Gaining the trust of your target audience is essential to your business’s success. Why? Nearly six out of ten consumers have recommended a brand they trust to people they know. Additionally, seven out of ten consumers are more likely to purchase from brands they trust.
So, how does content marketing build trust, and how can you use it to drive business growth? In this guide, we’ll provide you with actionable tips on how to use content marketing brand authority to build trust and genuinely connect with your audience.
Content Marketing and Brand Authority
Content marketing involves creating and distributing valuable, relevant, consistent content to attract and retain customers. Meanwhile, brand authority is built by people’s perception of your business as a trustworthy and expert source within your industry.
By consistently creating and distributing relevant and high-quality content, you can establish yourself as an authoritative brand in your industry and demonstrate your commitment to helping customers.
The Spectrum of Content Types
While content marketing can differentiate your brand as an authority in your industry, not all content is the same. There are various types of content you can use to build brand authority and trust with your audience, each serving a different purpose. To effectively use content marketing to become an authority, let’s explore the different types of content marketing.
Educational content aims to provide value to audiences by educating them on topics related to your brand or industry. When you consistently deliver relevant educational content that helps your audience, you can position your brand as a reliable, go-to resource.
Some popular types of educational content include how-to guides, video tutorials, and product demos.
Expert content allows you to share in-depth insights and industry knowledge. By providing expert content reliably and regularly, you can show your target audience that you’re well-versed in the field, boosting your brand’s credibility.
Some common types of expert content you can create include white papers, case studies, and industry reports.
For many businesses, particularly small businesses, it isn’t feasible to produce in-house, high-quality content regularly. That’s where curated content comes in. Curated content is high-quality, relevant content obtained from other sources.
By finding, filtering, and sharing the most up-to-date, relevant, and engaging curated content with your audience, you can establish your brand not only as an authority but as an invaluable resource to your target audience.
Some common types of curated content you can share include blog posts, an email newsletter with a roundup of the latest news from your industry, or a listicle highlighting key statistics from an industry report.
Building trust using content marketing isn’t one-sided. It’s a two-way street. Conversational content allows you to engage with your target audience by responding to your audience’s comments, answering questions, and addressing concerns.
By interacting with your target audience, you can demonstrate genuine interest in their feedback and build trust.
Some popular types of conversational content you can create include interactive webinars, social media posts, and live chats.
Thought leadership content positions you as an industry leader by highlighting your unique perspectives and insights on industry trends and challenges. It differs from other content marketing formats in that it allows you to demonstrate both your expertise and your thoughtfulness and forward-thinking.
By sharing your unique industry insights and perspectives through thought leadership content, you can differentiate your brand and position it as an authority in the industry, attracting new customers and partners.
Some common types of thought leadership content include comprehensive ebooks on a particular topic, in-depth white papers, and presentations at industry events.
Strategies to Build Trust Using Content Marketing
Trust is the cornerstone of any solid and long-lasting business relationship. Customers who trust your brand are more likely to purchase your products or services, become loyal customers, and recommend your brand to their friends and family.
Leveraging content marketing can be an excellent way to foster trust and authority with your audience. Bearing that in mind, here are some simple and effective ways to get started on content marketing for trust-building.
Offering Value Without Expectation
To build trust through content marketing, start with a selfless approach. Provide useful and informative content without expecting anything in return. By doing so, you’ll lay a strong foundation of trust, and your audience will be more inclined to engage with your content.
For instance, if you run a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business targeting business-to-business (B2B) buyers, you could create video tutorials showing your target audience how to use your software. Alternatively, you could host webinars to demonstrate how to use the software’s various features.
Inviting Audience Participation
Most consumers aren’t passive. They want to engage with brands. In fact, more than eight out of ten consumers want to develop a relationship with the brands they choose. Encouraging your audience to participate in your content marketing efforts can be an effective way to build trust and foster relationships.
Consistency in Publishing
Unlike a one-time advertising campaign, content marketing is a long-term strategy that requires continuous creation and distribution of valuable content. Consistently publishing content at expected intervals signals reliability. As a result, it can enable you to cultivate a loyal audience that trusts your brand as a reliable source of valuable and timely information.
Here are some effective ways to stick to a regular publishing schedule:
- Use a content calendar: Utilize a content calendar to track deadlines, brainstorm topics, and plan promotional strategies.
- Leverage curated content: Avoid content creation burnout by sharing curated content from reliable sources.
- Repurpose content: To maintain a consistent publishing schedule without adding to your workload, consider repurposing old content — particularly evergreen content. For instance, transform blog posts into videos or turn industry reports into social media posts.
- Automate tasks: Use marketing automation tools to streamline your content marketing workflow. You can use these tools to send personalized email newsletters, schedule social media posts, and manage your content calendar.
- Determine a realistic publishing schedule: Establish a feasible publishing frequency you can consistently maintain to avoid disappointing your audience or stretching yourself too thin.
