When a business or brand is authentic, it becomes a vessel to inspire other businesses and helps prosperous growth. While a bold statement, this is a hard one to argue. Marketing itself has a lack of authenticity stigma to it. People look at ads and traditional marketing tactics as a method to get their money. However, in the digital age these marketing tactics have changed and provided the more savvy brands an opportunity to break that barrier.
If you’re advertising on social media you’re practically being forced to be more authentic in your advertising. Facebook has made massive changes to their news feed to reflect trending content that shows more heart and authenticity. Encouraging deeper connections between brands and their audience. The only way you’re destined to get more reach with your brand on social media is if it’s being engaged with. This means your content being shared by your audience and commenting on your content. This shows Facebook that your content is valuable and should be shared to more people. In order to achieve this, your content needs to be honest and authentic, or at least convinces your audience to believe it is.
As the digital age continues to grow, the hunger for authentic content continues to rise. People don’t just want to find a product or service and make a purchase for it. They want an authentic experience. An experience to people provides much more honesty and transparency. They form a connection with you that translates into a loyal audience. People are much more informed, aware, and socially connected than ever before. We all know, social media has become a vessel to give people a voice and they aren’t afraid to use it. They’ll use their voice to scrutinize every aspect of your ad campaign. This is a reason why it’s crucial to ensure you’re being authentic and creative with your content. If you’re content doesn’t come across as genuine, it’s going to get called out for the world to see. With the amount of time people spend using social media, they’ve created a connection with the platform and formed the attitude that this is THEIR area. Once they see an ad on their feed, they either are receptive to it or they just scroll right past it. People are much more cautious of scams and misleading content.
So what is authenticity?
To be authentic is to stay true to what your brand is and who you serve. The digital age has provided us with an environment where human elements matter and actually create additional value and benefits for your audience.
Benefits of Authenticity:
- Elevation above your competition
- It gives credibility to your business, services and products
- It creates a connection between you and your audience
- Your audience sees you as a reliable, trustworthy company
How to do it
The easiest way to be authentic is just by being real with your content. It sounds like a simple concept, however many businesses get it wrong at this part. Don’t try to fake authenticity because your audience will see it a mile away. Build a purpose for your business beyond the almighty dollar. Think of how to get back to your brands grass roots and apply your core values and beliefs then apply these to every aspect of your content.
BE CONSISTENT! If you don’t think you can be consistent with your content, stop reading now. If you’re not consistent in your content no one is going to stick around. Inconsistency sparks confusion within your audience and gives them mixed messages on what your brand entails. This breeds suspicion of your brand and mistrust among your audience which can cause irreparable damage to your brand. Your content needs to be consistent with your brand across all platforms and when you’re offline. If you’re brand is brick and mortar this is especially important. You can’t have one presence online and another when a customer visits your store. While it is important to customize your approach depending on the platform, the messaging and imagery style should still remain consistent throughout your content.
BACK IT UP
Be careful what you say on social media because it’s there forever. Whether you delete it or not, someone probably took a screenshot of it which means it’s never gone. Whatever you say needs to be backed up and executed on. If you make promises you can’t keep, you’ll immediately have a bad reputation and people will learn not to listen or even pay attention to your brand. People can also see through what you’re saying when there’s a lack of substance to back it up. Authenticity and transparency go hand in hand so always show how you can back it up to build that trust with your audience.
RESPOND ON SM
Make it easy for people to reach out to your brand. Once you have methods for people to reach out to you on, ensure that someone is responding promptly and effectively. When someone reaches out they don’t want to wait a day for a response, they’re hoping for something more immediate. Having a real person (this is key) responding quickly and effectively to your audience adds a personal element to your brand and establishes a tighter connection. Responding in real time as a real person creates that solid and authentic reputation that your brand needs to succeed. Even if your response isn’t going to be a positive one, answer honestly and be transparent. It will cause a different reaction from your audience than you’d think.
When your brand is being truly authentic it brings a sense of liberation and freedom. You’re being true to yourself, your brand, and your audience. You don’t need to focus your energy on the anxiety you feel because you know your brand isn’t being authentic. This isn’t just a trend to be authentic, this is here to stay. People are more drawn to authentic brands than big box stores now. Change how you are developing your content and incorporate more authenticity to see an immediate spike in your growth.