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Over the past few years, content marketing has become both a buzzword and a bonafide strategy for brands to establish credibility with their audiences. However, not every piece of content a brand shares has the same impact.
Content pieces that make a difference and truly enhance a brand’s credibility provide value and knowledge to the audience. These pieces retain their value beyond their initial publication. They become resources that audiences will draw on for years to come. In this article, we explain how your business can use content marketing to establish credibility.
The power of credibility in content marketing
In today’s digital media and marketing landscape, audiences are flooded with messages from various sources. The sheer number of those can make it hard to distinguish between trustworthy sources and others. Establishing credibility within a brand’s industry and with its audiences can improve brand perception, increase audiences’ trust and become the cornerstone of long-term success in content marketing.
Building a high-impact content marketing strategy starts with understanding your audience’s needs and pain points. Researching your audience’s characteristics beyond basic demographics and developing customer personas helps with this process.
Valuable and educational content
Ask what your brand can offer the audience that no one else can. The answer to this question will help the brand team define what constitutes valuable and educational content. This type of content does more than recite product features. It solves problems and removes pain points for the audience.
Valuable and educational content can take different forms. Blogs and articles work well for some brands and their audiences, while complex topics are often better explained via infographics or videos. Podcasts and webinars can also be effective in building credibility with the audience.
Naturally, what constitutes this type of content will vary greatly between brands. However, there are several best practices that many great pieces have in common:
1. Based on in-depth research
Outstanding content requires in-depth research. Aside from understanding their brand and the products and services the business offers, content marketers may need to draw on independent, external sources, including data-driven insights, expert opinions and overall industry trends. Developing quality content takes time, but it will pay dividends in the future.
2. Complete with actionable and practical advice
High-value content would not be complete without actionable advice. Content that audiences will return to repeatedly needs to be practical and applicable. It also needs to be relevant to the audience and offer solutions readers can implement immediately.
These might be examples of content created by other brands or case studies of brands that used content marketing successfully to build the businesses they represent. The collaboration platform Intuit is one of those brands. The company targets entrepreneurs and asks them to solve product challenges. The winners receive cash. Intuit’s content marketing strategy has kept audiences engaged as well as fostered innovation.
3. Help establish thought leadership
Educational content that offers value to its audience can help brands establish thought leadership in their niche. As audiences continue to benefit from a brand’s content regularly, content authors become sought-after. In many cases, they can extend their reach through engagements like public presentations and speaking opportunities.
4. Incorporate social proof
If customers or peers have already reviewed your brand, it is worth including this proof in your content marketing. Social proof, especially from independent sources, strengthens your brand’s content marketing messages and raises its credibility.
5. Publish consistently and frequently
Audiences value content that they receive consistently and frequently. What that means in terms of days, weeks or months may vary from brand to brand. What matters most is that your brand keeps its promises to potential customers and other audiences.
Amplifying your content while measuring success and iterating
High-quality content pieces stand the test of time. For that reason, they deserve promotion and amplification. If your brand publishes long-form blogs or holds webinars, consider using shorter versions or snippets as part of your social media content. This allows you to drive traffic to the original blog post and create interest in others.
Despite the most detailed strategic planning and content development, content marketing may not always work. That is why it is important to measure the performance of each piece and understand which pieces connect best with your audience.
Measure impressions, conversions and engagements to understand what works best and adjust your strategy to maximize those opportunities.
Content marketing has the greatest impact when it offers valuable and educational insights to its audiences. Spending the time to develop and research great content will take more time initially, but it will build brand credibility and lead to greater long-term returns.