Competition is everywhere, no matter the size of your business. One of the differences between your business and the one next door is how you present your brand to your audience. As businesses become more and more technologically-savvy, the harder it is for your brand to stand out online. Authenticity is one important way for your brand to be heard among the hyperbolic claims and computer-generated influencers of the digital world. We’ll show you how to be a real person in an online space and why authentic marketing can help you connect with your audience better than so-called “traditional” marketing strategies. First, let’s see what you’re up against.
Breaking Down Your Audience
The coronavirus forced many businesses to shift to the digital realm. As stores were temporarily closed this year, the internet boomed. According to research, consumers spent 44% more time browsing social media and 41% more time reading articles or browsing online when the lockdown period was introduced. Why are we telling you this? Because if you know where your audience is, then you know where to put your brand so you can be in front of your audience.
The Challenges You’re Facing
Being connected digitally is trending, and your competitors have probably caught on as well. But as advertisements flood people’s screens, they develop a resistance to exaggerated claims and other traditional marketing techniques. People don’t want to be “sold to” anymore. When brands are in sell mode, they are often not acknowledging the realities their consumers are facing. Tuning in to what your audience is feeling will help you decipher what they need from your brand. In order to reach your audience and stand out from your competitors, your brand must insert a little humanity into its marketing.
What Is Authentic Marketing?
According to Forbes, “authentic marketing is the true self-expression of a sincerely held business philosophy.” Authentic marketing asks what do you, the brand, believe in, and reflects your business as a personality and soul. That could mean endorsing your employees, showing behind the scenes work, or acknowledging mistakes. Overall, authentic marketing is just owning that you are a real person. So, how can you achieve authentic marketing?
#1 Real Images
The brain processes images 60 times faster than words. So, obviously, pictures are important to your marketing. Typically, brands and agencies resort to stock images that everyone has access to, but how effective is stock versus a real picture? When Marketing Experiments tested a real photo of their client against their top-performing stock photo, visitors who saw the real customer were 35% more likely to sign up. To be authentic in your marketing, start by using real pictures of your work and employees to create a lasting connection with your audience.
#2 Tell A Story
Many brands have flashy advertisements, displaying only their product without much context. But research has found that putting your brand on show leaves people with skepticism and distrust in your brand. In fact, Elite Daily research found that only 1% of millennial consumers think that compelling ads increase their trust in a company. People want to be drawn into your brand and you want to be remembered. That’s when you tell a story. One way is sharing your personal journey, the inspiration behind starting this business or your brand’s history, throughout your print and digital marketing strategies. This especially includes your “About Us” page on your website. If you want to learn more about how to write an about page, you can read What Your ‘About Us’ Page Isn’t Telling Me.
#3 Show Up As Yourself
It is quite easy to have a model talk about your business in front of a camera in a video or on social media; however, that is not being authentic. Consumers connect much more with owners speaking about their company than a model doing it for them. Showing your audience who you are, why you do what you do, and what makes your brand authentic and relevant to their lives will help the consumer feel a personal connection to your brand. In doing so, you could see direct engagement, resulting in a potential client. We know that being in front of a camera can provoke sweaty palms, butterflies and being tongue-tied. It’s okay to stumble over words and to have multiple takes – you’re human. That’s the point of authentic marketing: being human! Plus, a little video editing can help smooth out those hiccups.
Although these are the top three techniques to use for a more authentic marketing strategy, this is just the tip of the iceberg. We cannot deny that our world has changed in 2020. What we can do is pivot and create something that works for you and your client. Authentic marketing can help resonate with your customers, develop a strong following, and increase revenue as more customers turn to you for their purchases. It’s time to bring back what it means to be human into the digital world.