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3 Mindless Ways to Build Immediate Trust on Your Website

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3 Mindless Ways to Build Immediate Trust on Your Website

Website visitors form an opinion about your website (whether they like it or dislike it, whether they’ll leave or stay) in just 50 milliseconds, according to one source.

Some sources claim you have 15 seconds to build trust with website visitors. Others claim you have 10 seconds.

Whatever the case – 10 seconds, 15 seconds, or 50 milliseconds – you don’t have much time to build trust with the people who arrive on your website.

They click, they look, and they leave just as fast…

Or they stay, they browse, and they buy (maybe).

That millisecond decision all comes down to whether your website is set up to build trust or not. So here are three dead-simple ways to build immediate trust on your website.

1. Add a credibility bar

A credibility bar is a quick, at-a-glance way to build trust with your website visitors.

But what should you put on the credibility bar?

Well, it’s really up to you and what your business has accomplished. On the high road, you can use logos of publications your company has been featured on or market-familiar businesses you’ve worked with. If you’re a new business with fewer achievements under your belt, then you can use accreditation, review badges, or other certifications – similar to what Nexus Homebuyers does on their website for instance.

Add a Credibility bar for build trust

Credibility bars don’t just work on B2C or B2B websites. They work on all kinds of websites. Here’s even an example of one in action for BalingWireDirect, a blue-collar company that sells baling wire.

Add a Credibility bar like BalingWireDirect for Build Trust

This is a quick-and-easy way to add credibility to any website. Regardless of how old your business is or how much experience you have, you can create a credibility bar that builds trust and keeps visitors right where you want them – on your website.

2. Spotlight a video testimonial

Video marketers drive 64% more qualified leads than their video-less counterparts and 94% of businesses see video as an effective tool.

Businesses love video and so do those businesses’ customers and clients.

You’re probably already familiar with the power of compelling testimonials on your website, so why not combine the power of video and customer testimonials and create a video testimonial to put on your website?

That’s what ReadyForZero does, for instance, on their Who It Helps page.

Spotlight a Video testimonial like ReadyForZero for build trust

You can do the same thing. Just choose a happy customer you’ve worked with and either do an interview-style testimonial video or have them record a testimonial on their own and send it over to you. The quality of the video doesn’t really matter (big-budget or small). What matters is that someone that your website visitors can relate to is vouching for your business.

3. Say something impressive

This strategy is for those of you who have a few wins under your belt. You’ve built a successful business and the market loves your product. And you have something impressive to talk about.

Look, one of the fastest ways to build trust with website visitors immediately is to impress them. How do I know? Because if I see someone’s Facebook profile picture and in it, they’re giving Tony Robbins a hug, I immediately think they’re an expert at whatever they do.

Heck, they know Tony Robbins, they must be an expert (or so the thinking goes).

Consulting.com, for instance, uses the fact that they’ve helped 24 people become millionaires, 453 people get to 6 figures, and 3,751 people quit their jobs to build immediate trust on their website.

Say Something Impressive like Consulting.com for build trust

And Carrot (the company I work for) uses the fact that they’ve generated more than one million leads for real estate professionals do the talking.

Say Something Impressive like Carrot for build trust

The point is, saying something impressive builds trust with visitors faster than almost anything else. It proves that your product works and that people can count on you to do what you say you’re going to do – the very thing that ultimately decides whether people are going to trust you… or leave your website.

Guest author: Lover of all things communication – speaking, writing, and listening – Mike helps businesses create significant, consistent and valuable pieces of content. You can join his email list for entrepreneurs at Booktrep.

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How to Develop an Influencer Marketing Strategy in 5 Steps

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How to Develop an Influencer Marketing Strategy in 5 Steps

How do you reach your target audience with meaningful content in a time when consumers simply don’t trust (or like) digital advertising?

If that question is keeping you up at night… well, you’re certainly not the only one.

Although it can definitely still work, advertising on its own is simply not enough to reach your audience and get them to take action. You also need to build trust and establish yourself as one of the top choices in your niche. And you can achieve that with 2 tactics: a great content marketing strategy and collaborating with top influencers in your niche.

But, we can’t really tackle both in one article. So in this blog post, I’m going to show you how to develop an influencer marketing strategy in 5 steps.

Step 1: Goals and metrics – What are your goals and how are you going to measure them?

Like with any marketing strategy, the best place to start is with your goals. What exactly do you want to achieve with your influencer marketing campaign?

