Q: How can an online publication startup create trust with its users?
A: We’re creating more content than ever these days and with the rise of companies getting smart on content marketing the volume is just going to go up. There’s so much content out there from bloggers, companies and online publications, so how do you stand out from the crowd? How do you build an audience and how do you earn their trust?
These are some of the most common questions I get asked when it comes to content and the answer is always the same: be unique, entertaining and memorable.
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Let me break this down:
You can cover the exact same topic but have a unique take and be considered completely unique. The Hustle is a perfect example as they grew to 1 million monthly visitors in about a year. They cover similar stories on entrepreneurship and startups but their angle and voice is 100 percent unique. Buzzfeed, Mint, The Verge and Uncrate are other great examples.
Mint: Personal finance for regular people
The Verge: Visuals and design lead content
2. Being memorable.
It’s all about DATA!! Including quotes from authorities on a topic/industry, stats, case studies, and lastly original research or results from original surveys, help make you an authority figure. This isn’t as hard as you think, a few Google searches can land you with a few dozen studies on almost any topic. When you present content backed with facts and data (even if they’re not your own) you’re remembered as the source of knowledge and as a result your website will be cited in future articles. Once this happens, it’s instant TRUST with viewers (even if they’re not your own).
3. Being entertaining.
This is the best way to get to your viewers' hearts and a short cut to their brains. Buzzfeed, Elite Daily and Upworthy are great examples. Their content is entertaining and sticky, and as a result, you can get lost for hours on their website. This isn’t by accident; it’s by design. If your content entertains your viewer, it becomes a passed time and source of entertainment rather than just a source of information. It’s like watching TV versus reading a newspaper.
Another great example in a saturated and boring industry is Motovo.com, they’re a real estate company whose blog receives millions of visitors a month. Their content is Buzzfeed meets real estate.