Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to market your business, particularly to a new, hungry audience. While we always hear that people these days are time-poor and inundated with content, this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t continue to create it, simply that it is even more critical to make content as enticing and as attention-grabbing as possible.
To be authentic you must be honest, and you must create a sense of trust in your brand. You must not be viewed as a business that is trying too hard or creates false advertising or one that will do anything for a sale.
If you can prove that you genuinely care about your customers, your employees, your products, and on a broader scale, the environment, and the way that you conduct your business ethically, you are more likely to speak to a wide audience who shares your views and resonates with them.
Being considered authentic can be a powerful advantage when it comes to getting ahead of your competitors and increasing your sales potential. Your reputation really is everything, and it’s fragile. A single negative review or remark on social media or a bad press article can be all it takes for potential customers to become put off buying from your business.
People trust people, and we all know that in the world of business if you are trying to sell your products and services you need people to talk positively about your business and to recommend you to others, and one of the ways to do this is to create authentic content that improves your credibility.
So how can you do this?
Create your brand voice – think about what you are trying to sell and who you are targeting, then decide what voice will best speak to that audience. Do you need to sound like authoritative experts, or funny and quirky? Do you need to come across as passionate and creative or entirely factual? Finding your voice will set the tone for your content.
Be consistent – your content needs to have consistency. Once you know who your audience is and what they like, provide content that they will find exciting and continue to do so. Don’t change it up, don’t experiment (unless what you are offering isn’t working), don’t try to be something you are not. Remember, you don’t need to be funny, or sarcastic if that’s not what your business stands for, just as you don’t need to come across as political or highly intelligent if your business and audience don’t demand that either. Be honest about who you are and what you do, and people will respect you for it.
Respect your audience. There is nothing worse than a business who defends themselves to the last or talks negatively about their customers or competitors. Instead strive to be helpful, to resolve issues and always be respectful even if you think someone else is in the wrong.
Always be honest first. Don’t make claims that you can’t live up to. If you make a mistake hold your hands up and say ‘we got that wrong.’ Be able to know when things aren’t working, ask for feedback and act on it, be reliable, provide excellent customer service and manage people's expectations. Try to help people, but if you can’t explain to them why, and then try to find someone who can.
Give them proof. Back up your claims with facts, do your research, get testimonials and reviews, enter competitions. Get some weight behind what you are saying, and you are so much more likely to get people to believe you and trust in your brand.
Creating authentic content across all your marketing channels isn’t going to change your business overnight, but the more effort you put into doing so, the better your brand will be viewed, the more it will be respected, and this will undoubtedly have a long term and positive effect on your success.
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