When it comes to marketing strategies, content marketing has become more popular than search engine marketing, public relations, and even print, radio and TV.


So what exactly is content marketing? It’s the creation and publication of original content (including blog posts, case studies, white papers, videos and photos) for the purpose of generating leads, enhancing a brand’s visibility and putting the company’s subject matter expertise on display.


Another way to look at it is that you are telling a story of your brand and answering questions that your customers may have about your products and services.


But don’t forget, the Internet is king, which means there’s thousands of other people who are posting and advertising daily, just like you. There are blogs, Facebook, Twitter, videos, banners. The list can go on with all the content that’s online. The average Internet user can see up to 5,000 ads a day. With that kind of number, you need to make sure the content you distribute will stick out and catch some eyes.


The brands that do content marketing better than their competition are the companies that realize content marketing is about building trust. The real purpose behind content marketing should be to build a higher level of trust between the consumer of the content and the brand creating it. In order to create trust, your audience must trust the company.


Here are 5 tips on how create trust with your audience:


1. Define your audience and outcomes: Always be thinking about who you are writing for and why you are writing. It is much easier to build trust (and sales) when the right reader is given the right content.


2. Determine content type, frequency and location: Type, frequency and placement won’t build trust in itself, but it certainly help. Trust begins by putting information your audience want in places where they can benefit from it. So if your audience primarily seeks content via email, make sure it’s available to them. Great content marketing that is not seen will not build trust, or anything for that matter.


3. Share, promote and engage: Part of the process of building trust is making sure that word gets out that your content is available. There is a fine line between helpful awareness and spam promotion. Make sure that sharing is done on the platforms where your audience is most active. Create content carefully and quickly get readers to see why they should pursue the content. Finally, if a reader takes the time to engage, reach out to them and let them know you appreciate their support.


4. Make connecting with your brand simple: If you do all the work to create great content, then you should be highly motivated to make it easy for someone to connect with your brand. Make sure it is easy for your readers to become more meaningfully connected to your brand through email, social media, blogs, etc.


5. Analyze response, optimize and pivot:  Make sure you always check what is being viewed, shared and engaged with. If certain content is creating buzz while others are being ignored, then create more of the content that your audience is connecting with. This drives more readers and more opportunities to build trust with an audience.