AMiable Solution #408: How to Be Believable
Consumers aren’t suckers. They know that companies sometimes play games or use irresistible incentives to get us to engage (we’re looking at you, timeshare companies). And although we’d like to think that most marketers are straightforward and well-intentioned, we also know that marketers fight poor consumer perceptions every day.
How can you combat that attitude and increase your credibility? We have six suggestions for you:
1. Source your statistics. If you’re touting amazing numbers in your marketing—whether you’re enticing buyers with a great product or convincing them of their need for it—you can’t just drop numbers and run. You have to cite the source of your research to back your data up. Why? Buyers want to know your numbers are legitimate—that you’re not just trying to pull a cheap trick on them—and they want to know that your source is a respectable one. Just because you read it online or overheard it at a conference doesn’t necessarily make it true.
2. Maintain a social media account or two. Communicating with and through social media just feels more personal, and the opportunities for real-time back-and-forth communication are greater. As a result, you can develop and maintain relationships with prospects and clients better.
3. Offer legitimate, valuable advice and information. Don’t create content just for the sake of creating content. Make it meaningful, and your audience will not only see you as an authority, but they’ll also see you as a trusted resource.
4. Collect and regularly publish testimonials and reviews. Have you ever searched for a product on amazon.com? Depending on what you’re looking for, sometimes the results can be overwhelming! So what’s a consumer to do? Look at the reviews. People trust the opinions and experiences of others. And it applies to more than just coffeemaker purchases. Whatever you sell, whatever cause you support, or whatever service you provide, no one can convince prospects of your quality, value, and worth like other customers.
5. Spell check and proofread! This one should go without saying, but we’re saying it: errors in type lead to perceptions of inadequacy and carelessness. Make an impeccable first impression with clear, typo-free copy.
6. Be consistent. Your messaging and your voice need to be consistent for customers to recognize, respect, and respond to it. It may seem like a good idea to stray from your normal tone and image, but doing so—especially if not done well—can produce disastrous results.
7. Be true to your word. Finally, back up what you say. If you offer a guarantee, honor it. If you claim to adhere to eco-friendly practices, practice them. Do what you say you do, and be who you say you are. If you don’t, you’ll lose more than just your credibility.