In the last few years, the line between marketing and sales has blurred. Marketers can now perform some of the functions traditionally associated with sales teams. As a result, marketing’s traditional function—creating brand awareness and driving sales—has shifted to become more of a collaboration between marketing and sales.
Marketing and sales must now work together to engage customers and gain their trust. In today’s complex economy, customers have more choices than ever before, and digital marketing tools—such as social media—allow businesses to connect with consumers when they’re feeling particularly generous.
If you’re looking to increase your revenue and boost your customer’s trust in your products or services, read on. We’ll discuss how you can build trust with your customers through the use of digital marketing tools, including SEO, content marketing, and social media marketing.
The Importance Of Trust And Confidence
The majority of consumers have grown wary of marketing sales pitches and distrustful of advertisers. In a world where consumers feel that ads trick them into buying products they don’t need and don’t want, brands will struggle to get customers to engage with their offerings.
According to HubSpot Blogs research, 79% of consumers say that they’ve decreased their ad spending following a brand’s deceptive marketing practice. Even if consumers don’t consciously think this way, their actions suggest that they are fed up with being tricked. In this scenario, marketing would have to work harder to get customers to engage with their offerings.
To understand why marketing and sales must work together to establish trust and gain customers, it’s important to consider the traditional roles of each team member. For decades, marketers have been responsible for developing a brand’s vision, communicating that vision to customers, and measuring the success of that campaign.
In the beginning, marketing was a bit more ‘traditional’ and focused on developing a brand persona, creating advertising campaigns, and analyzing results. However, as marketing evolved, so did its role. Today, marketers are responsible for developing strategy, designing communications, and analyzing results—all while supporting the sales team.
Conversely, sales is responsible for leading conversion opportunities, securing business-to-business agreements, and supporting the marketing team.
Establishing trust with customers is a crucial component of any marketing plan. However, traditional tactics like advertising and promotional campaigns can only get you so far. If you want to really gain trust and increase customer engagement, you’ll have to look towards more innovative means.
Saving The Best For Last
In keeping with our theme of innovation, let’s discuss how marketing can utilize digital marketing tools to gain trust and confidence from customers.
To begin with, marketers should look to the cloud for storing strategic marketing data. According to HubSpot Blogs research, 79% of consumers would feel reassured if a business was entirely open and transparent about their products and services—and the same goes for marketing analytics. Additionally, 69% of respondents said that they would feel more confident about a business’ pricing if it was transparent. Similarly, consumers prefer to engage with brands that they know will be around for the long haul. In a world where customers feel the need to constantly be checking up on their favorite brands, it would be best to establish trust by being stable and reliable. That’s what separates the good businesses from the bad ones. When respondents are asked if they’d feel reassured about a business’ quality if it was indicated by the number of previous orders, 68% said yes.
The fact is, customers want to work with businesses that they know will stand behind their products and services. When a business shows that it’s stable and reliable, customers feel more comfortable putting their trust in that brand. This is the role of SEO, content marketing, and social media marketing—which we’ll discuss next.
SEO, Content Marketing, And Social Media Marketing
Three years ago, SEO was mostly associated with search engine results and getting your website “ranked” on search engines like Google.
Since then, the SEO world has transformed. As search algorithms get smarter, the best way to get your website to rank highly is by utilizing different platforms like social media.
In 2015, SEO accounted for 23% of all digital marketing spend, and that number is predicted to reach $16.46 billion by next year.
According to HubSpot Blogs research, 76% of respondents say that SEO has become an important part of their marketing mix. Similarly, 71% of marketers say that they’ve increased their investment in SEO over the last year.
Here’s why. For years, customers have relied on search engines to find the products and services they need. However, as consumers have become more aware of the issues surrounding fake news and clickbait, they’ve started to search for products and services with a higher degree of transparency.
In a world where customers distrust businesses, being transparent about your methods and results is the key to gaining trust and confidence. This is where the importance of SEO lies—giving customers the ability to easily find the information they need, without being tricked by a business that takes advantage of their naivety. Additionally, with over a million different platforms to choose from, it’s a daunting task to even attempt to keep up with all the changes in digital marketing.
Content marketing has also evolved to fit this new paradigm. As SEO has transformed into an important part of a business’ marketing strategy, content marketing has stepped in to help businesses gain more visibility online and through social media.
According to HubSpot Blogs research, 70% of respondents say that they rely on content marketing to gain credibility and trust from customers. Additionally, 58% of marketing directors say that they use content to generate leads and sales.
Building A Community
Another area that marketers can transform in order to build trust and confidence is social media. Like SEO and content marketing, social media has also shifted to fit this new paradigm. In the past, consumers would go to social media to get infographics or short blog posts pertaining to a brand or topic. However, as social media has gained popularity, so has the concept of ‘brand journalism.’
What is brand journalism, you ask? Simply put, it’s the practice of a business or brand promoting stories about itself rather than only sharing information that’s favorable to the brand.
Brand journalists might write a blog post about a product or service, but they’ll also share other types of content including product reviews, videos, and infographics. Essentially, they’re curating content pertaining to a brand or product, which they then use to establish credibility and trust.
Redefining The Roles Of The Marketing Team
In light of all these changes, it’s important to redefine the roles of the marketing team. Traditionally, marketers would focus on product development, brand awareness, and advertising; now they must also look towards the digital sphere to gain credibility and trust from customers.
According to HubSpot Blogs research, 44% of respondents say that they’ve increased their use of digital marketing tools like SEO, content marketing, and social media, and that number is predicted to climb to 56% in the next year.
Here’s the thing: while all these roles are still important, they have changed to fit this new digital era. In order to succeed, marketers must now look to the cloud for storing data, utilize new platforms like social media, and rely heavily on SEO and content marketing.
Building and maintaining a successful web presence is a lot more than just getting your website “ranked” on search engines. In today’s digital landscape, customers have more options than ever before, and that makes marketing much more complicated.