In the B2B world, trust means everything. Companies that are able to establish trust with their audience pave the way to become the leaders of their industry. They’re the go-to source for opinions and advice, enabling them to attract more clients, sell more products, and charge higher prices.
In order to prove you’re an expert in your industry, you need to share your knowledge, opinions, and advice by creating valuable content and promoting it effectively online. This will increase your visibility, improve your credibility, and enhance your brand. If you’re sharing content that is helpful, valuable, and informative to your target audience, their trust in you will grow—and so will their likelihood to purchase.
But what exactly should your marketing strategy include if you want to convince your audience to trust you? Let’s take a look at three ways you can boost your authority, build trust with your audience, and become a leader in your industry.
- Industry leaders become experts by building trust and showing they understand their audience’s needs.
- Sharing valuable information with your target audience can showcase your expertise and improve your credibility.
- Using tactics such as engaging through social media and forming influencer partnerships can also help you build trust.
1. Use the Power of Social Media
Many companies fail to use social media as more than just a platform to share links to their latest blog post. While this may direct traffic back to your website, it does very little to improve credibility with your target audience. If you want your social media followers to trust you, you need to engage with them just as much as they engage with you.
In this example, Hootsuite is taking the initiative to start a conversation with their audience through a weekly Twitter chat. By facilitating the conversation, Hootsuite is able to create a dialogue with their followers.
It’s difficult to trust a social media platform that seems too robotic. If you want your audience to trust you, your social media platforms need to provide insights, start a conversation, and share helpful pieces of advice. As Patricia Redsicker of Social Media Examiner points out, social media marketing is about making emotional connections through positive customer experiences, exceptional service and engaging conversations.
Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, and Twitter chats are some of the options you can use to position yourself as an industry leader. These can each serve as a base from which to build a community where you are the hub.
2. Publish Testimonials and Case Studies
In order to convince a B2B buyer to purchase from your company, you need to be able to prove your track record. They will want you to back up your claims with adequate research, facts, and support. Displaying testimonials and case studies on your website are two ways you can prove your capabilities to potential buyers.
Salesforce uses their “Customer Stories” page to show visitors how they’ve helped other businesses find new customers and partners. They use testimonials or summaries to provide rich bits of information to their visitors, then encourage those visitors to click through to get more information about each case.
Testimonials allow you to share the praise you’ve received from past customers and clients. Case studies give you an opportunity to share statistics, data, and facts. For a B2B buyer wondering whether or not you’re capable of solving their problems, this information may become the deciding factor.
Feature the testimonials and case studies that are most likely to get your audience’s attention, whether that’s through powerful results or a well-known company name. It’s also a good idea to use testimonials from individuals similar to those you’re hoping to atract. In a Forbes article, Neil Patel stated that the more similar a testifier is, the greater the buyer’s likelihood to convert.
3. Create Influencer Partnerships
Influencers are members of your industry who your target audience already trusts, including already-established industry leaders, bloggers, CEOs, and more. By partnering with them, you’re able to get your content in front of an already trusting audience. According to a Tomoson study, 51% of marketers believe they acquire better customers through influencer marketing.
This three-way influencer partnership between Top Rank, Curata, and Content Marketing Institute involved the creation of a SlideShare presentation. By combining forces, they were able to create a more in-depth piece of content. Moreover, with all three companies promoting the content to their readers, they each gained exposure to a larger audience.
When you create a partnership with an influencer, they’re essentially telling their audience you’re a quality brand. Since an influencer’s fans and followers are already paying close attention to the things they say and do, they’ll automatically be more accepting of your company and your products or services. If you can get them to connect with your message, you may have a new loyal customer.
Remember that partnerships should be mutually beneficial. When looking for potential partners, consider how you can benefit them. You can get your collaboration started by using social media cross-promotion, co-creating a webinar, featuring an influencer on your podcast, or swapping guest blogging slots.
Bonus: Become the Go-to Blog
Blogging is one of the easiest, cheapest, and most effective ways to connect with your target audience. Through creating a blog, you’re able to share content, ideas, and advice to help your customers better understand their challenges, options, or opportunities. When you can become a go-to resource for your industry, you also become an industry leader.
Seth Godin is an example of an expert who used his blog to build trust and become an industry leader. By sharing insights, thoughts, and tips, Seth helps his readers find motivation, stay committed, and work through their challenges.
Running an authority blog means you’re consistently providing valuable information to the people in your audience. They know they can come to your site for accurate, helpful, and informative pieces of content. Having an authority blog will not only build trust, it should also earn you more social shares, backlinks, and referral traffic.
Listen to what questions your audience is asking, and provide them with the content they’re looking for. Make sure your content is unique, detailed, and insightful.
In today’s world, just about every company is creating some kind of online content. If you want to stand out from the crowd and be perceived as the leader in your industry, you need to take your B2B marketing up a notch. When you’re able to establish your authority and credibility online, your target audience will be more likely to trust that your solutions will solve their problems.
Let’s recap the four ways you can use marketing to become an industry leader:
- Use social media to build a community and create a two-way conversation with your audience.
- Publish testimonials and case studies on your website to show off past successes.
- Work with influencers in your industry to boost your authority and exposure.
- Create extremely valuable content so your blog becomes a go-to resource for information.
Which of these tactics do you think will work best for your brand? Let us know in the comments section below!
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