To build trust and increase your value proposition, develop informative content that helps your market understand what sets your brand apart from the competition – and resonates with your audience.

If you don’t have trust and brand awareness, you won’t have customers either, or at least not for long.

According to Gartner, “Customers hold brands to a higher level of expectation, resulting in brand trust decline. As such, 83% of consumers refuse to do business with brands they do not trust. To build trust, brands must focus on exhibiting transparency, warmth, honesty, and reliability.”

Building brand trust through content marketing should be a focus of every SMB’s strategy because the purpose of content marketing is to build familiarity and trust with prospective customers.

What is trust?

Customer trust is the belief that companies will do what they say they will and that they won’t deliberately harm consumers. Building customer trust, then, is walking the walk, talking the talk, and respecting that people are paying attention.

Without trust, a company can’t sell its products or services. According to the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report 70% of consumers say trusting a brand is more important today than in the past, and more people are choosing to spend money with brands they trust. For 53%, trusting the company behind a brand or product is the most important factor when making a buying decision, even more than price.

Building Trust with Content

SMBs have an advantage over larger competitors when it comes to building trust as they can engage with customers and other audiences online at a more personal level. But building trust involves more than just writing good, engaging content.

Here are a few tips to take your content to the next level.

1. Use your own platform

Whether it is the SMB domain, or a mini site/blog built for this purpose, your content must have its own home. Because successful content marketing takes a lot of work, attention and time, it should be published and stored in a standalone content hub, optimised for your audience, and where you can control it.

The content can be shared via social networks, but it must live on one of your SMB’s hosted sites, giving you the freedom and ability to publish what you want, when you want, and to choose your own wording and images without being bound by the rules set by other platforms.

2. Make it educational

The goal is to have your target audience develop a relationship with you. One of the best ways to do that is to produce engaging content that is helpful. Content marketing involves creating content that is relevant to your brand, as well as your online visitors.

Educating the reader on topics related to your niche is a big part of it. The content should provide answers to questions or offer clear, helpful information that is created with your readers in mind. Content that is too salesy or over-advertises will lose your audience. Testimonials, guides, advice and how-to pieces will give people something useful to read and use as a resource.

3. Write about what you know

Find out what your customers are looking for and write about what benefits them. This approach establishes expertise, promotes brand awareness, and keeps your business top of mind when it’s time to buy what you sell.

Write what you know about and take the time to write with your audience in mind so that the content is relevant and useful. This will help with earning trust and provides value for your readers.

4. Don’t focus solely on social media

Write for your audience first and then for your business’s site. By taking this approach, the content will be valuable in and of itself, and can then be repurposed and promoted once it has met the first goal – communicating effectively with your target market.

Once that has been achieved, the content can be used to drive social media strategies.

5. Create buyer personas

Creating buyer personas helps identify where your ideal customers are likely to hang out online. It’s an approach that helps you get to know your ideal customer more intimately, including their pain points, challenges, interests, and where they get their information.

By doing your research and building personas, your target audience will feel you are speaking directly to them and will trust you more because of this.