It may seem like an obvious statement to make but it’s important to build trust with your potential buyers or customers to be effective with your marketing efforts. Trust is what convinces someone to give out their information and learn more about your offering, pick up a sales call, or buy into a product. It creates brand loyalty. Trust generates referrals from friends, family, and other businesses. You can’t succeed without it.
The past few years have made it substantially more difficult for businesses to create marketing content that doesn’t seem pushy, spammy, and overall untrusting. The market is filled with false promises and exaggerated advertisements. This makes trust extremely important when generating new business and increasing sales.
“The proof is in the pudding!” The best way to gain the trust of your potential consumers is literally by proving what you’re saying is true. We are going to cover three ways you can create content to get this point across: “strength in numbers”, documentation, and education.
- “Strength in Numbers”
Referrals and word of mouth will always be the strongest and most reliable source of marketing. These people agree with your marketing claims and are loyal to the brand. No matter what you post they have your back.
There’s strength in numbers but it is also helpful to have some of those numbers be experts in your industry. Seek out someone credible in the field that will support your claims. You could ask them to share a quote, make an official endorsement of your product, or use their own social media channel’s influence to build an audience. This is a great way to promote information such as details about product features and updates.
If you have trouble gathering experts, still utilize those who’ve dealt with your products or services firsthand. This can be your employees, online reviews, video testimonials, etc. If you’re trying to sell an experience or service, these will be your best approach to successfully engaging an audience.
Now that you’ve captured quotes, videos, and stories you can format them in any capacity for social purposes that fits with your brand. You know your audience better than anyone so choose to format your content how they will digest the information best and utilize the platforms they’re most frequently on.
Next, we dive into the importance of documentation in our marketing strategy. We already discussed how having a third party speaking on behalf of your company can have a massive impact on improving trust and aiding your marketing efforts but documentation is giving concrete evidence as a primary source. The prospect can actually dissect the information for themselves and then decide if they’re bought in.
- Stories: The first way to show documentation. Although it may seem similar to our first method, this is where you can use stories from customers, vendors, employees, suppliers, or anyone else that relates to your business to add a realistic touch. Telling a story about someone experiencing your product or service will showcase the impact it has had on their life. This adds an emotional tie outside of stating facts. Showing an actual process, how life has improved or changed because of your business, will speak volumes.
- Documentation: If you want to get more factual and concrete, you can use diagrams, statistics, case studies, and visual comparisons to display the research you’ve done through documentation. Display this evidence in the form of content that makes the most sense for your audience, once again.
The last kind of proof we can leverage to gain trust through content marketing is education. Educational proof is a great way to let the claims speak for themselves. It allows people to learn first hand about the product/service so they can then make an informed decision. Two ways we can entertain this is by providing information as well as coaching.
Information is valuable if you reside in an industry and business that is niche and often has first time buyers. If your buyers are not in the business to purchase this product or service regularly they may lack the knowledge to make an educated decision and it’s your job to arm them with everything they’ll need to know. This is also a great strategy whenever the buyer isn’t actually the end user. For example, one of our clients, Wealth Advisor Training, is an all encompassing guide for financial advisors to give them the tools and support they need to grow their book of business. The information they have access to through WAT will need to be digested, understood, and relayed back to their clients through advice on their actual finances. You need to empower the buyer so they can share with others.
Coaching on the other hand is a more interactive approach. It includes concepts like step-by-step guides, tutorials, webinars, free templates, etc. This kind of education walks them through a task to some extent and shows off your expertise in doing so.
If your business sells a product, then information can help buyers make difficult decisions. If your business sells a service, coaching can help by building trust and often shows the buyer that it may be in their best interest to hire a professional to navigate the challenge for them.
You don’t have to overcomplicate the approach. By simply proving you understand the situation inside and out while tackling any questions your potential buyer may have, you’re building trust. Also, it’s important not to be concerned about people who take the free guides and never come back. They would never turn into a client. With coaching proof, you’re focusing on the customers who want your services and guidance from the start.
By using these three different methods of generating content, you’ll be able to build your armory of trust with existing and potential clients. Whichever type of proof you’re focusing on right now, know that this content strategy takes time. It’ll take time to figure out what proof you need, find the right experts and fans, and create impressive documentation and coaching tools. Molding all of these methods together will create a brand backed by the trust of its consumers and will grow your business as a result.