Here we are at the beginning of a new year and many of you reading this article are most likely still struggling with the direction you plan to take with your marketing strategy. Here's a tip: If the investment in high quality, great content (written, video and audio) is not at the top of your priority list, then be prepared for another year of poor performing ads and declining website traffic.
It is still mind boggling to me that so many businesses continue to double down on outbound marketing campaigns in the form of PPC ads, while at the same time they complain that their efforts are becoming more costly and increasingly ineffective. "Ads" alone, is not a marketing strategy.
My rallying cry about the importance of producing high quality content has not been resonating with business owners as well as I would like. I clearly haven't been framing it in a context that resonates with people.
Blog, blog, blog, blah, blah, blah... is probably what I sound like to others.
I'm taking a different approach from here on by framing my conversation about the importance of producing great content in the form of questions that should be easier to understand for business owners and marketers.
What is it about other brands that consistently publish great content that make YOU want to buy from them?
- Are they informative, funny, or entertaining?
- Do they solve problems for you?
- Do they provide really good answers to questions that you have?
- Do they make you think or present alternate perspective?
- Do you trust them? I bet you do.
What Does Trust Have To Do With Marketing Strategy?
TRUST is "reliance on the INTEGRITY, strength, ability, and surety of a PERSON or thing; confidence."
INTEGRITY is "the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness." Definitions from Dictionary.com
TRUST is established by a PERSON with INTEGRITY
There is no better way for business to earn customer trust than by marketing with integrity.
How does a business do marketing with integrity? It produces its best possible content, 80% of the time for free, that overwhelmingly benefits visitors and customers alike.
Businesses that share expertise, solve problems for their readers, and give honest insight on how they've overcome their own internal struggles, will build trust very quickly with prospects. Consumers and other businesses will value your business's content and refer back to you for guidance on anything related to your area of expertise.
For me personally, when I feel like a business is speaking directly to me by providing real value, with no strings attached, they've earned my trust and I will regularly circle back to their website as a resource.
I don't want to be sold. I want to be helped. Pushy sales and marketing tactics don't work any longer.
Here's a startling statistic that should drive this point home. Millennials are now the largest generation in our country's history. According to Upworthy.com, Millennials will be 50% of the American workforce by the year 2020.
This generation has essentially destroyed the traditional marketing playbook and is actively rewriting the rules. They will not trust you or do business with you if you do not communicate with them in the most authentic and transparent manner. In fact, studies show that an overwhelming majority of Millennials (born 1977–1994) are totally impervious to unscrupulous marketing and sales tactics.
This should be a wake up call to all businesses that don't evolve!
Great Content Increases Credibility And Leads To Trust
Great content helps to establish credibility. While credibility alone doesn't equal trust, it's a mandatory component in earning your audience's trust.
Below are 5 tips from Amrit Hallan's article 5 Ways To Creating Credible Content People Can Trust:
- Focus more on the benefits and less on the features
- Write your content from the perspective of your readers
- Write content regularly
- Never compromise on quality
- Provide individual help sometimes
Hallan summarizes his article by writing, "the sole purpose of creating content for your website and blog is to increase your credibility in front of your present and prospective customers and clients. It’s no use writing content to increase your search engine visibility while having inferior content on your website because eventually people make buying decisions when your content succeeds in convincing them, that they should trust you."
To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved
– George MacDonald
- Invest in a quality content strategy over buying ads
- Look at brands that you buy from and identify why you trust them
- Do Marketing with integrity
- People won't buy from you if they don't trust you
- Don't sell. Be helpful.
- The largest generation in history requires transparency and authenticity
- Focus on benefits, not features.
- Increase your credibility
- Be consistent and never compromise on quality
Related Topic: Inbound Methodology And The Death Of Cold Calling