Why are reviews and testimonials so important these days? Why are they everywhere on the internet? In a word: “Trust”.
Naturally, consumers need to be reassured that brands and companies are going to give them value for their money.
Integrity plays a significant role in this. A business that stands by its philosophies is one that deserves to be trusted. But integrity requires action – you have to demonstrate it.
An authentic content is one that demonstrates your brand’s integrity and, as a result, wins your audience trust.
A study done by Bonfire Marketing found that as many as 63 percent of customers will opt for an authentic brand when making a purchase. By the same token, you cannot properly sell your product without trust.
Definition of Trust
Ask any successful brand, they will say: “Trust is a crucial element for consumers”. Because they know TRUST is what helps them properly sell their products.
Also, let’s say, trust is the ideal tool consumers use to evaluate you, your brand and product.
Simply put, trust is:
A firm belief in reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something – Webster’s Dictionary.
Content Marketing Trust Defined
Interesting Statistics about Trust
With That Said, What Can Brands do to Gain Trust?
If offering help is a sure way to win consumers trust, then it makes sense for brands to start considering another approach to their content marketing. I’ll suggest we stop putting all our effort on advertising and start helping.
By all standards, content marketing is helpful. Here’s a nice definition of content marketing endorsed by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI):
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action”.
Here are 9 smart tips for building trust with content marketing:
1: Start from Your Own Domain/Platform
Before you kick-off with content development, you need to have a domain/platform to host it. And this should be the domain you own and have access to. Other platforms like social networks or a mini-site work too. But, having a platform for hosting your content should come first.
The truth is: effective content marketing requires a lot of effort, strategy and time. And that means you need to publish most of your quality content on a domain/platform you own where you can easily control it.
It then becomes sweet and easier to share that content on social networks, Slideshare, Tumblr blogs, the list can go on.
This approach gives you three great advantages, like:
#1. You can publish what you want.
#2. You can publish when you want.
#3. You can choose your own wording and images without restrictions.
Make sense, right?
2: Create the Right Content
You are already on your way into your audience heart if you can create the type of content they need. The content that can provide all the answers they need to their questions.
If the content you create can provide a solution to your audience problem, then there is a good chance they will trust your brand
Here are simple tips to create the right content for your audience:
- Define Your Audience – Start by creating an audience segmentation, preferably two personas: those you are targeting to buy your products – thebuyers;and those who will always read and share your content – the readers. Therefore, the first thing you must do is to develop a persona for each so that you’ll know the right content to send.
Source: Buffer Social Blog
- Choose the Right Format. The format of your content is a big factor to whether your audience will enjoy it or not. So, choose the format that will appeal to your audience. It will not help you win your audience trust, but it can be a glue to make them stick around.
Source: Content Marketing Institute
- Use Eye-Catching Headlines. You see, you cannot win your audience trust unless you first engage with them. And how can you make that happen? Create eye-catching headlines. Eye-catching headlines make people INQUISITIVE and make them want to click your headline to see the whole package.
- Embed Visuals assets (images, reports, infographics, and videos) Where Possible. Research shows that 65% of senior marketing executives believe that visual assets play a very significant role on how their message is communicated to the audience. For example, a content with helpful images and videos is likely to be consumed in full than a flat wall of text. So it makes sense to add some to your content where possible.
3: Ensure the Quality of Your Content
Let’s face it: a lot of content out there is not “worth reading”. They don’t make any sense. They are full of errors. Trust me, if your content is one of them, no one is going to take a look at your content twice. A lot of your readers have a short attention span so it takes a few seconds and your introductory paragraph to prove yourself worthy of their time. So make it count and build trust.
Below are some tips to ensure high-quality content:
- Check for Grammar, Spelling, Usage, and Scannability. A content that is brimming with grammatical or spelling mistakes will eventually irritate your audience. So don’t just write your content and publish it right away. Read through the content over and over to spot any glaring errors. Proofreading tools such as Grammarly or Hemingway Editor can be of help too.
- Your Content Must be Unique and Well-Researched. A report from SocialMediaExaminer shows that more than half of marketers prefer original written content. People enjoy content that is well-researched and original. This awesome article from Kissmetrics will be a good guide on writing a unique and well-researched content.
- Provide Proofs. People will trust you when you cite real-life examples in your content. Essentially, proofs help you strengthen the message that you want to communicate to your audience.
- Cite Your Sources Accordingly. When citing researches and statistics, try tolink them in your content. Your readers might want to challenge the truthfulness of your claims by checking the sources. If you don’t do this, you might have your audience throwing your content out the window.
4: Be Honest
Have you ever fell into that temptation: seeing a title that caught your attention that you couldn’t help but click on it, eventually, the content turns out to be something different or misleading?
How did you felt?
Very disappointed, right?
Now, it’s your turn. But, don’t do that. If you do, you’re lying to your audience the same way you were lied to. And that will make your audience not trust you. They will exit your page as fast as possible.
Of course, you should craft catching headlines, but it shouldn’t be for the purpose of misleading your audience. The content must deliver the promises of the headline.
5: Resolve Consumer Grievances
When a customer has a complaint, act on it as fast as you can. Doing this will make your customer see you and your brand as authentic.
Don’t be pompous. Try to apologize and correct what you can. This shows you are ready to let your business take the back seat while’s you provide a value-driven product or service to your customers.
We all make mistakes. But, our customers are always right.
78% of people are more likely to trust the information shared by the people they know. So, it makes sense to create highly-shareable content.
Here are some important tips to ensure that your content is shareable.
- Connect to Emotion. There are hundreds of ways to trigger the emotions of your audience. It could be through sentiment, humor, argument, or opinions. You can also use thought-invoking images
Example of a thought-invoking image
- Newsjacking – Newsjacking is the practice of using trending topics in your content. It’s like sponging on the topic people are already discussing in various social media channels. If done right, this can increase your trust in your audience.
Example of a Newsjacking Article
7: Be Sincerely Interested in Your Audience
Take every opportunity to engage your audience and build a quality relationship. Listen to what they say. Put yourself in their shoes and see their problems.
When readersleave a message through your site contact form, do well to respond politely and quickly. Don’t leave them hoping when you will reply to their messages. Be sincerely open to their ideas, thoughts, and comments. See someone who is engaging with your content as a strong lead. And if you make promises, always fulfill it.
8: Demonstrate Transparency
Transparency is very essential for you, your brand, investors, and your consumers. One way to demonstrate transparency is letting consumers know you’re using their data and asking them questions.
The more information you give to your consumers, the less they will be cynical to find out the truth somewhere else.
9: Use Social Proof on Your Website
Social proof may seem too easy to implement in your content marketing. But guess what? It works. See it as an elegant meeting point between marketing and psychology.
Want to know how effective social proofs are? See the image below:
I strongly suggest you have at least one social proof on every page on your website. But, multiple social proofs work best.
Where Content Marketing Fits Into the Trust Equation
There is no doubt that if you want to ride on the wave to win consumers trust, you have to create useful, relevant and consistent content. You’ve to provide real information and resourceful content with the view of building trust with your consumers.
Marty Neumeier states in his book, The Brand Gap,
“A brand is not what you say it is. It’s what they say it is”.
I hope you will use this FREE information to build more trust with your target audience?
I hope so!
“A relationship with no trust is like a cell phone will no service, all you can do is play games.” – Author Unknown
Make you and your brand real, and we’ll stick around forever (except you give us a reason not to).
P.S: If you have any other tips for building trust with your content marketing, please share it.
- 9 Tips for Building Trust with Your Content Marketing - April 8, 2019