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Persuasion and Credibility

By Arun Mani – Web Analytics Master

Have a great product or service in the Asian market? You’ve conducted market research; you’ve done your surveys. Your potential customers have responded in the affirmative. They will buy your product or your service.
Excited with the results, you create a decent looking website. The website will act as your main marketing channel. You go live. You end up getting conversions, but they are substantially much smaller than what was expected. In frustration, you conduct additional marketing campaigns using Facebook Ads and Google AdWords.
Still, after your additional marketing there is no change in terms of conversions. You scratch your head, trying to figure out what is going on. In Asia, customers prefer known brands to unknown generic brands. A customer prefers going to a Burger King rather than an unknown Burger place. Newcomers need to build their brand name through credibility.
What is credibility? Simply put, credibility = perceived expertise + perceived trustworthiness. According to BJ Fob, who developed prominence interpretation theory:
a) Prominence – the user of your app or website notices something
b) Interpretation – the user makes a judgement about the thing he notices.
Credibility = prominence x interpretation. To increase the credibility impact of a website or app, find out the elements your target audience interprets most favorably and then make those elements most prominent.
Here are some guidelines to help make your website (or app) more credible:
1. Design the site or app to look professional. Visual design should match the site’s purpose
2. Make it easy to verify the accuracy of information on the site
3. Show that there is a real organization behind the site. For example, list a physical address in your contact page.
4. Highlight the expertise in your organization and in the content and services you provide.
5. Show that there are honest and trustworthy people behind your site: have employee bios, include info about hobbies
6. Make it easy to contact you
7. Make site easy to use and useful
8. Update the site content regularly
9. Use constraint with any promotional content (e.g. ads, offers)
10. Avoid errors of any type, no matter how small they seem. (e.g. misspellings, broken links)

Building a brand name takes time and effort. Maintaining your credibility is one key aspect of building a brand name.

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