I have been talking the last couple months about trust potential. Trust potential is that basic idea that everything that you do in your marketing has a certain inherent built-in trust factor.

There are four main criteria that we look at inside of trust potential, that’s the Message, the Medium, the Moment and the Measurement. Last month, you can check out the video we did that talks about the Message. This month, I want to talk to you about the Medium.

The Medium actually matters. So what is the Medium? The Medium is how the message is delivered. For example, you could do an ad on a commercial on TV. You can run ads in the newspaper. Maybe you send out a postcard or letter in the mail. There’s a number of different ways that you can deliver the Medium. That might be email messages or text messages. It could even be your website or a Facebook post. All these different forms of Medium that are out there are ways to deliver your message, but are they all trusted the same? The fact is they’re not.

Nielsen does a study every couple of years and measures consumers’ trust in advertising and they look all these different factors and ask people how much they trust certain aspects of marketing messages. For example, an email message that you signed up for is actually only trusted 50% of the time. I find that very interesting. Text messages are not trusted all the time, even if you signed up to receive text messages from a company. Then what we find is, there’s really just a couple that are trusted the most. So what are the most trusted forms of marketing and advertising? Well, first of all, it’s one that you might not think of as a Medium for your business in terms of delivering a marketing message, but the number one most trusted is actual personal referrals. That means somebody who has engaged with your business before, telling someone else about your business.

Now, this is a really overlooked piece of marketing, I think, in most businesses. It’s really about how well of a job you did working with your existing clients to help them in their business or help them however it is that you deliver your service. The better you do that, the more they’re going to tell other people about you. That planning in your business becomes really critical on how well we deliver, actual impact how well we can get more customers, because our existing customers are always going to refer more business to us. So, that’s the number one that’s most trusted. It’s like over 90%, 96%, 98% most trusted. People trust those personal recommendations.

The second most trusted form of Medium, if you will, is reviews posted on third-party review sites. these are reviews that your clients give you to say how good a job you did. It’s not quite the same as a referral, but it’s really, really close. There are different studies out there, but basically online reviews are trusted about 70% or so. It varies depending on the study that you look at. The key that’s important there is that if you’re not getting online reviews, you’re missing out on a real big opportunity to help get new clients into your business, because people do trust those reviews. Reviews can make all your other marketing better. So, two things, one, where are these reviews? These reviews are on Google, they’re on Facebook and they’re on Yelp. Those are the most common places that we see for most businesses. And then whatever your particular niche is. A lot of my clients are in assisted living, so sites like caring.com are really important sites for collecting and showing reviews because that’s a very prominent site that is used by families who are looking for communities for their loved ones. That piece is really important.

The second reason why this really makes the rest of your marketing so much more powerful and so much more effective is a relating sample that I’m seeing from somebody named Tom Shane. You’ve probably heard Tom Shane in his radio advertisements. Tom Shane with the Shane Company. “You now have a friend in the diamond business.” (That was not a very good impersonation!) One of his ads that I really, really like that he talks about, in particular he’s talking about engagement rings and where to get those and why you should pick him. He references a site, I can’t remember the name right now, but he references a site that a lot of people use who are about to get engaged or getting married. He says, “Go check out our reviews on that site.” They have literally thousands of them on there. But what a powerful message. Say, “Hey, I’m saying I’m a great company, but don’t take my word for it. Go take the word of all these people that have tried us and used us and actually posted their name and their information and said, “Yes, I put a stamp of approval on this company.” That’s really, really powerful.

When you do send out a postcard you can say, “Hey, we think we’re pretty great, but you know what? You don’t have to believe what I’m saying in this postcard because you only trust this 30% of the time. Go check out my reviews.” So, now you’ve got a postcard with only reviews combined together and you put together a really powerful way to get your message out there. The message is important. The Medium and how you deliver that message is also important. If you need help with your online reviews, if we’re not already doing that for you, we’d love to talk to you about that.

So, that’s this month’s marketing message. Hope you enjoyed it. Please like, comment and share. Sharing is caring. We appreciate that. Thank you and have a great month.


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