This topic should already be a focus of your strategy because, ultimately, content marketing’s purpose is to build up familiarity and trust with your prospective customers.
If you don’t have trust and brand awareness, you won’t have customers either, or at least not for long.
Definition of Trust
Trust is a crucial element for customers and without it you can’t properly sell your product or service. Consider trust to be the filter that consumers use to evaluate you, your brand and product. Trust in its simplest form is:
a firm belief in reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something – Webster’s Dictionary.
Interesting Statistics about Trust
- 84% won’t consider a product that doesn’t pass their trust standards
- 71% don’t trust a brand that doesn’t provide promotion free information
- 83% trust brands that offer other resources through the entire purchase cycle (eBooks, Free Downloads, Brochures, Articles, Etc.)
- 82% aggregate and check information veracity
- 62% trust brands that help them use purchased products better (Trials, Free Training, Etc.)
Content Marketing Types
As a content marketer, you first need to understand the 4 types of content marketing and their purposes. Each type of content can and should be used for different reasons, with specific goals in mind.
Educational and instructional content includes content like how-to posts, instructional videos, podcasts, research posts, white papers and infographics.
Educational content is used to solve a problem, answer a question or to inspire an action. This type of content is extremely common, and is used on almost all websites.
This category includes content such as testimonials, video interviews, and blog posts showing an expertise, or social shares and comments doing the same. Consider expert content a way to validate yourself and your company. This type of content is great to showcase your authority on a particular subject.
Be careful not to brag or put yourself or your company on a pedestal though – people don’t want to see that either. Establish your company as an expert and an industrial leader by incorporating this type of content on your site or landing pages.
Curated content is content that you did not create, and includes content from other sources such as Google Alerts, industry newsletters, established blog writers, Scoop It, and any other outside source.
This type of content builds your reputation as a resource, increases your social following, and enhances your SEO. Search engines look for content you associate with, including your own and that from other experts.
Conversational and transactional content includes content such as landing page offers, calls-to-action buttons or images, email offers and sales promotions. This type of content is always paired with content from above and is surely not a stand-alone piece of content marketing.
This type of content needs validation from other areas online. This type of content is great to use along your sales funnel process to ultimately close the sale or simply get your contact to convert to the next step.
Build Trust with Content
When it comes to building trust with content marketing, smaller businesses actually have a leg up on the larger industry leaders. Smaller businesses have the ability to get up close and personal with readers online and target their customers at a micro level, while larger companies need to appeal to a wider audience. Building trust with content involves more than just writing quality and engaging content. Here are a few tips to take your quality content to the next level.
#1: Use Your Own Domain/Platform
Before you start building content, you need to have a place for it. This is typically the main domain you own – but other initiatives might fit better on a specific social network or on a “mini-site” that isn’t part of your main domain.
Effective content marketing takes a lot of work, thought and time. This means that you need to place most of your quality content on your own domain where you can control it.
This provides you many advantages, including being able to publish what you want, when you want, and to choose your own wording and images without restrictions.
#2: Don’t Over Advertise Your Product or Service
A large part of building trust is allowing your audience to develop a relationship with you.
One way of doing this is producing content that truly helps them – by answering a question, or offering them clear, honest and up front information.
You do not want to over advertise yourself or your product or service. It is imperative that you keep their needs in mind. If your content comes across to salesy or pushy, you will inherently lose trust and readership.
Ways around being to salesy are including personal stories, testimonials, guides, and helpful eBooks. These types of content pieces are a great way to give your reader something and become a resource for them.
Believe me; they will remember you when it is time to make a purchase or when they require your particular service.
#3: Do Your Research & Write about What You Know
It is sometimes easy to write about we want to and not about what our readers are really looking for. This is where research comes into play.
You need to find out what your targeted customers are looking for and write about what benefits them.
Stick to writing what you know about. If you have a topic you want to cover that you aren’t familiar with, either put the time in to learn or hire someone who knows. Readers can tell when you are faking it.
Writing with your audience in mind will always help with earning trust and provides value for your readers.
#4: Don’t Focus Too Much On Social Media
Your probably wondering why I say this when social media is all the rage right now. The point is that your content should first be written for your audience and your sites.
Your second thought should be how you can promote and repurpose the content you have already written.
#5: Create Buyer Personas
This has been touched on in other posts, but for different reasons. Creating a buyer persona is also a great way to build trust.
Buyer personas give you a leg up on your competition. By doing your research and building a persona, your target audience trusts you more because it will feel you are speaking directly to them and no one else.
I hope this information will help you begin to build more trust with your target audience.
Even though there are many aspects of content marketing to learn, building trust should be one of the techniques you learn first as it will give you the most value for your time and money spent.
“A relationship with no trust is like a cell phone will no service, all you can do is play games.” – Author Unknown