How do we establish (or re-establish) audience trust with content?

July 29, 2016
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Your online reputation … your whole business … depends on trust.

So how can you leverage website content to make something so subjective -- audience trust -- happen for you? Watch this quick video and get 10 tips.

Pybop: Building Trust with Content Strategy from Shelly Bowen on Vimeo.  

Over the years, I have seen many brands gain rapid and strong bonds with their audience in several ways. In fact, many of these content strategies are also excellent business strategies.

How to Build Audience Trust Through Exceptional Content Strategy

Consider your audience’s needs first. Read your homepage. Is it mostly about you or them?  

But also be first to take risks. Lead the way and show by example: Look for opportunities to show how you are helpful, valuable, and different than everyone else. Tell that story.  

Sacrifice. What does your audience really need that doesn't really serve you? Can you provide it anyway?  

Give back. Be generous with compliments, sharing, and insights: Check out your favorite cause-driven companies for inspiration. How do they give back in big ways? In little, everyday ways?  

Be transparent, honest, and open. Share who you really are, why you’re here, and what’s in it for you.  

Accept responsibility. If you’ve made a mistake, fess up and correct it. Move on.  

Be available, accessible, and helpful Check the top 20 entrances to your site. Is it easy to contact you?  

Be flexible, personalized, and custom. You may have policies and guidelines, but you can’t anticipate every situation: Give your content team permission to consider the individual or situation and bend those rules.  

Share burdens and distribute hardships. Turn negatives into positives. Make a list of all your audience’s concerns … get everyone in the company involved in troubleshooting these concerns. This is a guaranteed content creator and changer!  

Trust and believe in your audience. Treat them with respect and ask for their opinions. Check your site and social media for your audience’s voice. Do they have an opportunity to rate you, provide feedback and testimonials, comment and share? If not, invite them!    

Why Bother Building Audience Trust?

Trust is super important when it comes to creating exceptional web content that inspires and compels people to take action.  

Without trust, no one will share your brand story — at least, not positively — let alone give you personal information, such as name, email, or credit card. Without trust, you can’t collect data or deposits, or inspire people to follow your lead.  

Need more inspiration? Listen to this excellent podcast by TED Radio Hour: Trust and Consequences.  Need help establishing a trustworthy voice and content? I’m here for you. Let’s talk.

About the Author: Shelly Bowen

Shelly Bowen, content strategist

Shelly Bowen, MFA, is a content writer, content strategist, and founder of Pybop.

For decades, Shelly has written for businesses on complex topics from disease prevention and medical devices to alternative energy and leveraging data. Today, she's hyper-focused on supporting B-B technology businesses. In her spare time, she hikes, kayaks, draws, and works on her T-Bird.

A wide variety of brands rely on Shelly as an essential freelance writer and content strategy resource.

Follow Shelly on Instagram @pybop or connect on LinkedIn. More about Shelly and Pybop.

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