Building trust through blog and website content
“Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.” – Andrew Davis
Trust. It’s a pretty big concept for such a short word, and yet trust is a critical factor in the success (or failure) of many businesses. Think about the businesses you support. It’s likely that your confidence in those businesses is based at least in part on how trustworthy you think they are. Maybe it’s because you personally know the owner. Maybe it’s due to some great customer service you received. Or maybe it’s because others you know trust that business. For many businesses, the path to success is paved with bricks made of trust. One of the ways you can position your business as trustworthy is by building trust through your blog and website content.
Elements of Trust
We’ve already talked a bit about making your content valuable. The value your customers find in your content will make it easier for them to trust your business. But beyond the value you provide in your content, there are also other elements that help to create trust:
Slow and Steady…
Building trust through your blog and website content is a lengthy process. Just like the story of the tortoise and the hare, it’s a race in which the winner is determined by his dedication to the outcome. There are no shortcuts to trust.
But just how do the above elements reveal themselves in your blog and website content? Let’s take a look.
What is your business capable of giving to your customers?
Can you do what you say you can do?
Don’t make claims about your company’s capabilities that you can’t back up through service.
In the early 1960s, the rental car industry witnessed a battle between the number one company, Hertz, and the number two company, Avis. Instead of trying to outdo the competition by making fantastic claims about their service, Avis took a unique approach. They acknowledged their number two position in the market and then went on to state that this was the reason they had to outwork their competitor. The slogan, “We Try Harder” refocused consumer attention on the effort that Avis put forth. They didn’t make any claims about product or service superiority. They simply pointed out areas in which they put more effort than the competition. As a result, Avis was able to close the gap in market share between themselves and Hertz.
You may not have a simple but fantastic slogan like that to center your marketing efforts on, but your company website should be where your content spells out your capabilities. Your blog posts and page content are a 24/7 showcase of what you are capable of providing to your customers. Use that platform to your advantage.
Do you have a customer project that you are particularly proud to share? Consider writing up a white paper that goes in depth about the project and its outcome.
Can your customers count on you to follow through?
If you have a quantifiable measurement of your reliability, share that in your marketing. But do so carefully. You have to be able to back it up. We all have a story or two to tell about a company promise that was never delivered upon.
Catalog retailer Land’s End makes an iron-clad promise about their product quality. It’s on every page of their website and features prominently in their catalogs. When my daughter broke the handle on her rolling backpack, I contacted the company and received a postage-paid label and a merchandise credit to replace the bag.
If your website promises a three-day turnaround on your products or services, make sure that’s possible. If you can’t keep your promises, your customers won’t be your customers for very long. And in the age of social media, they’ll tell others about your shortcomings, too.
Be reliable – it matters.
Good marketing communications should address customer pain points. You can spend a lot of time talking about why your company’s products or services are the best available, but unless you can relate to your customer’s challenges, it’s a lot of hot air.
Let’s go back to Land’s End for just a moment. If, like me, you are the parent of a girl who doesn’t particularly like pink, or sparkles, or ballet, or anything else “girly,” you know what a challenge it was to purchase items from their line of girls’ clothing. In 2014, after listening to numerous customer comments on the subject, Land’s End debuted a collection of girls tees that appealed to the less-girly crowd. Not surprisingly, they were (and continue to be) a big hit.
Empathy comes from listening to what your customers tell you. Your content should let your customers know that they’re being heard.
You may have the most fantastic product or service available in your industry, but if you can’t speak (or write) about it in a clear way, it doesn’t matter.
When you know your business and your industry very well, it’s easy to talk over the heads of your customers. It’s tempting to do this in an effort to impress, but doing so will backfire. What your customers want from your content is plain language and good grammar. Be precise in what you want to say, and make sure you’re using the right words.
Your visitors also want your site to load quickly, be easy to navigate, and provide them with the information they need to make a decision. When you provide a pleasant user experience through your site design and content, you gain trust from your visitors.
…Wins the Race
Creating and building trust in your business is a slow and steady process.
Regardless of the industry you’re in, if you want to succeed you have to be perceived as trustworthy. Your blog and website content can go a long way toward this perception. Make every effort to present your business as capable, reliable, and empathetic, and do so in a clear manner. Your customers will appreciate it.