Before your prospects convert to customers, they must trust you.
But winning their trust can be challenging—especially in an age when they may be inundated with hundreds of messages for businesses that are similar to your own.
Standing apart from the competition is tough when every brand or business claims to offer the “best” option.
You already know that your product or service is valuable and that your customers will be satisfied.
The challenge is proving it. You must position your company as a trustworthy expert: the guide your audience can rely on when they’re looking for solutions to their problems, unique insights, and beneficial tools.
Your Company, the Trusted Guide
Positioning your company as an expert simply means leveraging your own expertise and authority to create content that offers knowledge, insight, and guidance.
Your audience receives “free advice”—and they remember your company as the voice that helped them to solve a problem or gain a new insight.
In turn, you earn new customers with potential long-term value.
This kind of content has manifold benefits. Not only does it position your business as a credible, trustworthy source, but high-quality content will help your site to rank better in search results.
Content marketing that leverages your own expertise delivers valuable information to your audience through the following types of assets:
- Evergreen articles
- Social media posts
- Lead magnets
By strategically funneling these assets to new audiences, you’ll continue to assure prospects that your business is an expert, with plenty of information to share.
It’s a win-win: Your business generates new leads and your audience discovers valuable insights and concrete solutions to their challenges.
Now, let’s take a look at the different kinds of assets, and how to use your own expertise to create high-quality content that positions you as an authority.
A Content Funnel that Builds Trust
Evergreen articles, or blog posts, will help you position your business as an expert, even with new prospects.
Evergreen articles contain information that will continue to be fresh. In other words, they are not so timely or event-oriented that they won’t be relevant in six months (or six days).
This is the content marketing that happens at the top of your funnel. Reading these blog posts may be the first step a prospect takes toward getting to know your business a little more, and ultimately, to becoming a customer.
This is also the stage where you can establish yourself as an expert, through offering content that describes a process or insight that’s relatively unique to your business.
For example, your article may outline a strategic, multi-stage process that your business has developed to solve a specific problem. Or, you may want to offer a myth-busting insight that helps your audience to avoid a costly mistake.
By “giving away” this information for free, you establish trust. This is a relationship where they know that your business is there to help them, not simply to make a sale.
Social Media Posts
Let’s back up a little bit in the process. How did your prospects find your company’s blog posts in the first place?
One way that your audience will find your blog is simply through organic search results. As mentioned before, if your blog posts contain authentic, valuable information, Google will rank them better anyway.
A second way that your audience may find your articles is through social media posts. Tweets and Facebook posts can help drive organic traffic to your articles and expand your overall audience on social media.
Again, a win-win for your business and your prospects. You gain valuable positioning and generate leads. Your prospects discover a guide that can help them overcome challenges and gain a new insight.
Content Upgrades and Email
Your evergreen articles have more than one purpose. By offering a content upgrade in the body of the post, you give prospects an additional opportunity to receive free, valuable information from your business—and put confidence in your expertise.
A content upgrade could be a:
- Short guide
- Another valuable piece of content
In any case, this free, downloadable PDF expands on the topic of your evergreen article. This is a type of lead magnet: an asset that generates new leads by providing content that’s worthwhile.
When prospects respond to the offer for a content upgrade, you’ll collect their email address and send them the asset, funneling them into a valuable drip email campaign. At this point, you’ve reached the middle of the funnel. Your prospects have now become leads, and a deeper, ongoing relationship has been established.
Now, your audience has begun to see your business as the guide that has already offered them value, and will most likely continue to do so.
Global Lead Magnets
A second type of lead magnet that you’ll want to create to help earn the trust of your audience would be what’s called a global lead magnet.
A global lead magnet typically contains more content than a content upgrade, offering in-depth insight and solutions in the form of:
- Case studies
- White papers
- And other long-form, high-value assets
Global lead magnets are excellent for positioning your business as an authority, because they help your audience overcome a challenge (such as in a webinar or e-book) or learn about a practical solution (such as in a case study or white paper).
This is your audience’s opportunity to dive a little deeper into your own expertise and knowledge. It’s also a chance for them to get to know your brand or business more as a trusted voice and guide, coming alongside them to help them grow or conquer a challenge.
The Final Stage: The Buying Decision
Ultimately, your global lead magnet may be exactly what your prospect needs to take the final leap into the bottom of the funnel—the stage in the process where your prospects make a buying decision.
Bottom-of-the-funnel assets include information about your pricing, your FAQ, and a possible demo. This is where you call your prospects to action, to respond to the offer to purchase your product or service.
By this point, you’ve earned the trust of your audience through building the credibility and authority of your company in multiple stages.
First, your prospects had an opportunity to get to know your business through an evergreen article that offered them substantial, relevant information. This blog post immediately positioned your company as an expert, having value and insight to share.
Then, your prospects had a chance to receive more information from this new, credible guide (your business or brand), in the form of a lead magnet. They might have responded to this offer through one of your blog posts, on social media, or on your website.
Now, they have a chance to directly benefit from you, with either a content upgrade (special, downloadable PDF) or a global lead magnet (e-book, e-course, case study, or other long-form piece of content). This is where real trust is established: Your company is offering to help them solve a problem, free of charge.
By the time prospects have reached the bottom of the funnel, they know you as a trustworthy expert.
They can trust that your business will deliver on your promises, and that you prioritize quality and excellence in your product or service.
The journey to getting there, however, requires multiple types of content—and the time and energy to create them.Audience Ops specializes in creating value-driven, high quality content customized to your specific brand or company. You can skip the heavy lifting of content creation, and still position yourself as a trustworthy authority. Learn more and request a free consultation.