Now more than ever, brand trust is a deciding factor in your customers’ purchases.
What is brand trust?
It’s how much your customers trust your reputation – your promises and how you deliver on them with your products and/or services.
Customers have expectations about how your brand operates, communicates, and serves them. If those customer expectations are fulfilled time and again, trust gets built.
According to Edelman’s 2021 Trust Barometer report, trust now comes second after price when they’re hovering over that “purchase” button in their virtual shopping carts and considering following through.
In other words, if the price is right, the next thing your customer thinks is, “Do I trust this brand? Do I trust they’ll deliver what I want/need from this product/service?”
If the answer is “YES,” they’re more likely to purchase.
Winning brand trust, therefore, is mega-important.
A BIG part of that is proving yourself, over and over, in your brand content.
That’s what this guide is all about: how to build brand trust with proven content writing techniques.
Because if your content isn’t building trust with your audience…
Let’s dive in. 🏊♀️Trust now comes second after price when customers are deciding whether to buy your products/services. (via @EdelmanPR) How do you BUILD that trust? With these 7 techniques 📋✅ Click To Tweet
The Importance of Brand Trust
Customers expect SO much from the brands they give their loyalty to – and with good reason.
Brands can have a tremendous impact on society, for good or ill. With our products/services, we can make someone’s life easier. We can solve their annoying problems. We can give them joy, utility, time savings, expertise, entertainment, knowledge, growth.
That’s not all. With our practices and policies, we have the power to change the conversation on so many issues our audiences care about, whether they’re environmentally-minded or socially-minded. And the bigger your business grows, the more influence you have.
So, to build brand trust with your audience, to put it in cliché terms, you need to practice what you preach. You need to put your money where your mouth is.
Publishing GREAT content is a perfect place to start. Here are some tips and techniques.
7 Content Writing Techniques That Build Brand Trust
1. Define a Brand Voice and Tone – and Stick to It
If your brand as a whole could talk, what would it sound like? How would customers feel if they had a conversation with it?
Now imagine each time your customers interact with your brand, it sounds different, like it has a multiple personality disorder. In your emails, you sound peppy and young, like an inexperienced teenager. On your blogs, you sound stiffer and a little too formal. In your social posts, you take on the persona of an older sister with all the right advice.
“What is this brand really about?”, your customers might wonder. They might be confused and put off.
That’s why pulling off a single voice and tone across ALL your content is essential. Your brand voice needs to be reliable, not all over the place. Your customers should know what they’ll get when they read your content or interact with your company.
To make it happen, everyone who touches your content needs to have the same set of guides to follow. Your brand personas, style guide, and image/branding should be documented with rules for writing to and interacting with customers.
No brand guides? Then you’ll leave all your creators guessing at how you want to sound, which surely will lead to a brand identity crisis. 🎭
2. Invest in Consistency
This next tip ties into #1, above. Consistency is the ribbon of caramel sauce that should run through your entire content marketing ice cream sundae.
Consistency is synonymous with reliability. Stability. Predictability. All things that breed trust.
Here are some additional actions that help you stay consistent in content marketing:
- Post regularly – Ultimately, you want to be a regular presence in the lives of your audience because more contact builds trust faster. The more you show up with great content, the more chances you have to convert them. The key is to post consistently while not compromising on quality – a sweet spot that many creators find challenging.
- Write with depth always – You should always strive to answer user questions thoroughly in your content. This requires depth, supporting research, and more words than what you’d think. (Hint: That 500-word post probably isn’t going to cut it. Long-form content gets 77.2% more links on average than shorter content AND performs better.) Anticipate that the reader has questions, then go above and beyond providing the answers.
- Use consistent branding – On your image assets, website, and social pages, keep your branding consistent. It should all read as different pages from the same book. Creating a seamless look among your pages and content helps users remember your brand better, and may also lead to as much as 33% more revenue, according to a Lucidpress study.
Consistency is the ribbon of caramel sauce that should run through your entire #contentmarketing ice cream sundae. 🍦 Click To Tweet
3. Stay Audience-Focused
Is your audience top of mind, all the time?
If they’re not, they should be.
If you forget to focus on them, who else rises to the top?
Most likely, you. Your company. And that’s a no-go for many reasons.
Think about it. When a company starts talking about itself and how great it is, that they’re the best in the industry with so many incredible products/services/features, do you start nodding off?
