Have you searched for a new product or service lately? If so, you probably did what most people do when starting a new search — pulled out your smartphone and dug in. Does the product work as expected? Good. Now what about the company? Do they offer great customer support, handle technical issues fast, and — most importantly — have good word-of-mouth recommendations from other customers?
What all these questions address can be boil down to one word: trust. In content marketing, it’s important to tell the brand story, but, at the end of the day, it’s about building and reinforcing this trust. Can customers rely on your products and brand? Sometimes the answer is “yes,” but when customers are indifferent, that’s when brands struggle and competitors get ahead.
You have have great customer engagement, and people may purchase your product or service, but would they recommend it to others? This key piece of information is a strong indicator of trust and is critical to success. In fact, the majority of customers, 83 percent, would recommend a company they trusted to others. So how can you become that trusted company? Here are a few powerful strategies to build more trust with your customers through content.
1. Get Personal to Solidify the Relationship
Marketers want to send communication that is welcomed by the recipients. Correspondence that isn’t personal, however, risks becoming a liability rather than an asset. In fact, marketing communications account for 70 percent of today’s spam complaints. What’s more, 49 percent of customers surveyed report they receive irrelevant email every single day.
People welcome content that is tailored and pertinent to their challenges, with 54 percent of B2B buyers saying they want vendors to offer personalized recommendations across all interactions. The solution is simple. If you want better customer engagement, create content that your customers actually want to engage with.
For example, the Expert Institute is a legal services platform that matches specialists and authorities to attorneys and investment firms that need support. The company decided to roll out a personalized email campaign and measure the customer engagement results. It started by sending an email from the VP of Client Relations to prospects, offering to help with their challenges and providing a link to a white paper titled “10 Warning Signs When Selecting an Expert Witness.”
The company personalized the emails even more by dividing subscribers into three categories based on one key indicator: engagement. Those who were less engaged received free eBooks and white papers with no marketing language. Those with average engagement received an email with links to blog posts and a soft call to action. And the most engaged group received emails that directly addressed their need for the company’s service.
The results were impressive: a 200 percent increase in conversions, a 60 percent open rate, and a 20 percent click-through rate.
Key takeaway. Segment existing customers based on where they are in the buying cycle and their engagement levels. Less customer engagement translates into less trust, so, for maximum results, marketing should be customized to meet each prospect where they are.
2. Illuminate Your Brand with Greater Authenticity
Customers want to feel truly known by brands through greater personalization, but they also want to work with brands that feel more human. Showing greater authenticity provides your brand with an advantage and builds a relationship that shows customers an unexpected side of your company.
Create “behind the scenes” video footage of your company by, for example, broadcasting via live video to show employees working to assemble products, highlighting all the time and care that goes into this process.
JetBlue is an example of a company following this humanizing strategy. To let consumers see a softer corporate side, the company recently launched a promotional campaign titled “Air on the Side of Humanity,” which focuses on the qualities that make them a company that cares about people.