Reputation is critical for any business that wants to grow. If you’re just starting out, you may offer the best product in the industry with the quality customer service to back it up, but it won’t matter because you’ll have zero notoriety to start. On the other hand, if you’re customer service is a work in progress and your product isn’t quite perfect, you can make up for it with a brand reputation that makes people comfortable buying from you.
Building this reputation through consistent service and fair offers is effective, but also very slow. If you want a faster, efficient, and powerful way to build your reputation even further, consider leveraging the true potential of content marketing.
There are seven ways content can build you a better brand reputation, and all of them are impactful:
This first way should be fairly obvious to you. If you write frequently about a given topic, always speak in an authoritative voice, and bring new insights to the discussion, eventually people will begin to recognize you as an expert in the field. For new customers, this might mean browsing for a specific product, reading a recent blog, and deciding that this particular provider knows what they’re talking about. For older customers, it might mean checking your newsfeed regularly and growing more comfortable every day that your voice is one of authority and expertise. Either way, people will grow to trust you as a commanding voice in your niche.
One of the key benefits of inbound content marketing is getting in front of customers who are already looking for someone like you. When you write “how-to,” “why,” and “what” style posts, you’re using long-tail keywords that help you appear in common user searches for those topics. When you’re in need of something, whether it’s as urgent as a plumbing emergency or as innocuous as a curious question about meat packing, you get a sense of relief whenever you find the answers to your questions. If you’re the one answering those questions, people will associate that comfortable relief with your brand, and they’ll remember you the next time they need something.
Building authority isn’t all about self-promotion. If your content gets featured in an external publication, you can build your authority by proxy, siphoning some authority from whatever external platform you’ve chosen to work with. In some cases, this means an industry affiliation—for example, you might be considered more of an expert if your piece is featured prominently in an industry trade publication. In other cases, this is sheer name recognition—for example, people might think more highly of your brand if you’re featured in high-profile publications like Forbes or Entrepreneur.
This is especially true if you taking advantage of guest posting (as you should). As long as you choose the right topics and do a decent job of promoting your work, you’ll start showing up for people looking for content. The first time you show up, people might not think anything of your name, but the second time they see it, they’ll likely remember it. By the fourth or fifth time they see your name, they’ll instantly trust you, and beyond that, they’ll seek you out specifically whenever they have a need (assuming you’ve been meeting their needs).
Not all businesses take the time or effort to produce content. If a visitor perusing your site finds your blog and newsfeeds empty, it might reflect that you aren’t interested in regularly updating your customers. On the other hand, if your blog is full and your site is ripe with fresh, interesting content, it shows you’re committed to making your business better, and that builds trust.
You might struggle with this aspect at first, but the longer you spend optimizing your content strategy, the stronger it’s going to become. People trust brands and personalities that other people already trust—it’s a social confirmation bias that’s hard wired into our brains. When people see others commenting on, sharing, or otherwise engaging with your content, your content instantly appears more valuable, and your brand builds a stronger reputation as a result.
Think about the most comfortable things in your life. It could be your favorite chair in the living room, your mom’s old chicken soup recipe, or that perfect spot in the park down the street. Few of these things were inherently comfortable when you first encountered them, but they became comfortable over time because you experienced them repeatedly and consistently. The view in the park never changed. The taste of the soup never differed. People grow comfortable with things because they’re consistent, and if your content consistently demonstrates your brand voice, that trustworthy reputation will naturally come along for the ride.
A better brand reputation isn’t just about getting more people to recognize your name, or getting more people to visit your website. It’s about building trust with new customers and loyalty with older ones. Trust and loyalty are qualities that can’t be bought or traded, nor can they be forcefully acquired. But over time, with diligence and commitment to quality, your content campaign can earn them, and your brand will enjoy the benefits of a bigger, more invested audience.
Want more information on content marketing? Head over to our comprehensive guide on content marketing here: The All-in-One Guide to Planning and Launching a Content Marketing Strategy.