In a broad sense, the job of marketers has never been harder. The age of easily accessible information and social media has made consumers far more skeptical of the advertising they see and hear. People value transparency, wanting to know who they’re doing business with and a detailed background about the products they’re buying. Consumers insist on knowing how they were made, where they were made, and by whom.
Since the dawn of the B2C relationship, trust has been a key component. It’s even more true in 2022. A forthright approach to business communication will not only broaden your customer base but also improve company culture and build an organization that attracts top talent.
Here are a few transparency tips for businesses looking to forego the fake and embrace their authentic selves:
Craft an Authentic Story
Effective storytelling is an excellent way to present compelling, authentic content. Through evolution, the human brain is hardwired to respond to storytelling, which means a business with a powerful narrative will make a memorable and emotional connection with their target audience.
Consider the questions a prospective customer might be interested in asking. Why are you in business? How did you get to where you are today? What problems are you solving? What can you do better than anyone else? What is important to you?
After the brand story is written, get creative with how it can be presented in both written and visual forms. Then share it over, and over and over again.
Listen to Your Customers
Answering customers’ questions honestly and seeking their input helps lay the foundation of trust. Their feedback will also help you develop more relevant marketing content that addresses their pain points, interests and needs.
Show What’s Happening Behind the Scenes
Instead of using social media and your website to present a carefully-constructed (yet inauthentic) narrative, show a little personality and “pull back the curtain.” Sharing videos, photos and podcasts that introduce the team behind your goods and services helps humanize the brand and creates a more intimate relationship with customers.
(Cost) Honesty is the Best Policy
No one, absolutely no one likes being surprised by hidden costs. By disclosing every charge associated with a purchase, you’ll be avoiding customer dissatisfaction later. This means being forthcoming with fees and comprehensive about what a particular service will entail. Put yourself in your target audience’s shoes to eliminate misleading content. Honest pricing leads to happier customers and, consequently, higher profits.
Build Employee Trust
Marketing alone cannot create a transparent company. It starts from the top down, when the head of an organization opens the lines of communication with employees. When honesty and transparency are established facets of a business’ operation, the traits will naturally become a part of customer interactions too. Additionally, if leaders don’t explain strategic choices and the decision-making process, writers, graphic designers and videographers will be ill equipped to produce authentic content.
Put simply, you need to be honest. Don’t chase trends with your social media and marketing, but instead take time to develop content truly reflective of your business’ values and culture. You’ll have time to be methodical because gaining a consumer’s trust doesn’t just happen overnight. It’s built over time with consistent transparency, unflinching honesty and, when needed, quick corrective action.
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