No matter what business you’re in, you probably know by now that the key to (increasing) conversion is getting people to trust you. Trust that the product or service you’re selling does what you say it does; trust that you won’t make yourself scarce once a customer pays for your product; trust that you’re reliable, willing to help and great to do business with.

This is what content marketing can help you with – build up trust and familiarity with your potential customers. Why? Because people buy from people they know, like and trust. Content marketing isn’t specifically about selling a product or service, but about selling your brand and building an impeccable reputation for your business, one that shows its willingness to do everything in its power to ensure customers are happy.

If you’re a small business owner, you’re lucky, let me tell you. Unlike industry giants, you can get more personal and closer to your target audience than corporations can. You have a small team and people can put a face and maybe even a voice to your business. You can afford (and should!) to be more informal, more human than any corporation can afford to.

Now that you know how important gaining your customers’ trust is for your business, let’s look at 6 ways you can help build it:

1. Don’t build on rented land

With all the social media frenzy, you might be tempted to invest more time and effort into building a fan base on Facebook or Twitter rather than focusing on creating purposeful content on your own site.

While social sites are important for engaging with your customers, your priority should be your own website. It’s the space where all your valuable content should live, your own domain and platform you can control and do what you want on. When you’re using social sites, you’re publishing content on someone else’s domain so and with it come restrictions and limitations. You might not be allowed to share certain images or you might be limited to only 140-characters messages.

But when you have your own www.yoursitename.co.uk website, you know it’s yours and can do whatever you please.  So, build your business on your site and use social media to send users back to your own site to convert.

2. Your content should be about them, not about you!

A common problem with business owners in general is that, instead of thinking what their audience wants and needs, they think about themselves a bit too much. It’s never about you and what you like. Forget about “we love”, “we do”, “we believe” and think about what they love, need, want. Only when you’ll stop thinking and talking about yourself and start making it about your customers will you begin to gain their trust. The more you talk about yourself, your company, your products and services, the more you’ll bore them and determine them to leave. They have so many other options available, so if you want to gain their trust and get them to stick around you’d better make it about them and never about you.

3. Give your content a secure environment

Having your site hacked is a lot more damaging that you might think. You’ve invested so much time and effort to show customers just how trustworthy you are and then, puff, it’s all gone just because you didn’t take security seriously. So, when you build your site make sure you get a reliable hosting provider who cares about security as much as you do about your business. And I’m not just saying that because we’re offering a fantastic solution that identifies and removes malware threats, although you might try it out.

4. Create a website experience that users love

No one loves an ugly or complicated website and trust me when I say that no one will buy from it. Your design should be simple yet catchy, your navigation should be logical and your content should be useful and to-the-point. Read more about how to create a website experience that users love.

5. Link to industry influencers

If you’re just starting out, a good way to gain people’s trust is by referencing to experts in your industry. It doesn’t mean that your comments or opinions aren’t valuable or shouldn’t be trusted, but it sure helps to back them up by those more experienced than you. Plus, quoting experts who have already build authorship helps with search engines too.

6. To build trust, first build relationships

While your site should remain your main focus, you should also be social and engage with your audience. Share interesting and useful stuff from your own site, engage in conversations, get active and become a member of the community. Oh, and please don’t market your products and services too much. Let your fans do the hard work and promote your stuff for you.

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