For example, here are some of the top objectives you can achieve with an influencer marketing campaign:

Reach a new audience and improve awareness of your brand.
Build awareness and establish trust with your target audience.
Generate more sales/more leads for your business.
Boost traffic to your website.

Take the time to consider your overall business goals in order to come up with an objective that will help support those goals. This will help you put together your actual campaign; for example, if your goal was to establish trust and build up your reputation, then you wouldn’t create exclusive offer codes for the influencers you work with. Rather, you’d try a different approach, such as building up close, long-lasting relationships with top influencers and then giving them the freedom to create the campaign themselves. On the other hand, if you wanted to boost sales, you’d need to create exclusive offers for your influencer campaigns.

To help you set your objectives, you can use a goal-setting template like SMART; that means that your goal needs to be:

Specific – in other words, it needs to be detailed.
Measurable – if you can’t measure the success of your goal, why even do it?
Achievable – can you really reach that goal?
Relevant – how is this goal helping your business?
Time-bound – what is your goal’s deadline?

As you can see above, one of the essential elements of a good goal is whether they are measurable. And what’s more, at this stage, you should list out exactly how you’re going to measure these goals; in other words, what are your KPIs (key performance indicators)? It can be something like traffic to your website and social media engagement metrics if your goal was to improve brand awareness. Or, if you wanted more sales, then you’d focus on the number of sales made as your main KPI.

Step 2: Find the right influencers

Once you know what you want to achieve, the next step is to find the right social influencers to help you actually achieve that goal.

There are numerous types of social influencers depending on how you want to classify them (by audience size – micro-influencers, celebrities, etc., by type – blogger, journalist, etc.). Each type of influencer has its own benefits and drawbacks; but generally, it’s not about how many followers they have, how famous the influencer is, or anything else similar.

What’s most important is to understand how engaged their audience is and how truly influential the influencer is.

When choosing the influencers to work with, make sure to check:

What topics they cover: What do they usually talk about on their digital channels? Is it something relevant to your target audience? You can check this with a tool like Buzzsumo; it’s a content research/influencer marketing tool that lets you look up influencers and see what links they’ve shared in the past. This helps give you a better idea of the content they like, the topics they’re interested in, and their audience’s interests:

Find the right influencer for you for influencer marketing strategy

Who forms their audience: Who follows them? Ideally, you want to be able to reach your own target audience
How engaged is their audience? How close of a relationship is there between influencer and followers? A true influencer is one that has a very engaged audience (one that shares their content, leaves comments constantly, and so on) – that is much more important than the size of their audience

To help you find influencers, you can use all kinds of tools – like the aforementioned Buzzsumo. Some other useful tools are:

Social Bond – it’s an influencer marketing tool that helps with the full campaign, from finding influencers to collaborating with them and to measuring the success of the influencer campaign. One of my favorite parts is that you can look up influencers’ based on their followers and demographics (location, language, age group, gender, niche) and you can even check what other brands they’ve worked with before – this way, you can make sure you’re reaching the right target audience. It’s also worth mentioning that this is a platform that connects brands and influencers directly as it has an influencer marketplace where you can search for and reach out to influencers.

Social Bond for influencer marketing strategy

Upfluence – it’s an influencer marketing software with 3 main tools: influencer search, campaign manager, and influencer marketing analytics. You can use it to find the top influencers in your niche (from blogs or social networks) with all kinds of filters such as geolocation, how active they are, and the engagement metrics they get on social media. Once you find them, you can then reach out to them via email, use the software to manage the campaigns, and then measure your campaigns’ performance.

Upfluence for influencer marketing strategy

Step 3: Connect with influencers and build the right campaign

Once you find the people you want to work with, there are several ways to connect with the influencers:

Reach out directly via email (many influencer marketing tools offer influencer outreach features) to ask them if they’re interested in collaborating.
Follow them online and build a relationship slowly by connecting with them on their digital channels

But what happens once you do connect with influencers? How do you build a campaign that gets results?

Here is where you need to refer back to your objectives – what do you want to achieve with your influencer marketing campaign? For example:

More brand awareness: Get influencers to review your product on their channels, create contests and giveaways and host them on the influencer’s page
Increased sales: create exclusive discount codes/special offers to promote on social media or via an affiliate marketing programme.
Improve trust/reputation: Turn influencers into brand ambassadors, send gifts of your products/services to the right people.

