The end goal for most brands during the content creation process is to create content that will be shared by both their customers and audience to their respective social networks. Most brands, however, struggle with this.
Consumers are actually more willing than you might imagine to share content they see online. Huffington Post found that nine out of ten consumers want brands to share content online and those same consumers actually trust content from brands nearly as much as they do from established media sources. So how does a brand go about building trust within their content?
Most brands will simply slap their logo or their branding in the corner of their content and expect it to be trusted by their audience. This is wrong. Let’s examine the guidelines that brands should follow in order to build trustworthy content that is also shareable.
Reflect Your Brand
The first step to making shareable and trustworthy content is to make sure the content is an accurate representation of your brand. Not only should you stay true to your brand’s design guidelines, you also need to make sure your content addresses your customers’ interests in an authentic and believable way. Consumers want to do business with companies that share similar values as their own.
Make it Educational
People tend to seek out content that is educational in nature. The more someone can learn and take away from a content piece, the more likely they are to want to share it with their audience. Seventy-four percent of consumers trust editorial content when it comes across as educational and not promotional. This holds true even if it comes from a business.
With so much content being published and shared on a daily basis, you have to take the extra step to ensure that your content stands out from the crowd. Over 30 percent of content readership will fall off if you try to take shortcuts like using stock photography in your content. Your consumers want to know your opinion on the subject matter as opposed to someone else’s. Original content means an original idea with original visual content. Take the extra step to make something truly unique and you will reap the benefits.
Cite Information Sources
One of the quickest ways for your content to lose trust in the minds of your readers is by not properly showing your sources. In fact, almost half of all consumers believe a brand’s credibility is lost when the information in the content cannot be verified by outside sources. On top of this, most media outlets will not reference content if there is not proper sourcing.
Earn Media Mentions
Content that is shared organically comes across as trusted content. Word-of-mouth recommendations and media mentions go a long way in building trust in both your content and your brand. When unaffiliated, third parties share your content, it comes across as authentic and, as a result, builds trust in your content. Indeed, content marketing comes across as more authentic than ads in the eyes of most consumers.
Make it Easy to Share
Making your content as easy to share as possible via social sharing buttons is an easy start to the conversation over your content. It is worth noting that most people prefer to share good news over bad news. And make sure that your content does not come across as a sales pitch for your product or brand, as brand or service mentions within the content can turn off consumers.
To help ensure that your audience and consumers share your content, it has to be both trustworthy and easily shareable. If you incorporate these various trust signals, you’re on your way to making content that’s both endorsed and shared.