According to recent statistics, 86% of consumers are confident they can recognise content marketing sales tactics. And, with 71% being turned off by content that seems like a sales pitch, there’s been an obvious shift toward credible, authentic material. And in the financial and blockchain spaces, credible content marketing is the order of the day. So how do you begin building credibility through content marketing?
Become a credible player in your sector
Let’s first look at the issue of credibility. Crafting a reputable reputation doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and energy to attract and retain your target audience. So, hard work and dedication is needed. To start shaping your brand image and stand out from the crowd, it’s really important to.
Be consistent with your tone of voice
If a reputable brokerage renowned for their fact-based, straight-talking approach suddenly laced their content with colloquialisms and slang. Or sent you an email that would have been more comfortable as a teenage diary extract than a form of professional communication, what would you think? Maintaining a consistent tone of voice is a great way to build trust and brand familiarity. Deviating from consumer expectations can cause suspicion and confusion. Not what you want when trying to develop a credible name within your industry.
To take things a step further, 75% of consumers expect brands to provide a consistent experience, both online and offline and across all social media channels. Therefore, it’s a good idea to document your brand voice guidelines. If any new writers join your team or you opt to use an agency or freelancers, you’ll be able to ensure that everyone’s on the same page from the start.
A tone of voice document should consider:
- Whether you support casual language such as contractions.
- Whether you talk about your brand using the third person (company name), or whether you’ll stick to first-person pronouns (we, us, our).
- Capitalisation of products/services/job names and so on.
- The essence of your brand – are you fun, humorous, approachable, confident?
Be knowledgeable about your sector
Many industries are becoming increasingly competitive. For example, global fintech funding rose to $111.8B in 2018, up 120% from $50.8B in 2017 and continues to remain strong in 2019. Companies are coming up with new and exciting initiatives at a rapid race, so how can you stand out? It all comes down to being credible. And that means showcasing your knowledge of the sector through effective content marketing. You can do this by.
- Publishing high-end, well-researched articles
As a brand, it’s important to communicate who you are and what you do, without being annoying or over salesy. This can be a challenge if you’re used to constantly churning out slogans, offers and going down the PPC route. But there is another way. Publishing high-end articles to well-respected sites can boost your reputation and is great for SEO purposes. Detailed and informative content targeted directly at your target audience can set you apart as an industry thought leader and generate a consumer following.
Connecting with reputable industry-specific sites is wise. You can also publish via professional networking sites like LinkedIn. Long-form content is well-received on this platform allowing you to explore an area of interest in great detail. Aim for articles of between 1500 and 2000 words for optimum effect.
Top tip: Don’t forget to repurpose content. A long-form article can be the source of multiple tweets or Facebook posts. Information can even be turned into an infographic. This consistent multi-channel approach will help with search and ultimately credibility.
- Create a blog or content hub
Search engines love fresh content. So, what better way to boost rankings while confirming yourself as a key industry player than by creating a blog. This can cover a wide range of topics and include breaking news. Of course, it’s essential to know your audience well in order to shape your content strategy, so do your research into follower demographics.
As for the content hub, this should be a go-to resource for those in your sector. It will feature useful content that will prevent visitors from bouncing off your site and making another search in their quest for information. As a broker, for instance, you may wish to provide market moving updates, how-to guides, trading tool information, trading guides, e-books and so on.
Give your brand an authentic twist
Authentic brands don’t hide behind a veil. They don’t try and get consumer attention through false stats or by copying other people. Instead, they’re honest, upfront and proud of their USPs. So, what can you do to be authentic in a world filled with bad apples and increasingly wary consumers?
- Incorporate reviews into your content strategy
Did you know that online customer service reviews influence nearly 9 in 10 consumers when making a buying decision? When purchasing a product, 90% of customers are influenced by positive reviews. And around 86% of millennials reveal that they are influenced by negative reviews when buying a product or service. Therefore, it’s important to stay abreast of company feedback and use this to shape an authentic content strategy.
- Positive reviews:
If you receive good feedback, you can shout about it on Twitter, tagging the relevant person. The same applies to Facebook. You can even take a screenshot and include reviews in any published articles or blogs the same way you would if you’d won an award. But don’t brag. The comment itself will very much talk for itself. It could even be nice to thank the person giving the review.
- Negative reviews
If you get a 4/5, or *shock horror* something lower. Don’t panic. A mixed bag can actually work in your favour so long as you handle the situation well. Authenticity comes by being open and honest. If you’ve made a mistake, it’s okay to admit you went wrong. But always offer a solution, whether it’s to look into an issue further or to streamline your processes so it won’t happen again.
Consumers prefer open and free flowing conversation than a brand who can do no wrong!
- Humanise your brand
Would you invest in an ICO if the company didn’t have a website or any social channels? What about if their CEO wasn’t on Linkedin? Probably not! One of the best ways to build credibility and develop an authentic approach is to humanise your brand and be as present as possible.
So, instead of hiding behind the curtains hoping people don’t look into your house, open those blinds and host lunch! You can make your brand as welcoming as possible through effective content marketing in the form of:
Video content will account for 80% of internet traffic by 2020. But when it comes to authenticity, videos that work well include, meet the team content, staff interviews, behind the scenes interaction, live question and answer sessions and so on. Basically, anything that shows the people and mechanics behind the company in question as this brings the brand to life.
Key takeaway 1: As in this Twitter post from Goldman Sachs, it’s a good idea to use the names of team members to give your company a stronger identity.
Key takeaway 2: The majority of social media videos (85% on Facebook) are watched with the sound off. So always accompany your video with written text to ensure your efforts can be seen/heard by your audience.
- Interactive social media
Don’t open social accounts and let them sit unused. This is a bad sign to consumers who expect brands to be on the ball and responsive. Instead, monitor your accounts, post fresh content and engage followers though regular ‘go live’ sessions, quizzes and giveaways. Many companies also talk about their achievements, introduce staff to show that they’re an attentive company (without being sickly sweet) and talk about ongoing projects.
The example below from fintech Revolut, for example, shows that they’ve got an intelligent and hardworking team. But the post itself isn’t overly self-promotional and that works well.
Need to improve your brand’s credibility and online reputation? Speak to the Contentworks team today about content marketing that can do just that.