What can Sting tell us about authenticity?
Sting: Englishmen in New York
Not only a great song but some great takeaways. One of them being authenticity.
Authenticity helps create more trust and better relationships. This is something that all marketers and brands should strive for, right?
Well, in my eyes it’s a must, especially as now the buyer is in control. By this, I mean they have access to so much information now, that they can complete the majority of the buying process before they even interact with a brand or sales person, this is reinforced by the statement below.
Enter Content Marketing
So, in a competitive and crowded market place, how would you look to differentiate and drive authenticity? Enter Content Marketing. Your content is your brand and it gives you the chance to promote your authenticity by being forthcoming and honest at all times.
Your content is your brand and if your content is authentic, guess what? Your brand is authentic too.
To consistently deliver authentic content, you need a range of tactics that form part of an overarching strategy. Here are a few pointers on how to let your authentic self take over your content:
Physically talk to people face-to-face
When’s the last time you put your phone away, turned it off and just had a face-to-face conversation with no distractions? Eye contact, active listening and wanting to help?
Listen to your audience and involve them
By involving your audience you are making them feel valued. Take on board their feedback in the shape of surveys, polls, reviews, testimonials etc. This shows you care and that you’re invested in your audience.
Don’t sell, add value, be informative
Adopt the mentality of an industry expert whose mission it is to help people. You can never go wrong when you’re genuinely trying to add value to other people’s lives.
Being authentic means taking risks and being vulnerable
For the most part, authenticity is associated with being unique. And to be unique you have swerve the status quo. Stepping out of the norm and not following suit can be a scary deal, but taking the risk is worth the reward which will only be greater in a world with far less trusting audiences. As Sting once said, “success always necessitates a degree of ruthlessness”.
What’s the best way to measure your authenticity?
Engagement. Authenticity can help you increase your engagement with your target and current customer base. As a result, engagement as we all know, helps to drive conversions. Measuring engagement isn’t just about likes and views. It’s about searching for exactly what engaged your audience. Entrepreneur and digital tycoon Gary Vaynerchuck is very good at this, asking is audience to refer to exact points, minutes and seconds in his video content that resonated. This means he can produce more content on topics that people want to hear about, fuelling the authenticity and trust aspect of his brand.
So, taking Sting’s advice to be yourself, no matter what they say, is key when thinking about what your content says about you. If you are true to yourself your content will ooze authenticity, will be trusted and will engage. In an age of uncertainty, data breaches and scams people need to feel reassured that the content they are digesting is real. It’s so easy to build a façade or give a certain impression online, we know that as we scroll through Instagram’s holiday-goers. It’s become hard to believe what you see or read, with trust in social media declining again this year to 24%. This isn’t just online though, as only 43% of Brits trust businesses (Edelmen’s trust Barometre).
Brand authenticity needs to run through your social media, business practices, internal processes, services, products and all communications. Consistency is key here. But if it’s authentic you don’t have to worry about keeping it consistent, this will come naturally.
Authenticity: Be yourself no matter what they say!
I’m taking a leaf from Gary V’s book and want to know if any particular point in this blog resonated the most? What was your favourite part? Did I miss something? I want to hear your thoughts as there’s nothing better than discussing and learning with others!
Images: Bruno Cervera, David Clarke, Eddie Kopp