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How do we build trust with our audience?

How do we build trust with our audience?

generosity_content_strategyTrust me. That statement doesn’t inspire trust at all, does it? But trust is something valued highly by … just about everyone. For a company, trust means:

  • Belief. Your audience is more likely to believe you without having to dive too deeply into supportive evidence.
  • Reliance. Your people are more likely to turn to you in times of need and expect you to be there for them.
  • Word of mouth. Your customer is more likely to remember and pass along information.
  • Recommendations. Your audience is more likely to recommend you and your brand.
  • Defense. Your consumer is more likely to defend you if someone is negative or prefers another brand.
  • Forgiveness. If you make a mistake (and admit it and work to fix it) you are more likely and quickly forgiven.

Put Generosity First

When you think of the people and products you trust, many reasons may come to mind: reliability, consistency, honesty, purity or authenticity, transparency, time spent together, reputation, associations, and of course, generosity.

Credibility is important in your core messaging strategy (which should be an element of your content strategy) — just as important as expressing your product benefits and features. After the 99% Conference in New York last week, generosity — a recurring theme of executing ideas well — now tops my list of credibility builders.

Just think of it: if someone smiles when you make eye contact, lets you have her seat, or offers you a stick of gum, you are instantly drawn to that person. If they go out of their way to make your life easier, like picking up something you dropped, moving out of your way, or suggesting a better route or shorter line, you’re immediately gratified. And these are small things.

What can your company do to increase its generosity and build trust? Here are some ideas:

  • Provide helpful information
  • Help people connect with others
  • Make someone’s life easier
  • Ease tension wherever you can
  • Give your customers a voice and listen thoughtfully
  • Partner with good-cause associations and tackle issues together

So what about traditional gifts? Gifts to your customers or gifts to charity? Does that help build trust in a company? Weigh in on the comments below.

Author Shelly Bowen

Shelly Bowen, Pybop's chief content strategist, has led teams of writers and creatives to develop websites and interactive content for more than 15 years. Read more about Shelly.

Contact Shelly

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Wendy says:

    I know that when a company does it’s part to right a mistake, they are way more likely to have my business. It’s common decency when you frequent a business, they should have policies that give you the benefit of the doubt and treat you like family.

    Same thing with being kind to strangers, you never know when you might meet them again in a different setting. -And it just makes the world a nicer place.

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