Content marketing serves many purposes. It helps companies attract the right audience, drive lead generation efforts, enable sales teams, and fuel outbound channels such as email, social media and syndication.
But just because an organization might invest in content marketing, it doesn’t always mean they know how to develop the right content. In fact, while 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing, only 32% say they are effective at it.
So, what are some steps marketers can take to ensure their content is valuable, builds trust and bolsters their organization’s reputation? Here are three tactics marketers can employ:
Write About What You Know
Don’t pretend to be an expert on something you’re not. These days, people’s B.S. radars are active and alert—and they want to engage on their terms (not yours). 92% of people don’t trust companies that cold call. Buyers are more skeptical of your message than ever, especially if you’re trying to share information on a topic they’re already familiar with.
Trust-building opportunities lie in the intersection between your brand’s expertise and the interests of your buyers.
Start by getting to know your audience. What do they care about? What are their challenges, their goals? Conduct research and dig into behavioral data (what eBooks, whitepapers, blog posts, etc. are they reading?) to find out which topics resonate with them. Then, map those interests to the problems your brand knows how to solve.
By finding this sweet spot between customer needs and brand expertise, you’ll be able to speak or write with authority on topics that are also relevant to the people you’re trying to reach.
Speak Your Customers’ Language
Get to know the language your buyers use to communicate ideas. While many people hate on jargon, Lee W. Frederiksen of Hinge Marketing points out that using the buzzwords of your target audience can actually promote “a sense of insider status that fosters trust and familiarity.”
Use this fact to your advantage. Conduct research and read articles, blog posts or interviews by people who fit your ideal customer profile. What words or phrases pop up again and again? Take note of these, and start to incorporate them into your own vernacular.
Be careful not to get caught up with buzzwords. Too much jargon can frustrate and bore your readers. Instead, try strategically incorporating language that resonates with your audience. The more you do so, the more likely they are to embrace your brand as part of their community.
Work with Influencers
A great way to gain the trust of your target audience is to work with people who are already respected by that audience. These people are often referred to as influencers. Every industry, niche and subject matter has them. By tapping into their expertise and large networks, you’ll not only reach new potential buyers, but you’ll be associated with well-known names and faces already considered trusted resources.
Think about it. Who would you trust more: someone you randomly came across on the street or someone introduced to you through a friend you respect? Most likely, the latter. If you’re promoting your content and optimizing for search engines, people are inevitably coming across your content. But by making friends with influencers, those visitors will be less skeptical of what you have to say.
Purchase decisions aren’t just rational. Yes, people are looking for the best products or services out there that serve their practical needs. However, purchases are also emotional. If your branded content is pushy or uninteresting, you could leave potential customers with a negative first impression.
By following tips like these, and focusing on using content to cultivate trust and authority, you’ll foster positive relationships with the right people (and more quickly).
About the Author
Anne Murphy is the Senior Managing Editor at Kapost, makers of content marketing software. As part of her role, she oversees the Content Marketeer, a marketing blog dedicated to the art and science of content creation. Check out some of her posts, and follow her on Twitter at @amurphias.
Photo thanks to Mike Baird (Love and Trust)
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