When someone says “trust me,” that’s a sure sign you’d better not. In the case of trust, actions always speak louder than words. One point we always make to clients is that business relationships are built on trust. And it’s not by telling potential buyers to trust you, but by showing them why they can trust you when you deliver credible and appealing content that improves their lives.

Your web identity should be trustworthy, honest and approachable. The balance between buyer and seller has shifted, and to get the most out of the website you present to the world, you need to position your product where your customers are, not where you want them to be.

It is a fundamental change in the way companies attract and retain customers.

Nielsen’s latest Trust in Advertising Report reveals that more than ever, consumers vote for credence. Comparing results with its 2007 report, word of mouth is the most trusted source, followed by branded websites and opinions posted online.

It’s interesting to note that these sources are considered more reliable than editorial content, which follows at fourth place.

The old model of journalism is collapsing. Marketers can speak directly to consumers via brand websites, bypassing newspapers and magazines, which were once the holy grail of content placement.

The least believable advertisements, according to the report, are text ads on mobile phones, online banner ads, and display ads on mobile devices.So while consumers are using mobile to access information, the message is clear: pushing your agenda does not engender warm and fuzzy feelings among consumers. They are in the driver’s seat, and don’t want to be distracted from reaching their destination. If you’ve done your research, your trustworthy content is their journey’s end.

Consumers are more comfortable than ever with paid content, and consider it just fine for information gathering purposes. Across the board, compared to 2007, trust in advertising is up. Whether it’s ads before movies, opt-in emails or even brand sponsorship, there is more love to go around.