using content to create trustWhile we were unable to attend Dreamforce this year, we’ve been keeping an eye on the amazing presentations coming out of the event from industry experts. One of the most interesting insights we’ve seen so far came from Marcus Nelson of Addvocate, who discussed how to effectively promote your content.

He began his presentation with these three statistics:

  • 90% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know
  • 70% trust consumer opinions posted online
  • 14% trust advertising

To us, Nelson’s numbers show that regardless of new technologies and marketing platforms, people and relationships are still at the heart of selling.

So, what does this mean for promoting your content? It means you need other people than you to sing your praises in digital form. Nelson suggested that companies need to start taking advantage of an underused resource—employees. He explained that in a new Edelman Trust Barometer report, it was found that the average employee is trusted two times more than a C-level executive. By having your employees actively promoting your content as individuals, they can engage in authentic conversations with your prospects that will build trust without exhausting your financial resources.

Nelson and many other presentations at Dreamforce also give evidence for the growing importance of social proof—defined by Wikipedia as a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation.  In terms of sales and marketing, this basically means that when people are unsure of what to do in a purchasing situation, they look to others who have been in the same situation and imitate their behavior.

Understanding how social proof works and using it to your advantage is a skill we believe will grow in value in 2014.  Tactically speaking, the digital consumer looks for social proof in customer testimonials, social media and other third-party resources, so making sure there are positive and accurate reflections of your company in these places is key to making social proof work for you.

For more tips on how to succeed in the coming year, read 2014 B2B Sales and Marketing Trends. Pease feel free to contact us with any questions.