Creating rapport and gaining trust from consumers plays a huge role in generating leads and
ultimately making sales. In today’s world, this isn’t always easy to achieve and many consumers have an inherent skepticism of some companies. For this reason, it’s important to win over your audience and break through any barriers that might prevent them from wanting your products or services.
One effective technique is to educate consumers and share your knowledge. By answering their questions and solving their problems, you can gradually build trust and earn a positive reputation within your industry. With so many mediums for content creation, it’s never been easier to connect in this way. Let’s now explore how brands can benefit from teaching and discuss some mediums you can utilize.
Demonstrate Your Industry Expertise
A lot of business owners claim that they’re industry experts and know everything there is to know on a subject. But without backing it up, there’s no real way for consumers to know for sure. This is especially true in the Internet age, where charlatans abound. Developing educational materials to clue your audience in on complex topics and breaking them down into digestible information is one of the quickest ways to show what you bring to the table and why your company is worth doing business with.
Say the owner of a tech company who created a productivity app wanted to generate more leads and get people to buy their product. They might create a series of content pieces that cover topics like productivity hacks, increasing employee output, tips for streamlining daily tasks, etc.
Doing this has three major benefits.
First, it’s firsthand proof that the owner knows what they’re talking about and truly understands their industry. Consequently, this should make consumers feel more comfortable making a purchase. Second, it helps build rapport with potential customers because they’re offering something of value for free. Finally, this content is likely to be distributed through search engines, social media and other outlets, which should inevitably generate more leads.
Improve Brand Reputation
When you mix all of these benefits together, the end result is more industry credibility and a stronger brand. By giving your insight via one or more content outlets, it’s an excellent way to build a foundation for organic growth. Rather than implementing outbound marketing techniques that are “pushy” or “salesy,” this inbound technique of educational content should have a far greater impact. This is especially beneficial in the long run because you’re building relationships instead of merely aiming for a one-time sale.
Content Sharing Mediums to Use
Here are some popular ways that you can reach your audience. While even using just one of these mediums should work, it’s ideal to use a variety because consumers will have different preferences in how they prefer to digest content.
Blog Posts – This the most tried and true approach. Starting a blog to cover relevant industry topics is perhaps the most straightforward way to educate your audience and bring in leads. One popular blogging strategy is creating long-form or “big content,” where you cover a topic in great detail. Big content goes beyond your traditional 400 or 500 word posts and strives to be in depth. Typically, this will exceed 1,000 words and point out details that your competitors may miss.
eBooks – With the ease of sharing PDF files and the rise of digital e-readers like the Kindle and Nook, eBooks are incredibly popular these days. They’re relatively simple to create, and even with limited experience you should be able to create a great looking eBook. This is the ideal medium when you’re looking to tackle an exhaustive subject and need a longer format. Giving away a free eBook is perfect for getting your foot in the door with consumers and many people will really appreciate this as a gift. This guide will show you how to get started.
Slideshows – Creating presentations via slideshows works well for reaching people that want the main idea, but not necessarily all the details. This is a good choice for breaking information down into bullet points and allows you to incorporate photos and animation. Slideshows are also highly customizable, so you can use a theme that ties into your brand. A popular place to create professional presentations is SlideShare because of the exposure your work can receive. Some other options are Microsoft PowerPoint and the “Presentation” feature on Google Drive.
Podcasts – For consumers that prefer their content in audio format, there’s no better way to reach them than through podcasts. Whether you’re looking to create a regular series or just record a couple of sessions to answer frequently asked questions, this medium lets you connect with consumers in an intimate way. On the most basic level, you can use a simple USB microphone and free audio software like Audacity to record your podcasts. For further guidance that will walk you through the process step-by-step, this tutorial should be a big help.
Infographics – Short for information graphics, infographics have really caught and are used as an efficient way to condense large amounts of data. These incorporate a combination of text and images to showcase statistics, studies and a plethora of other information in a way that’s easy to understand. They work perfectly when you need to present a large body of data, but want to keep it fun and digestible for individuals with even the shortest of attention spans. This guide will highlight some tools you can use to create your own infographics.
Videos – A final option is to share your knowledge through videos on sites like YouTube and Vimeo. With most computers and smartphones already having built-in recording capabilities, creating quality content is a cinch. In your videos, you may want to talk about industry news and answer FAQs. You might even want to use Google Hangouts to have live video calls with a small group of customers. The great thing about this medium is that it’s highly personable, which can help strengthen the connection between your brand and audience.
By experimenting with a few of these mediums, you should be able to find the right formula for your brand. Sharing your experience and providing insights can be the catalyst for trust building, which ultimately boosts brand equity and keeps customers coming back.