5 Ways to Build Trust Through Content Marketing


June 15, 2022

How do you foster audience trust with your brand as your online presence gets magnified?

One of the main functions of content marketing is building and maintaining online trust for your brand. Leveraged in the right way, online content earns audience trust that lifts your business off the ground and grows it exponentially.

But earning trust is difficult; even more so in a digital landscape where audiences are fatigued with content on top of growing more distrustful.

Your skeptical audience

The internet as we now know it now is a battleground where brands – among many others – aggressively compete for audience attention. And it’s a fight won only by releasing content after content.

Or so we thought some four or five years ago.

But as your online presence becomes more pronounced, you’ll need to build something else: trust. Trust is vital when a consumer has to choose between you and another similar brand.

At the end of the day, most people buy from brands they already know. Why? Because they trust them! But what if a prospective consumer hasn’t purchased from you or a competing brand?

In that case, the trust you can generate from your content marketing efforts could give you an edge over the competition. With enough consumer trust, new customers will come to your brand and make purchases quickly, trusting that your brand reputation is enough to solidify your company as the go-to choice for their needs.

Why it’s important to earn audience trust

Trust is important in marketing and long-term brand growth because it convinces your target consumers to choose you over a competitor. And the more the customer trusts you, the more they are willing to engage with your brand.

When your business first starts out, your primary goal for content marketing is to boost brand awareness and authority. In other words, people need to know that your brand is credible and that you’re an industry expert.

How to build customer trust with content

Given the importance of trust in consumer relationships, every company must know how to build it up through content marketing. Luckily, there are multiple ways to pull it off.

Below are a few you can experiment with today.

1. Give away good content

Firstly, don’t hesitate to give away quality content. That might run contrary to your instincts, but you’ll need to give customers a good buy-in at a low (or no) cost before they decide on transacting with you.

Why? When you give away valuable content, such as a highly informative blog post or a template that can help them develop better processes, this signals that you:

  • don’t have anything to hide;
  • aren’t interested solely in profit, and;
  • are genuinely seeking to help your audiences solve their problems.

In other words, allowing access to top-tier content shows confidence in your brand and its mission. This can be invaluable when you compete with other, more established companies in the same industry.

Some types of content you can explore in this regard are:

  • in-depth guides for topics related to your niche;
  • well-researched case studies and/or;
  • templated drafts that can help guide them in running a business.

2. Don’t claim to be the master

Next, avoid mentioning your brand as the best choice in whatever niche it holds. Alternatively, don’t write that you are the master or only real source of information for your industry.

This is the opposite of the above tip and makes you seem insecure – like you are scrambling for customers or buyers. Instead, it pays to show some humility when writing content, especially if you are breaking down complex topics that need a lot of sources, like current data privacy laws, PCI compliance, and more.

For example, say that you want to write some content exploring a niche topic in your industry, like how people typically use products made by your company. Throughout the content piece, mention that you aren’t an expert in statistics and aren’t 100% sure about your conclusions. End the content piece with an invitation for readers to comment and lend their thoughts to the discussion.

Not only does this potentially improve user engagement with the piece in question, but it also shows that you are humble and always willing to learn. People trust brands that seem more like them and less like lofty companies that can’t be understood or reasoned with.

3. Aim to be authentic

Similarly, every piece of content marketing you put out should be as authentic as possible. Authenticity is the name of the game in digital marketing, as modern consumers can easily see through fake or cheesy marketing messages from inauthentic companies.

How do you achieve that? Don’t put a lot of advertising language in your content marketing pieces! Keep things simple and straight to the point. Stay authentic and break down questions and answers in a basic language without seeming over-the-top or calculating.

The more authenticity you can infuse into your content marketing, the more people will likely trust your brand and whatever messages you put out.

4. Skip hard-selling

To build trust in relationships through content marketing, you should also skip hard selling and ad pitches wherever possible. It might be tempting to put advertisements or links to some of your best products in every content piece you produce, but it’s usually not a good idea.

That’s because people read content marketing pieces like blog posts or guides for two reasons:

  1. To decide whether they want to purchase something
  2. To seek out other information

In either case, they aren’t ready to make a purchase yet.

You should let your consumers reach the purchasing decision by themselves without pushing them or seeming aggressive. If you constantly hard sell your products or services in your blog posts, you’ll diminish the value of those pieces and come across as trying too hard. This makes you look inauthentic, and your target audience members least likely to buy from you.

5. Explain sources

Lastly, any major content marketing pieces that rely on statistics, data, or other number-focused conclusions should include hard sources. Sources are great for building brand awareness, especially through your blog posts. But they also help build trust among your audience members.

If you have a blog post explaining a recent survey, include a handy link to the original survey. Readers can check out the survey and see that your conclusions are legitimate. This makes you seem more trustworthy for all future blog posts, even those that don’t include hard links.

Even better, including high authority links makes your posts more SEO friendly since Google rewards posts with external links to authority sources.

Key takeaways

Trust in the online space is becoming more and more difficult to earn. With concerns in data privacy and misinformation spreading rampant in the landscape, it will only grow more so. Some other things you have to be mindful of in seeking to earn trust online are:

  • Make it about your audiences. Don’t just always be seeking to find an angle to insert your brand in narratives. Genuine care is signaled when you extract yourself from the story and communicate tips that are directed to and focused on your audience’s pain points.
  • Ensure accuracy in information. Content won’t serve its purpose if it’s not accurate and actionable. Apart from empathic and resonant, it should also be exact and credible so that you can provide the best service to your audiences.
  • Provide avenues to engage. Last, but definitely not the least, content marketing should move away from solely giving information. In that, we mean: You should also encourage engagement and exchange with your audience through your content to make it a more enriching experience.

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What other innovative ways for fostering audience trust are you exploring? We’d love to discuss. Hit us up on Facebook, X or LinkedIn, and let’s have a chat.

About the Author

Photo of Propelrr Content Contributor Lee Li

Lee Li is a project manager and B2B copywriter with a decade of experience in the Chinese fintech startup space as a PM for TaoBao, MeitTuan, and DouYin (now TikTok).