Building and Maintaining Brand Trust in the Digital Age

Building and Maintaining Brand Trust in the Digital Age

Team seedership
February 19, 2020

It’s no secret that we’re living in an age dominated by digital media, and there are no signs of that changing anytime soon. On any given day, the average consumer sees close to 5,000 ads. This staggeringly high number means that traditional marketing methods are becoming less effective for small businesses.

Further, according to Forbes, close to 59% of the world’s population lack trust in digital advertising methods seen on a daily basis. The internet has given consumers more tools to make well-informed decisions about the products they’re buying when comparing brands. In an age dominated by digital clutter, how can you small business break through the noise?

The Importance of Building Consumer Trust

Often overlooked is the importance of creating trust behind your brand. Trust is critical in any relationship, and that’s no different for small businesses and their customers. Assuming that a positive reputation equates to trust in the eyes of customers is a common pitfall for many brands, because this simply is not the case.

Your small business can have a great reputation locally, but consumers need to see you back this up through your actions, thus building that coveted sense of trust. According to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer Report 67% of consumers agree that: “A good reputation may get me to try a product, but unless I come to trust the company behind the product, I will soon stop buying it”. To create these connections, you must be transparent. Doing so creates loyal customers who will champion your brand.

Creating Lasting, Emotional Connections

While it can take some hard work and elbow grease to make your small business more likable in the eyes of consumers, it’s worth the time spent. Recent studies have shown that likability is the measure most predictive of whether an advertisement will increase a brand’s sales.

Traditional and current digital marketing methods leave little room to make these emotional connections. Brands can create emotionally-driven commercials or ads, but these have begun to lose their effectiveness because so many other businesses are trying to recreate them in their own ways.

This is why small businesses should never underestimate the power of kindness. Giving back and performing acts of kindness within the communities you operate is a powerful use of your marketing budget, and will help you create authentic bonds between your brand and customer base.

Finding Simple Ways to Giveback

Giving back can take form in a number of different ways. Often times, the most effective ways to give back are simple but create a lasting positive culture that encompasses your small businesses. Some examples include:

  • Sponsorships - Whether it’s sponsoring a local little league team or a fundraising event for a cause you’re passionate about, this can be a great way to get your name out there. Businesses can donate funds, products, or even volunteer time in a sponsorship.
  • Silent Auctions - These types of fundraising events tend to benefit a certain cause or organization, and participating is easy. Small businesses can donate things like gift cards, gift baskets of products, or vouchers for services for these.
  • Employee Volunteer Time - Employees, especially Millennial and Zoomer employees, like to be involved with doing good. Pick a non-profit you are passionate about and partner with them to donate time. Not only is this great for your business and community, but it will also help your staff feel great about working for you.
  • Take Donations - Partner with a non-profit in your area to see what kind of resources they need most. This can create an easy opportunity for employees and customers to get involved and help support a great cause alongside you. Maybe you’re collecting toys for a holiday toy drive, books to increase childhood literacy, or funds to support a cause; whatever form it takes, collecting donations is a great way to give back and give your supporters a reason to celebrate achievements alongside you.

While these are some of the most common ways to generate good, there is no wrong way to give back to your community. If there is a cause you’re passionate about, get creative about it. Being resourceful and working within your means can still produce amazing results for the community.

Multiply Impact through Communication

When it comes down to it, many businesses are already doing good for their community, but don’t realize the importance of sharing their good deeds with others. A recent study found that small businesses donate 250% more than larger businesses, creating a huge opportunity to share these actions with consumers.

In order to build a foundation of trust, this information should be easily accessible and digestible for customers. Today’s consumers are looking for businesses who support causes they are passionate about, and the significance of this cannot be underestimated.

However, many small businesses don’t realize that many of their daily activities are actually helping them achieve greatness. Providing sponsorships, and donating gift certificates or free products to support local charities may seem like a normal part of business, but these seemingly small good deeds add up to something so much more. When done on a consistent basis, these acts of kindness paint a picture for how much you care about your local community and can create lasting impressions with potential buyers.

In many cases, small business owners recognize what they’re doing is good, but think of this as more of a personal act of kindness that should be kept private. Further, finding the right way to share this information is a common challenge.

Charitable Giving in the Age of Digital Advertisement

In the digital age and beyond, including charitable giving in your advertising budget continues to be one of the most effective ways to set your small business apart from the competition. Consumers want to know the positive impact you’re creating, so don’t be afraid to proudly share it. After all, your community members are the ones that have raised you up and given you a platform to give back; and being transparent can go a long way to make them feel proud in supporting your business. With seedership, sharing how you give back is easy.

Extending the life of good deeds you do is important, and seedership helps small businesses do just that. By tracking all donations and time spent in our platform, you can show customers how the small acts of kindness that are integral to your business add up to something even bigger. With a social sharing tool, we make it easy to share the good you do with the click of a button. Do good, stay relevant, and stand out in the digital age.

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