A recent survey from from Experticity reveals that the key driver to making a sale is trust. Yet only 3% of people consider marketers and salespersons to be trustworthy, coming in just below professional athletes and baristas. Ouch. But at least we’re still more trustworthy than politicians and lobbyists!
The good news is that inbound marketing—when done well—doesn’t fit the typical “marketer” and “salesperson” mold. Inbound marketing turns traditional sales and marketing on their heads. The mantra, “Always be selling” is now “Always be helping.” With inbound marketing, companies can establish themselves as thought leaders and educators, trusted advisors who help buyers to make the right purchasing decisions. Rather than pushing a product, successful inbound methodology earns buyers’ trust by providing helpful content that educates and delights.
Inbound Marketing Builds Buyer Trust
In fact, 74% of buyers trust content from businesses that aim to educate—with a few caveats:
- Include third-party sources and acknowledge opposing viewpoints for the sake of credibility
- Watch your tone—content that talks down to readers will turn them away
- Don’t try to sell them anything. Closing with a sales pitch will tank your trustworthiness.
The key is to provide objective content that can be verified.
What Types of Content Promote the Most Trust?
The type of content you’re creating influences its trustworthiness. Inbound content like Facebook posts, YouTube videos, and blogs are in the top five most trusted sources of online information, and blogs are third-most influential for shaping consumer opinion.
More good news for inbound marketers: a recent Forrester research survey found that buyers trust content they can find on their own terms rather than content that’s pushed out to them by brands. It’s even better if independent sources create the content, so make sure you’re also sharing third-party content that supports your message.
Shared Content’s Impact on Trust
You can boost your trustworthiness even more by making your content easy to share. Studies show that shared content is trusted more. While only 15% of consumers trust social media posts from brands, 70% of people trust brand or product recommendations from their network.
Make your content irresistibly easy to share by:
- Adding Share icons on your blog posts and landing pages
- Asking influencers to help get your content out
- Creating content that elicits high-arousal emotions (surprise, excitement, anger, astonishment, etc.)
- Creating multimedia content—people love to share videos, images, and gifs
- Incentivize sharing by recognizing sharers or entering them in drawings
Looking to increase your sales this quarter? Start by considering whether your prospects trust you. Then invest in smart inbound strategies that win sales by delighting your prospects with content they trust.