Building trust through differentiated and thoughtful content

Editor’s note: Misty Albrecht is VP, director of corporate communication at b1Bank.  

Every piece of content you publish is an opportunity to build trust with your audience. When your audience trusts you, every interaction you have will be more valuable and more likely to further the relationship.

Building trust starts with properly understanding your audience and offering unique, insightful content. But what does that mean for brands today? These tips can help you build a foundation for differentiated and thoughtful corporate content.

  1. Create strong connections with clients. 
  2. Fully understand your ideal customers. 
  3. Be the expert but reach your audience where they are knowledge wise.
  4. Don’t just be a platform for experts to share ideas but help them do this in the best way possible. 
  5. Stay up-to-date on industry trends. 
  6. Try new tools as they are developed to create content. 

Build stronger connections

Some people view marketing as a game of volume — saturating the market and trying to capture as many eyeballs as possible. But modern consumers are increasingly immune to traditional advertising methods, and they’re tuning out messaging that doesn’t resonate. That’s why personalized experiences and strong connections are key to winning customers. 

Technology has made it easier than ever to create tailored experiences at scale, but it’s still important to engage on a personal level. Modern content marketing teams rely on data, artificial intelligence and other technologies to understand their customers. But they combine that data with the human touch to create content experiences that foster connection, curiosity and interest in the brand.

People should recognize their situation in your messaging. How can storytelling techniques help your audience emotionally connect with your brand’s message? That initial connection is just the starting point. Continue to engage your audience with informative and thought-provoking content. Encourage their curiosity to explore your brand further.   

Don’t try to appeal to everyone 

Very few brands are universal. Trying to be everything for everyone will only result in diluted messaging that entices no one.

Instead, focus on fully understanding your brand and your ideal customers. Knowing your value proposition and combining that with what you know about your audience’s needs will enable you to create content that will resonate with their pain points, desires and motivations. Share real-world success stories, best practices and relevant data to demonstrate your expertise and interest in solving customers’ most pressing needs. 

Every piece of content won’t be relevant to every customer, even if they’re a part of your ideal customer profile. Sometimes you can’t check every box, and that’s OK. Each person is at a unique point in their purchasing journey, and it’s your job to meet them where they are. Create a range of content for every stage that lines up with your buyer personas. Regularly revisit those personas to ensure you’re keeping up with changes in your audience and their most pressing needs.  

Consider your audience’s experience

When you tailor content to your audience, meet them at their level of knowledge. Find the balance of being the expert and approachable. Don’t resort to industry jargon and technical details when plain language does the job. If you’re covering complex topics like banking, for example, break the information down into more easily digestible pieces.

People’s needs change quickly, and you need to anticipate and respond to those changes. 

Look at qualitative data from customer feedback, social media and other sources to understand the emotional and psychological drivers that influence your audience’s behavior. Use that data to adjust your marketing channels and content calendars.

Leverage your experts when creating branded content

Your market leaders are experts who are passionate about their work. But they might not know how to share their expertise, or they might struggle to translate their knowledge into soundbites and actionable insights. This is where content marketing and communications professionals can help these experts shine.

Get in touch with these experts to better understand the topics they can speak to and in what ways they’d like to contribute. Some internal experts make great interview subjects for a blog post or podcast episode, while some are excellent writers who can craft thought leadership pieces. Other experts are less comfortable in the public eye but can contribute to your content efforts by providing data and verifying information. 

Whatever approach you take, empower the experts within your company to contribute to your content efforts and build camaraderie.

Stay in the know

Another way to position your brand as a thought leader is by staying up on industry trends and sharing that information with your audience. Showing your knowledge of the latest developments — and how you’re responding — helps you build trust and credibility.

Security threats, regardless of industry, can arise unexpectedly and have diverse impacts on individuals and organizations. While some industries, such as financial institutions, have access to specialized services to stay informed about risks, consumers often don’t have access to the same information. This creates opportunities to proactively communicate risks, tactics and best practices to your audience to help them take steps to protect their own assets and information.

Phishing and social engineering scams, for example, are becoming much more sophisticated and harder to detect. In the past, scammers often used fake phone numbers or e-mail addresses to trick people into thinking they were communicating with a trusted contact. Now, with advancements in AI, cybercriminals can create highly realistic audio and video impersonations of real people. 

These techniques, along with other malicious activity like skimming and ransomware, can result in unauthorized access to sensitive information, system-wide disruptions, business extortion and myriad other issues for businesses and customers. Without proactive communication from trusted sources, such as your brand, consumers may be unaware of this growing risk until it's too late. 

Explore new tools for creating corporate content 

ChatGPT, Stable Diffusion and other AI tools are changing the rules of content creation in ways that seemed impossible not long ago. That doesn’t mean you should expect them to replace humans.

AI-powered content tools and other technologies are powerful ways to explore content topics, but they come with risks. They also aren’t a substitute for your brand’s voice. Ultimately, developing differentiated and thoughtful corporate content requires a combination of analysis, empathy and insight. 

Turning to curiosity and experimentation in content creation

The best way to get started is to be curious about your audience and how you can inform them. Don’t be afraid to experiment. And as you produce content, measure your performance and apply what you learn to future marketing efforts.