Establishing credibility and trust in your industry is crucial to your overall success as a brand. Brands that stand the test of time have firmly established this with their customers.
But just like with so many things in life, it’s not an overnight process—it takes time and the right strategy. A vital component of this strategy is your content marketing. Read on as we show you 9 strategic ways to build credibility and trust with your content marketing.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a form of indirect marketing aimed at creating, publishing, and distributing content for targeted audiences online. It usually involves a combination of different content types like videos, blogs, and social media posts.
Content marketing is huge these days as content has become a vital part of a business’s success. Both B2B and B2C businesses are using content to drive brand awareness to sell products and services.
A business must be visible online to grow, stand out, and prosper. And content makes you visible.
Create a Content Marketing Strategy
A content marketing strategy—also known as a content plan—is your brand’s first step in laying down the foundation for building trust and credibility. Hiring an expert to do one for your business will save you tons of time.
A content marketing strategy is one of your businesses’ most important documents that lays down the blueprint for:
- The who (who you’re targeting and even team member assigned to the project)
- The what (types of content: blogs, podcasts, videos, etc.)
- The when (timelines for delivery of content)
- The how (channels and mediums used to distribute content)
Create Valuable Content that is Highly Targeted
As a brand, you must always be thinking, “how can I give my customers more value than anyone else so they will keep coming back for more?” The answer: provide amazing value with each piece of content you create.
Customers are hungry for quality content—so satisfy that hunger. This is content that is not only done well (free from errors) but is factual and provides answers and solutions. Remember, customers are always searching for solutions. Consider the following:
- Create each piece of content with a purpose
- Create content that is: educational, entertaining, or interesting
- Ensure each piece of content reaches your target audience
- Have a balance of free and paid content for your customers
- Have a variety of content: blogs, podcasts, videos, etc.
Build Lasting Relationships with Your Customers
Gone are the days when brands were more transactional with their customers. In today’s world, this will dilute your credibility and trust. Today’s customers are more discerning and expect a lot more from brands.
Invest in building long-term relationships with customers through meaningful content and let go of the transactional mentality. You can be authentic and treat your customers like friends but still maintain professional standards.
Brands that have high credibility and trust have well-established relationships with their customers. You can accomplish this by:
- Taking the time to learn your audience
- Listening to their needs, desires, objections, and frustrations
- Providing great customer service, pre- and post-purchase
- Reaching out to them to let them know you’re here for them
- Rewarding customers, especially loyal customers, with incentives and giveaways
Be Consistent with Your Content Marketing
It’s not enough to have outstanding or even award-winning content marketing—you must be consistent. Have a schedule in place and stick to it and ensure you have a cohesive and congruent brand message throughout all your different channels.
Without consistency, you risk coming across as disingenuous and unreliable, which is detrimental to building trust and credibility. Customers want brands that are consistent in their messaging and content production. Consistency will also help make you more visible on all channels.
Inject Personality and Flair into Your Content Marketing
The digital space is heavily saturated with brands competing for attention. This means you need to set yourself apart to stand out from the crowd. One of the best ways to do this is to inject personality and flair into your content marketing.
Don’t just be another brand. Be a brand that has a great personality that customers will find relatable. Be different and think differently, like Steve Jobs did with Apple. Jobs transformed the Apple brand, not just with his innovative thinking but also with his willingness to show his personality.
Even if you’re not as big of a brand as Apple, you can still showcase your personality.
- Fuse your personality into your brand and its messaging
- Show people what you stand for
- Be innovative and always think outside the box
- Surprise customers with great ideas that meet their desires
Showcase Your Core Values in Your Content Marketing
Customers are becoming more selective and discerning with whom they do business, and many won’t do business with brands that don’t have good values.
There is an increased desire to buy from socially responsible brands and care about causes like the environment, sustainability, human rights, etc. Brands that align themselves with good causes naturally generate twice as much trust and credibility than brands that don’t.
Business is a powerful tool that can be used to change our world for good.
So how can you showcase your core values?
- Make sure to talk about your values in your content marketing – blogs, videos, social media posts, etc.
- Have your values listed on your website and other channels
- Align your brand with a social cause that you care about
- Be authentic by showing that you genuinely care about your customers and their social causes
- Gather feedback about what your customers would like your brand aligned with
Provide Social Proof in Your Content Marketing
Along with producing factual and original content that isn’t plagiarized, providing social proof in your content marketing is an absolute must.
Customers want to know that they are doing business with a legitimate company that can walk the walk. This is where social proof comes in. It basically shows that “I am what I say I am and do what I say I do.”
To gather social proof:
- Get customer testimonials
- Show ratings and reviews
- Get expert mentions
- Have influencer endorsements
- Use word of mouth
- Feature in quality guest posts or podcasts or vlogs
- Have brands with aligned values link to your company/website
Be Transparent with Your Content Marketing
Being transparent is crucial not just for your customers but also for your employees, investors, and stakeholders. It’s the extra layer on top of social proof, and all brands should invest in it.
This doesn’t mean, of course, that you throw caution to the wind and start sharing business secrets and confidential information with everyone. It means you always conduct yourself honestly and ethically, so people want to do business with you, engage with you, and endorse your brand.
Consider implementing the following:
- Letting customers know how you use their data
- Putting in measures to stringently protect your customer’s privacy
- Always ask your customer’s permission to share their information
- Own up to your mistakes
Personalize Your Content Marketing
Customers want to feel special and want to feel like you’re talking directly to them. So, speak to your customers directly and personalize your communication with them.
Too many brands make it about themselves and talk “me.” Turn it around and talk, “you.” Brands that talk “you” naturally attract higher customer loyalty as customers feel that the brand understands them and is talking to them one-on-one.
Try the following:
- Use “you” across your brand messaging & content
- Personalize emails, campaigns, and promotions with customer names
- Contact customers on their birthdays (offer gift cards, incentives, etc.)
- Use active voice (direct) instead of passive voice (indirect) when possible
Once you begin implementing these 9 ways to build your credibility and trust with your content marketing, you’ll start seeing a high ROI. For more expert help on using content marketing to build trust and credibility, book time with our team today.