EAT is an important acronym for SEO and content marketers as it stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trust.
Marketers have to demonstrate EAT not only for the search engine crawlers to rank the site well, but also to catch attention from humans searching the web.
Trust is a critical component of the relationship between prospects or customers and brands. It has a big impact on your brand’s reputation and goes a long way in earning loyalty from your customers.
But trust isn’t just given, it’s earned.
Earning trust has to be at the forefront of everything we do. In this post, we’re covering eight ways brands earn trust from their customers or marketing leads.
Give control to your customers and prospects in terms of how they want to be contacted by your brand. Do they want emails, texts, push notifications, or would they prefer to keep their relationship with your brand in the real world by getting direct mail marketing campaigns?
Also be sure to let them know where they can engage online with your brand, such as following you on social media.
Recommended listening: The Lobcast Podcast: Personalization & Pina Coladas
One of the fastest ways to earn trust from your prospective customers is to have upfront pricing listed on your website or in printed materials. Be clear about the costs associated with your product or service. It’s an easy way for prospective customers to quickly self-qualify if they’re the right customer for your organization and can save marketing and sales’ time if the prospect will never convert due to price.
You should also clearly state any product or service guarantees to ease prospects’ minds and earn their trust.
Nothing is worse than a customer who has an issue and cannot figure out how to get in touch with customer service. Not only will they lose trust with your brand, they might even take to social media or review sites to vent their frustrations. Whether you include customer service’s contact details in the footer of your website, have a chatbot, or have a customer support ticketing system, make it as easy as possible for customers to get in contact with you.
Make your customers or leads feel heard by giving them opportunities to share feedback with your organization. That could come in the form of customer surveys asking what your brand can improve, pulse checks following a recent customer support issue, focus groups, social listening, or even encouraging customers to leave reviews on review sites or Google.
You should have a plan in place to monitor these forums or social media channels so you can reply promptly. If you come across negative reviews or social media posts, reply to the thread and give them a way to move the conversation to a different channel, such as contacting a customer support representative directly via phone or email.
Even if you didn’t solve the customer’s complaint where they posted it, other customers or leads will see that you didn’t ignore it and obviously value your customers’ feedback, both positive and negative. This simple thing can go a long way in earning trust from customers and prospects.
Consumers care about personalization and want to receive personalized messages. In fact, our 2022 State of Direct Mail Consumer Insights report showed that 52% of consumers expect direct mail to be personalized. They want to be recognized as an individual and not just a name on a marketing list. If you're taking the time to collect information about them and understand what they want from your brand, use that data to tailor your marketing messages to them. It's a simple way to gain someone's trust and show that you're paying attention to them.
Recommended reading: The Modern Marketer's Guide to Personalization
Case studies and testimonials are fantastic marketing resources that many buyers look for. Interview your customers and let them share their side of the story on how they found your brand and why they stay a customer.
You could also share authentic brand stories via your employees. Feature your employees in customer newsletters, blog features, on webinars, or give them a shout out when they win an industry award. Recognizing and celebrating your organization's talent is a great way to earn trust from your customers and prospects.
Another option for telling authentic stories is to share UGC (User-Generated Content). Look for content that was created by your customers, get their permission to share it, and let your customers do the storytelling for you. This content is highly trusted as it wasn't paid for or sponsored and shows authentic experiences with your product or service.
Recommended reading: Guide to Using Testimonials or User-Generated Content in Direct Mail
Let’s bring it full circle and talk about the other two aspects of EAT: Expertise and authority.
Your brand needs to demonstrate its expertise and authority in your industry to gain trust from your prospects and customers. Fortunately, there are so many ways to share valuable industry knowledge and provide accurate and reliable information, like through blogging, podcasting, webinars, speaking at conferences, and being active on social media. Your brand needs to be recognized as a leader in your particular field in order to be trusted.
Recommended listening: Lobcast Podcast: Marketing Mail & Mulled Wine
One super easy way to earn trust with prospects and customers? Using direct mail! Book a meeting with Lob's direct mail marketing experts to discuss how you can leverage automated, personalized direct mail.
New to direct mail marketing? Learn how to set yourself up for success with the channel and slide into your customers' and prospects' DM (direct mail) with our Lobcast Podcast on the topic.