A few months ago, we conducted a content marketing survey that found 74% of those who surf the Web tend to trust the non-salesy content that businesses post on their corporate, social, and other sites to educate prospects and customers and, hopefully, draw them into their communities and customer channels.
The figure may be surprisingly high, but our survey also showed it doesn't take much for content marketers to break that trust: 29% indicate that even if 99% of a blog post is compelling, valuable, and objective, all a content marketer has to do to kill her credibility is add a brief mention of the product.
It may not be fair, but that's content marketing for you. People will, for the most part, start out believing what you have to say, but their trust in your content is both fragile and fleeting.
So what can today's content marketers do to capture and maintain that trust?
1. Tell your boss, 'You're no longer my boss'
Content marketers hear it all the time from their bosses: "You're not including enough information about the product!" For content marketing to work, though, you need to forget that it's marketing, which is something that most people in your company likely won't understand. If you want to do your job effectively, you need them to understand. Educate them on what content marketing is and what it isn't, what it can do and what it can't do.
The primary goal of content marketing, of course, is to secure the readership of prospects in the hopes that it will contribute to community growth, the eventual purchase of products or services, or some other desired customer action.
The more you're able to get your organization to understand that, the easier it will be for you to tailor your content marketing to the reader's needs, not your boss's, and the more trustworthy and effective that content will be—which is in everyone's interest.