5 Steps to More Credible Articles (and Other Marketing Content)

With the popularity of AI and Google algorithm standards that emphasize trustworthy content, I’ve considered how to write more credible articles.

Because generative AI may “hallucinate” or spin facts and sources, you can question the accuracy of what you read these days. On the other hand, Google E-E-A-T standards rank pages with credible sources that answer readers’ questions higher.

As I’ve learned, beyond the obvious options to write more credible articles, you can foster customers’ trust in surprising ways. When the usual tactics have failed, they may revitalize your marketing and win you better clients. 

1. Admit your faults early – As Robert Cialdini wrote in “Influence,” if you must reveal a product or service flaw, do it early “so the credibility it provides will color the rest of the appeal.” Afterward, stress the strongest argument or feature, which can outweigh the negative.

Example: In 2009, after a focus group video surfaced, in Domino’s Pizza’s Pizza Turnaround campaign, they admitted their pies weren’t up to par. They featured customer feedback that criticized the taste and quality. They then introduced a new recipe. To regain customer trust and loyalty, they also accented fresher ingredients and their commitment to a better taste. By 2017, the company had become the #1 pizza chain in the U.S.

2. Add trust-building terms – In an ad, a car service firm stated “You can trust us to do the job for you,” which scored well with customers, at 33 percent. The words and phrases “fair treatment,” “quality,” and “competency” also ranked highly. Conveying an expectation of trust showed they trusted customers. Customers then trusted them (“Brainfluence” by Roger Dooley). This wording could work especially well in business taglines and calls-to-action.

3. Make statistics relatable “Made to Stick” authors Chip and Dan Heath suggest you use statistics as a way to inform rather than support your beliefs. Besides writing figures (which can be skewed) to show that connection, express them in concrete terms.

Example: “For less than the cost of a burger and fries every day, you can buy a week’s worth of nutritious meals for a hungry child.”

4. Win with your title – As shown in “Influence,” a person’s title affects our actions more than their claims. With the “halo effect,” we tend to consider a credible authority a trustworthy expert. A newspaper editorial by an authority has a “large and lasting influence over readers’ opinions.” In one set of studies, that amounted to 20 percentage points higher, regardless of the author’s age, sex, or political leanings. 

5. Establish social proof – According to research, as part of a “herd mentality,” we tend to follow others’ actions for cues to proper social behavior. If you lack specific evidence for the effectiveness of a marketing campaign, rely on rising interest, such as customer buying patterns. For example, restaurants sometimes spotlight popular menu items. If you have numbers to back that up, they can yield even better results.

Writing more credible articles is one way to sharpen your image. What we reflect we tend to attract. If your copy is sloppy or doesn’t speak in your brand voice, seek to win better clients with better content.

How do you build trust and credibility with your content? Feel free to comment below.


“The most essential quality for leadership is not perfection but credibility. People must be able to trust you.” ~ Rick Warren

“Accuracy builds credibility” ~ Jim Rohn

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