There are many ways in which a business can earn the trust of its customers. Having high quality products or services certainly helps, as do transparent sales practices that don’t overpromise what benefits the customers will get from their purchase. But perhaps most important is the trust businesses build with their potential customers—the ones that haven’t yet committed to purchasing, and need to be convinced that your company is the one they’re looking for.
Here are 8 ways to make sure that the online content you’re creating will help you gain the trust of your audience, and preserve it:
- Create an interesting and genuine company story. Starting out with a story of how and why your company came to do business is a great way to contextualize your company for the audience and increase their level of trust and comfort with your brand. (2015 is the Year of Digital Media and Your Company Story, after all.)
- Develop a reliable content creation schedule. We’ve talked about how posting content on a regular basis can help you create better content and get more readers. But being consistent in your content creation will also make you seem more trustworthy in the eyes of the customer. To put it another way, consider a Facebook page where a company posts intensely for 2 weeks, then posts nothing for 3 months—that wouldn’t exactly inspire customers with confidence in the brand.
- Have consistent and professional artwork. It’s not necessary to be on the cutting edge of design to gain your customers’ trust, but poor or inconsistent design can work against you by putting your professionalism into question. On a more subtle level, having consistent design, colors, and artwork across all your content channels helps to make your brand appear more “put together”, which certainly doesn’t hurt.
- Keep a consistent tone. Just like with design, your tone and word choice should be consistent across all your content channels, in order to put forward a unified brand image. Don’t be bipolar in your choice of tone—wacky one day, serious the next. To trust you, customers need to consistently encounter the voice they’ve come to expect from your brand.
- Fact check and cite any data or statistics you quote. Journalists are held to this standard, but businesses should be too. There’s just too much questionable information on the Internet these days, and users are understandably suspicious of any data that isn’t properly cited. Fact checking and citing your references will show customers you care about accuracy and honesty.
- Address topics that the audience genuinely cares about. One great way to build trust is to become a go-to source where your audience can find information and solutions to problems they regularly encounter.
- Be responsive to questions and feedback. If your audience knows that you’ll be there to answer their questions and respond to their feedback (whether it’s positive or negative), they’ll be more likely to view you as trustworthy.
- Separate your marketing content from hard-sell tactics. As we’ve always said, the single biggest key to successful online marketing is creating content that has value in and of itself, separate from your products or services. Your customers won’t be able to fully trust you if they notice that every piece of content you create has the ulterior motive of selling them on something.
If you follow these 8 strategies for online content creation, you’ll be in a great position to earn and keep the trust of your audience. And believe us, that’s a great thing for a growing business to have on its side.