For quite some time, SEO has been the marketing industry’s biggest buzzword. Improving your search engine performance and securing high rankings, which relate to chosen keywords, has been top priority.
Marketers all over the world have been aiming to achieve superior SEO results through various means, from keyword density and external link building to title and meta description tags.
However, it has become apparent in the past few years that nothing quite beats content. Whether it’s a blog post, how-to guide, infographic, video, case study, ebook or email newsletter, content is the most powerful tool at a marketer’s disposal.
But while creating and distributing content is all very well and good when it comes to enhancing visibility, attracting customers and ultimately improving sales, should building brand trust be another key objective? Of course it should! Here’s why…
Standing out from the crowd
The amount of new content created everyday is quite remarkable. In fact, an eye-opening infographic over at Mashable reveals how much data is generated every minute.
WordPress users are said to post 347 new blogs, Tumblr blog owners publish 27,778 new posts and Google receives over 2,000,000 search queries. While these figures are fairly unbelievable, this infographic was generated around 18 months ago. So what is it like now?!
In terms of discovering new content, it is clear to see that we are spoilt for choice. Entering a certain keyword or searching for a particular topic will yield all manner of pages, sources and solutions.
Therefore, catching the audience’s attention and standing out from the crowd is of the upmost importance. Helping and educating others through tailor-made content will inevitably encourage trust and help achieve this goal.
Creating beneficial content should be top priority for any brand’s marketing strategy. New and returning customers want a useful and valuable resource that they can engage with and share among others. Keeping on top of content and constantly producing new copy is important, but an emphasis on quality is paramount.
So how do we build brand trust through content marketing…
Target audience and set objectives
You will no doubt have a target market for your product or service. These prospective customers should be at the forefront of your mind when creating content. Who will be reading or viewing this content? And perhaps most importantly, why are they reading or viewing this content?
If you have a definite idea of the audience in question, it will be much easier to produce relevant content and in turn, build trust.
It is also a good idea to have specific objectives and goals in mind. For the purposes of this blog, we are looking at building a relationship with the audience and trying to instil confidence and belief in the brand. But is that your only aim? Do you want the audience to visit your website or sign up to a newsletter?
Whatever your intentions may be, try not to push prospective customers too hard, too soon. Essentially, building trust is one of the first things that must be achieved, which might not happen if your content feels too much like a sales pitch.
Type of customised content
According to a post on Custom Content Council, seven out of ten customers like customised content, as it is tailored to their specific interests. Therefore, you’ll have a better chance of building trust if you produce something that explicitly concerns the customer.
Furthermore, demonstrating that you are a leading authority in the industry with content relating to current trends or developments is a great way to generate confidence. It is easy for anyone to research a certain topic or subject, but by providing real-life examples and telling customer stories, trust will undoubtedly be achieved.
Secondly, you’ll need to decide upon the type of content. Emailed newsletters and case studies might be more appropriate for B2B marketing, while blog posts, infographics and videos will appeal to individual consumers.
Promotion and engagement
Again, it is important to pay close attention to the promotion of content. The audience needs to be aware that you have produced something useful and interesting, but constantly spamming potential customers is not a good idea.
Having said that, if the audience struggles to access your content or does not view it altogether, there are very few reasons to trust your brand.
Research what channels and platforms your audience is most active on. High-level executives might be reading their emails early in the morning, but followers on Facebook or Twitter may not be checking their feeds until the evening. Understanding where and when to promote content will lead to greater visibility and ultimately build trust.
But simply putting content out there to read and view is only half the battle, as you need to engage and communicate with the audience too, particularly on social media. According to Mr. Youth, a word of mouth marketing firm, 36 per cent of people trust brands with a strong social media presence.
Responding to users that have shared your content and answering questions about products or services will reassure the customer and bolster confidence in your company. Building trust is much more likely if you have a personable brand that demonstrates a human touch.
Analysis and optimisation
After implementing your content marketing strategy, take time to analyse its success. There should be some strong indications about what content is being and viewed and shared. On the other hand, alternative types of content might have been ignored and rejected.
With numerous analytics tools at your disposal, you should also be able to discover whether initial objectives relating to your target audience have been achieved. If not, some tweaks concerning content, promotion, distribution and engagement might be required.
By finding out what is working and what isn’t, you will be able to optimise your content marketing strategy to achieve even better results. Keep on pursuing the successful types of content and platforms, but ditch the ones that aren’t performing.
Closing in on brand trust
There is no quick solution or magic formula to building brand trust, but the process of creating and distributing tailor-made content doesn’t have to be overly complicated.
It might not be easy and will inevitably take time and effort, but the benefits and rewards can be massive. Once trust has been established, an active audience will continue to view and share content. From here, sales and conversions are bound to increase.