That said, it’s always best to discuss this with the influencers you’ve chosen. They know their audience the best so they can come up with the type of campaigns that they know will make an impact and get them to take action.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t have any input whatsoever; rather, tell them what you want to achieve and then collaborate with them regarding the campaigns that will help you actually achieve those goals. And most importantly, let them have their creative freedom; after all, there’s a reason you came to them and there’s a reason they are influential: their audience loves their content.

If you control what they can say too much as part of the campaign, it likely won’t be as authentic to the influencers’ followers.

Step 4: Track and optimize

Once your campaign goes live, you’re not completely helpless as it goes along – you can still monitor it and optimize the campaign as you go along.

Keep a close eye on the campaign from the first moment and look for what’s working and what isn’t; depending on the type of campaign, you might have the chance to make adjustments as you go along and optimize it for better results:

Keep an eye out for any mistakes. Whether it’s posting the wrong thing or grammatical mistakes, keep an eye out for them and remove them immediately.
Identify social posts that are working very well and pay to boost them to generate even more results.
Change calls to action if they don’t work.

Step 5: Measure your ROI

As you might remember from earlier when we talked about goals, we also talked about the importance of being able to measure your goals. That is because you want to be able to demonstrate ROI, but also so you can understand what worked and what didn’t and how you can use that knowledge in the future to build better campaigns.

So, using the KPIs outlined when you established your goals, measure the success of your campaign.

Of course, you’ll also need some tools to help; some influencer marketing tools, like the ones I talked about earlier, also offer influencer marketing campaign analytics. But, there are plenty of other tools that you can use.

For example, you can add UTM tracking codes to your campaigns’ links (custom parameters that are added at the end of a link in order to help track it); these codes will then allow you to monitor your campaign links in detail and help you establish ROI, especially if you’re working with several influencers.

There are 3 elements that make up a UTM tracking link:

Source: Where the clicks/traffic are coming from.
Medium: Traffic type.
Campaign: The campaign that got them to click.

As you can see, it tells you where your traffic is coming from, what made them want to click, and what type of traffic it is (paid, organic, etc.).

Then, if you’re collaborating with several influencers, you can create different UTM tracking links to help you track their results. Or, if you’re working with the same influencer, you can use these links to help you understand what parts of your campaign worked or which didn’t and measure the ROI of the campaign.

Plus, another great use for UTM tracking links is for A/B testing; testing 2 different variables to see which one performs best.

For example, if you’re working with an influencer on a social media campaign, you could test to see which updates and calls to action got the most results by tracking them with UTM links. This will then help you optimize your influencer marketing campaigns in the future, for improved results.

To create these kinds of links, you can use a social media management tool like Agorapulse:

Agorapulse for influencer marketing strategy

When you turn on UTM tracking after adding a link, you can customize your UTM parameters with the right source, medium, or campaign, or you can add your own custom UTM parameters.

You can then create as many of these links as you need to, which is especially useful if you’re working with several influencers at the same time and you want to track them all as accurately as possible.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are 5 important steps that make up an influencer marketing strategy:

Establishing your goals and your KPIs to help measure your results.
Finding the right social influencers to collaborate with.
Connecting with influencers and building your campaign together.
Tracking and optimizing your campaign as it goes along.
Measuring the results and ROI of your influencer marketing campaign.

Guest author: Lilach Bullock is highly regarded on the world speaker circuit, Lilach has graced Forbes and Number 10 Downing Street. She’s a hugely connected and highly influential entrepreneur. Listed in Forbes as one of the top 20 women social media power influencers and was crowned the Social Influencer of Europe by Oracle. She is listed as the number one Influencer in the UK by Career Experts and is a recipient of a Global Women Champions Award for her outstanding contribution and leadership in business. Check out her site Lilach Bullock or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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Why The Integrity Of Your Brand Is At Risk Of Being Destroyed (And What To Do About It)

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Why The Integrity Of Your Brand Is At Risk Of Being Destroyed (And What To Do About It)

How much importance do you place on your brand?

Let me play Devil’s advocate for a moment…

I bet it’s not enough.

An inconsistent representation of your brand creates confusion and can even reduce your ability to expand your business. Research by Interbrand shows a strong correlation between the consistency of branding and the revenue a company earns.

Brand integrity - image 1

It’s no surprise then that almost 80% of B2B marketing leaders determine branding to be a critical contributor to growth.

Why are modern brands more at risk than ever?

