Today’s consumers have an abundance of options for identifying and purchasing products and services. In other words: whatever you are selling, someone else is, too.

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That means it’s more important than ever to understand consumers’ expectations and preferences in order to meet their needs and, ultimately, turn them into repeat customers. And that’s where trust comes in. Trust is critical for turning a prospect into a customer and a customer into an advocate.

But what is trust? In the simplest terms, trust is about how people view your brand, what they think about the people that represent your brand, the values you stand for, and how that makes them feel.

53% of respondents in the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer survey say that trust is the second most important factor in the decision to buy from a new brand, trailing only price.

How do you go about developing content that helps create a connection with your customers? How do you craft impactful personalized content your customers can trust? Use the five steps we lay out over the next two blogs, starting with these two.

1. Leverage your data

We now have many ways to personalize the experience that consumers have with your brand. And that’s a good thing. There’s a lot of value in “know thy customer” for both your consumer and your brand.

But how much is too much personalization? And how do you offer personalized content the right way in order to secure your consumers’ trust?

The first essential ingredient of personalized content is data. The Accenture Pulse Check survey of more than 8,000 global consumers revealed that 83 percent of consumers are willing to share their data to enable a personalized experience, “as long as businesses are transparent about how they are going to use it and customers have control over it.” This is very good news.

73% of adults in a U.S. survey of 2,200 said protecting their personal data is a “very important” factor when it comes to whether to trust a company (Marketing Charts, 2020)

First-party data—information you collect directly from your customers—is invaluable because it provides a deep, accurate, and real-time understanding of your customers and their behaviors. This data is critical for developing personalized content that resonates. However, it’s harder to come by than ever, and it’s extremely important to collect and process data in compliance with privacy regulations like GDPR and CCPA. To preserve trust, tell your customers what data you are collecting, why you’re collecting it, and how you’ll use it. Then follow through with that promise and prove the value they will receive in return.

The behaviors of customers change on a daily, hourly, and per-minute basis, and the ability to meet them in that real-time moment of need or behavior change with relevant messaging is critical to engendering satisfied and long-lasting customers.

2. Build a content strategy

After you mine insights from your data, the next step is building a content strategy and plan. Planning out thoughtful and relevant content is critically important as personalized, relevant content boosts subscriber engagement and builds better relationships with your audience. And this will help you stand out as you are competing for your customers’ attention in a crowded and noisy space.

Building a content strategy and having the resources to develop the content is easier said than done. We see many brands struggle with resourcing when it comes to content development, because not only do you have to scale production, but you also have to maintain a frequent cadence. However, investing in a content plan upfront and identifying internal or external resources to support it pays off in terms of results and ROI.

As part of your content strategy, give some thought to your brand voice. Every time you send out an email or post on social media, you’re showcasing your brand voice. Your voice should reflect your brand values, and it should be consistent.

Consumers want to work with brands that are honest, friendly, helpful, and, in many cases, funny. The use of casual voice, slang or colloquialisms, and even emojis can humanize your brand and bring out your personality.

But there’s a caveat. To be effective, casual language and visuals must be consistent with your brand personality and voice, appropriate to the channel of communication, and most importantly, resonate with your audience.

Get more personalized content tips from our ebook

Bridging the Gap: Why Consumer Goods Brands Should Prioritize First-Party Data

For more information about how to personalize your interactions with consumers, download our 5 Ways to Create Personalized Content ebook. In it you’ll find more insights into the content that builds trust among consumers and how you can develop engaging interactions that build relationships.

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