Influencer programs and building public trust

Barbarainfluencer program

Influencer programs can be a lever for building and sustaining trust. How well this works depends largely on how we enable influencers to build and convey trust in our brands. This is especially true given the global economic climate.

We know that influencers are trusted advisors. The question is, how are we enabling them to develop and convey trust in our brands. What kinds of stories, facts and insights are we sharing with them? Are we sharing the right points and conveying them in a compelling, repeatable and remarkable way?

Edelman last week released a mid-year update to their Trust Barometer. The study measures public trust in business and government. This latest survey finds an upswing in trust across the board in China, France, Germany, India, the UK and the US. It also hints at what adds up to trust in informed circles:

“Informed publics attribute increased trust in business to tangible actions that companies have taken in the past six months, giving the highest marks to repaying bailout money (81%), reducing CEO pay (80%), and firing non-performing management teams (78%).

“When asked what companies could do to rebuild trust in the long run, survey respondents put a mix of “hard and soft power” items at the top the list: treating employees well (94%), having transparent business practices (93%), and communicating frequently and honestly (91%) — along with maintaining quality products and services (93%), all of which far surpass increasing shareholder value (66%).”

Do a little of your own market research — whether surveys, focus groups or point conversations — to make sure your influencer program is aligned with the way your market thinks about trust.