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How “Show, Don’t Tell” Approach In Content Marketing Wins Trust

“If people like you, they will listen to you. But, if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.”
– Zig Ziglar

Photo by Agefis on Unsplash

This quote fits in the context like water in a vessel because one of the vital supplements of any business is – trust. Gaining audiences’ trust is a priceless asset for any business, especially in today’s digital era where we have a plethora of content online, with more and more organisations and individuals hopping onto this bandwagon. Each one tries to capture their audiences’ attention, encouraging them to like, comment, share their content and eventually turn into a loyal follower.

This makes earning scroll-stopping even more complex since the attention span is wide-spread especially in the B2B marketplace, where people barely have any time on their hands, extra efforts from marketer’s end need to walk in. So what can a marketer do in such a situation to not only win trust but also create a recall value – where they come back time and again for more. More content, more information and more value. That is when this approach – show, don’t tell – seems like a smarter choice. But first, let’s look at where this concept stems from. 

The Concept

This technique has been widely used in writing to take the piece a notch-up and create a lasting impact. Writers deploy this technique to make the readers feel they belong to the scene as if they are a part of the narrative – witnessing the scene. This proved really well in engaging the readers; undoubtedly, we know that reading takes you places while being where you are! For this approach to work, the writer, instead of saying “she felt cold.” Would instead show, by writing this: “the breezy wind brushed her skin, making her rub her hands against each other – cupping her nose, feeling warm finally.” This is how the writers would take a situation, elaborate it and make the readers feel the scene was being played in front of their eyes.

Now, when it comes to marketing online, we know the decreasing attention span – as explained above. So let’s see how this approach works in today’s hot-on-heels business world because let’s admit, content creation and marketing is quite a time-consuming process and once you are putting in the time and effort, you need to ensure that’s going in the right direction.

“Show the readers everything, tell them nothing.”
– Ernest Hemingway

Show. Don’t Tell in Content Marketing

For example, you are a digital marketing company, specialising in social media marketing. Instead of listing your services on websites, social media or any other medium, you need to show how your services can empower your prospect’s business.

Here’s an example. Instead of saying we provide LinkedIn optimisation services, show them what being on LinkedIn means. More often than not, your prospects do not even acknowledge the importance of being present on social platforms. Show them some ways businesses can leverage this platform, make connections and attract leads. Show them that there are 630 million users on LinkedIn, with 2 users joining every second. Or, there are 87 million Millennials out of which 11 million are decision-makers. Show them how to create consistent content; or, show them the best way to optimise their LinkedIn profile, and what should be the right strategy for content creation on the platform, how long they should be posting, and how the algorithms work – and all this can be done through a blog post, social media posts, ebook, infographics, podcasts, amongst other forms of content, depending on your resources and business requirements. When marketers do this, they showcase their expertise and project that they know what they are doing. This basically means you’re projecting that if someone chooses to work with you, you will get the work done! 


Here’s another example: answering their queries. When you say you’re a customer-centric company, do you really heed their questions? For this, say you can gather a couple of frequently asked sales questions and bundle them in a blog post with all the answers; this is yet another great way to magnet trust since you are showcasing you actually care about their needs and answer all of the queries which makes you come across as credible and eventually gain trust. The idea here is to showcase that you actually know what you are doing and not simply state, expecting people to trust you. Remember the first line – people who trust you will do business with you!

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Written By

Nikita Lakhiani is a copywriter and content writer who specialises in blogging, website and social media copywriting, with SEO principles at heart. She writes primarily in the B2B space and believes that words have the power to shift perspectives. Writing about content marketing, startups, entrepreneurship and freelancing interest her. Follow her on LinkedIn.

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