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Authenticity – you have probably heard this word being used a lot recently, and possibly in various contexts. So, what does it mean to be ‘authentic’ with your marketing?
It’s defined as ‘of undisputed origin and not a copy; genuine.’ In other words, to be your true (authentic) self. As humans, we have been known to try and be something that we’re not, just to appear more aesthetically pleasing to others, or to feel temporary happiness.
Over the last few years (particularly when it comes to businesses or services), we’ve become savvy enough to see through a false façade and people are starting to realise that this approach isn’t meeting their needs or providing any benefits. Rather than constantly trying to spam consumers with the best deals on their products, organisations are now seeing the benefit in focusing on brand authenticity and building a strong reputation first through authentic storytelling.
This change is particularly evident in the recent updates Facebook implemented across both the Facebook and Instagram platforms in 2018; adapting the algorithm to reduce the amount of advertising and spam that was showing up in our newsfeeds to prioritise content that is more personal and valuable to peoples’ lives. Even the language you use on these platforms is important. No profanity, no excessive use of symbols, capital letters or the exclamation mark! The Facebook algorithm also knows when you’re using “you” or “your” too much, tapping into readers pain points. E.g. Do you need help with your accounts, is your business struggling to manage the books? It’s a hard sell and it won’t do well anymore. Change your language, make it meaningful. This example could be reworded ‘We’ve got people in our team who love number crunching and can make even the messiest accounts run smoothly’.
With these platforms being a huge part of digital marketing for business, this has ultimately affected the way organisations now promote their services or products online, and has forced everyone to take a step back, do some research and discover what content their audiences are engaging with. We all know that time is precious, and people are only going to spend their time taking in information that is going to add value to their lives or make them feel something.
A lot of people get stuck on learning or trying to be authentic (so again, falling into the trap of being something they’re not), when it is as simple as ensuring your marketing efforts are speaking to your company and brand values, and the ‘tone of voice’ of all your marketing efforts are uniquely yours. E.g. don’t use fancy language, or a clip art logo if it’s not the language or style you and your staff would use/portray when someone called or walked in to your business. It’s about KNOWING what your core business and brand values are and always being true to those.
Your ‘tone of voice’ should permeate across all aspects of the organisation. People will resonate with your brand and if they continue to like what they are seeing/hearing and they will become loyal followers/clients/customers. Adhering to brand authenticity will attract the exact kind of clients that you want. If you’re inconsistent or false, you’ll push people away.
Once you’ve got your values, your brand identity and your key marketing objectives fine-tuned, how are you going to reflect this in your marketing and advertising? Here’s a few ideas:
Through your authentic tone, find something that’s uniquely you and is going to put you top of mind and help build valuable relationships with customers and other stakeholders.
If you need help discovering your brand identity, your voice or developing a marketing strategy to create a strong foundation for your marketing efforts, you can book a free non-obligation one hour consultation with our marketing team by contacting Sarah, Joni and Rebekah on 06 7573155 or firstname.lastname@example.org