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Authentic Marketing - Keeping It Real

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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:

    People value free advice and even more so when it’s coming from an expert. You want to be known as an authority in your field, so create some content – articles, case-studies, blogs, videos, white-papers, interviews etc. on the key areas of your business and share it through your platforms. Once it’s apparent that you or your team are experts in your industry, people are likely to trust you and get in touch for further information.
    Share content or updates regularly.  Especially if it’s something that is going to resonate with your target market or is relevant to your industry, and if you’re competitors aren’t saying it, you should. Be timely and be relevant.
    According to a study conducted by Microsoft in 2018, the average human has an attention span of eight seconds. Talk about pressure! Video and still content with engaging visuals and concise, clever text are some of the best ways to get your point across quickly and encourage them to investigate further into your business or brand. Less is more!

    Channel your inner quirkiness and find a way to stand out from the crowd; a wariness for a false narrative, a short attention span and selective viewing means it’s crucial to catch your audience’s attention early and stand out from your competitors. There’s lots of ways to stand out in a crowded environment – find what works for you and make it your own. It could be a colour, a catch-phrase or jingle, a person, a unique offer, a design concept, a uniform, the first email, your packaging or a greeting etc

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 taranaki@bakertillysr.nz

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