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How to Build Credibility and Trust With Effective Content Creation Connect with your audience with a content creation strategy that increases brand awareness and guarantees a loyal customer base.

By Erica McMillan Edited by Micah Zimmerman

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Anyone can start a business and boost sales with traditional marketing methods, but to build a brand, you need more than products or services — you need a voice. Hundreds of brands have used powerful branding to attract attention and entice people to learn more about their brand.

Take Spotify, for example. They don't market themselves as a music platform for a global audience. They offer a premium service for those who want music that matches their "mood," not a specific genre. Whether or not you are part of that group is up to you. The platform is similar to any other music app, but how they market their content is unique and compelling.

Coca-Cola invests in small-scale charity events to market internationally, McDonald's keeps its menu global and local to keep things interesting and Airbnb uses real-life videos and photographs to create a sense of nostalgia.

This is the power of personalizing your brand to your audience, and you can achieve it through content creation.

Related: 3 Essentials for Building a Loyal Customer Base

What is an effective content creation strategy?

A content creation strategy has four crucial elements that determine the level of authenticity, trust, and credibility your content can achieve. The four elements are connection opportunities, trust by association, differentiation from your competition and meaningful offer.

1. Connection opportunities — Build a loyal customer base

To understand this element of content creation, you need to answer one question — how does your situation relate to your target customer? You must not limit yourself to your product or service niche when looking for a connecting point. Anything from hobbies, past relationships and struggle stories can be the element that gets your audience's attention. Find the angle of common ground to focus on so that your customers can relate to you personally to build trust and authenticity.

2. Trust by association — Show them what you stand for!

If you say to a customer, "trust me, I know what I'm talking about!" they are unlikely to believe you. You have to show them why they should trust your brand, service or product through your content. Talk about who you respect, what you enjoy most and with whom. Connect with them by talking about friends, families or co-workers — anything related to your target customer will be helpful.

3. Differentiate – Set yourself apart from the competition

Like Spotify, you are likely not the first to offer a better solution to a customer's problem. However, how you present yourself or your brand can help customers distinguish between you and others in your industry. Take inspiration from life experiences, losses, victories and, most importantly, your origin story to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Furthermore, offer examples of your successes, such as how you were featured in the top-tier press for your accomplishments.

4. Meaningful offer – Present a solution to your audience's pain point

You must be specific about your offer in your content by addressing what your offer solves. Otherwise, your audience will get confused. Make a list of things your audience wants and use that to generate meaningful content that resonates with them. You can talk about the technical features your brand offers, or you can let the customer know what they get from it, but it needs to provide a solution to a problem or provide a benefit that offers value.

Related: Here's How to Improve Your Business's Content Marketing

How to build credibility and trust with your content

You will build brand credibility and trust by incorporating these four elements in your content strategy to create a cohesive branding campaign. Here are some ways to help you get started:

Produce flawless content and invest in PR

There's too much content available online, and the attention span of an internet user is decreasing fast. How do you make yourself stand out against these odds? You create flawless, easy-to-skim content that presents your brand as the solution to your audience's pain points. Then supercharge it with a publicity campaign to differentiate yourself from your competition to stand out as the authority of your niche via industry-related media outlets that are already viewed as credible and trustworthy.

The first impression rule

Have you watched the first commercial for MacBook Air? Apple didn't say it has manufactured a lightweight laptop for consumers. It put the MacBook Air in an envelope to show that feature. The idea of the first impression is only to share the necessary information to get the message across. Your audience can connect the dots and understand your message in a few words or seconds.

A consistent brand voice

Make your content reflect your brand voice clearly and consistently. Your target audience will get confused if your message sounds different across various platforms. This is not good for your bottom line. So, be consistent across all platforms, including your website, social media and press.

Related: If You're Not Approaching Your Brand This Way, You're Losing Customers

Final Words

Powerful branding is possible with an effective content creation strategy, and you can use the four elements of building trust and credibility to achieve that.

Once you get the strategy rolling, you will likely attract your target customer and help them find what they are looking for. The most effective way to make your content trustworthy is to stay consistent and have a powerful brand voice. In the long run, consistency will result in a loyal customer base that will increase sales.

Erica McMillan

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Serial Entrepreneur, Online Visibility Strategist, Artist

Erica McMillan is a 10-time Founder, CEO, Serial Business Entrepreneur, Contemporary Artist, a member of the Forbes Business Council, Publicist, modern-Marketing Brand Consultant, Online Visibility Strategist and founder of the largest invitation-only private media relations network.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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