Consumers trust expert opinions – even if they’re not yours [study]

Published on
by Brafton Editorial
Customers understand the motives of content providers, so act in good faith to offer them valuable information and useful content.

Using content to market products and services is a well-known tactic, but there are finer points that often go under the radar. For example: Who should be presenting blog posts, news stories and promotional information? 

A recent Nielsen study of consumers, indicates third-party experts are the most trustworthy sources when it comes to content about products and services. In fact, they’re 83 more effective at encouraging readers to convert than user reviews. In addition, expert opinions are 38 percent better than branded content at encouraging customers to make purchases.

Become a trusted expert

If outside opinions are the most powerful types of content, what can companies themselves do? There are a few options, and each of them points to the importance of valuable and original content.

Profiles that post interesting and relevant information from other sources can be viewed as a sort of industry expert, and therefore will be considered more trustworthy

1. Cultivate relationships – Twitter and other social networks won’t just help attract and engage customers. They’ll help businesses become part of open dialogue in an industry. When companies are on good terms with influencers, even if it’s only in the social sphere, there’s a greater chance leads and prospects will come across positive information about brands from third-party experts.  

2. Be objective – If everything on a company’s blog is promotional, there will be little else of use to customers who are looking for actual information instead of a sales pitch. Businesses may not be able to make their content marketing campaigns separate from the rest of their operations, but they can provide news and insights that make prospects more comfortable.

3. Share content from others – A social media feed that only posts content from a single company isn’t necessarily an asset for followers. Conversely, profiles that post interesting and relevant information from other sources can be viewed as a sort of industry expert, and therefore will be considered more trustworthy.

The crux of this issue is credibility. Businesses that devote their web marketing efforts solely to promotional content won’t just seem spammy to Google – they’ll turn away potential customers. There’s value in seeking the opinions of outside experts, straying from promotional pieces and creating content for the sole purpose of informing readers. 

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