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Will You Do Me a Favor? [The Weekly Wrap]

Editor’s note: There is an updated version of this post.

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And that’s a wrap of the week ending Aug. 28, 2020

This week I’m asking if you’d do me a favor. I talk with Bynder’s Brian Kavanaugh about whether we should depend more on our audiences for content. And I point you toward a crash course in journalistic principles that help brands earn trust.

Listen to (or watch) the Weekly Wrap

Our theme this week is trust. As Ernest Hemingway once said, “The best way to find out if you can trust someone is to trust them.”

Let’s wrap it up.

Listen to the episode (time stamps apply to both the audio and video versions):

Watch it, too:

One deep thought: Who do you trust?  (2:45)

You get a text message from someone you know: “Would you do me a favor?”

But that’s it. No blinking dots. You’re waiting. It’s getting uncomfortable.

It’s a game of chicken. They’re waiting for you to say yes. You’re waiting for them to say what the favor is.

With certain people in your life, the default answer is yes. You know you’re going to do the favor before you know what it is. That may be because of a tacit agreement with the person asking. Spouses know what I’m talking about. When my wife says my name with a particular tone, I know I’m about to be asked to do something. But it’s not really a question.

With others (friends, colleagues, customers, etc.), it is a question. And that game of who blinks first comes down to one thing: trust.

Researchers Claire A. Hill and Erin Ann O’Hara define trust as “a state of mind that enables its possessor to be willing to make herself vulnerable to another – that is, to rely on another despite a positive risk” of harm.

Put simply, trust is a level of willingness to be vulnerable and rely on an uncertain outcome.

Trust is a willingness to be vulnerable and rely on an uncertain outcome, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

If no vulnerability is required, trust is irrelevant. Think of the trust exercise where you fall back into someone’s arms. You would need an exponential increase in trust doing the exercise over a bed of nails vs. a pile of pillows.

You also don’t need trust if the outcome is certain. When my wife asks, I jump into action.

But when someone outside your inner circle asks for a favor, mutual trust must form in real time.

The requester may trust first and say, “Let me tell you exactly what the favor is.” Or you may trust first and say, “I’d be happy to. What is the favor?”

Bargaining might occur. The requester may add, “I promise it’s no big deal,” to reduce your uncertainty. Or you might say, “It depends on what the favor is,” to mitigate your vulnerability.

Someone has to trust first.

Someone has to trust first. Will it be your brand? @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

In marketing, the ability to create value with content behind a gated form depends entirely on negotiating this trust with prospective customers. How much do I have to give away and how clever can I be in describing it before the visitor trusts us enough to provide their data?

Imagine your calls to action say, “Can you do me a favor?”  instead of “Download this white paper.” Imagine that instead of bargaining cleverly for data, the copy was transparently honest. It said, something like:

In return for your data, we’ll give you a thought leadership paper that explains why our approach to this business challenge is the best.  

After you register, you’ll receive at least three phone calls and one email per month from our sales team. They’ll congratulate you on downloading it and ask about your current status and pain points in the buying journey.

If you respond to any of these calls or emails, expect to be pestered by phone to validate your purchasing authority and to whom on the team we also should speak to.

If you don’t respond, you’ll be subscribed to our marketing newsletter until you unsubscribe or your email becomes invalid. At any time, you can stop this communication by purchasing our product.

I know this sounds ridiculous. But, think about it. This notification would be the pinnacle of you trusting first. You lay out every single thing that will result from them saying yes. After reading all that, the prospective customer who filled out the form would be the most qualified lead ever imagined.

And maybe marketers should understand what favor they’re asking from their prospects.

This week’s person making a difference in content: Brian Kavanaugh (8:14)

My guest this week is Brian Kavanaugh, director of North American field and global customer marketing for digital asset management company Bynder.

Brian and I talked about how user-generated (or audience-generated) content is becoming more important to brands.

We talked about translation and localization vs. personalization – and why one might be a bit more important than the other.

Here’s a peek at one of Brian’s insights.

Many studies show that authenticity converts, and what’s more authentic than a handcrafted or original piece of content (or) a photo from a user having an experience. And the second part is it’s highly scalable. There’s very little effort to generate it … It’s more about sourcing or inviting all of those pieces of content than it is creating them from scratch.

What’s more authentic than an original piece of #content from a user having an experience, asks @btkav via @CMIContent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

Listen in, then learn more about Brian and Bynder:

One content marketing idea you can use (29:13)

Speaking of trust, the one article I’d love for you to revisit this week is called Want to Be Trusted? Here’s a Crash Course in Brand Journalism by Chris Gillespie.

As Chris writes, “If your company wants to be seen as a media outlet, your brand journalism can’t be light on ethics, riddled with errors, and sopping with self-interest that suffocates readers. … Real journalism is about building an audience by telling true stories.”

You must be unafraid to tackle topics in your industry even if they don’t serve your interests, says @cgillespie317 via @CMIContent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

Chris shares many practical tips for creating content that earns and deserves audience trust. I hope you’ll check it out.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: 7 Steps to Getting Brand Trust Right

The wrap-up

I hope you’re enjoying the show. If you have thoughts about what you’d like to hear about or guests you’d like to hear from, let me know in the comments. And if you love the show, I’d sure love for you to review it or share it. Hashtag us up on Twitter: #WeeklyWrap.

To listen to past shows, go to the main Weekly Wrap page.

How to subscribe Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute.