Trust in Online Marketing: Ways to Build Value before Money Changes Hands

by Michelle Salater on May 11, 2012


One of the most important duties of online marketing copy is to establish trust between a seller and a buyer. Prospective clients become actual clients when they feel as if they know, like, and trust a person enough to buy from him or her.

So how can you create marketing content that convinces your readers to fork over their credit cards? Build value before the question of money even comes up. When you’re able to communicate to prospects how much your products or services are worth, they’ll be eager to pay you whatever you cost.

Here are some tips for crafting marketing copy that builds value right away.

  • Focus on benefits, not features. Fill your online content with descriptions of your products’ features, and readers will click away. Fill it with explanations of what your products will do for your audience, though, and they’ll see why they ought to buy. Focusing on benefits in marketing copy is an important part of targeting your message to your audience.
  • Offer free, high-quality resources—before getting a financial commitment. Giving away useful content demonstrates two important things to your prospects: first, that you’re knowledgeable in your field, and second, that you’re ready and willing to help. Even more importantly, the free content you offer (whether in the form of white papers, an eBook, a blog, an audio recording, or a webinar) lets your prospects get to know your voice (and hopefully like and trust it as well).
  • Preview the services or products you’re selling. Think of this as the iTunes or Kindle model of selling. Provide your prospects with a sampling of your goods or services (such as a few minutes of a telecall or the first week of an e-class) free of charge. When they see for themselves the high value you provide, they’ll be much more willing to pay for the full product.
  • Establish yourself as an expert. Who doesn’t want to work with an expert? Establish yourself in your field by blogging, commenting on forums, speaking at or sponsoring conferences, appearing on podcasts, and otherwise keeping your visibility high in your community. Remember, too, that even if most of your marketing is online, going off-line can boost your brand in a number of ways.
  • Offer social proof. Testimonials demonstrate to prospective buyers that you deliver on what you promise. Include video or written testimonials in your marketing copy, and you’ll offer prospects evidence of your effectiveness—and give them a sneak preview of the results they can expect from working with you.

Building trust in online marketing should be an ever-present goal as you plan your marketing strategy and compose your copy.

Want more tips on catching your audience’s attention and winning its trust? Register for our upcoming webinar!