10 Steps To Take To Build Trust With Blog Readers
Trust is one of the most important traits brands must possess to achieve long-term success, especially in today’s erratic economic environment. Long gone are the days when you just advertise and expect people to respond based on product alone.
Consumers want to be part of an experience. For consumers to choose those brands they trust, brands need to live up to their value proposition or customer promise.
Edelman, the largest global independent communications firm in the world views trust as so vital that it has run an annual Trust Barometer for over two decades. This barometer surveys and gathers data on over 34,000 people in 28 markets to explore trust in business, government, non-profit organizations, and the media.
Why is Trust Vital?
According to Edelman’s Trust Barometer:
- Companies with higher levels of trust have better relationships with consumers.
- Consumers will recommend businesses only if they have trust in them.
- Consumers with brand trust will try your latest innovations.
- Consumers will stick with your brand even when an issue or crisis emerges if the brand handles it responsibly.
- Trusted brands can attract and retain better employees.
Blogs are Effective at Building Trust
Blogs remain one of the most effective content marketing tactics available to brands. Online educational platform Impact + reports that 69 percent of businesses credit their blog with their success in lead generation.
Marketing guru Neil Patel supports the efficacy of blogs as well, writing that “SMBs that blog generate 126 percent more lead growth than their non-blogging counterparts.”
Building Trust through Your Blog
People read blogs for a variety of reasons, including to learn something new, to be entertained, and to discover industry trends and news. Creating and distributing quality, relevant content is key to building trust. Therefore, your brand’s blog is an instrumental tool through which to gain your customers’ trust.
Whether they are new or existing customers, the following steps will help you create trust with them.
- Design and organize your blog well. A well-organized and beautifully designed blog that is easy to navigate inspires confidence and trust right off the bat.
- Find keywords that best ensure you are attracting the right readers. You can’t build trust when your audience is not well-paired to your mission and content. Try using answerthepublic.com to see what people are asking about online.
- Become a thought leader. Provide blog posts that address consumer problems and needs. This sets you up as a valuable resource through which they can find solutions. Remember to keep your focus educational and not promotional.
- Display your values. These are the beliefs that you, as a company, stand for. Use your values as a compass for developing stories for your blog that resonate. According to a study conducted by the research firm, Channel Factory, 69 percent of consumers prefer to buy from brands that support socially conscious causes and 60 percent want to see inclusion. Consumers are looking for brands that reflect their values.
- Tell stories. People love stories. What’s yours? Don’t hesitate to share stories about the inspiration behind the brand or the people who represent the brand.
- Build social proof. Add a valued guest blogger or print user-generated content. Display reviews and ratings.
- Use HTTPS. Because of data breaches, it’s important to do what you can to create an online environment where consumers feel protected.
- Deliver on promises. If you say you will have a new blog post every week or will release special news on a specific date, stick to those promises.
- Develop a community. Because social media platforms are becoming overcrowded, people are seeking more curated environments in niche communities. Your blog could be a perfect example of like-minded people coming together to share common interests. As Neil Patel puts it, in a niche community, people “tap into a hive of shared knowledge.” Make sure your blog accepts comments. Ask for reader opinion and advice. If you have an engaged reader, ask to interview them. Create behind-the-scenes content. Ask your readers what content they’d like to see from you.
- Give before you ask. Be generous with your information. Don’t ask for their information too soon.
Trust has never been more important to build and maintain, and blogs are key to accomplishing this goal. Like building trust in a personal relationship, the progress is gradual. Each blog entry is a new opportunity to earn someone’s trust and that means investing effort into understanding your audience and creating content that satisfies.
Regardless of whether your blog has 200 or 20,000 readers, if you put yourself in their shoes and keep writing to their evolving needs you will establish trust and loyalty over time.