Beautiful girl with tablet is using social mediaEarning the trust of customers has always been a key challenge for businesses. And the internet has arguably made the challenge even more difficult. But it also provide you with more opportunities to take plaudits.

A great website may give you an online presence that showcases you as a professional. But deep down, you are still a faceless company first time visitors to your website have never heard of.

This is how consumers view you from behind a screen. They do not know who you are, so why should they trust you?

The answer is they don’t so you have to earn their trust and compel them to invest in your products and services.

But how?

Trusted web statisticians, Nielsen offer some insight in their annual global report documenting the most trusted forms of advertising.

What are the most trusted advertising formats?

Despite the increase of consumers turning to the web for shopping, product research and price comparison, traditional advertising platforms are still performing relatively well in the trust stakes.

TV ads still make the biggest impression on paid media platforms with 63% of respondents saying they trust TV ads over radio (54%), magazine (58%) and newspapers (60%).

Branded channels on YouTube receive a surprisingly high grade of trust, which just goes to show how consumers react to top quality content. 70% of respondents surveyed said they trust branded websites – the second most trusted online source.

What is the most credible form of advertising?

This should not come as a surprise. In fact it won’t! The most credible form of advertising online is recommendations from friends and family, just as it always has been offline.

But modern day marketers can take greater advantage of the various internet platforms on which you can push word of mouth advertising to another level.

Review sites provide an excellent platform for companies in the service industry whilst industry magazines that provide product reviews are worth tapping up. The opinions of peers carry almost as much weight as friends and family recommendations.

This type of earned media helps your trust score with both consumers and search engines. Social shares, likes, and comments are practically as good as word-of-mouth recommendations with 66% of participants confirming they trusted the opinions of other customers and professional reviewers.

Earning the trust of consumers is vital to the success of your online business. Targeting your content marketing efforts to generate trust and authority with your existing audience will help attract and convert other customers.

Make best use of the multi-channel platforms available on the net and expand your brand profile as much as possible. The more quality content you publish on various online platforms, the quicker you will build your trust scores.