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Four Pillars of Trust -- Keynote

Text of BOLO2010 Ash

Search Engine Marketing: To Pay Or Not To Pay?

The 4 Pillars of Building Instant Trust Online

Tim Ash - CEO

@tim_ash

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Even with total strangers in the "real world," we at least have their appearance and body language to go by. But what do you do online? Almost anyone can quickly create a Web site or landing page and masquerade as a wide variety of businesses. Many of these enterprises are untrustworthy. We are often barraged in the media about various scams perpetrated online and have our guard up.

As an online marketer, your job is very difficult compared to your brick-and-mortar marketing counterpart. You must not only overcome anxieties, but do so in the most challenging of circumstances.

Online trust must be developed without any face-to-face contact, and it must be created instantly in the few precious seconds it takes a Web site visitor to evaluate your value proposition.

So how can you build instant trust online?

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Human beings are social creatures that seek out companionship and relationships.

Our map of reality can be viewed as a series of concentric circles which include the most trusted relationships and those who are in our hearts at the very center.

We crave trust.

Without it, we would be consigned to a world where we must examine everyone's actions with suspicion and assume that they are working only for their purposes and not ours.

Because of the sheer number of social interactions that we have with complete strangers, we must at least extend some trust.

Otherwise, many acts, both small and momentous, simply could not happen at all.

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Building Instant Trust Online

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Even with total strangers in the "real world," we at least have their appearance and body language to go by. But what do you do online? Almost anyone can quickly create a Web site or landing page and masquerade as a wide variety of businesses. Many of these enterprises are untrustworthy. We are often barraged in the media about various scams perpetrated online and have our guard up.

As an online marketer, your job is very difficult compared to your brick-and-mortar marketing counterpart. You must not only overcome anxieties, but do so in the most challenging of circumstances.

Online trust must be developed without any face-to-face contact, and it must be created instantly in the few precious seconds it takes a Web site visitor to evaluate your value proposition.

So how can you build instant trust online?

Must be done instantly

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Even with total strangers in the "real world," we at least have their appearance and body language to go by. But what do you do online? Almost anyone can quickly create a Web site or landing page and masquerade as a wide variety of businesses. Many of these enterprises are untrustworthy. We are often barraged in the media about various scams perpetrated online and have our guard up.

As an online marketer, your job is very difficult compared to your brick-and-mortar marketing counterpart. You must not only overcome anxieties, but do so in the most challenging of circumstances.

Online trust must be developed without any face-to-face contact, and it must be created instantly in the few precious seconds it takes a Web site visitor to evaluate your value proposition.

So how can you build instant trust online?

Must be done anonymously

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Even with total strangers in the "real world," we at least have their appearance and body language to go by. But what do you do online? Almost anyone can quickly create a Web site or landing page and masquerade as a wide variety of businesses. Many of these enterprises are untrustworthy. We are often barraged in the media about various scams perpetrated online and have our guard up.

As an online marketer, your job is very difficult compared to your brick-and-mortar marketing counterpart. You must not only overcome anxieties, but do so in the most challenging of circumstances.

Online trust must be developed without any face-to-face contact, and it must be created instantly in the few precious seconds it takes a Web site visitor to evaluate your value proposition.

So how can you build instant trust online?

You Dont Know Jack!

Or Mary

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You dont know Jack, or Mary or the other anonymous visitors who constantly flit across your landing page.Your guesses about their wants & needs simply cant be good enough.

And They Dont Know You

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The Four Pillars

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Even with total strangers in the "real world," we at least have their appearance and body language to go by. But what do you do online? Almost anyone can quickly create a Web site or landing page and masquerade as a wide variety of businesses. Many of these enterprises are untrustworthy. We are often barraged in the media about various scams perpetrated online and have our guard up.

As an online marketer, your job is very difficult compared to your brick-and-mortar marketing counterpart. You must not only overcome anxieties, but do so in the most challenging of circumstances.

Online trust must be developed without any face-to-face contact, and it must be created instantly in the few precious seconds it takes a Web site visitor to evaluate your value proposition.

So how can you build instant trust online?

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Appearance

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First impressions matter. We do judge a book by its cover. Recent research indicates that people will form an initial impression of your landing page or Web site within 50 milliseconds. This is almost as fast as visual processing happens in the brain, and can be considered an instantaneous and automatic response. In other words, we subliminally decide where the page falls on our "cheesy" to "professional" continuum. And this initial reaction extends to a more considered review of the page, and will impact our likelihood of taking the desired conversion action.

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Would You Buy A Grand Piano From This Site?

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The visual equivalent of shooting an Uzi at your face.

Dont get disqualified based solely on how you look

Professionalism of design Sparseness and neatness Organization and clarity

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We prefer well-dressed and groomed job candidates. We try to put our best foot forward on first dates. The same should be done online.

Professionalism of design: Regardless of the intended audience or your business purpose, the visual design should be professionally executed. It should hang together and function as a single unified whole. Fonts, colors, and graphical elements must combine into a single visual "look."

Sparseness and neatness: Clutter can be your worst enemy, whether it is visual embellishments, or dense, longwinded text. Less is more. Ruthlessly edit everything on the page until it is pared to its essence and has a natural and unforced feel. Give your page room to breathe.

Organization and clarity: Too many choices of what to do on the page can be paralyzing. Similarly, a disorganized page increases the visitor's "cognitive load" and forces them to spend time simply trying to figure out in what order they should digest the information that you have presented. As the title of Steve Krug's excellent book on Web usability so elegantly puts it - "Don't Make Me Think!" and see where things go from there.

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Transactional Assurances

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Will we be spammed if we enter our e-mail in a form? Will the goods promised ever be delivered after we order from an online catalog? Will our very identity be stolen? Such questions are always in the background when we navigate around the Web.

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Example - Unhelpful Risk Reducers

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Example - Helpful Risk Reducers

Relieve point-of-action anxietiesbefore they arise

Forms of payment and delivery Data security and privacy Policies and guarantees

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Authority

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Your visitors are not likely to have heard of you. Unless you represent a truly world-class consumer company, people are unlikely to know your brand promise. They do not know what you stand for.

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Before

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After

+ 51% + $48,000,000

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This is a bottom line and strategic issue. It is not some acronym-laden techno-babble voodoo cooked up by your interactive agency. You cant ignore or delegate it.As more and more of your business moves online, how you treat your Web visitors will determine your future trajectory.You are not going to like what I have to say, but you need to hear it.At the end of this presentation, I am also going to ask you to make two commitments.But lets start with a couple of insults and see where things go from there.

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Original page

Email special-offer landing page

Sins committed: Unclear call to action Visual distractions Too much text Lack of trust symbols

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Reworked landing page after SiteTuners Express Review

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AttentionWizard.com - before

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AttentionWizard.com - after

+84%

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Why should I trust you & transact with you?

Common issues:Lack of endorsements No social proof (testimonials)Trust symbols are not prominent Assurances are presented too late in the process

The Fix: Borrow and Solidify TrustFeature well-known trust symbols prominentlyUse client logos/brands/media coverage as badgesRemove anxiety with generous policies & guarantees

Borrow trustFrom better-known brands

Reviews and awards Marquee clie