The success of content is built on trust. With so many brands and businesses now paying for editorial-style content placement, is there is a danger that audiences’ trust in it will diminish as their suspicion grows?
Marketing Week quotes Nielsen research that shows that trust in advertising, in general, is in decline, recording a fall of eight percentage points to 54% in 2015. So can businesses put their trust in content, and if they do, will their target audiences put their own trust in what they see?
Putting Trust Before Traffic
One of the key benefits of content is how it can connect with audiences. This kind of connection is arguably more important than the numbers game of driving as much traffic as possible to a particular website.
“Trust enables you to open a dialogue with your audience,” explains David Lomas, CEO of M3 Media Publishing. “If your content resonates with them, then they are more likely to see it as trustworthy, and by, extension, view your brand the same way.”
“The real power of content comes from its share-ability, because then your audience become advocates for your brand”
David Lomas, M3 Media Publishing
“For this to happen, first they must put their trust in your content and, then they are more likely to share it through social media and spread the word,” David points out.
If the Nielsen figures suggest trust is on the slide, how can businesses ensure that their content is trusted?
“Customers do not want to be oversold a product or service via content”, warns David. “For it to have value, and therefore to be trusted, it needs to be informative and educational. If your audience thinks that it is useful and valuable, it will engage them and they are more likely to share it with others”
“If the punchline to your story is simply your product, then you will turn your audience off,” David says. “This is how you lose their trust.”
“There is enormous power in third party recommendations,” concludes David. “It removes yourself from the sales process and positions you as an expert commentator in words, audio and visuals that are not tied to your brand. It also depends on where you position them, and where it then positions you.”
Content can be a powerful marketing tool, but it requires care and diligence in its application. Only then can you trust in it, and know that it will earn the trust of others.
To discover how to build trust with your audience using content, please call M3 Media Publishing on 0161 922 8571 or visit m3publishing.co.uk.