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November 2022 | by Megan Holcombe, Conner Downard
Content marketing: an ever-present buzzword in the information age. The transition from traditional, brand-centric messaging to user-centric content may feel like a complete marketing revolution, but content marketing is an exciting opportunity to communicate with your audience and build brand trust.
A robust content marketing program gives you the freedom to think outside of your brand and provides an opportunity to engage with your customers in a more personal way.
It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of programs, tools, and strategies that offer promises to instantly transform your digital presence – and most of these guarantees are far from true. Although successful content marketers utilize numerous tools, they have a deep understanding of how exactly those tools optimize their business practices, and most of it is not through brand-forward marketing.
Best way to sell something – don't sell anything. Earn the awareness, respect, & trust of those who might buy.
— Rand Fishkin (@randfish) February 4, 2015
Your online presence should pique interest and answer questions – all with the goal of gaining the trust of the consumer. Fortunately, we’ve put together a three-step guide to help you build brand trust with meaningful and engaging digital content.
Content marketing requires just that – content. Having the right content means that you are listening to and understanding what your audience wants to interact with.
If you aren’t utilizing social listening, you’re missing a huge chunk of the conversation surrounding your brand – 96% of that digital conversation comes from customers who aren’t following your social media profiles.
Fortunately, in an internet where social rules, this information is easily accessible to marketers – no focus groups needed!
There are numerous social listening tools that can transform your understanding of client perception of your brand, but one of the simplest and easiest ways to dip your toes in the social listening waters is to set up Google Alerts for mentions of your brand, competitors, or industry news.
This is the first step in building creative, interesting content that will earn your customers’ trust.
One of the best aspects of content marketing is that you can share genuinely interesting stories and resources, even if they don’t point directly to your brand. Once you have an idea of what your audience wants to see, you can build that content – helping your audience buy into your brand, and further earning their trust.
Google Alerts can yield new content ideas based on discussions around your brand, but there are many other tools that can help you creatively generate content ideas.
Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator allows you to type in a few topics that your customers are interested in seeing, and creates prompts for written content.
Answer The Public is another tool that provides a wealth of information for content creation. Commonly searched questions, prepositions, comparisons, and related topics can provide valuable insight into the minds and motivations of your customers.
Although there is more information than ever online, the best and most attractive content is that which creates a human connection. These tools will help you understand where these connections begin.
You’ve created insightful, interesting, and engaging content. Ultimately, you want your customers to be able to find it, and search engine optimization (SEO) ranking is one of the best ways to do so. Google is a highly used information provider, and a top ranking on the search engine indicates to your customer that you have industry knowledge and are trustworthy.
Understanding Google’s SEO criteria is critical to digital success. Although Google updates these criteria frequently, a few stay consistent: website speed and keyword rankings continue to be important in search rankings.
Pingdom will give you a live update of any website’s loading time, diagnosing problems internally before they’re external issues. Moz’s Keyword Explorer enables web developers and content managers alike to understand how their webpage will rank for certain keywords, an invaluable feature of an even more powerful tool. If you are optimizing all of your content for search engines, you are one step closer to the most coveted real estate on the Internet – the first page of results on Google.
A prominent digital presence shows you’re a trustworthy industry leader – even before this becomes a reality. These tools and concepts can help jump-start your content marketing program, identify weak points, and create a game plan with your digital team.
Content marketing is far more than publishing a blog or posting a few pictures on Instagram – there are many moving parts to building content that actually works and builds brand trust.
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