Content Marketing Tips to Inspire Trust with Your Audience
Want to know the secret to success for any business that wants to make a difference, make an impact, and make a profit? For every successful business who’s in it for the long haul?
At the end of the day, customers will only come when they can trust you. Trust that your product will do what you say it does. Trust that you’ll always give them good value for the price. And trust that you keep your promises.
Want to know the secret to cultivating trust with your customers so they buy … and keep buying? The secret to building trust so that your brand becomes synonymous with words like “valuable,” “relevant,” and “consistent?”
Here’s why content marketing is so important: it’s not just about what you’re doing but HOW. It takes the long-held belief that marketing helps sell and infuses it with integrity and creativity, making not just your product trustworthy, but your entire marketing strategy trustworthy. Because when prospective customers trust the content you’re putting out into the world, it follows that they’ll trust the product you’re putting out into the world … and they’ll want to buy it! That’s why we’re delivering content marketing tips to inspire trust with your audience.
The 3 Tenets of Trustworthy Content Marketing
In a world where we’re all fighting to be heard above the noise, it can be tempting to print off a list of SEO keywords and throw them in every single piece of marketing collateral – whether or not it makes sense. And while that may help you jump higher in search results (except not so much, these days!), it won’t make anyone want to trust you enough to buy your product. So how do you create trustworthy content marketing? Here’s a hint: we already gave you the answer! If you want your product to be known as valuable, relevant, and consistent, it just makes sense that your content marketing strategy should be:
Create content that will actually help your readers – whether or not they already own or subscribe to your product! (No, not every piece of content you create should be helpful with the caveat that a reader must own your product!) Selling social media marketing services? Create an e-book with some of your best tricks of the trade. Selling a weight-loss program? Write a blog series on easy and healthy recipes readers can make at home (Weight Watchers does it beautifully on their blog). Valuable content will encourage readers to believe that your product is valuable.
Time for brutal honesty. If you haven’t changed your website since the early 2000’s stop EVERYTHING and do it now. We mean it. Stop reading this blog and go update your website. We’ll wait ….
Done? Okay, great.
Whether it’s your website, a blog post, or an email newsletter, keeping your content marketing relevant is a key component in building trust with your customers. Think about it: if someone goes to your website and sees that it’s still running like the 1996 Space Jam website (a relic of beauty, that thing is!), there’s no way they’re going to actually believe that your product is relevant for 2017! Same goes for your blog – if your last post is from two years ago, how are people supposed to trust that you keep your product updated often?
Remember that one time you signed up for a monthly newsletter and only got two over the course of a year? Or that time someone promised to send you one email a month and you got one a day instead? In marketing (as in life), there’s nothing worse than when people don’t keep their promises. So be consistent! If you say your newsletter is weekly, make it weekly – no more and no less! If you tell people to check for new blog content every Monday, make sure there’s new content up there on Monday … and maybe not Monday at 9pm! If you have consistent content, customers will trust that you have a consistent product.
5 Tips for Creating Trustworthy Content Marketing
Now that we know the three tenets of trustworthy marketing, here are a few tips on how to create content that is valuable, relevant, and consistent.
1. Schedule It
The best way to make your content marketing consistent is to schedule it ahead of time. Of course, this may not apply to everything , but it applies to a lot of things! Spend time gathering up ALL your marketing initiatives for the year ahead, put them in one place and plan them out. It’s an exercise that may take a few meetings and your entire team, but we promise, it’s worth it. Whether you do it through an online content marketing tool or have it written on a huge whiteboard in your office (hey, some of us still like to look at things offline too), once you have an editorial created, stick to it! It will help you create trust with your audience while creating the right expectations about when and how they will get content from you … and if it’s good content, they’ll be waiting with bated breath!
2. Know Your Audience
The concept is simple: if you don’t know your audience, you’ll have no idea what kind of content will get them hooked! Understanding your target market will help you craft content that will reach them, be valuable to them, and ultimately inspire them to pull out their credit card. Start by creating buyer personas that help you determine who you are trying to reach, and sometimes even more importantly, who you are not trying to reach – you can’t be all things to all people, after all! Once you know your target demographics you can segment your email list based on those demographics and send the right content to the right audience at the right time. Just like Lyft’s city-specific ride guides!
3. Use SEO … Wisely
We mentioned SEO earlier and that’s because it’s important – like really important. SEO keyword optimization often takes your content marketing to the next level, piquing your readers’ interest and boosting your success with search engines. That being said, use those keywords sparingly, remembering that the end goal is not to put the right words in enough spaces, but to create content that is useful, interesting and well-written. Whether it’s through email marketing, on your website or even on social media, copy that is too SEO-heavy can be viewed as “spam” and destroy your credibility.
4. Make Your Call to Action Stand Out
Although it may not seem like it, crafting compelling calls to action is a skill that takes time to build, so don’t overlook them! Whether you’re writing one for an email, landing page, newsletter, website or even social media, always use action words that drive a specific response. Include them in multiple places throughout your copy and – if you want bonus points – go beyond the simple “Buy Now” or “Sign Up Today” CTA’s like these:
5. Use Compelling Images
Studies show that we remember images more than anything else. If you hear a piece of information, you’ll only remember about 10% of it three days later. But if you pair a picture with that info? You’ll be able to remember closer to 65%. What better reason than that to include images in your content marketing?! Just make sure they’re high resolution and easy to open on any device … otherwise people will definitely remember your marketing, but not for good reasons!
6. Proofread, proofread and proofread again!
Sure, it may seem painfully obvious now, but you’d be surprised just how many marketing pieces go out with spelling errors, broken links, or blurry pictures. We’re all human and we all make mistakes, but that’s just one more reason to make sure many pairs of eyes read through your content marketing before it goes out. Typos and incorrect information can hurt your credibility, and if readers start doubting your ability to create good marketing materials, it’s a good bet that they’ll also start doubting the product you want them to buy!
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Outside of work, Kristen spends as much time as possible at the beach, soaking up the San Diego sunshine!