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The New New Thing Podcast: Adam Buchanan and the Matter of Trust

Sharmin Kent March 26, 2018

Welcome back to The New New Thing! We’re kicking off the second season of our podcast with a new episode, a new format, and new insights on how paid social can be used to build trust between brands and their audiences.

Our season two opener features Adam Buchanan, a social marketing veteran who’s worked with big outdoor brands like Columbia Sportswear and Cabela’s. Today, Adam consults with brands and helps them develop campaigns that foster trust on both sides of the relationship.

Adam’s been in digital marketing for the majority of his career, and his current work centers on the importance of trust. The big three takeaways from today’s episode:

Building Blocks of Trust

After working with retail brands for more than ten years, Adam’s formula for success in social media marketing includes proximity, honesty and expertise. Brands that can show their knowledge of the products they sell and the people who buy them can start to build trust. “That’s how we need to be thinking, versus emotional, and how I can get them excited.”

Choose Authentic Influencers

Influencer marketing is effective in paid social, but only if the influencers and the brand they represent are trustworthy. “Caroline Gleich is one of the strongest athletes right now in skiing and mountain climbing,” Adam said. Gleich is outdoor brand Patagonia’s skiing ambassador. The relationship works, Adam believes, because Caroline is on board with the company’s mission of quality products and environmental advocacy.

Building Partnerships, Not Advertisements

Adam also believes the best influencer marketing works because they relationships are built on mutual respect and expertise. Still, he says, keeping focused can be a challenge. “When money enters the conversation, authenticity quickly leaves,” he said. To build trust on paid social, it’s critical to demonstrate the value of the product, the brand and the ambassador.

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