They’ll buy when they trust

This is a guest post from Drew McLellan, CEO and Top Dog at McLellan Marketing Group. See the original post this is adapted from and more like it on his blog.

Here’s an equation that every business owner needs to understand.

content diagram
Know + Like + Trust = Buy.

Whether you sell toothbrushes or multi-million dollar medical equipment and everything in between — until a customer:

  • Knows who you are
  • Likes who you are
  • Trusts you

…there is no purchase. The depth of the trust required varies but there must be at least a base level of trust in place before anyone will spend a dime.

One of the things I love about social media/content marketing is that it is hard-wired to help savvy business people maximize this equation.

Know = search.

If I can’t find you, then I can’t know you exist. Understanding how potential customers are using search when they want what you sell is vital to your business success today. Do you know what key words and phrases you should be mindful of? Are you creating content that will leverage that?

Like = social networks/blogs.

When I hang out with you, in person or online, I get a sense of who you are and whether or not I like who you are. When I read your blog, I begin to learn who you are and what you believe. Are you out there, creating conversations and relationships? If not — when are you going to start?

Trust = consistency online and off.

It’s easy to fake being nice, smart, or helpful once or twice. But that’s tough to pull off on a consistent basis. We know that when it comes to our offline world. And we’re learning it’s just as true online as well. One of the greatest elements of having a digital presence is that it can quickly provide someone with a long term view of who/how you are. That builds trust.

That equation lines up perfectly with how content marketing/social media is supposed to work. When you create great, helpful content that aligns with how people search — you create that long tail effect that drives people to you. When you share it through your social networks and it’s done without being pushy or sleazy, people will come to like and respect you. Like and respect evolves into trust when you behave consistently in the same way.

Whether you actually sell online or you have a brick and mortar presence – using content marketing and your social media presence to move prospects along the spectrum of know, like, trust is just good business.

I’m curious — how are you building trust with what you do online?

About Drew McLellan

Wall Street Journal calls Drew McLellan’s blog, DrewsMarketingMinute.com, "one of the ten blogs every entrepreneur should read." His passion is helping clients discover their story so they can create authentic love affairs with their customers. He's also an author, national speaker, and has owned his own marketing agency in the Midwest since 1995.

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Comments

  1. Ryan Karpeles

    Hey Drew!

    Great article. It’s helpful to see how much content creation plays into building relationships of trust. That’s a good insight.

    One thought I also had is that long-term consistency in these areas is also huge for weathering the storm when your company does let someone down (because it will).

    If you’ve never built up trust, people will leave you instantly when something goes wrong. But if you take the time to invest in people and build these relationships of confidence, then when you do blow it, people will be far more apt to forgive you and continue using your products and services.

    Good stuff!

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