Put simply, building trust online is harder than most other platforms. When people interact with businesses face-to-face, that human connection is inherently more trustworthy than interacting with a website. Duplicating that experience in the digital space takes a lot of hard work.
Here at jWeb, we believe that the secret to gaining trust is effective and seamless communication on all sides of the conversation. This communication comes in many forms (generally design, user experience, and content). In order to be successful online, you should sell your brand, service, or product by telling your brand’s story in your website’s content.
Engaging, genuine, and honest stories can help build trust in your brand. Customers tend to trust brands that have a clear human element to them.
Get to Know Your Brand
When you provide written content on your site (as opposed to videos or other media), your readers have to be able to trust that you know what you’re talking about. If your brand voice is not strong or there is no sense of why you’re even bothering, then you will neither keep nor attract an audience.
Knowing why your company does what it does can immensely help your content marketing strategy. Diving into a blog, landing page or any type of content without knowing exactly why you are writing it can lead to confusion on both the reader’s end, and yours.
If this is the case, your content marketing strategy needs to be rethought. One way to effectively reach your target audience is by applying TED Talks’ Simon Sinek’s strategy of “starting with why,” to writing online content. First, you must ask yourself three questions:
- Who is my audience and what do they care about?
- Why am I doing what I’m doing?
- What is the purpose of my content?
Answering these questions can help you discover the “why” of your brand.
Who Is Your Audience & What Do They Care About?
People want to consume your content when it:
- Provides an authoritative voice
- Easily answers the questions they are asking
- Resonates with them on an emotional level
You want to reach your audience to pull more people into your website and build up a following with your purpose and authoritative voice. But it is not enough to merely write for everyone. You have to decide who the audience of your content is. For example, if you are a toy company, you will be writing for parents with toddlers to preteen children.
Now, we learn through browsing our product page that our fictional company specializes in outdoor toys like basketball hoops and science kits for capturing and observing bugs. The audience can now get even more specific: parents with children who are just discovering the outdoors and parents wanting to find new ways to engage their children outdoors. These parents care about bringing their children joy and adventure by exploring the world around them and we want them to choose this company and its products to accomplish this.
Content Must Have a Purpose
It is important to remember that it is not a good idea to create content just for the sake of creating content. The key themes of your brand should help direct new dynamic content topics that will keep your readers coming back for more. Don’t just simply write whatever is on your mind.
For example, our toy company has a blog dedicated to talking about and promoting their products and how their products can engage children and help them in each developmental stage. Their purpose in writing the blog is very specific and each blog topic leads into another one, continuing the conversation.
If your content ends with leaving the readers thinking, “So what?” then you have not solved a problem, but created one. You have either provided irrelevant content or not fully explained the content and why it should matter to your readers. To avoid a “so what?” ending, provide content that is relevant to your brand and topic, and follow through on ideas. Let the readers know why the content matters.
Why Does Your Brand Hope to Accomplish What It Does?
Now, by asking “what do you hope to accomplish” I don’t mean for you to say, “Because we want to make a profit” or something like that. Going back to our fictional toy company, making a profit is nice, yes, but in the end that reasoning is cold. “Don’t they care about the kids they hope to sell their toys to?” you would ask.
Instead, we would say something along the lines of, “We believe that children, from their early years to their teens, should be engaged in the world around them. By buying our distinct line of outdoor toys, children can explore the world and become well-rounded individuals with an appreciation for both science and sports.”
Not as cold now, is it? By knowing why the brand sells the toys it does, parents feel a lot better knowing that this company cares for their kids and is not just out to make a profit. Even just writing something more personal than, “we want to make money” made me feel better and more confident about my made-up toy company.
Incorporate your “why” into every blog you write. Your readers (and by extension, your customers) will know why your brand wants to accomplish its goals. Be it introducing children to the wonderful world of the outdoors or any other seamless communication between a company and its customers.
How Can You Incorporate All of This Into Your Blog?
So how can you incorporate this slew of information into your brand’s blog? You can start off by:
- Telling your story
- Connecting your brand’s mission statement with your “why”
- Always writing the why first, the how and what second
Tell Your Story
By discovering the “why” of your brand, you are able to tell your story. People like stories because it gives them confidence that there are actually people behind it who care about what they do and why they are doing it. What makes your brand stand out from everyone else?
When you are only giving your readers facts, it makes your brand appear cold and sterile; a faceless name that just spouts off information and expects people to come flocking in. Your information may be correct and informative, but people don’t want just facts. They want a story. Who are the people behind the brand? Why do they believe what they believe? How have they accomplished these belief-based goals through their business?
Our toy company’s founder was an avid outdoorsman who delighted in seeing his children engaging in outdoor activities. Upon seeing that the products available for outdoor play time were either not readily available or subpar, he decided to take matters into his own hands. After years of work, he was able to create a company that provided a wide array of toys for children of all ages that were fun, educational, and would last.
Connect Your Mission Statement with Your Why
Write down your mission statement on a piece of paper and connect it to the “why” in every new piece of writing. Does it fit together like two well-oiled cogs, or it is at odds? If your “why” corresponds and even strengthens your brand’s mission statement, well done! If not, you may want to reevaluate your “why”, or the relevance of your content.
Why Before How & What
It is important to remember to put “why” before “how” and “what.” “We believe that children of all ages should be able to enjoy the outdoors. We do this by creating products that are educational, fun, and durable.”
By incorporating these ideas into your next blog, you can better understand your company while engaging your specific audience. You have an effective content marketing strategy that will not only pull in new readers and customers, but keep them.