The Trust Factor of Internet Marketing
Photo credit Joe Nangle via Creative Commons
The word of the day is “trust”. I imagine it was completely by accident that a number of my favorite bloggers wrote about or touched upon the subject in the last several days, leading me to read several different posts on the topic when I opened my feed reader this Monday morning. I chock it up to some trust-centric telekinetic energy surrounding the search marketing community. That, or everyone’s talking about trust because it’s a really important factor in online communities, sales and education efforts.
Here’s what the blogosphere taught me about trust and the Internet today.
Over at his Small Business SEM blog, Matt McGee details the role of trust in the current Web economy. Trust makes up the top block of Matt’s SEO Success Pyramid. To document the nitty-gritty details of why trust matters and how to earn it, Matt turns to the experts to explain how trust plays into search engine rankings, social media and local search, among other things. The story was tweeted and retweeted a whole bunch this morning, in an ironically fitting display of how trusted content is leveraged in online social communities. It’s no coincidence that the SEO Success Pyramid shows buzz and community as the means of climbing the ranks.
Lisa Barone is a guest blogging for Rae Hoffman while at Affiliate Summit this week. I got a chance to see Lisa in Las Vegas the night before the conference started (well-timed, last-minute family vacation FTW!), so I was very interested to hear about the lessons she has gleaned from the new marketing venture she’s embarked on. No stranger to the power of trust, Lisa explained in her day one conference coverage that relationship building is an important aspect of affiliate marketing. What better gauge of the quality of a relationship than the trust one party has for another? Also, it’s no stretch to see how building relationships, and in turn, trust, aren’t only necessary in affiliate marketing. It’s important for all marketing and, really, life in general!
Likewise, successful social media marketing depends on trust. Todd Malicoat writes on his blog Stuntdubl.com that forgetting to build trust with your audience is one of seven ways to make sure your social media marketing campaign will be unsuccessful. There are lots of ways to get people to lose their trust in you, but all of them lead to failure. Remember that social media marketing depends on your credibility (gained over time) and users’ confidence that you provide quality stuff, including genuine relationships.
Guest blogger Falko Luedtke shared his tips for making money with search marketing on the Winning the Web blog this morning. Two of the ten tips revolve around the need for trust. The first is to be trusted and create trust — straightforward enough. The second is to build a brand and be a brand. A brand brings together all the qualities and messages identified with a company or an individual. Your customers’ perceptions of your credibility and trustworthiness are deeply connected to your brand. Be sure to take that aspect of branding into account when building your brand.
As usual, I’m behind on catching up on my feeds. Did you come across any additional insights into the role of trust during your surfing this week? How do you go about building trust with your site’s visitors? In your experience, what online platforms hold the most power for building trust? How else can trust be of value?