The year is 2021.
The president of the United States of America is a reality TV star still claiming election fraud because he lost. Meanwhile, a proportion of the population is refusing to take a vaccine amidst a global pandemic because Mary from Accrington said Pfizer got their science wrong on Facebook.
Nope, this isn’t a dystopian novel. This is (somehow) reality.
In a world of fake news, anti-vaxxers and social media trolls, it’s little surprise that trust is a more important topic than ever before. Even before the pandemic, a mammoth 57% of consumers believed the mainstream media was contaminated with untrustworthy information.
This mistrust has no doubt only escalated since then, with rising popularity in Covid-related search terms such as ‘WHO’ signalling a somewhat cynical consumer desire to go straight to the source.
But why does all this matter to you?
Well, in a world gone mad, content creators need to be more than content creators. They need to be trust creators, too.
Who do consumers trust?
The rise of disinformation across social media has seen consumers place a greater emphasis on transparency. From influencers having to mark promotional posts on Instagram as ads to the introduction of Twitter’s recent fact-checking feature, consumers are now more aware of the authority of any given source.
So, who do consumers trust?
Consumers trust those with credibility. And how do you obtain credibility? Expertise and experience. With this in mind, content creators should consider channelling these qualities, opting to speak authentically and with authority to a target group, as opposed to speaking at a broader surface-level to a wider, undefined audience.
The three types of trust creators
There are three fundamental types of trust creator who can help take your content to the next level. These are:
- Topic specialists - those who study
- Practitioners - those who do
- Internal subject experts - those who teach
But how do these trust creator types pertain to your brand’s content?
When it comes to topic specialists, the clue’s in the name.
These are content creators who boast topical expertise, bringing uniquely authoritative insights and a deeper understanding of their specialist subject. With one ear constantly to the ground, they have the lowdown on all of the latest industry developments - including the hot topics of conversation and the fresh, uncovered news.
Topic specialists can be especially effective for technical or stringently regulated industries (bonus point if your topical speciality is also niche), as the standards of credibility in these sectors are typically higher - meaning there’s less demand for base-level content.
Practitioners are the trust creators with first-hand knowledge of the field.
They are professionals in their industry, meaning they utilise first-hand expertise to include personal and authentic anecdotes and experiences. As a result, practitioners often double up as audience peers - a quality that’s particularly useful in improving the authority of your B2C content.
Consumers trust their peers, with community publicity such as reviews and word-of-mouth still being among the most influential means of marketing. With this in mind, content rooted in experience continues to be a reliable way to gain your audience’s trust.
Internal Subject Experts
From employees to executives, internal SMEs are industry or product experts with the unique advantage of contextualising their experiences within your brand.
Brands need innovative solutions to break down the wall between brand and consumer, and elevating your internal voices can be an effective way to go about this. Get this right and your brand will quickly begin to build authority (and trust) through an increased focus on value and transparency.
The secret to longer-lasting customer relationships is authoritative, authentic content your audience can trust. Need a hand along the way? Leave your content to the professionals - get in touch with Paragraft to learn more.