Here’s the thing – your brand doesn’t exist in a silo within your organization. It’s fluid and uncontrollable. Once you let your brand out of the bag, it now belongs to your customers and anyone else who is exposed to it.

In a world with short attention spans, remote working, high service expectations, and digital platforms designed to proliferate the message of average Joe and Joanne,  it’s harder and more important than ever to protect the integrity of your brand.

There are 4 key drivers putting your brand integrity at risk:

1. Your employees are going rogue

In a social media world where irreparable brand damage is the snap of a photo or the click of a button away, brand guidelines and employee training are essential to maintaining your reputation.

But, unfortunately, some employees still go rogue…

The team at SketchDeck coined the phrase “Shadow Design” an adaptation of “Shadow IT,” which refers to the use of services and software outside the control and governance of the organization. Shadow Design, in much the same way, refers to “design created outside of the influence of brand owners.” Where the result is “inconsistent and sometimes low-quality design.”

Controlling the use and proliferation of your brand, even with employees, is extremely difficult. Especially when employees are expected to get things done at a speed faster than ever and with limited resources.

2. Everyone is expected to work faster

The workplace is accelerating by the day. This is especially true in a fast-moving space such as digital marketing where trends and tactics are becoming obsolete overnight with the shift of an algorithm.

This environment puts added pressure on teams to work at speed – most of the time with fewer resources and less support. Remote teams, timezone clashes, and over the top output expectations are the norm. Internal team members are now project managers, expected to achieve more and more every day with a team of disparate workers.

Given the state of growing expectations for speed and limited internal resources, it’s uncommon to see a dedicated brand guardian in an organization. Even if there is, they are probably working on five or six other roles at the same time. The likelihood of a brand slip up under these conditions is high.

3. Content is being produced at scale

Content is being produced by businesses at an astonishing rate. There are more channels, customer touchpoints, and increasing expectations for immediate response times.

In fact, research conducted by the Content Marketing Institute found that 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing as part of their digital strategy. That is a LOT of content!

Brand integrity - image 2

More channels, more content, and increased expectations mean there is simply more brand to protect – and much more integrity and value to customers are at risk.

4. Design is growing in importance

The appetite for content creation has a flow-on effect on the importance and need for design at scale – an agenda that results in greater chance of brand guidelines being broken and brand integrity compromised.

But the implications of large-scale design requirements don’t stop there.

McKinsey conducted a comprehensive research study spanning for over five years that looked at the design practices of 300 publicly listed companies. The data collected was then matched with over 2 million pieces of financial data to identify any potential correlations between design practice and financial performance.

The results?

A higher “Design Index Score” as determined by the study, correlated with higher revenue and business growth.

Brand integrity - image 3

In summary, quality of design results in consistency of brand and better business performance. Something that is harder than ever to achieve given the growing need for design fueled by content creation.

How do you maintain the integrity of your brand in this environment?

“Investing in your brand, being your own best brand champion, or hiring a brand champion should be a strategic imperative.” Forbes

Today’s branding ecosystem is complex – there is an increasing amount of content being produced, growing expectations for team productivity, and a high benchmark for design.

In combination, these forces put your brand integrity at risk and expose your business to rogue brand representations from employees.

All of this can result in a lack of brand consistency, which is severely damaging to the growth trajectory of organizations. However, brand consistency shouldn’t be confused with rigid policies and restrictive guidelines.

Brands that are too inflexible are also getting left behind, as other more nimble businesses leverage the power of social media and the reach of their extended network.

So, how do you balance risk-aversion with flexibility to get the best of both worlds?

In our digital era, you must be able to apply brand guidelines in a thoughtful, agile, and creative way that is also built for scale. The only way to do this is with a brand guardian.

Your brand guardian is appointed to monitor and optimize the performance of your brand on a regular basis. They work closely with your team to first establish, and then reform and iterate, a set of guidelines that minimizes risk and maximizes brand proliferation.

An effective brand guardian combines technology with people power to create design consistency and access across the entire organization.

Think high-quality, on-brand design is out of reach? Think again. There are solutions available that learn your brand, assisting you on virtually any project – so everything stays on task and on brand.

For example, SketchDeck is a platform that combines people and software to make high-quality everyday design accessible to your whole organization – it acts as a brand guardian of sorts. They have worked with brands such as Remy Cointreau and Colliers to de-risk and strengthen their brands, without the need for outdated offline systems and documentation.

Find out more here.

Is your brand integrity at risk or have you enlisted a guardian to keep things in check?

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