Your content marketing plays a big role in earning your customers’ trust. Writers can help with this, but it’s not easy to get them to do it.
What do your customers and prospects value the most about your company? Financial performance? Employee relations? Attitude toward climate change? Fair pricing?
How about being a company they can trust?
It turns out that brand trust matters. A lot.
As a content marketing manager who knows that, you think about how to earn trust and convey trustworthiness in your communications.
Does your writer keep you honest?
Who drafts all of the content you publish, all of the vehicles on which your customers will evaluate your trustworthiness?
Your writers, of course.
Do you pay them to make you toe the line? When you engage them, do you say, “If you catch us trying to say something that sounds fishy or unreliable, let us know”? If they call you on a dodgy statistic, or doubt the veracity of your sources, do you thank them and agree to find solid ones?
You could do that, but here are some reasons why it probably won’t happen:
- That kind of purity may pit you against others in your organization. “It’s 985 megabytes in size,” says the product marketing manager. “Call it a gigabyte and be done with it.” Your writer points out that there are in fact 1 billion bytes in a gigabyte, so you’re stuck between the writer and Product Marketing.
- You need to beat a deadline. Is your time more important than your customers’ trust? How much back-and-forth with the writer can you afford, to boost the accuracy of your piece?
- Your writer doesn’t want to antagonize you. A common bit of professional camouflage goes, “Well, Bill, you know your readers and customers a lot better than I do, so I’ll take your lead on leaving that detail in the paper.” The writer wants to get paid and get hired again, so he probably won’t go to the mat with you on a disagreement over your facts.
- There is ALWAYS a fib somewhere, and the only way to avoid them completely is to say nothing to your customers. You may find that out if you empower your writer to grill you on your evidence.
Build your customers’ trust with rude questions from your writer
Jason Cohen, of A Smart Bear fame, posted recently on Rude Q&A. (Pardon the unnecessarily rude first sentence of the post – bloggers often pride themselves on shock value.) Jason offers a valuable lesson in tough questions that come from investors, for which businesspeople should have ready, defensible answers.
If you hire professional, diplomatic writers, you should be able to go through at least some of Jason’s questions peacefully:
- What are the top three features your competitor has that you lack? How do you address that today, and what are you doing about it in the next six months?
- What are three tangible, undeniable ways in which your product/company saves more money than you cost, and saves more time than you consume?
- There are thousands of companies who make the same basic claims you make: high-quality, on-time, on-budget, good service, happy customers. What makes you any different?