How your ads can build trust

Got to love click and bait articles plastered all over Facebook! And additionally, in a time when misinformation spreads like wildfire, and uncertainty is around every corner, marketers are finding ways to reconnect with their audiences. The Drum says only “14% [of consumers] saying they trust advertisers in this respect.”

Furthermore, social media users are regularly sharing articles without checking the source, the publishing date, or reading beyond the headline. While the platforms are doing what they can to combat misinformation, users are growing weary of the content they see as they scroll through their feed. 

So, what makes a brand trustworthy you ask?

Qualtrics surveyed more than 1,000 consumers and reported that the top responses were “the well-being of customers, the well-being of employees, and not taking advantage of the crisis to maximize profits.” They also found that messages of hope and nostalgia weren’t as impactful. People want to see action rather than messaging. 

That being said, it doesn’t mean your ads are irrelevant.

First things first: Take a step back

People are feeling bombarded with advertisements and COVID-related messaging right now. Consider pressing pause on some of your ads, especially if they are pandemic-related. Also, be sure to select “unique daily reach” when creating your campaign so that people don’t repeatedly see your ad. 

This could also mean pausing all of your scheduled organic posts. It’s crucial to make sure that your messaging aligns with current events. For example, earlier in June we paused all of our posts for our clients during Blackout Tuesday. We reevaluated all of our messaging for that week to make sure that we were being sensitive to the Black Lives Matter movement and posting as usual. We wanted to show our respect rather than push our clients’ products and services.

By pausing content during these times and being aware of current events, it shows empathy and that brands are listening. It’s critical to read the room and even change your conversation to circulate around these important topics.

Interesting in learning more about social media ads?

Check out our blog on targeted advertising.

Now it’s time to take a look at your targeting

Now more than ever, you want to make sure you’re reaching the right people. When you see an ad pop up for a restaurant you never dine at or a company you’ve never shopped from before, and they’re telling you that they’re “here for you during this time,” I’m sure your reaction is “Okay…? Thanks, I guess…” 

Just to reiterate: People are getting messages shoved down their throats left and right currently. Connect with your clients and customers, but now is not the time to comfort people who don’t know you.

Be transparent

Tell people exactly what your organization is doing to respond to COVID, Black Lives Matter, and more. Are you starting a diversity program? Tell people—and if you don’t think your organization has done a good job thus far with fostering diversity, admit that! People respect organizations that acknowledge their faults and take steps to improve. 

Consider how you can show your impact

Words mean nothing without action, and Qualtrics’ study that we discussed above proves that. Show people how you’re responding to the pandemic rather than telling them, “we’re all in this together.” Watch this ad from AT&T, where they demonstrate exactly how they’re offering their services and working with the community to help students

The best advice that we can give right now is to put yourself in the consumer’s shoes. What types of content makes you feel good, or makes you click a link? Think about what types of messaging are making you roll your eyes, and what kinds resonate with you. For more tips on advertising, check out this blog on fixing budget killing errors.

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