A report from About.com found that marketers can build positive perceptions of their companies and improve consumer trust by developing website content and establishing a presence on social networks. As the web’s role in research for purchase decisions increases, developing content that helps inform and guide prospects to conversion becomes a critical component of web marketing.
Social marketing as a shopping influencer
Survey respondents said that social media has a major impact on their perception of a business. Forty-one percent said they monitor businesses on social to see what other consumers have to say about the brand. Likes and Retweets are strong indicators of a company’s trustworthiness for 33 percent of respondents. Additionally, developing quality social content to win shares and extend brand exposure pays off, as 25 percent of respondents are influenced by the amount of engagement content receives.
Developing social content that attracts new fans and followers can be difficult. However, a content marketing strategy can be the best way to achieve the goal of building greater social influence. Sharing headlines from articles, blog posts or white papers on Facebook and Twitter will help lift engagement and encourage prospects to share the content themselves.
Shared website content for marketing integration (and more traffic)
Buddy Media recently conducted a study and found that Tweets including links are more likely to result in engagement than others. Additionally, concise social content that quickly conveys a message is more appealing than longer Tweets. As such, headlines from website content paired with links are an ideal way to maximize engagement and sharing.
About.com also found that companies using the web to share content and educate their audiences are more likely to establish authority and a sense of transparency that drives perception. Demonstrating an understanding of an audience and the reason they’re interested in buying an item positions a brand well.
“In today’s online world, there is no such thing as one-stop shopping for information, ” Tracy Raiser, senior vice president of sales for About.com, said in a release. “Further, marketers can proactively coordinate their efforts with other trusted sources – whether it be content, social elements or word of mouth – to make sure their campaigns are adding value to the consumer’s experience.”
Diverse social content for authority
About.com also found that companies using the web to share content and educate their audiences are more likely to establish authority and a sense of transparency that drives perception. Demonstrating an understanding of an audience and the reason they’re interested in buying an item positions a brand well. Eighty-three percent of consumers said they trust companies that offer different resources aimed at educating them throughout the buying process.
News articles and blog posts are great ways to build trust, but as the web evolves, marketers should integrate other kinds of media into their campaigns. According to About.com, 56 percent of consumers said branded video content can be a great addition to their research process, as it’s easy to consume and builds trust. Furthermore, creating content that is entirely accessible to mobile users tells a target audience a brand is looking to make their lives easier, as 71 percent said various web and content marketing efforts appeal to them more when they’re using their mobile devices.
In general, developing an integrated strategy that looks to guide prospects through a conversion funnel gives shoppers the sense that a business is worthy of their investments. Focusing on the user in all elements of marketing will help companies on the web. Brafton has frequently highlighted comments from Google and other organizations urging marketers to focus on audience needs above all when creating web content.