Focusing on Authenticity and Relevance
Nine out of ten consumers prioritize authenticity when choosing brands to support. Yet, many brands strive to appear professional at the expense of authenticity. If you want to connect with your audience and build trust, focus on authenticity rather than perfection. For instance, if you create video content, consider including bloopers at the end of your videos to humanize your brand.
In addition to authenticity, if you want your content to resonate with your audience, make sure it’s relevant. Here are some things you can do to ensure you provide relevant content:
- Tailor content to audience intent: Consumers go through various stages before purchasing, from awareness to consideration to conversion. Provide tailor-made content for consumers at the different stages of the customer journey. For instance, you could provide consumers at the awareness stage with educational content to teach them more about your products or services.
- Analyze and refine: Use content marketing analytics tools to evaluate your content performance to identify what’s resonating with your audience and what’s not. Then use the data you obtain to tweak your content strategy.
Leveraging Customer Advocacy
Tapping into the power of customer advocacy can be a highly effective way to build trust with your audience. Why? More than seven out of ten consumers say positive reviews and testimonials increase their trust in a business.
So, invite your audience to share their reviews, testimonials, and experiences with your brand on your company website, social media platforms, or trusted third-party review sites. Doing so can allow you to leverage the power of social proof and bolster trust in your brand, particularly if you receive positive feedback.
Additionally, consider publicly acknowledging your brand advocates for their support via social media posts, email newsletters, or even during live events. By doing so, you might not only boost trust in your brand but also enhance customer loyalty.
Utilizing Owned Platforms for Content Distribution
Your owned platforms are the channels you control, such as your website, blog, and social media channels. By consistently providing valuable content through these channels, you reach your audience directly and control the narrative.
To maximize your content marketing efforts on owned platforms, promote your content across various owned platforms to reach a wider audience. Share blog posts on social media, embed links to your website in your YouTube videos, and include social media links in your email newsletters.
Tread Lightly on the Promotion of Your Products and Services
While your content should help you drive sales, err on the side of caution when using content to promote your products and services. Instead, focus on creating content that educates, entertains, and entertains your audience.
Though it might sound counterintuitive to create content that doesn’t directly promote your products and services, doing so can show your target audience you genuinely care about their well-being and satisfaction rather than just your bottom line.
Always Write for Humans and Not for Search Engines
When writing content for online publications, it’s easy to get caught up in search engine optimization tactics, such as keyword research and on-page optimization. While you should optimize your content for search engines to improve your search ranking, search engine optimization (SEO) should never take precedence over human-centered writing. Next, we’ll explore several ways you can write content that resonates with people.
Conduct Deep Dive Research on Your Audience
It’s essential to perform thorough audience research to connect with your audience. Identify your audience’s pain points, aspirations, and preferences. By developing a comprehensive understanding of your audience, you can craft content that resonates with them.
You can gather insights about your audience by examining website and social media analytics, running online polls, or even analyzing your competitors’ content marketing strategies. For instance, if you analyze your website analytics and notice that educational ”how-to” blog posts perform better than other posts, you might want to create more similar posts.
Engage Emotionally With the Reader
Maya Angelou once said that people may forget what you said or did, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel. Similarly, to create unforgettable content, you must make your audience feel emotions such as surprise, joy, or even rage.
Stories are an excellent way to connect emotionally with readers. By sharing personal anecdotes about your successes and failures, readers will be more likely to connect with you emotionally and develop trust in your brand.
And best of all? Stories that trigger emotional responses are more likely to be shared by readers, meaning they can enhance brand awareness.
Build a Clear Narrative
While stories are a great way to connect emotionally with audiences and cultivate trust, you must present them coherently to guide your readers and maintain their attention. To build a clear narrative, you should provide stories with a clear beginning, middle, and end.
Bearing that in mind, here’s a narrative format you could use if you’re creating a case study:
- Provide a setup: Give background facts about the company or customer you’re profiling. For instance, if you’re profiling a company, you could provide the company’s name, location, and industry.
- Present the challenge: State the challenge the customer or company you’re profiling faces. Challenges could include lost time, money, opportunities, or decreased employee productivity.
- Provide the solution: Explain how your business offers the solution to the customer or company’s problem.
- Highlight the results: Demonstrate how your solution relieved the customer or company you were profiling from their challenges.
Don’t Forget to Cite Your Sources
You’ll likely use statistics and facts from other sources when crafting content, particularly blog posts. Make sure you properly attribute these sources by providing external links to their websites or including a references section at the end of your blog posts. By properly citing your sources, you’ll not only demonstrate transparency and credibility but also earn your audiences’ trust.
What Steps Should You Take Next?
A relationship without trust is like a structure built on quicksand — sooner or later, it will collapse. Focus on providing your customers with valuable, relevant, and consistent content about your products or services. By doing so, you’ll create a loyal and trusting customer base that supports your brand.
Need help crafting engaging content that resonates with your audience? Get in touch with us today for a free content marketing strategy session.