Why Authenticity in Content Marketing is Everything in 2018

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How to use brand credibility and authenticity to create an effective content marketing strategy.

Today’s online users are a lot more skeptical and discerning when it comes to the content they consume and the brands they engage with.

In a world where hundreds of other brands are vying for your customer’s attention, authenticity goes a long way and is one way to gain a strong competitive advantage.

If you want to survive and thrive in a competitive online space, transparency is the order of the day.

A study from Cohn & Wolfe showed that 75% of consumers believe that companies are not open and transparent, however, 9 in 10 customers are willing to reward a brand for its authenticity.

Authenticity as a content marketing base

[Tweet “The end goal for every business is to generate more revenue and content marketing is one way to do just that.”]

The reason why content marketing helps drive revenue and conversions is because users engage, but in order for consumers to be encouraged to engage with your content, they need to know that there’s a true level of authenticity behind it, meaning they feel like they can relate to it.

A study by Bonfire Marketing found that authentic brands generate 63% higher returns than businesses who aren’t transparent about their products and services. Consumers are far more willing to engage with brands who will own up to their mistakes instead of trying to pretend like they didn’t happen or make it seem like consumers are overreacting.

By using authenticity as the foundation for your content marketing, you will automatically be adding more value to it and show customers that you care.

Tips for creating authentic marketing content

Here are a few tips that you can use to create content that is more authentic in 2018 and beyond.

Show Who You Really Are

The more customers understand your brand, what your values are, and what you’re trying to achieve, the more authentic your brand image will be. Let your content showcase your brand’s personality so that it resonates with your target audience. Your content should never be too sales-orientated or promotional as that automatically removes a lot of its authenticity. Tell stories about your brand and personalize your content in order to draw your audience in.

Truly Talk to Your Audience

[Tweet “Authentic content allows a customer to feel like they’re engaging with a friend or family member.”]

Your customers should feel as if you are speaking to them instead of at them. Think of your content as a two-way conversation, one that is genuine and easy to follow. Authentic brands produce content that is real.

Always Be Relevant

Understanding your target audience inside and out means that you’re able to produce content that is highly relevant and adds value. What’s in it for the user? Your customers should always feel as if they’ve walked away with something of value, whether it’s a good laugh, a useful tip or advice on how to resolve a particular problem. When a brand has its customers’ best interests at heart, they come across as far more authentic.

Get Your Employees Involved

Involving your employees in your content marketing is a great way to put a face to your brand and help people feel more relaxed about engaging with you. Getting your employees involved gives your content a natural edge and broadens your reach online. One of the ways that you can do this is by creating a company blog that staff can contribute to. It’s also a good idea to speak to your employees about how they interact and represent themselves online. If it’s clear that an employee who is acting unfavorably online is affiliated with your organization, it could affect a customer’s perception of your brand.

Offer Social Proof

88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations so any social proof that you can offer across your various online platforms goes a long way in boosting your brand’s image online. Polls, customer testimonials, reviews and ratings are all examples of social proof that can be shared on your website and social media. Pay close attention to how your brand is appearing in search results too, as this can also have an impact on how new customers perceive your brand, Google reviews being one example of something that customers use to make decisions about a business.

Stay Involved

When a customer stumbles across your brand on social media or is redirected to your website via search results, how involved your brand is when it comes to engaging with customers will play a leading role in how they perceive your brand. Where possible, respond to customer comments, complaints and praise using genuine, personalized responses. Showing that you care automatically boosts your brand’s authenticity.

[Tweet “Authenticity is so important because it truly helps your brand align with your target audience.”]

It ensures that marketers are truly dedicated to telling a brand’s story in a natural way while offering customers as much value and support as possible.

Start by examining all of your current online assets. Look at the engagement levels that your brand is currently achieving and how customers perceive your brand. You may find that a few simple adjustments to your content could make all the difference in making your brand look and sound more authentic, which in turn will help boost your conversions and turnover.

If 2018 is the year that you truly want your brand to stand out online, use authenticity as the starting point for all of your content marketing.

Read also: The impact of artificial intelligence on content marketing

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