as if you were your customer — word it the way you want it worded, being authentic to represent what you think your customer’s perspective is.
- Email it to your customer and say, “You seemed very pleased with our work and I was hoping you’d give us a testimonial to use in our marketing. To keep you from having to start from scratch I’ve crafted one for you. Feel free to use this for inspiration, but don’t feel obligated to use it all.”
- If you have done a good job writing the testimonial, 95% of the time your customer will send it right back to you saying, “This sounds good. Use it.” You see, they are pleased with your work and want to give you a testimonial and now they don’t even have to write it!
Piece of cake. You’re welcome.
Channel 3: Building trust on your blog
Does your blog position you as a thought leader in your industry, or are you just chasing keywords? If you’re trying to build “know, like, and trust” for your brand then your blog is an important part of your marketing mix.
Blog articles are a great place to give to your audience. By “give” I mean to genuinely provide value that can be used by your Ideal Customer Personas (ICP).
For example, I genuinely hope this blog post helps you understand that you need an omni-channel strategy for building trust with your leads. I know for a fact that if you take this free advice and apply it to your marketing, you will have a positive impact on your sales and marketing department.
My clients are often afraid of giving away too much information in their blogs. That’s understandable, but every company has the ability to educate their potential clients without giving away their “secret sauce.”
One strategy for doing that is sharing a high level explanation of how to do something without giving away the specific nuance needed to do it in reality.
For example, I might write a blog about how to build a strategic marketing plan and even include some of the subtlety of incorporating the various views, oftentimes conflicting, of the stakeholders involved.
If someone reads that blog and decides to run their own marketing strategy workshop, more power to them. They are not our ICP. Our ICP will read the blog and enjoy being educated about the process, but still hire 1 Bold Step to lead their strategy work. The blog will have just been part of the trust building process with that client.
The best blogs are those that openly answer questions your potential clients are asking Google. By being a thought leader, answering those questions, and providing real help, you’ll also be positioning yourself to capture organic search traffic.
Channel 4: Building Trust on Your Social Media Platforms
Is your B2B company levering social media to build trust? By embracing social media, B2B companies can tap into the vast opportunities it offers, enabling you to showcase your expertise, engage with industry leaders, and humanize your brand.
At a minimum, you should be on LinkedIn both as a company and as an individual. Maybe there is a play for you on Facebook or X too. Instagram and TikTok are useful in some cases. While each platform has its own unique characteristics, the transparent and interactive nature of social media enables B2B companies to build genuine connections and instill confidence in your offerings, ultimately driving brand trust.
One of the primary benefits of social media for B2B companies is its ability to facilitate thought leadership and establish industry expertise. By consistently sharing valuable content, such as blogs, whitepapers, case studies, and industry insights, B2B companies can position themselves as trusted authorities.
Social media platforms provide an ideal space to disseminate this content and engage in conversations with your target market, showcasing your knowledge and demonstrating your commitment to solving industry challenges while build brand trust.
Our CEO, Jen Jurgens, has a weekly reminder to review the content our team is posting to social media. She then selects the one that resonates most with her and her personal followers and shares the post to her in her own social channels adding her own thoughts. By sharing it personally and offering her perspective, she can be more relational and informal knowing that's how she connects with her followers. This is one technique she uses to build “know, like, and trust” on social media.
People Do Business with Others they Know, Like, and Trust
The more things change, the more they stay the same. People like to do business with people they know, like, and trust. In today’s digital world, we aren’t as likely to start our business relationships over a drink or a cup of coffee. Instead, we have to make deposits in the emotional bank account of our potential customers by giving digital gifts, like sharing information or expertise.
Building brand trust through an omni-channel strategy must be a part of your B2B marketing plan. Remember, building trust is the first step to building a good relationship, and building a good relationship is how to close deals.For more great business marketing tips, click here to subscribe to our blog.