Credibility is an essential attribute for any business. However, like respect and trust, it has to be earned and that can take time to build.

It’s a competitive market and customers have more choice than ever before when it comes to who to buy from. So you need to use all the tools at your disposal to prove to them that your business is credible, trustworthy and worth doing business with.

According to the 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer, 48% of consumers choose not to buy from a company because they don’t trust them. And when TNS MarketReach asked people about the post and email they get from business, more than 70% said printed material gives them a better impression of a business.

Adding reviews, testimonials and customer feedback to your website is one way to start building that trust, but let’s look at some other ways you can generate credibility.

The power of paper
Email inboxes the world over are full of newsletters, advertisements, and even unsolicited marketing materials, so it’s no surprise that printed books and catalogues are making a comeback. Even large online retailers, such as Mighty Ape, send out printed catalogues with their orders.

Why do they do this? Because it’s tangible. It’s something a potential customer can hold and flick through at their leisure. It gives greater satisfaction than scrolling down a screen.

Lock, stock and barrel
Consider how you want the brochures to feel in your customers’ hands. Do you want it to feel thicker and luxurious, or thinner and understated?

Customers can be influenced purely by the type of paper or board you use. Matte paper, for example, is more natural, warm and can make text easier the read, but gloss paper provides a shine that can make photos pop.

Lovely language
The way you communicate with customers is still incredibly important. It doesn’t matter whether you are talking to them face-to-face, sending them an email or writing a new blog for your website.

When you’re writing your marketing material, imagine you are giving a speech. Does it sound credible or does it sound trite? Use words like ‘you’ and ‘we’ to help you connect with your audience.

It’s especially important to include the benefits of your product or service. If you know your customer base, you will know why your offering appeals. Don’t fall into the trap of just listing the features, often this is technical stuff no one is interested in, but tell customers why they should buy – will it save them money or time, or will it make life easier?

Don’t be the one with the dodgy website
Although printed material can help to garner credibility, one of the key ways to gain customer’s trust online is through security.

Search engines like Google now mark sites as ‘not secure’ unless they have an SSL certificate. That’s the little padlock symbol on your browser bar and the ‘s’ and the end of your ‘http://’ that shows it’s safe to do business with you.

Next steps
Let’s meet and take a look at the marketing you are using today. Together, we can draw up a plan to make things clearer and help build that trust and credibility.