Today’s customers have high demands—they want a great product, a personalized customer experience and they want the brands they do business with to be “authentic”. So, just what makes a brand authentic?
According to the Journal of Consumer Psychology, brand authenticity is defined as:
“The extent to which consumers perceive a brand to be faithful toward itself, true to its consumers, motivated by caring and responsibility, and able to support consumers in being true to themselves.”
Why is brand authenticity so important? Former Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz sums it up best, saying “If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.” And that’s exactly what we all want – many customers that are committed to our businesses.
Content marketing is the perfect tool to share your authenticity and speak to people who are invested in your mission. Here’s how:
- Share your mission. And then share what you’re doing to support your mission–in social media posts, videos and photos, in blog posts and in e-newsletters. For example, if you want to be the go-to source of information for a particular industry, show what you are working on to compile or create cutting edge resources.
- Be transparent. Share with your customers what you’re working on or what a day in the life of your employees is like. Help your customers feel connected to the people behind your brand. For example, you could turn your social media handles over to different people to manage for a day and share their experiences.
- Ask for input. You don’t have to have all of the answers or make every decision in a vacuum. Use the power of your connection with your audience to establish a forum where customers can be a part of the process by sharing new product ideas, offer feedback on event logistics or suggesting causes you can back. For example, if you’re planning an event in a city and want to include a charitable element, you could poll your audience for recommendations of local charities to partner with during your event.
- Own up to mistakes. There’s bound to be a misstep now and then. Use your content to acknowledge the mistake as well as share what you learned from it rather than try to hide it from your audience (they will find out).
- Don’t overproduce. While it’s important to make your content look and sound professional, too glossy or stiff can be a turn off. Your content should speak in the tone of the brand and should have a look and feel that match the brand’s mission and vision.
Brand authenticity, while a trendy buzzword all marketers need to be familiar with, shouldn’t really be all that hard to accomplish. If your brand has a genuine story to tell, content marketing is the perfect vehicle in which to deliver it.