What is the most important thing you can do in marketing? While the answer is certainly up for debate, most people will tell you your top goal should be to stand out in the crowd. There are no doubt many other companies trying to succeed in your niche, and what you need is to show your audience how you are different from the rest. One key way to do this? Be authentic.
As a society, we have become so accustomed to businesses misleading us that we naturally approach any brand or product with a certain amount of skepticism. In fact, this skepticism is so deeply rooted that when we discover a brand is being fully honest in their content, we are shocked.
And that shock is good. It means you have made an impact in a sea of competition utilizing buzzy headlines and clickbait. It means you are standing out in the crowd.
With every passing year, we are exposed to more and more media on a daily basis. While you might think that this oversaturation would force us to shut down and just accept things as they come, what it has actually done is create savvier consumers. The more we read and watch, the better we get at spotting those signs of half-truths, spins, and outright lies. This means that even a slight bending of the truth can have a devastating impact on your public image. Authentic content gives your brand an authority that other companies often sacrifice for the sake of making a slightly (or very) inflated claim.
It makes your brand feel more relatable to your audience.
It motivates your audience to interact with your brand on social media, blogs, and more.
It cements your reputation as a trustworthy brand.
It turns brand loyalists into brand advocates.
It helps you become an authority within your niche.
It reduces the likelihood of negative comments, reviews, and other forms of interaction.
There are many ways you can do this, perhaps too many to count, so we are going to focus on a few key methods. To start, let’s look at social proof. With this, you share the behind-the-scenes aspects of your business on social media, allowing your audience a look behind the curtain. Think of this as “Celebrities: They Are Just Like Us” but for your business. The more like your customers you are, the more authentic and relatable you will be.
Next, try organic social media outreach. No buying followers to up your numbers, no deceptive tactics to reel people in. Instead, you just create quality content that resonates with your audience, growing your social reach in an organic manner. As part of this, heavily interact with your audience by asking questions and answering theirs.
Finally, encourage user-generated content. There are few other ways you can make your audience feel as valued as you will when you encourage them to create and then share that content. It takes you from being something unreachable to something very personal to your audience.