What is the single most important trait your prime customer looks for when deciding who to do business with? That trait my fellow readers is “TRUST”. Trust is the foundation of any business and should be instilled within company culture.
What is Company Culture?
The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines culture as “The set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization.”
Essentially, trust should be instilled within the attitudes of company employees, and within said company’s values, goals, and practices. A company who builds its foundation upon trust will be cultivating this trait and rewarded by its customers. So how does a business build trust with its customers, or better yet how does a business build trust through marketing and outreach. This simple answer is Educate, Inform, and Engage. These three actions should be the cornerstone of brand building and will set a brand or business apart as a thought leader and influencer within its product niche.
What is Thought Leadership?
Thought Leadership is something that happens because of experience and is symbolic of the trust that is put into a brand by its customers or clients. Thought leadership is the idea that a brand or company has the experience to educate, inform, and engage its customers or clients. How can thought leadership be achieved? Is the concept relegated to well know brands or fortune 500 companies? Can my local small business be considered a thought leader in my niche?
Thought Leaders are found in all walks of business from well known brands and fortune 500 companies to the local main street businesses who pride themselves in their craft and have built a company culture that is dedicated to its local customers.
Thought Leadership and Content Marketing
So how can my brand or business become a thought leader with my niche or community?
My answer is content marketing. If your business has a website (Which it should, if not call me) a content marketing strategy should be put in place. Cultivate content that answers the questions your customers so often ask. Chances are if they ask you these questions in person, they are asking Google the same questions to find businesses or websites that have the answers they are looking for. For instance, Silvernail Web Design does marketing for a local acupuncturist. Deanna Carell of Deanna Carell Acupuncture was asked many times by potential new patients what to expect during their first acupuncture visit. So, we came up with an article that answers that question “My First Acupuncture Appointment”. The article Educates and Informs while engaging potential new patients.
Deanna Carell is a local acupuncturist in New Jersey. She is far from the national stage but her engagement within her community and the content she creates to educate has set her up as a thought leader. Her patients trust her and her practice. She has developed a foundation and culture within her brand that fosters this trust and she has bee rewarded by her patients with repeat visits, referrals, and glowing reviews.
Content can make the difference in sales. It fosters a trust between the brand and the customer especially if the content produces the three actions: Educates, Informs, and Engages.