Anthony’s November Daily Post (business section) column

Building trust between your brand and customers is an essential part of the marketing process. People are unlikely to buy from you if they don’t like or trust you.

At the heart of developing that relationship should be PR. The PR industry has moved on from solely focusing on traditional media relations.

Reputations are now managed across multiple comms channels including websites, social media, and in search results, all of which are consumed by a business’ target audience.

There is more to Google than ranking for your product or service. When a customer searches for your brand online, how does the search engine giant affect what people think about you?

Online PR enhances reputations by including positive news stories in the search results: search for ‘Jones Bros Civil Engineering’ to see how content published by trusted third party media outlets sits amongst the Jones Bros website and social media channels.

Your followers and fans on social media are connected with you because they chose to: this means they are interested in your content.

Share your business’ story direct to your customers using social media to shape how they feel about you.

In addition, paid social media advertising is a burgeoning tactic used by businesses to increase the reach of its content in front of relevant audiences through sponsored posts.

The likes of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn allow you to segment audiences and target specific users with tailored content, resulting in higher engagement and conversion rates.

For example, an e-book on generic IT tips may not appeal to a mass audience. However, a version focusing on how IT tweaks can boost a law firm’s profits will likely be of interest to businesses in the legal sector. Paid social media will place this content in front of such brands.

Regardless of how potential and current customers land on your website, an up-to-date latest news section will continue to positively impact what they think about you.

Stories including client wins, case studies, new employees, and expert commentary pieces position you as successful and industry leading.

Building trust also affords you the opportunity to get your side of the story across in a time of issue or crisis: people are more likely to listen to you if they already have a positive opinion about you.