Yours might be one of the world’s best-known brands. At least in your industry.
So you might scoff at this post’s title, saying something like, “People all over the world trust us. Are you kidding? We don’t need to improve brand trust.”
But think again. Are there any markets out there that you haven’t reached – but would likely love your product?
A friend of mine recently returned from an extended trip to Turkey. While there, she had an opportunity to bake a chocolate cake for friends, but she discovered that she couldn’t find her secret ingredient, Hershey’s cocoa. She ended up having a box of it mailed to her from back home. She missed the taste that much.
Now, Hershey’s is a world-renowned brand. Love it or hate it, their chocolate bars have reached across the world’s oceans with their rich, cocoa-infused sugar bombs. But, in Turkey, they face a formidable competitor – Ulker, owner of Godiva – a homegrown brand that has become a European powerhouse.
There have to be more than a few Turks who would prefer the taste of Hershey’s to Godiva. So even a global giant like Hershey’s has some work to do in improving brand trust.
And, if you don’t trust us, trust the science.
My point is that no matter how large you are, there’s always someone out there that doesn’t trust your brand. It’s your job to improve brand trust with content marketing that positions your brand as the authority in its space. Here’s how to do it.
Publish Content That’s Relevant to Your Target Market
As Forbes’ Aaron Agius points out, businesses are in an enviable position when it comes to earning consumer trust. After all, research shows that people trust companies over governments, media outlets, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
Start with relevant content. Dig into your social media and content analytics to get to know your audience.
Learn their demographics, their likes, their pain points, and what keeps them up at night. Then, use your industry expertise to satisfy their cravings, solve their problems, and give them a good night’s sleep. Create buyer personas for each segment so that your teams can craft content that focuses on each segment’s needs.
Read the questions they ask on social media and provide answers on your FAQ page, the social media site itself, and in blog posts. Get proactive with content collaboration. Your sales and customer support teams can be rich sources of typical questions prospects and customers ask.
Don’t make your products and services the main focus of your content. Educate rather than promote. Lean into building relationships through content that will make your audience think you’ve read their minds.
Showcase how your expertise can inform their decisions, building trust with every right turn. Only insert your products when they’re part of the solution.
Communicate Directly with Your Audience
Leverage social media and email newsletters to engage with customers and prospects. Answer their questions and commend them for helpful ideas or insightful comments.
Post primarily on social media platforms your data tells you your target customers use. Then leverage your posts to spark conversations.
Always respond to feedback, even if it’s negative. People trust an honest company, especially if you admit when you’re wrong.
For B2B companies, LinkedIn is a valuable resource to connect with prospects early in the customer journey and deepen connections along the way. Industry-specific forums, too, can be a fruitful source of trust-building conversations.
On the other hand, B2C enterprises should have a robust presence on the major social media outlets – but there usually are even better places to build trust. Use your analytics data to identify other social platforms that cater to the kinds of customers you serve.
For example, it’s a must for crafting and DIY companies to post on visually-oriented sites like Pinterest. Post how-to videos on YouTube and Facebook to demonstrate your company’s mastery of your niche.
Music publishing companies, on the other hand, should live on YouTube, while fashion houses should haunt the halls of Instagram. Research where your target customers are – and your competitors – and build the kinds of relationships that develop trust over time.
Nurture your prospects and customers along their buyer’s journey with informative, helpful newsletters. Respond quickly to requests for more information or questions.
Again, here’s where collaboration with your company’s other teams can pay off. Use those teams’ expertise to address your subscribers’ questions. That way, your brand’s communications will remain consistent across various departments.
Don’t Fear Linking to Others’ Content
Legacy companies whose digital presence consists mostly of ads often have a legacy mentality – they don’t link to any brand’s content but their own. For today’s audiences, providing links to other companies’ articles is a great way to improve brand trust.
When you provide more in-depth information about your topic, you empower your audience to explore further. The fact that you knew exactly where to steer them positions you as an expert in your field – one who knows the industry inside and out.
Linking to industry leaders also has some bonus benefits. It boosts your website’s likelihood of rising in the search rankings (Google loves external links to movers and shakers). And, it fosters goodwill in those companies whose content you link to. It’s a win-win for everyone, especially your audience.
Engage Your Employees and Customers
You get paid for marketing your product. Your audience knows that, so don’t blame them if they’re a little skeptical, even though you stayed up to midnight to write that killer blog post.
So, put your other employees to work creating content. Statistically, it’s a no-brainer. Don’t stress out just because they capitalized something they shouldn’t or forgot an Oxford comma. There’s just too much to gain by giving them the freedom to create.
Employee-shared content gets eight times the engagement of that research-intensive blog post you wrote. And, their social posts earn 24 times the shares of your own.
Don’t stop there. Brand stories in your customers’ own words can build trust like nothing else.
Their reviews earn 12 times the trust of your marketing content and create nine times the impact. Most importantly, user-generated content yields 29 percent more conversions than standard marketing campaigns.
Finally, Be True to Yourself
We’re not just talking about your brand voice, although that’s one key part of authenticity. We’re talking about living those values you boast about in your vision statement.
Be transparent about your brand’s flaws and keep your promises. You’d expect the same from your friend. Be that friend, and your company will earn your audience’s trust.
It’s easier to plan, collaborate on, and create content to improve brand trust when there’s a single place to carry out all the tasks that go into content marketing. That’s where DivvyHQ comes into the picture.
It’s a comprehensive content marketing platform on which you can do everything from content ideation to publication to analyzing the results. Even better, you can try it free for 14 days with no obligation. Start your free trial today!