When customers trust your brand, they are 58% more likely to purchase and 67% more likely to remain loyal. You can drive this kind of confidence with external communications rooted in your company’s values. Get started now. This approach will only become more important as Gen Z — a generation that considers brand values before buying more than older generations — gains market share.
Your website is a great place to start. There, you can publish content that builds credibility and clearly reflects what your brand stands for while also boosting SEO and visibility — it’s a win-win-win! Bolster that content with expert commentary by passionate employees turned thought leaders, and trust in your brand will follow. These five tips will help you along the way.
1. Prioritize Education Over Products and Sales
Before you put pen to paper and start planning a strategic content program, consider what information resonates best with your audience. A recent study on B2B content marketing found educational blogs receive 52% more organic traffic than those focused on company news. Turn casual buyers into brand-loyal customers by creating content that answers their questions about your brand and values — not necessarily your products. An educational content program will showcase business and industry expertise, increasing your brand credibility and your list of quality leads.
2. Choose the Right Topics and Types of Content
Consistent messaging is so critical for relationship building. Disjointed messaging leads to confusion and undermines your credibility.
Set clear messaging guidelines and deploy them throughout your organization to ensure everyone is telling the same brand story. Whether your employees are drafting written content or speaking directly to customers, defined messaging materials ensure you’re not saying one thing and doing another.
Once you have your messaging down, let your audience guide what you write about. Use existing touchpoints to learn what your audience is most interested in, including conversations had with your sales and customer support teams, social media monitoring, contact forms, and review sites. Note emerging industry trends, current events, and challenges your customers are facing. How can you use your content to address them?
Reviewing performance metrics of previous content can also shed light on the types of content your audience prefers. This knowledge can help you pinpoint where you should direct your focus. Is it long-form content people want? Direct your resources to draft more blog posts. Or maybe they prefer something more visual, and it’s time to create more infographics or interactive content. It could be all of the above. But taking the time to give your audience the material they want and package it how they want it only strengthens loyalty.
3. Support Content with Research and Statistics
Compelling research and statistics add credibility to your content and grab your readers’ attention. Leverage your own original data, or seek it out from reliable third parties like research organizations, industry groups, nonprofits, and advocacy organizations. When you find a piece of research to share, don’t just cite it. Add to the conversation by interpreting the numbers in a way that makes them more relevant to your audience. Applying the data to a common industry situation or sharing a personal anecdote creates the context that adds a layer of relatability and trust to hard facts.
4. Review and Revise Outdated Content
Maintaining a steady stream of quality content is just as crucial to a business’s market share as any other function (e.g., product development, innovation, digitization, etc.). But that doesn’t mean you need to draft net new pieces every time. Updating an article from five years ago that is still drawing traffic can be just as valuable as creating a brand-new piece. What’s more, search engines can easily dig up older, now inaccurate content that might hurt your brand’s credibility in the here and now. Keeping older blogs updated to reflect recent happenings is especially important in highly regulated industries like healthcare and finance, where outdated advice can have real ramifications.
To avoid the negative repercussions of outdated content, create an internal process to identify pieces needing an update. This could be a complete review of every piece of content on a set timetable or a topic-specific analysis. For example, if new regulation impacts your industry, have a team member review your existing library for any inaccurate pieces, data points, or links. Even if you don’t have the resources to do a full update, a disclaimer explaining that an article may be incorrect or outdated can keep readers from forming a negative opinion about your brand and reinforce your expertise.
5. Deliver Knowledge of Value from Trusted Sources
Employees are often underused assets in external branding campaigns. With a solid internal communications program in place, employees can become your brand’s biggest champions. They already believe in your mission; you just need to give them the words and tactics to amplify it. Every team member, from the intern to the CEO, will absorb what it means to be a part of your brand. And they’ll be able to project it more naturally in front of your customers.
Employees who are good brand ambassadors are also great potential thought leaders. Keep an eye out for passionate employees with industry knowledge and experiences to share. These individuals should start by authoring a blog post on their subject of expertise. As they become more comfortable with the role of spokesperson, you may find they are good candidates to speak to the media or present at industry events. Having a bench of reliable thought leaders humanizes your brand, creates a trusted resource for your customers and instills more confidence in your expertise.
Brand credibility is a central factor in your customer’s decision-making process, but it doesn’t come from your products and services alone. A strategic and thoughtful content creation strategy aided by quality thought leadership can boost your reputation with prospects and cement your brand’s place as a trusted industry expert.
Go forth and write your way to brand credibility!