Every great salesperson understands the value of trust.
In the end, nothing else matters if your brand doesn’t seem authentic online. You won’t be able to build the trust needed to turn a lukewarm lead into that big account you can pop a cork over.
An effective B2B strategy should focus on building trust and authenticity first and all else will follow. These five simple yet effective B2B content strategies help you build that trust meter by showing customers your authentic self.
1. Tell Your Story
In B2B we love our data. But here’s what we often forget. 63% of people will remember a story you tell them. A whopping five percent will remember a statistic…
See, forgotten already.
It’s war out there. The Internet’s a crowded space of people fighting for your target’s attention and money.
Storytelling takes otherwise disjointed attributes, data, facts and people and weaves it all together into a narrative that people can relate to and appreciate. It’s the difference between telling someone “how amazing you are”– which by the way, “ALWAYS” works in real life — and letting them form a positive connection with you in their mind through your words, images and actions.
People are drawn into a story subtly, so they don’t feel pulled. It lowers their defenses. And through a great story, you can craft a message people remember, one that sways opinion, builds trust, and ultimately convinces a person to take an action.
Utilize blog posts, how-to eBooks, videos, vibrant images, slideshows and interactive content to enhance the stories you tell about your brand, employees, customers and more.
Don’t tell them; show them to increase brand authenticity and build website authority at the same time.
2. Listen First
Be that breath of fresh air in a sea of businesses playing hardball to make a sale. As a B2B business, you already solve your clients’ problems. But what about the people who aren’t yet your customers. A Forrester study found that only 13% of customers think we actually understand their needs.
Once again, you can show them that you do by helping them resolve their challenges and find answers before they become a paying customer.
What are your target customers searching for online? Visit social media and forums like Quora, Reddit or specialized websites to find out. Listen first. Then build content for every stage of the buyer’s journey.
3. Don’t Hide Behind Your Brand
Peek-a-boo! We all see you back there, trying to seem bigger or “badder” online. It’s not just Internet trolls engaging in this larger-than-life behavior. The anonymity that the Internet affords us allows us to be anything we want to be. But the truth is when you act like you’re bigger, better or different online, it erodes trust.
So, instead, just do you. Have a personality. Show potential customers that people are your brand. Bring customers and employees to the forefront.
Afraid of what customers might see if you get this transparent?
Consider these words of wisdom from best-selling author Stephen Covey, “The process of building trust is an interesting one, but it begins with yourself, with what I call self trust, and with your own credibility, your own trustworthiness. If you think about it, it’s hard to establish trust with others if you can’t trust yourself.”
4. Encourage User-generated Content (UGC)
A Nielsen study found that 92% of people trust the recommendations of their peers. Leverage this by showcasing just how many of their peers trust your brand.
Why not run an Instagram contest with a prize that business buyers can get excited about? Invite customers to create testimonial videos. Add a UGC FAQ section to product or service pages. Let actual customers answer the questions of other potential customers. Promote your online reviews on third-party sites on social media and your website.
UGC builds authenticity in the form of social proof. And you can take social proof to the bank. It helps people who don’t know you from the next guy, choose to trust you.
5. Roll with the Punches
Understand that true transparency and authenticity in your B2B content marketing strategy may bring the critics out of the woodworks. You’re putting yourself out there. And competitors have more to work with to bring you down. Embrace it and prove them wrong. When you’re authentic, people will rally around you and you’ll come out on the other side a stronger brand.
Authenticity Is the Way to Do B2B Content Strategy Right
Ultimately, B2B customers need partners they can trust. When you promote an authentic brand online through your content strategy, they see the brand, the people, the partner who can help them achieve their goals. And on that note, we can help you become that authentic, trusted and admired brand online through authentic content. See just how easy we make to grow your business online through the power of content marketing. Request a demo today!
Leigh M. is a full-time writer who specializes in Marketing, B2B, and Healthcare writing for businesses and professionals who are looking to promote their brands through engaging and informative books, articles and copy. She has MBA level education, a strong Medical Management background as well as extensive Marketing, SEO and Analytics experience. She leverages advanced content optimization tools like Yoast, Grammarly Pro, Moz, Advanced Marketing Institute, Hemingway Editor and more to deliver polished content ready to meet content objectives.