Why? It creates a loyal customer base that will engage with your brand and commit to purchase over an extended period of time.
That sounds pretty good, right? Well, we’ve had a closer look at building trust through content marketing, to make sure we’ve covered all the basics. Want to know more? Read on:
Why is building trust through content marketing important?
According to Shoppercentric’s latest report, 46% of people are cynical. They find it hard to trust others – fair enough, there are some shady people out there!
However, this affects marketers as this distrust extends to brands. Many consumers think brands don’t put their interests first and are unwilling to trust them. Without trust, they don’t engage with a brand or buy its products, and the brand suffers.
So, why is content marketing the best tool for building consumer confidence and trust? Well, that’s what it was designed for.
By creating content that appears across various channels, targets audience segments, their position in the sales funnel and their needs, we put the audience first and start to build a relationship.
Building trust through content marketing is a long process that requires marketers to support visitors all the way through the buying cycle. However, it makes a huge difference, so you should really consider it sooner rather than later.
How do I build trust with content marketing?
Building trust with content marketing can be a bit of a balancing act. You don’t want to seem too eager, but you don’t want to appear distant at the same time.
We’ve come up with some ideas for building trust with content marketing that take this into account. Have a look:
1. Provide value in the long term
We all know that discounts and promotions are a core part of the sales approach. They offer quick wins and can be very effective in the short term.
However, they can also affect how much your audience trusts you in the long term. If you run too many offers, customers might start to ask:
- Why don’t you offer that price all the time?
- Is the promotion really as good as it sounds?
The last one’s important – we’re sure you’ve been in a supermarket trying to work out if the ‘3 for 2’ offer is better than the ‘buy one get one free’. 59% of people say it’s the most annoying thing supermarkets and e-commerce stores do, and we’re inclined to agree!
So how do you fix this and provide value in the long term?
Start off by explaining all the elements of an offer you’re running (e.g. how long it’s running for, which item(s) it applies to) and consider offering a price guarantee. This will give your audience peace of mind and help build trust.
Loyalty schemes are a further way of providing value and building trust through content marketing – especially if they offer personalised rewards and valuable content.
2. Be honest and transparent
No one likes brands who’re sneaky – so you need to be honest and transparent at all times. 94% of consumers say that transparency can impact purchase decisions, so it’s a very big deal.
It can be tempting when you’re keen to sell, or during a time of bad publicity, to fudge the truth a little or hold back on the information you provide.
This is a bad move! Remember Ryan Air cancelling its flights? Its website was super-unhelpful and annoyed customers even further! The airline definitely lost a lot of trust from this!
Honesty and transparency are essential to building trust with content marketing. To help with this, you could use customer reviews and case studies to prove your worth.
Your customers are much more inclined to believe ‘social proof’; 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. A whopping 74% say that positive reviews can make them trust a business more, so what are you waiting for?
This approach to building trust through content marketing should be a key part of your strategy. It can improve customer retention and bring new customers in. For example, McDonalds ‘Our food. Your questions’ campaign addressed common public concerns by providing facts about its food, and saw an uptake in orders. Result!
3. Respond quickly
If you have poor customer service, or if customers can’t get in touch with you, trust will break down.
Building trust through content marketing relies on getting content out when the customer needs it. So, it’s no surprise that social media is an excellent platform for this.
On a public forum, everyone can see what you’re up to. This holds you accountable for your actions, but also informs most of your audience of any issues or important information.
With social media, speed really is of the essence. 47% of consumers expect a response within an hour of posting, 84% say no longer than a day!
Responses should be personal, engaging and even humorous (if appropriate). They are your chance to prove you’re interested in your audience and that you’re reliable and trustworthy. Don’t screw it up!
4. Become an authority
By building trust through content marketing, you’ll quickly become an authority in your industry – especially if you concentrate on thought-leadership content.
Creating high-quality authoritative content, connecting with influential figures and developing a consistent voice/tone will help your strategy for creating a loyal, trusting customer base. It also means it’s more likely that your content will be shared, so it’s a win-win!
What can break trust (and how do I avoid this)?
So, we’ve discussed how to start building trust through content marketing. Now, we’re going to tell you how you can break it. This may seem counter-intuitive, but we believe if you know the risks, you’ll be better prepared against them. Take a look:
1. Too much content on your site
Your audience needs to be able to find the information it wants quickly and easily. If it can’t, it will disengage with your brand and think you can’t deliver what you promise.
Make sure your site layout is easy to understand, navigate and has a logical structure. Once you’ve got that sorted, your audience will start to trust you again.
2. Dated websites
Old reviews, old content and a lack of updates are big ‘red flags’ for users browsing your site!
They’ll either think that you’re no longer trading, or that you just don’t care about your website. Neither is particularly good for getting users on side and building trust through content marketing.
Update your site now to ensure you remain relevant and trustworthy.
3. Bad copy
If you don’t take time and care when creating content, it will contain errors. Whether in spelling, grammar, punctuation or just bad writing, your visitors will switch off instantly.
They won’t trust you as a professional outfit, so probably won’t move any further down the sales funnel.
To fix this, make sure you’re following a process for creating awesome content and get someone to check your content before it goes live. You should also audit your old stuff to make sure it sticks to the rules – if it doesn’t, it’s time to update.
4. Fake news and inaccuracies
Now more than ever, people are aware of fake news and misleading content. Instinctively they don’t trust what they see online, so it’s your job to prove that what you’re saying is true.
Back up your content with links to reputable sources, statistics and anything else you think may help. Double check everything you include, otherwise an error might slip through and effect the potency of the rest of your content.
Building trust through content marketing relies on your site having specific elements. If they’re not there, the trust goes and so does your audience.
You need social proof and testimonials because an audience wants evidence that you’re a good company. Audiences like to see trust-seals because they verify your company and bring peace of mind. Your audience also wants to see all charges upfront; hidden charges (like shipping) cause 71% of abandoned check outs, so this is one to avoid.
All of these factors affect your credibility and your trustworthiness, so it’s best to be aware of them.
And that’s it: building trust through content marketing isn’t too hard, there are just several areas to consider. Start making changes now, and you’ll soon have a strong and trustworthy brand your clients will rely on (whoopee)!