There’s no shortage of discussion about content marketing these days—but what is content marketing really all about? The conventional definition is that content marketing is about selling without selling—that is, telling the story of your brand in a way that’s not overly salesy or promotional. But if you’re investing in a marketing campaign that’s explicitly non-promotional, then what exactly are you trying to do?
The short answer: You’re trying to build trust among consumers, customers, and potential clients.
The sheer volume of content marketing out there makes trust key. Countless companies are getting involved on Facebook, on Twitter, and on blogs—to say nothing of the thousands of advertisements that consumers are exposed to on the Internet every single day. The way you make your content marketing stand out, then, is to make it really trustworthy—building a strong rapport with your readers.
The question is how.
5 Tips for Building Trust Through Content Marketing
- The first step is to define your audience. If you want to instill trust in your reader, you need to make it clear that you are writing expressly for that reader, taking his or her needs, questions, and problems in mind. Generic, one-size-fits-all content marketing always comes across as aggressive and promotional. Instead, define your audience and create content accordingly.
- Next, define the type of content you will deliver, the frequency of it, and the location. This will depend solely on your audience as defined in the first step. You may believe that your audience will be most accepting of e-mail newsletters; or else, that your audience is particularly hip to Twitter. You may feel like your audience needs multiple blog posts each week to know that you mean business; alternatively, you might suspect that too much content will seem too aggressive, and that you need to scale things back a bit.
- Share your content, but make sure you respect the line between promotion and spam. Promote your content on the social channels where your audience tends to be active, and curate content shrewdly, only sharing information that could be of real, practical use to your readers.
- Make it as easy as possible for people to receive your content updates and to connect with your brand through their phones, tablets, e-mail accounts, social media accounts, etc. Social media buttons, RSS feeds, bookmark buttons—all of these things should be readily accessible from your website and from every piece of content you produce.
- Finally, don’t forget that your analytics play an important part in the trust-building process. It’s only by looking at your content reports—and making the necessary tweaks—that you can get a feel for what’s working, what’s resonating with your readers, and what’s not.
If you’re not building trust with your content marketing, then you’re really just spinning your wheels; make sure that trust creation is the #1 goal in all of your content endeavors!