In Marketing, Trust is Gold

by | Mar 22, 2021 | Content Strategy, Thought Leadership

Trust is the underpinning of all successful business communication. Without it, nothing we say has any real meaning. Trust transforms words into value. We build with facts, and trust is the mortar: Together they enable us to make great things — the difference between scattered bricks and a wall.

There are two types of trust: one is through contact and the other is through connection. The first is built personally, one-on-one, directly and over time. The second happens through association. It’s when a person you know and respect vouches for someone you don’t. I trust you, you trust her, so I trust her.

Because time is in limited supply, trust through connection is just as vital as direct trust. We don’t have time to build relationships with everyone, everything, everywhere. Instead, we navigate our personal and business decisions through a network of connections. It’s how brands work. It’s how LinkedIn works. It’s how any recommendation anyone has ever made actually functions. The underpinning of it all is varying degrees of trust.

Business communication — particularly B2C content— has to build trust into every message. The ability of that message to motivate any action is directly related to trust. Businesses can build trust, but it takes time.

And this might be the perfect time to seize the moment. The 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer found that business is the most trusted institution (61 percent) when it comes to leading on “a range of vexing issues” — even as trust in all news sources is at historic lows. Sixty-five percent of respondents felt that CEOs should be as accountable to the public as they are to shareholders.

Are there shortcuts to establishing trust? Sure. Or at least attempts. Take, for example, celebrity endorsements. But shortcuts are shortcuts: They’re marginally effective and not without risk. The efforts made by businesses and brands to connect with consumers proves that trust is gold in communication.

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At IEN, we take a unique approach to establishing trust with consumers. We’re journalists, so we found another way. We start with the building blocks, the bricks that give trust its shape: facts.

Facts form the foundation of everything we do. So when we consider the importance of trust in communication, we see something familiar. We’ve found a way to use news and facts to communicate in a way that helps our clients achieve their financial goals.

If you’d like to know more, we’d love to tell you. Connect with us and we’ll tell you how you can build meaningful trust and connection with your consumers.

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