Trust, Relationships, and Your Audience

Content Isn’t King. Trust Is King. | SEOmoz

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We love this recent blog post on SEOmoz.org. The blog page of the SEO and social media monitoring platform company always has knowledgeable and thought-provoking posts that range from search engine optimization advice, to new tools and tricks of social media, to rising technological advances, content marketing, and corporate culture. Whew! That takes dedicated team members to produce quality information on a wide range of media and marketing topics.

When we came across this particular blog post, we were already hooked with the title. Yes, making content is extremely important in content marketing (it’s in the name!), but it is not what drives consumers to buy or use your product. Consumers must trust your brand before they decide to give you their hard-earned money. Trust is huge. A company must earn its trust from consumers, and that comes from building content that drives people to your online presence.

The blog post author picks ten content marketing tips that she felt were the most effective and innovative in creating and extending a company’s message to its targeted market. All ten of the recommendations are great, but we wanted to expand on a couple that resounded with us the most.

So here they are, in no particular order (except numerically):

“3. Write what people want to read, not what you want to write”

“If you’re planning to succeed in your content marketing efforts, there is one big thing that you have to understand right from the start: it’s not about you. It’s never about you. It’s not about your company. It’s not about your product. It’s not about your service. It’s not about how great your company/product is. It’s not about the amazing charity work your president does. It’s not about how fun it is to work at your company. It’s NEVER about you. And the minute you try to make it about you, that’s when you lose their trust, and that’s when you lose another potential customer.

Repeat after me: It’s ALWAYS about them, never about you. This is content marketing. It’s not sales, and it’s not advertising. If you want to do sales and advertising, that’s perfectly fine, but just don’t do it in your content marketing. Write for the reader, always.”

Your targeted audience are your potential customers. So your content should focus on them, what they want, what they need, why your business is exactly what they need, and so on. Focusing on your customers directs attention from you. If the content your company produced was solely about how fantastic the company is, consumers of the information will get bored quickly, and move on. The beauty of posting on social media is its quick and easy to reach and interact with an audience. Take advantage of this quick reach and find out what drives and motivates your audience. After all, your business exists for them.

“8. It’s all about relationships”

“If people can see you actively participating and being a team-player, then they will treat you accordingly; as a member of the team. [ Insider Tip: That’s the goal! ] The bottom line with social is this: you have to be an active member of the team. It’s not enough to just stop in and share a few things here and there, a day or two before you’re going to need those same people to share your stuff for you. You have to be active. You have to be part of the team; a member of the community. It’s not a wishy-washy kind of thing. It’s a commitment; a commitment to your community. Your network depends on you to be there for them, just like they are there for you.

This doesn’t mean that you have to be on social sites all day long. This also doesn’t mean that you have to promote every piece of content that every member of your social network produces. It does mean however, that you stay involved and engaged consistently.

If people see you actively sharing and promoting other people, they will be that much more likely to share and promote your stuff when the time comes. The time to make friends on social media channels is way before you need them.”

Stay involved and engaged in the conversation. Referencing an expert, a customer, or another business in the field (competition or not) will keep you relevant and lead others to trust your opinion. This is important. Interacting on social media will extend your name and brand outside of the realms of your established audience. Mentions, re-tweets, quotes, or references of others has the potential for them to then reference your brand or company to their audience, increasing your pool of potential customers. Content should not be one-sided. It should start a conversation. An honest interaction with your audience will get them invested in your brand.

Content is the catalyst of the conversation. Trust is what brings your audience to start the conversation.

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