Let's Get Real - Authenticity is Key to Content Marketing

Bennett Young
Let's Get Real - Authenticity is Key to Content Marketing

If you’re reading this, you probably care about the content strategy for your brand. Now more than ever before, brands have a unique opportunity to connect with potential consumers on a personal level, with real-time engagement opportunities and connections. Content marketing is the name of the game here, and everyone’s trying to figure out how to use it wisely.

Content marketing is not a new concept. With the birth of the internet, brands had a new platform to distribute messaging to millions across the globe in an extremely cost-efficient way. As the internet evolving to mobile communications and social media, the market has become saturated with advertisements, messages, and branded media, many of which are well-produced and follow all of the advertising rules.

So, how come so many companies are not converting, growing, or finding valuable ROI through their digital marketing efforts?

Audiences are burned out from traditional advertising and hard-sell messaging. People now have the ability to custom tailor their social and digital feeds, and they have become efficient at ignoring or blocking out content they don’t want to see. They don’t want to be told what to do or what to buy. Their primary focus is to consume media that feels relevant and useful to their lives in some way.

That’s where authenticity comes in.

According to a Time Inc. study involving 17,000+ participants from a variety of generations, 90% of respondents said they best respond to brands that create authentic visual or video content and 89% of consumers believe authentic content helps brands break through the online clutter.

Your brand can start implementing authentic content, but it’s going to take a bit of planning. Here are some of our tips to stop selling and start storytelling in a way that will resonate with consumers and foster brand loyalty:

1. Stay away from too much self-promotion

It might be tempting to blast your name, branding, logo, and pitches over every single piece of your content to maximize your brand awareness. The problem with this is that everyone else does that, too. This weakens the perceived authenticity of your message. If it’s obvious that you are trying to sell to consumers, they are much less likely to engage with your brand or follow you.

2. Ditch the gimmicks

Keep it simple. Anything that looks like clickbait or a sales trap will be noticeable to consumers. The main goal is to get people to trust your brand, and anything that feels fake or deceiving isn’t going to fly.

3. Keep it Original

Use a unique voice. Do your own research. Try something you’ve never seen before. Show consumers the truth behind the scenes of your brand and let them in on the human side of what you are doing. Transparency goes a long way in building consumers’ confidence in your brand.

4. Build Your Brand Identity

At the end of the day, it’s imperative to implement your brand identity into your content in order to be authentic. Your brand identity is a visualization of everything your brand stands for, including your values, positioning and the style your consumers can come to rely on and expect.

One of our favorite examples of this is our client, Milwaukee Candle Co. They have opted to tell stories about Milwaukee and connect with those who live there and their values, rather than outright sell their product. They have created original, consistent and inspiring imagery, paired with captivating, relevant and original copy.

Check them out when you have a chance, and let us know how we can help you integrate authenticity into your content marketing plan.

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