Building trust and influence with Content marketing

Anantha Silva

Fostering trust and building influence enhances your efforts when you try to market your products and services to your respective audiences. Influencing how people behave and react to seeing or hearing your brand can definitely change people’s purchasing behavior. This can be as a result of how positively or negatively your intended audience sees your brand image.

There may be several ways of building influence for your brand or company. Content marketing is definitely one of the most effective and powerful tools any business can utilize to enhance their brand today. We’ll tell you why and how you can get your business onboard.

Trust works on multiple levels: Do you follow through with what you say? Do you stick to your principles and core company values? Do you treat your customers fairly and with compassion? Are you environmentally sustainable? Content marketing allows you answer these questions to your audience in creative ways. Your brand can then not only be viewed as trustworthy, but also generous and even selfless.

Social engineering and the art of persuasion certainly isn’t a new concept to human societies. Aristotle, all the way back in 350 BC, outlined the Ethos, Pathos, Logos and Kairos. The modes of persuasion.

To keep things simple, Ethos is the appeal to authority, Pathos is the appeal to the audience’s emotions, Logos is the appeal of logic and Kairos is the timing and placing of how to persuade a particular audience. Very little has changed in the last 2,000 years when it comes to persuasion of a targeted audience, but now we have the tools and technology to take the level of creativity beyond what people have ever experienced before.

“Disinterested goodwill” was also thought to be a key component of an effective use of ethos by Aristotle. It is technique which combines likeability and selflessness.

Now, when I use the word “Disinterested” here, it doesn’t mean that you don’t care if the overall outcome is beneficial to your business; it means you have provided something to your audience regardless of you directly or immediately benefiting from the advert in the short term or not. It is all a part of building trust or building a brand name.

When quality content is given away that’s so good you could have charged money for it, you’re acting with “disinterested goodwill.” Your targeted audience received something from you of value, regardless of whether you ever receive a single cent from them or not. Coca-Cola and Pepsi does this with their incredibly creative and entertaining adverts that focus more on the message and on creativity rather than the actual product itself. Any sponsored show or performance done by a company that does not relate directly to their product is also an example of this.

Another classic persuasion technique is the “reluctant conclusion.” This is when you decide to share with your audience that your company or product line had a change of heart based on “newly uncovered evidence”. The evidence, of course, does not have to be genuinely newly uncovered.

An example of this would be that once your company recognizes that a certain product isn’t selling too well then you could admit that you were wrong to charge such high prices and that with goodwill alone, you decided to lower your prices.

This is an effective technique as your company has met the goal of sparking sales in dormant products. It’s a win-win situation when you add in the gain in trust from your audience and this will help you sell future products and services.

If you think that any of these tactics above sounded shady or even manipulative, you’re not alone. That doesn’t mean they don’t work when trying to build trust with certain segments of your audiences; they just might not work on you.

With continuous engagement on building trust, businesses can build good and productive relationships with their audience as well as significant influence over their decision making if done properly. At a more practical level, having influence will help:

  1. People to buy into the brand
  2. To differentiate yourselves from competitors
  3. To get closer to your company vision and mission

So how do you build this type of influence with Content Marketing? You do this by providing your audience with an appreciable benefit.