Traditionally, trust in the financial sector was built. Literally. Big marble pillars and bold architecture seemed to shout: We’re a legitimate authority! You should trust us!
But things have changed. Oh, how they’ve changed.
Lehman Brothers, Northern Rock, Bernard Madoff. Over the last decade, the financial sector has been bashed around by a seemingly endless procession of breaches of trust.
Now the industry is facing attack from an army of innovators who deliver transparent, credible and user-friendly financial services.
These days, trust is a slick website, transparency, flow, high resolution images, good reviews and influencer recommendations.
If you’re quick, you’ll have realised that all the things I listed above are things that you can manage. Or at least things that you can encourage.
In this blog, I’m going to look at six steps you can take to build trust in your financial services company. Let’s get started.
#1 Build A Really Good Website
The first thing your prospective digitally-savvy customer sees is your website and first impressions matter now as much as ever. I’m genuinely not exaggerating when I say that website can make or break your business, so it’s vital that you consider it as a core part of your brand.
Put yourself in the shoes of your users. Why are they on your website? What are they looking for? What do they want to achieve? How will they act? What device will they be using?
Once you’ve got answers to all those questions, you can start tailoring your website towards your audience.
Robbie Fowle from H&T said that one of his top priorities is the customer journey. The journey someone takes from landing on your site to converting into a customer. When he investigated his analytics, he discovered 60% of his visitors were using mobile devices. He immediately started devoting more time to optimising his website for mobile users.
To establish if our changes are improving conversion, as well as goal tracking we employ software which records the customer’s online journey so we can see where get customers get stuck and where we need to focus our attention.
Like Robbie, you should be experimenting with your website, testing features and design quirks to discover what your audience responds to best.
#2 SEO, baby!
The marketplace is changing and if your business doesn’t show up on Google, does it really exist? All businesses need to think about SEO and that includes you. Yes, you!
Now, I know what you’re thinking: ‘I can’t do my own SEO.’
Well, what if I told you that you that the basic stuff is actually super simple? (SEO folk like to pretend it’s difficult, but it’s really not!) A lot of the basic stuff is quite simple, albeit time-consuming, and in a lot of cases is actually enough to push you ahead of your competition.
We’ve actually published some free simple SEO tips for SMEs, check them out here and get back to us if you need any more advanced help.
#3 A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words
If you want people to invest their time and money in you, show them who you are. Throw some good team photos up on your site and add some employee profiles so your visitor knows exactly who they’re dealing with. Faces are trustworthy, end of.
#4 Ride The Wave Of Recommendations
If your friend tells you that Rob’s Garage is the place to go for changing your tyres, then where are you likely to go next time you need new tyres?
Well let’s just say there’s a good chance you’ll rock up at Rob’s Garage.
People tend to only write reviews when they’ve had a negative experience, or when something has exceeded their expectations. This means that when people take their time to recommend someone, chances are that they’ve received a really good service and that they got more than what they asked for.
I’ve got a fun fact for you, 89% of millennials trust recommendations from friends and family more than claims by a brand — 89%!
When someone recommends you, they’re essentially putting their reputation on the line. Recommendations are rocket fuel to your company’s authenticity.
Start asking your clients if they’re willing to give a short testimony. If they are happy with your work, chances are they’ll be more than happy to write up a short note on why you’re great.
Learn to harvest reviews and client testimonials, then use them on your website and social media channels to build trust.
#5 No More Dirty Little Secrets
Enough with the dodgy dealings behind closed doors. If we’ve learned anything over the last decade, it’s that secrets don’t stay secret — especially not when there’s money involved!
The fintech revolution was ignited by broken trust and entrepreneurs thinking: I can do better. Partially because of trust issues, an avalanche of transparent startups are coming up with new and innovative ways to bank, loan and move money.
If you fall on the traditional end of the financial services spectrum, you need to tie your laces and get to work! You need to prove that your company is worthy of time, money and trust.
#6 Share Your Expertise
Over 40% of millennials are more likely to trust an expert than an ad. The media landscape is changing drastically and marketing and advertising are both being turned upside down.
In marketing, inbound is the new black. Inbound marketing means creating stuff that attracts people and generates genuine interest in you, your business and your services. It’s about finding out what your audiences want to hear, what their problems and pain points are, and then about offering solutions.
Start a blog and build some street cred. If you regularly write genuinely interesting and insightful content, your audience will start paying attention to you.
So, six simple steps you can take right now to start building trust in your business. And once you’ve taken care of the trust factor, it’s onto fixing the rest of your marketing. If you want to learn more about modern marketing techniques, why not download our free eBook on inbound marketing today? It covers all the basics and teaches you how to set up a marketing campaign that’s designed and built for the digital era.