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December 8, 2021

Local Marketing Insider #022 // What is Trust Marketing?

A Trust Marketing strategy is to capture and distribute customer feedback to positively shape the broader message around your company through the words of your customers. This is how modern businesses grow.

Since its inception, Widewail has been focused on reputation management. With the introduction of Invite Video, we’re expanding the scope of our vision from reputation management to Trust Marketing.

Trust Marketing Strategy:

Capture and distribute customer feedback to positively shape the broader message around your company through the words of your customers.

Our customers live in such an information-heavy environment that they need feedback from additional sources outside of what your company says to make an assessment.

Yes, you have a snappy slogan. Sure.

But what do past customers say about transacting with your business? And do prospects have the confidence as a result of positive customer feedback to jump the trust gap and buy from you?

Instead of focusing entirely on convincing buyers you are unique or valuable through traditional marketing initiatives, expand your efforts by leveraging the words and opinions prospects trust most, past customers. 

They’re your most influential advocates. 

Prospects find past customer feedback to be an unbiased source of information, helping them understand in detail the exceptional customer experience you work hard to provide. 

Your customers do a good job selling to each other, and rather than resisting that concept, you should embrace it. Even better, facilitate it at every opportunity.

Widewail’s concept of Trust Marketing is to efficiently capture the voice of the happy customer at scale and deploy that content across your digital networks.

Let’s set the stage - the world we live in today

Social proof is powering multiple stages of the modern shopping experience.

Customer reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp.

Product reviews on Amazon and Ecommerce sites.

Expert video reviews for every product under the sun on YouTube.

Why? Buyers trust their peers first. 

Buyers need easy and reliable ways to make quality decisions quickly. Peer review content and testimonials provide that shortcut.

Why is building trust through peers more important today than 20 years ago?

  1. Declining trust in institutions
  2. Technology

Declining trust in institutions combined with the rise of networks, marketplaces and platforms has enabled and accelerated a peer-to-peer information trading environment at a massive scale.

How to strategically build trust

Building trust does not have to be a guessing game. It can be specific, formulaic, and scalable.

Your job as a marketer is to capture, distribute, and shape the broader narrative around your company through the words of your customers. We call this strategy Trust Marketing - it’s how businesses proactively build trust online in today's trust economy.

Capture the voice of the happy customer. 

The first step of a trust marketing strategy is to collect as much feedback as possible, in different formats: text, video, audio, etc. 

We’ve found the key to capturing positive feedback is to ask every customer and make the submission process easy and convenient. And it turns out most people leave positive reviews. Looking at hundreds of thousands of reviews in the Widewail database, 88% are positive. 

Unprompted, unhappy customers are naturally more motivated to share their experiences. So it's on the business to go out to its customer base and source positive feedback it can use to positively influence future prospects. 

Your brand now flows through your past customers, and when your past customers talk, your prospects listen. 

Distribute everywhere. 

As we talked about in our issue on the Brand Mosaic, no two buyers are likely to follow the exact same path to purchase.

Some may find you on Facebook, others on Google Maps.

Some will just need to see a couple of reviews.

Others may need many different types of content over a longer period of time. 

As marketers, we have limited control over when, how, or in what order prospects experience our brand content. With Trust Marketing, you’ll have a system in place to capture a high volume and variety of customer feedback to distribute anywhere your business has a footprint online. 

Shape the narrative. 

Over time, your online properties will become flooded with positive customer feedback. Hundreds of reviews on Google and Facebook. More on sites specific to your industry. Video testimonials on your homepage, product pages, social media and paid ads. Responses to customer commentary on Google, Facebook, Yelp. 

All of this works together to put forth a very attractive picture of your business, communicated entirely by past customers, anywhere your prospect may discover your business. 

The content will drive exposure in local search and increase conversion on-site and off due to persuasive customer commentary, both working together to bring in more business.

How do you put a Trust Marketing Strategy into action?

Well, you can get help from Widewail 😁 (or our competitor’s of course, but you know.)

Generate lots of customer feedback, frequently, in different mediums, on different platforms.

How to do it:

  • Automatically or manually request text reviews via SMS to solicit feedback.
  • Ask every customer.
  • Direct customers to leave reviews on Google, Facebook, or other industry review sites. 
  • Collect video and audio review content for use by your marketing team on your website, social media, product pages, ad campaigns, etc (all about creativity here, check out this example from our friends at Dolan Auto Group).

Business outcomes:

  • Build trust
  • Ensure the voice of your happy customers is properly represented
  • Increase local search rank
  • Boost conversion rate with social proof

Respond quickly to all customer engagements on review sites and social media.

How to do it:

  • Monitor and respond within 24 hrs
  • Use personalization and brand keywords in responses
  • Help unhappy customers reach improved outcomes

Business outcomes:

  • Build trust
  • Increase local search rank
  • Improve retention
  • Boost conversion

We know (all businesses know) that referrals and word of mouth are great drivers of growth.

But it's really difficult, time-consuming and expensive to go find those assets. 

With purpose-built technology, it really is quite easy to power a Trust Marketing strategy without the need to totally rework your team.


Jake Hughes

I’m the Director of Marketing here at Widewail, as well as a husband and new dad outside the office. I'm in Vermont by way of Boston, where I grew the CarGurus YouTube channel from 0 to 100k subscribers. I love the outdoors and hate to be hot, so I’m doing just fine in the arctic Vermont we call home. Fun fact: I met my wife on the shuttle bus at Baltimore airport. Thanks for reading Widewail’s content!

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