Think about the brands you personally follow on social media. They’re probably fun brands that you already shop from or admire for their content or products. We’d bet they’re also brands that you trust.
Establishing a trustworthy brand means building a strong relationship with your audience through content. This means creating content that is intentional and leads with your customer first.
Many brands overemphasize the sale in their content, making them a ‘pushy’ or ‘sleazy’ brand online. On the other hand, brands that have success both online and offline are ones that invest in the quality of their content.
Content credibility is key to building a meaningful relationship with your customers and making them feel that you actually care about them.
Organic content is one of the easiest ways to connect with your audience without an ulterior motive. Through blogs, social media content, newsletters, and more, you can:
- Educate your audience
- Provide entertainment
- Connect with them and build your relationship
- Learn more about them
What makes content credible?
There are three things that make content credible: value, consistency, and authenticity.
Combined and applied across all content, a brand will be viewed as more trustworthy and therefore more credible in its industry. With credible content comes authority that allows you to stand out from your competitors and be the go-to brand for your customers.
Valuable content delivers something new and original every time. Whether it’s new information or entertainment, value is all about providing your audience with something that makes them stop and think.
Consider these questions when publishing your content:
- Is this content original?
- Are you offering a new perspective or covering an original topic?
- Is it actionable?
- Does it solve a problem or answer a question?
- Is it accurate?
If you can answer ‘yes’ to more than one of the above questions, you have valuable content and you’re ready to hit ‘post’.
Having content that is consistent is essential to set your audience’s expectations. Consistency doesn’t just mean your posting cadence and time. It also means consistently delivering on quality and value.
If some of your content is entertaining and trendy while others are overly buttoned up and research-heavy, your audience will not know what to expect or which side to trust. Instead, find a middle ground.
Use trends to share information in a fun way. Create on-brand graphics to break down research in an easy-to-digest format. Get creative with finding the balance for your brand and audience – then get consistent with that.
Authentic content requires some level of transparency from your team.
People tend to already be skeptical of businesses because they often skew information in their favor. For instance, many brands only highlight research and information that advocates for their product or service. However, other research may exist and be conveniently left out.
Whether you show the behind-the-scenes of your process or present both sides of the story when sharing research, authenticity emphasizes the human aspect of your brand.
Many companies use their content to raise awareness of other issues. Others give their employees a voice to share career advice or help others in the industry. However you choose to be authentic in your content, your audience will thank you and feel more compelled to buy from you.
How do you establish a trustworthy brand through content?
Having credible content is not enough to establish a trustworthy brand. You have to also distribute that content creatively to see it in action.
Listen to your audience
When you show that you care about your audience through content and campaigns, they are more likely to view you as a trustworthy brand.
You can use tools like social listening to monitor conversations online or you can develop a strong community management strategy to engage regularly with your customers.
By listening to your audience, you can assess how your brand is perceived and keep up with the issues your customers care about.
Downeast Cider, a Boston-based hard cider house consistently references Instagram comments, customer complaints and requests, and even individual users in their captions.
Provide quick wins
Adding value to your customers can be a long-term game, but sometimes you have to throw them a quick win to show that you are trustworthy.
Actionable tips or results-oriented content can greatly drive traffic to your channels while also quickly building trust. A great example of a brand that creates actionable content online is Blueland.
The eco-friendly cleaning product brand regularly posts home cleaning tips that provide real value to their audience without explicitly pushing their products. Whether or not online users choose to buy from them, they do immediately trust them for providing helpful tips.
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Bring in the experts
Identifying experts by name, occupation, publication, and more are great ways to build trust with your audience. When you bring in experts – even if they’re from your own team – you show your customers that you are doing the due diligence to research the offer you’re providing them.
A great example of this is the Drunk Elephant – a popular clean skincare brand known for formulating products that avoid the six ingredients they believe are at the root of almost every skin concern.
The Drunk Elephant’s blog, The Drunk Mag, provides education around the science behind skincare. Blog posts range from the behind-the-scenes process of creating a skincare line to in-depth breakdowns of how to use acids, exfoliators, slugging, and more to treat your skin.
Each of these blogs either cites an in-house expert or shares easy-to-digest information about complex topics.
As you can see the fun brands you follow online are intentionally building their relationships with customers through credible content.
Prioritize building customer trust through valuable, consistent, and authentic content. Listen to your audience. Provide quick wins. Bring in subject matter experts.
Content credibility will go a long way to building trust with your customers and ensuring that they pick your brand the next time they look to make a purchase.
If you’re struggling to develop a content strategy that is rooted in credibility, reach out to the experts (that’s us!). Contact us today to get started on a content strategy project for your brand.
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