In 2019, traditional brand marketing is simply not enough. Your customers might be disengaging with you because they feel your content is inauthentic. From Millennials to the emergent Gen Z, consumers now demand a brand that emotionally connects with them. Let us explain how your brand can build authenticity that serves your business well.
Stick to your core values
Like humans, brands have values. It is important to identify your company's values and stick to them. Convince your customers that your brand is authentic by aligning your business values to your product and marketing efforts. Ultimately, your success relies on how consistently you show the world what your brand stands for.
A good example to learn from is Everlane, a clothing company that strongly promotes transparency. The company's website showcases their value by displaying a breakdown of their pricing model and dedicating a page that shows stories of all their factories. This proves to their customers that the company is willing to walk the walk in all aspects of their business.
Engage with your customers
If your business’ social engagements stop at liking or resharing posts from your customers, then you have fallen into one of the pitfalls of online engagement.
Engaging with your customers provides a chance for your business to showcase your ‘human' side. Simply liking or resharing posts means you will miss out on opportunities to create a unique bond with the customer. To take it one step further, try replying to a post. Or, you can go above and beyond by supplying information or recommendations in a helpful tone. This will make the customer feel like they matter and greatly enhance their buying experience.
But that's not all.
An authentic brand is able to turn online interactions with customers into offline ones. This comes from a place where you are able to understand your customers' wants and needs on a deeper level, and address them accordingly. Here's an example:
An influential customer posted a photo at the brand's store with a handbag they liked but did not purchase. The brand then replied to this post on social media and offered to buy the bag for her, inviting her back into the store and creating a meaningful relationship with her.
You might want to know this: 71% of people who have a positive service experience online recommend the brand to others. Engaging with your customers can greatly convince your customer that your brand is genuine and authentic.
Incorporate user-generated content
Your final missing piece to creating an authentic brand is User-Generated Content (UGC).
A 2017 survey revealed 57% of respondents believe that more than half of brands create inauthentic content. What do they mean by ‘inauthentic content’? Celebrity endorsements, paid influencers, sponsored posts, you name it.
What's more: Most of the time, consumers can distinguish between brand-created and consumer-created content. So, if your business posts written or visual content generated by customers, then you will be seen as genuine. Genuine content equals influential, shareable content that helps build an authentic brand while driving sales.
As it turns out, most consumers are looking for brands that validate and inspire them. Being authentic then gives the people what they want, while serving your business well.