Anyone who’s ever written a college paper can tell you that you have to cite your sources. Why? Because information isn’t valid unless you can trust where it came from. The internet is a vast place, and countless lies and exaggerations pose as facts. Being respected and trusted is a rare occurrence but all businesses should strive for it.
Why You Need Trust
Confidence in a person or business makes us more likely to continue interactions with them and to tell our friends and family about our experiences. Take the classic Nigerian prince spam email, for example. Imagine, just for a moment, that this man exists and he’s legitimate. What if he really needed your help moving his money in order to use it? Can you picture the confusion and sadness he’d feel as thousands of pleading emails went entirely unanswered? Even if his intentions were pure, he has no credibility and therefore no one will take his offer.
In a sense, your business is an honest Nigerian prince. It has something unique to give to the world, but only if other people are willing to help distribute it. Instead of a bank account number, you need their page views, shares, likes, and comments. Without credibility, all of your hard work will go to waste as your content is ignored.
Building Trust Using Content Marketing
There are several easy ways to make your company seem more reliable. There are some things you have little control over in many cases (such as backlinks), but plenty of other tactics are available to you. Here are the top eight ways to inspire trustworthiness through your content.
- Stick to a schedule. Consistency is key in content marketing, like so many other aspects of life. Build a posting schedule and keep to it. Your readers will enjoy the steady output of information and come to expect your posts. Each time you stick to your schedule, you’re meeting their expectations and boosting your reputation.
- Always use sources for statistics and other information. The world demands proof in so many cases. Make sure you always link your stats — as long as they are coming from a credible source. If not, try to find the information from a trustworthy site. If you can’t locate the stats anywhere else, there’s a good chance they’re false. When you do insert hyperlinks, always connect them to the specific page where you found the information, not just an unrelated landing page.
- Use the same voice. Again, your audience will learn to expect certain things. If you can’t decide which voice to use it will be more difficult for them to make a connection. Craft guidelines for every piece and stay with them. It’ll make the writing process easier but also help people feel a certain “closeness” with your company.
- Release high-quality content. There’s no reason your posts should have any grammar or spelling mistakes. Read them over carefully and use software to scan for glaring errors. Never publish pieces that aren’t ready or you could damage your reputation.
- Tap into influencers. When experts and celebrities recommend your products or services, you’re going to seem much more credible. Any time you can incorporate their testimonials, do it. You both can benefit from the added exposure.
- Let your employees be ambassadors. People love to see the faces behind a business. Get your employees engaged and customers will be able to relate the entire company to a specific person. This helps customers feel connected and assume your brand is trustworthy.
- Give proof. Storytelling is nice, but people want real-life examples. Always show successes with previous customers instead of focusing on what could be the truth. When viewers see tangible evidence, they’re much more likely to choose your products or services.
- Become an expert. Offer in-depth and hyper-relevant content and your entire audience will begin to trust you. Not only that, other companies can use your business as a credible source, vastly improving credibility while also boosting SEO. When you make your brand stand out and offer things no other company can, you become a unique source for your audience.
You don’t have to be ignored or mistrusted. Set your company apart with polished content, influencers, and authenticity. Before you know it, you’ll have a dedicated and trusting audience base upon which you can rely.
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