Authenticity is quickly becoming one of the biggest drivers in consumer decision-making. An astounding 90% of all Millennials say that brand authenticity is a key factor when it comes to selecting brands to support. Older generations aren’t far behind, either. 85% of Generation X claims that it’s important and 80% of Baby Boomers do, too.
If you want to have sustained success with your digital marketing, it’s vital that you stay transparent and authentic. Today’s consumers can spot inauthenticity a mile away and it’s clearly important to them.
Building trust and a strong reputation takes time. It cannot be done overnight. However, there are some things you can do to start injecting your digital marketing with authenticity right away. Specifically, here are NUMBER things you should start doing today to focus on authentic digital marketing:
1. Put Your Customers to Work
Branded content is hard to trust simply due to its nature. Its created by a company for a specific purpose, and even if the content is valuable and authentic, that’s sometimes hard for people to push to the back of their head. That’s why user-generated content is such a treasure trove for content marketers. Consumers naturally trust user-generated content because it’s written by people like them. There’s no ulterior motive. In short, it’s something they know is honest.
There are plenty of easy ways to encourage your users to do the legwork and generate content for you:
- Encourage or even incent them to write reviews on your social media pages.
- Work with them to develop success stories for blog posts or case studies.
- Create hashtags on Twitter and retweet any interesting or especially positive comments. You can even run contests around users using your hashtags.
2. Generate Content Around Pain Points
If you really want your content to connect with your audience, you need to put yourself in their shoes and try to really understand them. A good way to do that is by putting together surveys and actually asking what your customer’s biggest pain points are. Once you know what actually matters, you’ll be able to create something that they actually need. By solving a problem or featuring an issue that matters, you’ll show your audience that you do indeed care and that you know what they’re up against.
3. Use Your People
Brands can quite easily become faceless, which makes them hard to empathize with. People will trust you much more easily if they can put a face or two to your brand. Use your employees in videos. Put their faces on your website. Let them record messages and post them on your social media account. Showing your audience that your brand has plenty of folks just like them behind the scenes brings a layer of comfortability that featuring products and features can’t.
4. Never Fake It
It seems obvious, but if you want your customers to perceive you as authentic, you actually do need to be authentic. You don’t want to be the company desperately trying to fit in and be cool when you very obviously aren’t. Know who you are and know who your audience is. Use simple language. Don’t focus on changing your persona or trying to appear a certain way. Simply show off who you actually are.
5. Stay Consistent
There’s nothing that hurts a brand more than inconsistency. It confuses your audience and warps your messaging. Worst of all, it gives your audience absolutely no reason to trust and connect with you. If you can’t keep your tone and message consistent, how are they supposed to know who you really are and what you stand for? Decide what your key message is and how you’re going to present it and then stick to it. From your website to your advertising to your customer service, everything needs to work together to tell a cohesive story.