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How to Grab Attention Without Losing Trust? A Marketer's Dilemma

posted by Michael Epps Utley Michael Epps Utley
How to Grab Attention Without Losing Trust A Marketers Dilemma

Think about your marketing content. Which impact would you prefer it to have?

  • It results in deeper consumer trust in your business but is quickly forgotten.

  • It grabs attention and is remembered by prospective buyers for a long time but doesn’t establish or enhance trust.

Of course, you want your marketing to garner both attention and trust, but in this exercise, let’s imagine you can only select one.

“May I have your attention?” and “Do I have your trust?” are two completely different questions. However, many businesses mix them up in their marketing.

This article explains the differences between these critical marketing factors and the importance of each.

Higher Engagement Does Not Result in Greater Trust

When you grab a consumer’s attention, it’s easy to mistake it for earning their trust. When someone spends a lot of time with your content, it’s easy to think they’ve placed their trust in the material or brand. That just isn’t the case.

In fact, many marketing experts have found that as trust increases, attention levels decrease. That’s because as people feel more safe and secure in a likely outcome, they don’t need to pay as much attention to what a piece of marketing or sales content says.

In short, their guard goes down as their openness to something new goes up. It’s similar to when your best friend suggests doing something new, and you say “Yes!” immediately because you have a rich history built on trust.

Trust is a critical component of deepening and broadening relationships with customers. It is precious and can be easily broken. Businesses must ensure that every piece of content — and marketing experience — is trustworthy, even if it means sacrificing an attention-grabbing angle.

Moments of Truth: The Basics

Moments of truth are when purchasers come to critical conclusions:

  • First moment: The buyer decides which product or service to purchase.

  • Second moment: The customer experiences the product or service.

  • Third moment: The purchaser decides to provide feedback — positive or negative — about their experience with the product or service and how they were treated by your business.

Some experts recognize an additional zero moment of truth. It’s when a person uses a laptop, mobile phone, or other device to research a product or service they’re considering buying.

These moment-based frameworks help you think about messaging. Depending upon the context of the consumer’s needs and the desired product or service, hundreds or thousands of moments of trust influence how (or if) there is a moment of truth resulting in a purchase decision.

To satisfy any moment of truth, businesses must deliver messaging to consumers in earned, owned, and paid media to meet a need and move them forward in the trust journey.

The issue: The buyer’s acceptance of — or skepticism toward — the messaging depends on their trust in the brand. And that trust builds over time and is not based on any one moment.

Bankable Trust Should Be Your Ultimate Goal

Trust — not hype — should be your goal when marketing your business. When a moment of truth happens, you want consumers to quickly and completely accept what you are serving up. Your company should aspire to spend less time, effort, and money on getting attention and more on building a trusting relationship with your consumers.

Three Ways to Develop Marketing Content That Engenders Trust

Here are three ways to build trust with your audience.

1. Balance Risk With Reward

Trust is proportional to the risk taken. You must gauge what you ask consumers to do — and the risk they take to do it — in return for what you deliver to them.

For example, if you request consumer contact information before allowing them to download a white paper, you’d better deliver valuable content. In this case, interest is high because the consumer wants the white paper. The risk is also high because they are giving away personal information. Trust may be low because the consumer doesn’t know whether the gated content is any good. This lack of trust can be mitigated by providing top-quality, non-gated content elsewhere on the site. Ultimately, if a buyer makes the risky move of sharing contact info and loves the material you deliver, they will experience a jump in trust in your brand.

2. Aim for Consistency

A big part of building trust is delivering consistently valuable marketing and communication experiences. It’s not about developing one or two extraordinary, valuable assets; it should be about the smaller things that frequently deliver value. Your brand must be consistently familiar and beneficial to your targeted audience if you want to increase trust over time.

3. Treat Trust as Cumulative

Trust is cumulative. It deepens and grows because your business is continuously trustworthy. It can be a long journey, depending on the level of trust required to get people to make a purchase. It’s also critical to remember that no matter how long the buying journey is, trust can be destroyed easily and at any time.

That’s why it’s critical to move from focusing on marketing touchpoints to an end-to-end consumer journey.

With a customer-touchpoint mindset, the business seeks to satisfy consumers in every interaction with the brand, deepening trust with each touchpoint. Ultimately, the consumer has enough trust in the brand to make a purchase.

Find out how you can build a complete end-to-end customer journey for your business.

Building Trust Versus Grabbing Attention: The Final Word

Now, if you had to answer the question posed at the beginning of this piece, you would likely select trust as the more valuable attribute.

Of course, you have to get consumer attention before you can gain their trust. The key is to engage people in a way that doesn’t break trust on first contact.

Plus, once you develop an end-to-end consumer trust-building journey, you must find ways to measure whether you’re accomplishing what you intend. It’s no longer enough just to measure big milestones like sales. You also have to track things like social likes, clicks, shares, and comments, content downloads, and the number of five-star reviews — all things that indicate you’re building trust in every brand interaction.

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