Trust is a scarce commodity for companies and other organizations in 2018.
Modern market forces have resulted in an unprecedented loss of trust for institutions and businesses. News organizations have experienced a rebound, with new journalism seeing an increase in influence—but PR pros are having a harder time than ever securing earned media coverage.
The press release is an outdated tactic, some say. Others contend social media is a poor substitute for trusted news outlets. Influencer marketing isn’t going to replace earned media’s place, either.
The good news is that content marketing might help fill the void.
A new study from the Content Marketing Institute asserts that owned media might be the answer to your organization’s trust concerns. The key to building a relationship with a consumer is to provide value—including delivering valuable information.
The study writes:
When you put your audience’s needs first – and create your content based on THOSE needs – what are you really trying to do? Of course, you want your content to get found, consumed, discussed, and/or shared, to generate action by your audience. You want the right people to find value in your content and subscribe to it.
But what’s happening on a deeper level when you help someone by providing valuable information? Our research indicates you’re creating a bond: 96% of the most successful content marketers agree their audience views their organization as a credible and trusted resource.
How can you apply this insight in your efforts? CMI’s chief strategy advisor, Robert Rose, says, “Every digital experience we create should not only reflect our focus on winning a moment of truth—where the customer is paying attention—but in deepening the trust gained (or regained) in every step that precedes or follows it.”
Know your audience
A good grasp of your audience is essential for providing value with your content marketing. In order to create content your audience will find useful, you must first know who they are.
CMI’s report says relatively few content marketers are researching their audience by talking directly with consumers. Only 42 percent say they have a direct dialogue with their audience. More likely avenues for feedback are keyword research and reports from the sales team.
The report suggests marketers should make every effort to contact real consumers—either by jumping on calls with sales reps or interacting at in-person events.
Be prepared to spend
Budgets are going up for content marketers, according to CMI—and most of the money is going to creation efforts. Fifty-six percent report increased spending on creation. Staff increases are reported by just 37 percent, and distribution efforts garner 36 percent.
Content creation costs align with the increase in video content, per CMI’s report.
Sixty-four percent of marketers report an increase in audio/visual content, whereas only 4 percent note a decrease. Audio-only content (such as podcasts) was increased by 38 percent of respondents.
The written word shouldn’t be ignored. While print content, such as magazines and brochures, has seen the highest drop in use (17 percent), digital content have seen major gains. Sixty-one percent report an increase in blogging and e-books, and 33 percent report keeping their efforts at the same level for digital writing content.