There is a lot of fake and staged content in our rapidly changing digital world which has led internet users to be—wary of what they consume, and with good reason. Many so-called influencers are buying followers, staging their homes, and even renting sports cars and high-end clothes to look like what they think followers want to see.
Complex algorithms are learning more about us with the more we consume, and they know how to show us what we want to see with targeted and retargeted ads. Have you ever viewed a product on Amazon only to see it show up in your feed on Facebook?
Have you heard of confirmation bias?
Confirmation bias is a term that behavioral psychologists use to demonstrate our tendency to seek out, favor, and remember information in line with our own beliefs and mindsets.
The world can be so overwhelming, full of so much stimulation that our brains can use this as a survival mechanism to block out the excess. So it’s not all bad but it can also keep us stuck. Marketers can help online followers and shoppers step out of their one-track view, their confirmation bias, with honest and engaging content. Content that makes viewers and readers think in a new way.
Maybe you’ve heard the quote,
“Trust is the currency of brands.”
I just heard Alex Antolino of The Future say that and it is so true.
So how can marketers create content that builds trust and makes followers think?
People trust people over brands. Influencer marketing has proven to be effective. However, brands need to vet their influencers and be careful that they choose ones who are being honest and genuine with their followers. They also need to make sure they are following all the legal disclaimers and sharing their real opinions. Companies can seek out influencers with whom they can build long-term authentic relationships. Ones that really do use their products and services.
Who you think you are speaking to may not actually be who you are reaching. Take the time to survey your current audience regularly and see how you can better serve your audience and followers. Maybe there are buyers that you are not serving in the best way you can. Own up to your mistakes and be humble enough to ask how you can do better—this builds a lot of trust in your brand. Take care of your customers and they will take care of you.
Don’t try to make a sale every single time. This is 'salesy' and it turns people off. It is more than ok to sell when you are offering a great product or service, but make sure you mix in other types of content, too. For example, behind-the-scenes content can be great for building trust. Show the struggles of your business from time to time, not just the highlights. Share a little bit of personal content when appropriate and relevant.
To build trust you need to be consistent with the quality of products and services you put out. The same can be said for your marketing—everything from how your brand looks to how you make people feel to what you say and how you say it. It is ok to grow and move your brand in a new direction over time but if you are constantly changing, where no one knows what to expect, trust gets broken. Set expectations and meet those expectations.
Social media marketing, for the most part, has stopped being social.
Engage with your audience. Build community and relationships. Schedule in time to answer comments and questions and to start conversations. Make your posts conversational and ask your audience to respond.
Building a relationship with your audience will help you open up your content to meet a wider range of needs because you will better know what those needs are. Your audience will tell you so much, but are you listening?
Follow these guidelines to bust through confirmation bias and create community engagement. Tell your story and speak the language of your audience. Show that you care and you will have content that both engages and captures.