The Speed of Trust and How Content Helps
You have probably heard the saying: “Fake it until you make it.” Well, it may be a great mantra to repeat to yourself when you’re trying to gain confidence for that presentation or networking event, but it doesn’t apply to earning customers’ trust.
You can’t cheat your way into letting customers trust your brand. Your brand actually has to be trustworthy. And this doesn’t only apply to your company’s relationship with customers. Business happens better and faster if you trust the people you're working with, whether it's within the organization or with customers.
Trust is the most important asset your business can have
We get it. When you’re running a business, you have a million items to check off your seemingly endless to-do list. So it might seem a little odd to stress over the importance of something that seems so intangible–trust.
But according to a recent Global Trust in Advertising report, “92 percent of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising.”
This information was based on a survey including more than 28,000 respondents in 56 countries. The takeaway is that trust is the most important asset any brand can possess. To paraphrase Franklin Covey, author of The Speed of Trust, trust is the currency of the new global economy.
“High trust increases speed and reduces cost in all relationships, interactions, and transactions,” Covey says. “When trust decreases: speed decreases and cost increases. When trust is low, relationships suffer, production is sluggish, customer retention erodes, employee turnover increases, stocks plummet and the costs are enormous.”
He goes on to cite a 2002 study that showed that high trust organizations outperformed their low-trust counterparts in total return to shareholders by 286 percent. Trust is something that has to be intrinsic with your company’s values and operations. To be successful, it needs to be embedded in your company’s DNA.
Getting consumers’ attention
With all the information that bombards online users, it might seem downright impossible to get their attention, let alone earn their trust. And when you consider that 347 blogs are created every minute and the average online user sees about 5,000 advertisements every day, getting potential consumers’ attention seems like a feat of Everest proportions.
But there is some good news. According to the same Global Trust in Advertising report, 58 percent of consumers surveyed said they trusted editorial content and brand sites more than all other forms of web marketing.
This is where content marketing comes in. Because content marketing provides value for the customer, it doesn’t come off as spammy and consumers are more likely to trust the brand. And because the aim when it comes to content marketing is to build a relationship with the consumer, instead of trying to sell them something directly, it inspires brand loyalty in the consumer.
Ways to build trust with content marketing
Recently, content creation was ranked as the most effective SEO technique, highlighting how content marketing has become the “it” marketing method. And many business owners are starting their own content marketing strategies.
But just because it is popular now, doesn’t mean it’s just some fad that will die out. Content marketing has been around for decades and has proven itself as one of the best ways to build trust with existing and potential consumers.
But it’s not a magical quick fix that will help you become a trustworthy brand. Like we said, you can’t fake it until you make it. It takes foresight and planning to be implemented well. Here are some ways to gain consumers’ trust with content marketing.
Niche Content Creation - The worst thing you can do is to have random content spattered all over the Internet. Random sporadic content eliminates any chance for your audience to grow. Keeping your audience in mind, figure out a few topics you want to cover and stick to them.
Thought Leadership - Establishing your authority on a certain subject is a great way to build trust. When people see your brand as an authority on a topic or topics, they will look to your brand when it comes to finding solutions to problems in that niche. Therefore, you will be a constant source of value to them, allowing your brand to construct a fruitful relationship with them.
Engagement - It’s not enough to just throw content out there and see what happens. You have to be actively engaged with your audience. That means asking questions and making yourself available to feedback on your respective social platforms. Doing this makes your audience feel heard and like they have a voice that matters to your brand.
People do business with those they know, like and trust. Where do you stand?