Today, most online consumers have good bullshit-o-meters. They know that pretty much anyone can look good online, and have become experts at weeding out the lies and scams. Modern savvy online users only click and engage with brands that appear to be honest with their claims and real with their identities.
Authentic Marketing is marketing that instills confidence by being real and honest. It is the type of marketing customers feel good about and connect with. It breeds loyal customers with high customer lifetime value and large numbers of referrals and results in positive customer reviews.
You know your marketing is authentic if your customers are not surprised by their experience with your company. Your marketing should convey the values and experience of your brand clearly and transparently, as opposed to hiding behind tricky language and fancy imagery.
Because Authentic Marketing is just a reflection of your truest brand identity, it takes many forms; Authentic Marketing will look very different from one company to another. So – how do you do it?
Here are some tips:
1. Get clear on your brand. What do you stand for? What do your customers care most about? What pain point are you solving for them? What is your brand voice and persona? Are you funky and hip? Or classy and professional? If you haven’t already done so, write out thorough brand guidelines – and stick to it for all your ads! Ensure your marketing is always aligned with your brand identity.
2. Ditch the professionals? While pristine photography and high-production-value video certainly have their place and are often effective, sometimes, raw content (like a self-filmed iPhone testimonial from a customer) is more powerful. If it aligns with your brand persona, try using your iPhone to generate some ad content!
3. Let your customers do the talking. Utilize testimonials, social indicators, reviews, and case studies to convey your value propositions. Customers trust other customers like them more than they trust you – it’s much harder to fake testimonials than traditional marketing messages!
4. Speak the language. Use the types of words and language your team uses when speaking to your customers in-person and that your customers use when speaking to each other. Below is an example of an ad we made for Savi Bar. We used casual words, slang, emojis, and bullet points – and the result was super-high engagement! For ad text inspiration, we used some of the phrases and words (like “freaky”) customers were using to describe the bar themselves.
If Authentic Marketing doesn’t work for you – then it’s probably time to rethink your branding and/or product…
So, get out there and expose your naked brand identity to the world!