I’ve just returned from a relaxing break in Spain where I enjoyed visits to Barcelona and a trip to the French side of Catalonia. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Not according to Mrs R, who was forced to join me and two of my male mates on a five-day break to Lloret De Mar that was booked because the men in the party went to watch a rugby match in Perpignan and then spend the rest of our time following the World Cup!
Mrs R has already told me that she’ll never trust me with the holiday arrangements again. And this is the point of this blog – brand trust, not holiday arrangements.
In the previous Southerly blog, Shelley Hoppe quite rightly pointed out that if you don’t trust your brand, then content marketing becomes pretty difficult.
In other words, you can’t market something you don’t believe in. Interestingly the Content Marketing Institute figures cited by that blog also state that the number one goal of content marketers in the UK is brand awareness.
But what does that mean for your consumer? And how do you make them not just trust your brand but become its evangelist. Events in Spain gave me the answers to these two questions.
Familiarity is the first stage of trust…
After running short of beer tokens, which I believe others call Euros, I set out in search of an ATM. I’m well aware that this is not the most cost-effective method of converting Sterling to the local currency, but the British-style bar in which we were watching Brazil and Mexico play out a stalemate didn’t offer a chip and PIN facility and it was my turn to pay for another round of drinks.
I came across three ATMs less than 100m from the bar and chose to withdraw funds from the one marked Santander. Why? Because I trust the Santander brand. It has a presence on the British high street, unlike the other branded ATMs I came across.
Of course, brand trust is not confined to ATMs. My friends and I chose to watch the World Cup in a British-themed pub because it served beer brands that we are familiar with, such as Guinness and John Smith’s.
But quality content produces a strong bond
But a successful content marketing strategy is a lot more than the trust that brand recognition brings. It is about producing content that is entertaining and informative and builds a higher level of trust among consumers.
And the next stage of return from a successful content marketing strategy is when consumers do not just trust your brand, they become evangelists and willingly share your content among their friends.
This state of affairs cannot happen overnight. When it comes to content marketing, you need to play the long game.
The key ingredient to this long game is consistency. Just as the eventual winners of the World Cup will not change their style mid-tournament, inconsistency is the kiss of death in content marketing because without it you will lose customers’ trust. And who buys from, let alone is an evangelist of, a brand they don’t trust?