Welcome to Marketing Monday, where I give you tips and tricks for being your own content marketer. This week’s post is all about brand authenticity: What is it? Why do I need it? How do I get it.
One thing I keep talking about on this website is that one of the main goals of content marketing is to cultivate your brand as a reliable, trustworthy resource of information in your industry. But, public trust in companies is down and most people know you can’t believe everything you see on the internet, which can make online marketing feel like a bit of a catch-22. How are you supposed to use the internet to build yourself as a reliable source of information if no one trusts what they see online?
What Is Brand Authenticity?
Brand authenticity is conveying the image that your company is an honest, reliable company that follows through on its promises. The best way to accomplish this is to simply practice what you preach and treat your customers the way you’d like to be treated. Do that and word of mouth will spread, which is the best kind of marketing you can get.
But what can you do if you’re still trying to build your customer base? How can you bring in new customers if you don’t yet have any existing customers to give you a testimonial?
I’ve mentioned on this blog before the importance of blogging on a consistent schedule. How often you blog doesn’t matter nearly as much as making sure you’re always publishing new blog posts at the same time. Your tone, voice, and the topics you cover also need to be consistent. Let people know what they’re going to get when they come to your site.
The information you provide should also remain consistent. If you have to contradict yourself, acknowledge it, because your loyal followers will notice. Let them know if things changed or if new information became available that caused you to change your mind.
The internet offers an incredible opportunity to engage with each and every one of your customers on a personal level and you need to take advantage of that. Reach out to them when it’s appropriate (but don’t spam them) and respond promptly and courteously when they reach out to you. Customers are much more likely to buy from a company that has engaged with them online.
You should also make a point of engaging with colleagues and influencers in your industry because doing so enhances brand awareness and credibility for both of you.
You can talk about yourself until you’re blue in the face, but that’s only going to get you so far with your online audience. People are much more likely to trust your brand when they get recommendations from customers, regardless of whether they know those customers personally.
If you don’t already have testimonials on your website, you absolutely need to take care of that ASAP. Once you have that, getting people to talk up your products on social media is even better. If you’ve heard about influencers, those are people who have built up a massive following on social media, so companies pay them to talk up their products on their social media profiles. It gets their products in front of thousands (if not millions) of viewers and comes with a recommendation from someone they trust.
You can pay influencers to talk up your products, or you can simply ask your existing customers to do it for you. Include share buttons after they’ve finished checking out to make it easy for them to talk you up on social media. Offer to enter them in a giveaway if they post a picture with one of your products. Ask them to use one of your hashtags to try and get it trending. It’s a great way to get customers involved with your brand and build trust with your audience. It also builds brand recognition organically since your customers’ followers will see the posts, even if they’re not following you … yet.
Thanks for reading! If you like what you see here, you can sign up for my newsletter at the top of this page to make sure you never miss an update. No spam, I promise!