Want to Boost Your Authenticity? Here’s the Three Key Things to Do
Authenticity has been the buzzword on everyone’s lips in the marketing world over the last couple of years. In a time where brand trends seem to come and go quicker than a viral social media post, it’s safe to say that honesty with your audience will never get old. It’s time to get real.
The digital native’s eye for authentic content is sharper than ever before. It takes just one lunch break scroll to reel out which posts were paid for (and perfectly staged), and which were genuinely honest. We’ve pretty much seen it all by this point – meaning consumer cynicism is the key challenge for brands to overcome.
People now want to interact with brands that make us feel good about our purchasing habits. Authenticity is what encapsulates this positive user experience, so being transparent about your values and policies – as well as authentically engaging with your audience – is crucial.
During the pandemic, we spent significantly more time on our phones. In fact, users are now using an average of 4.8 hours of their day to scroll through social media. TikTok usage, in particular, rocketed by 90% from 2020 to 2021.
Recent studies show that two thirds of people (67%) believe that the world has become less authentic. Needless to say, consumer trust doesn’t come easily. They want brands to be honest about their messaging – and have a genuine purpose – if they’re going to invest in their products or services.
So, how can you build this crucial connection between you and your target audience? The solution is simple: To have a considered approach to your messaging, think about how your content is being perceived by consumers with today’s rapidly evolving digital world close in mind.
A recent Spark survey delved into what qualities Gen-Z, millennial and Gen-X audiences seek for in brands. Unsurprisingly, authenticity was the strongest requirement for all generations. As the most digitally savvy demographic, Gen Z-ers felt that purpose, personality, diversity and transparency were equally important. The one thing all these have in common? Trust. And that’s exactly what enables brands to build a loyal, long-standing customer base.
So, let’s take a look at three things you need to nail in order to boost your brand authenticity through a social strategy that has authenticity at its core.
Be clear about your brand mission
Considering how you want to present your brand on social media, along with your brand messaging, is key for meeting your audience’s expectations. And remember, a strong reputation will give you the competitive-edge when it comes to attracting new customers. It’s a given that people want to invest into brands that show they truly care, so being transparent about your mission and demonstrating this through authentic content will help you to be seen as a trustworthy brand.
Brand inspiration: ASOS are a perfect example of this. The global online retailer claims to be a ‘Judgement free zone where we encourage everyone to be whoever they want to be – no questions asked.’ Its content most definitely mirrors this. To show this, it uses a wide range of diverse models of all backgrounds, body shapes and sexual orientations throughout its campaigns. As the Gen-Z demographic are increasingly vocal about wanting to see unfiltered and ‘real people’ in branded ads, it’s no surprise ASOS is a trailblazer when it comes to earning consumer loyalty.
Consumers want to feel like they’re talking to real people, not robots. While that’s not exactly ground-breaking stuff, it’s easy to underestimate the power of maintaining strong communication with your audience.
The first step to achieving this? Gaining insights into the sorts of conversations your audiences are having, and then using this to engage with them on social media. Tap into the trending pain points as you see them arise – so that you can be there to give them the answers they’re looking for.
To help them feel even more valued, you can give them the opportunity to provide honest feedback. It’s also important to make sure you’re replying to their messages and comments, as well as taking time to read any new reviews on your brand. This means not only being thankful for the positive comments but also being forthcoming with the negatives, so that you can handle them swiftly.
By demonstrating that you’re holding yourself accountable, you’re also showing that ‘human’ aspect with which consumers connect most. That’s authenticity.
Brand inspiration: If you thought ALDI was just handy for middle aisle bargains, it’s also leading the way when it comes to consumer listening. In the matter of a Twitter scroll, you’ll be treated to hilariously cheeky comments to its followers – many of which have gone viral. Of course, it’s a space for seriousness too. The social team are quick to respond and resolve any complaints – resulting in an engaged audience who are fully here for the banter.
Stay true to your brand
Nailing your consumer listening and brand mission is one thing, but finding your brand tone of voice (and sticking to it) is another. With a multitude of ways to communicate with your customers – whether that’s blogs, social media or e-campaigns – consistency is key for staying faithful to your brand.
The lengthy, often complicated process of rolling out initial ideas into final concepts can easily lead to inconsistency in how your messages are being delivered. Watch out here. Any clashes or contraindications can cause your audience to lose trust.
Thankfully, there’s a simple solution. Prioritise creating strong brand guidelines that your entire team can refer back to. Distinguish your do’s and don’ts, highlight your mission and make it clear how you want to come across when speaking to your audiences.
This is particularly important when engaging with your followers on social media, as your brand ‘personality’ needs to consistently flow across multiple platforms. If you can show that you’re truly confident in your brand and can vouch for everything you stand for throughout all your digital marketing – then your audiences can feel confident, too.
Brand inspiration: The first brand that comes to mind when relating to brand consistency is of course, Innocent Drinks. From tongue-in-cheek product descriptions and undeniably genius social media content to the charming interactions it shares with its audiences, you know an Innocent post the moment you see it. That’s all down to the fact that they stick to their branding, regardless of the platform or format. Simple.
Want to hear more about how we can help you to boost your brand authenticity, so that you can engage with your target audiences on a global scale? Get in touch with our team today.
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