Trust in business is as important than ever and a brand identifies that trust. Think about the times we have visited a store to purchase a washing machine a drill a laptop or most anything else, and ask when have we bought a large ticket item without knowing the brand?
Personally, very rarely, unless it was an item that can be tested before purchase and was aware of the risks.
Selling online has the same challenges, are you trustworthy, will you deliver on time is the platform safe to use credit card etc?
Think About A Brand Management Strategy
Brand management has been part of any decent SEO service provider’s strategy for some time now, Google does consider, reviews, trusted backlinks, social media engagement and citations as part of its algorithm, albeit at different levels.
The good news is that there is a high crossover from face-to-face business and online on this subject. If a great service is delivered, your customers will leave positive feedback if you ask them and will return to your website resulting in positive engagement, which can help with ranking.
Engaging With Online Reviews
It makes sense to engage with review sites such as Trustpilot, Reviews.co.uk etc, then ensure any negative review is replied to, with a solution where possible.
Reviews can also be left on Google My Business; this is a basic online marketing requirement for any local business wishing to be found locally. It is free to set up and should positive review be left, will help send positive branding signals to Google, albeit on a small scale to other ranking factors.
Be Found Online For Your Brand
The first requirement in digital marketing is to be found for your brand name online, any agency or expert SEO freelancer should make this a priority. It does not matter how good your business is on a day-to-day business, if you cannot be found for your brand name, the trust falls to the floor. So, choosing a good brand name is important, even if you choose to have a second website with a search term for a URL
Use Social Media For Positive Impact
Social media has a real positive impact on branding now. You customers can see you face to face, read your comments, and see what work you are doing regularly.
Take a local landscaper for instance.
After every job he shows the before and after photos. A complete mess to a great looking landscape. It doesn’t take long before the brand gets stronger and the demand for that service grows when potential customers see work being done in real time and to what standard. Social media often means your customers get prompted to see the posts, rather than having to make a conscious decision to visit a website. Add an easy to remember brand name to these stories and business will boom.
Regular updates to social media are very important to the fact, that a Facebook page that has not been undated in the last 12 months, will have a larger negative effect that not having a page at all. You are telling your customers, that nothing good is happening in your business. If there was, why are you not shouting about it?
An article by Sean and Thora Dowell advertising their book, “Brand Renegades” suggests using online influencers to take the brand even further such as celebrities and youtubers. This is a way of using their trust to influence yours.
But it is also true that customers like to see business owners stand in from of camera and explain what they stand for and promise a great service or product. Sometimes business owners themselves are the trust factor, take Richard Branson and Virgin for example.
What Not To Do
Using SEO or online marketing to fill the gaps of a bad service just does not work. A fancy website may give a good first impression, but without continued trust it is only a matter of time that negative reviews or social media comments are left, such is the power of the internet.