Does Authenticity Actually Matter in Marketing?

July 20, 2021   |   Share:     |  

4 minute read

There’s always been a fine line between authentic and inauthentic marketing. Of course, bias is always involved when something is being sold, but when does marketing cross over from genuine promotion into overselling & dishonesty? What does that look like? And can your audience tell the difference?? 

Hint: Yes! They absolutely can. 

Consumers today aren’t stupid. They know when they’re being sold fools gold. If anything, they’re *overly* suspicious of blatant marketing tactics. But no worries, in this article, we’re giving you a fail-safe guide to authentic marketing. What it looks like, why it’s essential, and even some pointers to keep in mind for your next campaign. It’s all here. Let’s get into it

81% of people believe businesses have a responsibility to be transparent on social media.

Examples of Authentic Marketing

Feature Experts

Knowledge and experience hold so much weight when it comes to influence. That’s why it’s no surprise that consumers trust experts over everyday people. It just makes sense. Selling a product or service in an industry that you have no genuine experience in is going to be a huge red flag to consumers. 

So if you’re just getting started, finding a respected expert to promote your brand is gonna be key to gaining the trust of your audience. 

Some good news is that you can be your own brand expert if you have the right credentials. However, including other professionals will always look more genuine and create that sense of social proof that consumers crave. 

Educational Videos

*Never* tell people, “Just trust me,” give them a reason to! Because, like any relationship, trust isn’t inherently given. It needs to be earned. And when it comes to promoting a product, the best way to achieve that trust is by remaining as transparent as possible. 

Give people the inside scoop into your process. Lift up the curtain and explain to your audience why you do the things you do. The more you hold close to your chest, the less authentic you appear. 

Creating simple educational videos is a fantastic way to showcase your genuine knowledge while simultaneously presenting yourself as a leading voice in your industry. 

Push Value - Not Price

If you push price over value, it tells your audience that what you care most about is getting their money, not helping them. And how authentic does that seem? 

When developing marketing campaigns and strategies, the number one focus should always be how your target audience can benefit from what you’re selling. Not how you can benefit from them spending their money. Because what you do is about so much more than a price tag. Yes, price is important. But to your audience, there is no direct benefit for them in the price they’re paying

If you push price over value, it tells your audience that what you care most about is getting their money, not helping them. And how authentic does that seem? 

Customer Stories

Without a doubt, the best way to promote your brand is to have other people do it for you. Social proof plays a vital role in the buying decision. Whether it’s testimonial videos, online reviews, or case studies, your audience is going to relate much more to real stories than lofty claims.  

Why Is Authenticity Important??

First of all, consumers expect nothing less.

"90% of consumers say authenticity is important when choosing the brands they like and support. On top of that, 83% of marketers agree that authenticity is “very important” to their brands."

So, essentially, lacking authenticity isn’t really an option to begin with. But just in case you need more convincing, let’s dive into some more reasons.

Trust Above All Else

People don’t work with people they don’t trust. Period. Especially now, as consumers are paying much more attention to brands than ever before. A survey by Marketing Dive Found that, “Product quality, positive ratings, reviews and customer service are the top three characteristics that establish trust in a brand among Gen Zers”

Today’s consumers will go out of their way to reward trustworthiness and authenticity. But even more importantly, they will do the same to condemn dishonesty. 

Authenticity = Relatablity

No matter what industry you’re in, you’re in the business of working with people. And people don’t like feeling generalized or unimportant. So when you’re speaking through your brand, stop being so robotic. Speak like an actual human! 

It gives the comforting feeling of connection that consumers crave and eliminates that inorganic feeling that something is being sold. 

“51% of consumers define feeling connected to a brand when the brand understands them and their wants—that is, demonstrating empathy.”

Increase Genuine Engagement

What do you think people will feel more motivated to engage with? An aggressive campaign in which the main message is to “Sell! Sell! Sell!”? Or genuine content that attempts to form a connection, ask a question, or maybe solve a problem? 

If your goal is to increase your digital engagement, don’t just sell. Form a comfortable space for your community to engage, start a conversation, and brand loyalty will come naturally.  

Need Some Pointers?? We’ve Got Ya Covered.

“For long-term customer satisfaction, brand marketing should accurately represent the actual customer experience. It’s better to under-promise and over-deliver than the other way around.”

There ya have it!

At the end of the day, just be real with people. Maybe this means rethinking your current marketing strategies or adjusting the way your brand communicates. But in time, those authentic connections develop into loyal customers who sing your praises, and the cycle continues. 

And as always, if you can’t do it on your own, you’ve got INDIRAP.

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