Authenticity. It’s an important concept in business. It’s also one that not all businesses take to heart as well as they should. Not only does that hurt their brand and their bottom line, but it can be hard to get past if they decide on authenticity in the future. If a company has developed a reputation for distrust, counteracting that reputation is going to take some time. it’s better to start out authentically, and it’s also entirely possible.
With 83 percent of consumers saying that “transparent and honest practices” are what matters most when establishing trust in a brand, you’ll need to make sure your authentic self is showing when you reach out to current and potential customers. In short, you need to make your content marketing more authentic. Here are seven really great ways to do that.
1. Avoid Saturating the Market With Random “Stuff”
Market saturation has become a real problem. There is a lot of content online, but not a lot of valuable content that just gives people good information and doesn’t try to talk them into buying something. It’s best if your company doesn’t participate in the creation of random content that isn’t adding value. Wading through so much information can already be stressful for customers, so give them reasonable levels of content and give them real value when they read what you have to say.
2. Use Your Personal Brand – And Your Personality
The internet doesn’t need more spam written by bots and asking people to buy things. But it does need plenty of great information and quality places to locate what people need and want. Ready to give customers those things? You can make your content marketing more authentic by using your personality. Your personal brand – or your company’s personal brand – should be truthful and upfront. People will take note of that, and they’ll appreciate it.
3. Organic Isn’t Just for Produce Anymore
Putting out organic content is high on the authenticity scale. This kind of content isn’t contrived and designed a certain way. It isn’t necessarily about selling something, and may not even be focused on getting a point across. But it’s definitely about being open, honest, and real. Sure, you want to keep it professional.
There’s no need for crass comments, explicit jokes, F-bombs, or other types of “realness” unless those truly things make sense for your line of work, but being a real person can go a very long way toward having your customers trust you.
4. Leave the Gimmicks Out of Your Content
Gimmicks and party tricks are for, well, parties. Leave them there, with the guy doing bad magic tricks in the corner and the questionable bean dip brought by your cousin’s friend. There’s really no place for gimmicks in your content marketing. As soon as your customers see the “fishy” nature of what you’re offering them, everything you do from that point forward will be suspect. And you really don’t want that.
5. Be Knowledgeable and Transparent At All Times
Customers want to know who you are, and if they can’t see the real you through all the hype you’re giving them they may just move on to one of your competitors instead. It’s important that you tell your customers what they want to know, as opposed to what they want to hear. The first one of those is valuable to them. The second one is just feeding them a line of bull, and they’re going to see through it. You want to be transparent in a positive way where customers see that you’re authentic and trustworthy.
6. Keep Your Self-Promotion To a Minimum
Sure, you’re there to sell them something. You want them to buy from your company. But you don’t need to tell them that every time you make content available. If your self-promotion gets out of hand, customers will start feeling like all you want to do is take their money. Instead, show them that you have valuable information they can use. A simple call to action at the bottom of the content can be enough to get them to buy, if they like what you have to offer. No need to be overly promotional. It’s content, not a commercial.
7. Your Content Should Be Original, Not a Rehash
If you just take your competitors’ content and rewrite it, customers are going to catch that. Originality matters. You can’t make every idea completely original because there’s so much content already available, but you can put a unique spin on the information that’s online. You can give your own opinion on things, too, and show customers that you’ve thought about the content you’re adding to the internet.
Overall, the biggest way to make content marketing more authentic is just to be yourself. Your brand, or your company’s brand, is unique and different from anything else. Rather than become a cookie-cutter persona of everyone else and their content, use that uniqueness and authenticity you possess to develop great content, market your product or service, and make what you offer to your customers shine!
Michelle B writes web content, articles, blog posts, product descriptions, and more, and has created thousands of pieces of content for companies all over the world. She holds an associate’s degree in business management and a bachelor’s degree in legal administration.