The Trust-Based Marketing Handbook

It really shouldn't be so hard to attract new customers, right?

Remember how great it felt when you'd receive a response to one of your cold emails? Or when you could actually get through to a decision-maker on the phone. Or when a Facebook ad was able to generate a direct sale!

Getting someone to pay attention used to be (dare we say) easy. Then things changed.

Now, no matter how much you pay Google and Facebook to bring you a new website visitor, they don't stick around for very long. And of those who explore your site, very few actually go on to become customers.

Yet, you keep trying. You test new ad campaigns. New email copy. New sales pitches.

But nothing is working anymore. Why?

Because it’s not just you that's trying to steal their attention – it’s everyone!

In 2019, roughly 25.8% of internet users were blocking advertising on their devices. If we don't have a blocker installed, we're learning to subconsciously filter ads out.


Ads and sales pitches are no longer effective at attracting customers.

Your customers live in a world of infinite options.  There’s too much noise and too many choices.

There are 300 million photos being uploaded to social media each day and 500 hours of video content is produced every minute.

Your customers are being bombarded with content and ads. Their attention spans are shrinking and they don't know where to look. Or, who to trust.

The traditional marketing messages that come directly from you are no longer effective.  And the tactics you use to push them towards a sale, like ads or sales calls, only serve to drive them further away.

Only 3% of people say they trust a sales person and only 1% say advertising is likely to make them trust a brand.

The world has changed and you need to adapt.

Today, your customers have all the power. They get to decide who they want to do business with. And if they don’t trust you – you have zero chance.

Of course, ads are vital for making an audience aware of your business. They aren't going away.

But to truly motivate and capture the attention of customers, you have to instil trust. And not through what you say, but through your actions as conveyed by others.

You are no longer selling a product or service. You are selling trust.

We are living in an attention economy and the new currency is trust.


Trust-Based Marketing

With trust-based marketing, rather than exposing people to sales pitches and ads, the most successful businesses are capturing the stories that convey trustworthiness and infusing them into every stage of the customer's journey.


Trust-Based Marketing
An approach to marketing where businesses source, capture, and distribute authentic content that instils trust throughout the buyers' journey.

Capture stories that convey trust & infuse them into every stage of the buyer's journey.


How trust-based marketing is used

The majority of trust-based marketing happens online. Most of these efforts rely on surfacing raw stories from your customers, your employees, and yourself. The stories you collect are then sprinkled throughout your marketing funnel to reinforce trust.


Marketing Funnel
A model for turning leads into customers by breaking down the buyer's journey all the way from the “awareness” phase (when they first learn about your business), through the "consideration" phase (when they are evaluating your offering) to the “decision” stage (when they're ready to buy your product or service).

Building your brand on social media

Trust-based marketing is most effective when authentic content is being shared by your customers, your employees, and yourself (in that order).

To drive awareness with a high level of trust, use organic social to share the stories that give your product or brand a personal, authentic touch. Share behind-the-scenes content or tell your story.

Remember, you aren't trying to make a sale. All you're trying to do here is build an audience that trusts you.

Increasing website conversions

When you attract visitors to your website, they are usually at the consideration stage of their journey. Not only are they questioning whether your product or service will provide the solution they're after, but they also want to know if they can trust your business.

So, it's important that you use the relevant stories you've collected from successful customers as social proof in order to instil confidence in your visitors and to help them make a decision.


Social Proof
Customers want to know that you’ve helped other businesses overcome their same challenges. When they recognise themselves in another business you’ve worked with, it provides evidence that you have the ability to help them succeed too.

Where to source content that builds credibility and trust

The majority of trust-based marketing happens online. Most of these efforts rely on surfacing raw stories from your customers, your employees, and yourself. The stories you collect are then sprinkled throughout your marketing funnel to reinforce trust.

1. Your Team

A great way to establish trust at the consideration stage is by giving your potential customers a sense of the people they'll be working with in your company.

Your customers want to do business with people they like, so take the time to show off the human side of your team.

2. Your Customers

Your customers will always be your best sales people, so make it easy for them to create content that builds trust about your business.

Ask for testimonials and feedback at every touch point, and reach out to happy customers for user generated content – video always works great here!

3. Yourself

Get into the habit of telling your own story or adding value through educational content and thought leadership.

Consistency is crucial, so make sure you block off time to reflect on a challenge you've recently overcome and turn that into powerful content that resonates with your audience.

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