Yep. Me, too.
The last thing I want to hear about is the company’s greatness when I’m consumed with finding the right solutions for my own problems.
Drill that into your brain: Customers do not care about how great you are. They care about solving their problems. That means you should:
- Aim to be helpful always – If you earnestly want to help your customers, an earnest desire to help will naturally come through in your content. It will stay them-focused vs. you-focused.
- Stay topically relevant to their needs and interests – Stay on topic when writing content. Veering off on tangents means leaving your readers in the weeds. More often than not, they have a specific reason they’re reading your content. Key into it and give them the information they need. (Topic & audience research will help you a ton with staying relevant, by the way.)
4. Tell Authentic & Transparent Stories
When you’re chatting with an acquaintance, what makes you instantly feel closer and more connected to them? What builds a friendship?
When that person is sharing a transparent story about their life with you. When they share their mess-ups and are totally honest about situations they’ve been through.
When they’re relatable.
Nobody’s perfect. When we share our imperfections, we get to the root of our shared humanity. And that’s comforting.
Not to mention trust-building. 🤝
So, share your real, authentic, transparent stories in your content marketing. Talk about times you messed up, times you bounced back, and mistakes you’d never want anyone else to repeat.
Tell stories, and don’t’ gloss them over. People love stories.
5. Back Up Your Points with Trustworthy Research
Stories are wonderful, but they will only get you so far.
The newest person who found your blog through Google has no idea who you are. They just need the information your headline promised them.
They read through your post. It’s well-written and full of good information, but there’s a problem.
They don’t know if they can trust what they’re reading. And there are no trust markers to help them decide.
They click away, never to return. 🏃♀️💨
If only you’d included some quality sources and statistics to help bolster your content. If only you’d done some research to provide substance to your claims.
Because including links and outside sources in your content does just that. These are trust signals. When you provide a link to a resource, you’re saying, “Hey, this fact is true, and not just because I say so. These other smart people agree with me.”
That’s mega-important on the internet, where just about anyone can say anything and claim it’s true. Take, for instance, this blog that suggests the earth might be flat (not kidding):
6. Write with Accuracy & Clarity
Misinformation is rampant on the web – we know that much. To stand out, to add to your case (“Hey, I’m trustworthy!”), don’t forget to focus on the basics.
Write accurately. Write clearly. Write to be understood. Use good grammar and spelling, and aim to present clear, true information.
Don’t bury your main point five paragraphs down in your blog post. Tell readers what the point is right away, and then deliver your supporting information and facts.
Finally, aim to keep the structure of your content clear, too.
- Shorten up those long paragraphs.
- Break up rambling sentences into bite-sized pieces.
- Avoid using vocabulary and jargon that only entrenched experts in your field would understand. (If you DO use these words, take the time to explain or define them in context!)
- Don’t use complicated terms when simpler words would do the trick. (For example, I see SO many people pulling out the word “utilize” when the word “use” has the same meaning and is SO much shorter/simpler. 🤦♀️)
Above all, always speak directly to your reader, and always aim to get your message through to them, loud and clear.
7. Offer Value with No Strings
Sometimes, if you put up too many walls between your valuable content and your user, they’ll get fed up and look for information elsewhere.
Some of your content can be locked behind a subscriber wall (or even a paywall, for the really good stuff), but the vast majority should be free.
Because most of your prospects coming in through Google are NOT ready to hand over their information, let alone their dollars. They may not even be aware you exist before discovering and clicking your link in the search results.
They need multiple interactions with your brand and content before they get to the point where they’ll convert. If most of your valuable content is hidden behind a wall, you lose opportunities to convert fresh prospects over time.
Content alone will do nothing to help qualify leads. High-quality, valuable, accessible content will do everything.Content alone will do nothing to help qualify leads. ‼ ➡ High-quality, valuable, accessible content will do everything. ⬅ ‼ Click To Tweet
How to Build Brand Trust in 2021? Earn It.
You cannot build brand trust in a day. You can’t ask your prospects to subscribe, download, or buy from you two seconds after they learn about your company and what you do.
To build brand trust, you must earn it.
That means offering valuable, high-quality content consistently… for free. It means investing in your audience and giving them the information and education they crave.
Give them value. Give them reliability.
It takes time. It takes effort and investment. But the results are SO worth the cost.
Need help with the content side of building brand trust? Check out our services in the Content Shop.