Now more than ever, gaining the trust of consumers is a strategic goal for businesses.
Because trust is a determining factor for consumers when it comes to making purchase decisions. This was evidenced by research published in 2018 by SurveyMonkey, which showed that trust plays a role in the decision-making of 89% of UK consumers when making a big purchase.
As the impact of consumer trust grows, the efficacy of adverts wanes.
For many years, advertising has been the go-to strategy for attracting and converting. But, recent statistics suggest its influence is decreasing. SurveyMonkey’s research showed that 49% of UK consumers say that advertisements have not led to their most recent big purchases.
The advertising model also has to deal with an increasing number of avoidance methods being employed by consumers. 2019 research by Edelman reported that almost three-quarters (74%) of respondents used at least one advertising avoidance strategy, such as ad blocking (48%), changing media habits to see fewer ads (47%), or paying for streaming services (38%).
If advertising is no longer the driving force behind decision-making it once was, how do businesses gain the trust of consumers?
Well, research released by Mention-Me in 2018 revealed that 71% of consumers prefer to discover brands for themselves, rather than being subject to advertising. If your business wants to gain the confidence of consumers, it needs to reach them organically, and content marketing is the perfect way to do just that.
Now, you can’t just produce content and expect consumers to immediately associate with your brand. You need to produce content consumers trust. Here’s how.
Focus First on Conversations, Not Conversions
Yes, the end goal of your marketing activity is conversions; that goes without saying. And we mean it should literally go without saying.
Too often, businesses who substitute their usual advertising campaigns for content marketing treat their content as long adverts with more words. These conversion-focused pieces, produced by the company itself, are usually filled with a combination of shameless product plugs, self-praise, and internal reflection. The result? A huge turn-off for consumers.
Think of it like this: if you had a friend who only spoke to you when they needed something, you would grow to embrace their presence with a feeling of distrust. On the other hand, if you had a friend who discussed your issues, offered advice, and generally helped you out, you would inherently trust them.
Make sure your content is the friend you’d like to have.
Your content marketing should be about conversations, not conversions. Connecting with consumers will help you to build relationships. Over time, your content helps to build trust within these relationships and, eventually, convert the consumers into customers.
Valuable Content Is Trustworthy Content
Every product or service offers a solution to a common problem. If they didn’t, there would be no demand, no market, and no money to be made. Take a moment to think about the problems your customers face every day and the reasons they need your product or service.
As an expert in your industry, you know how to resolve these problems. Consider, then, how valuable it would be for consumers to have the same level of knowledge.
If you use content marketing to share your expertise with consumers and offer them useful solutions that eliminate the issues that keep them up at night, they will trust your content, and they will trust you.
Write Shareable and Searchable Content
As we mentioned earlier, research demonstrates that 71% of consumers prefer to find businesses for themselves, rather than being influenced by advertising.
Now, there are two common methods of consumers discovering companies without advertisements; word of mouth (or recommendation) and internet searches. For your content to make use of these channels, it should be shareable and searchable.
Making sure your content is shareable will not be a problem if you heed our advice in the previous section.
When a consumer finds your content valuable, the chances are they will share it on social media, or recommend it to a friend or family member. Having discovered your content through a recommendation, the majority of consumers will immediately have a level of trust in your company.
If consumers trust content that is shared with them, then they definitely trust content they find themselves. The most effective way to help consumers find your content themselves it to make it searchable. At this point, you’re probably already thinking about SEO (search engine optimisation), and you’d be right to do so. However, SEO is such a broad topic that an in-depth analysis requires an entirely separate post.
Our advice on searchable content is to write content that provides answers to common questions and, as referred to earlier, solutions to widespread problems. Search engines are usually the first place consumers go for answers to their questions. The higher the number of people who ask a search engine a question that your content answers, the more likely it is that your writing will be found. If your solutions and answers are effective, the seeds of trust have been sown.
Content that avoids a salesperson-like approach, embraces conversation, represents real value to consumers, and is both shareable and searchable is the holy grail. When you combine these key factors in a piece of writing, it will be trusted by consumers far and wide.
At Prize Content, we understand the value of content consumers trust and how much of a boost it can be for your business. If you’d like our expert writers to work on content that your ideal customers will trust, get in touch with the team today.