By incorporating brand authenticity into your digital marketing strategy, you can attract new customers, boost customer engagement, and build brand loyalty. Here are five major ways you can be more authentic with your brand strategy and ongoing marketing efforts!
- Stay Consistent with Your Branding
- Be Transparent to Boost Brand Credibility
- Personalize Your Web Content
- Engage Your Online Audience
- Collaborate with Compatible Brands
Stay Consistent with Your Branding
Brand consistency helps you control consumers’ perception of your company across all channels. When your target audience views consistent messaging and visuals across multiple platforms, this inspires confidence in your brand and helps further your brand awareness.
Define Your Brand Voice & Messaging
Referencing an in-house brand guide is a good way to ensure that your company’s voice and messaging are consistent. A brand style guide is a rulebook that determines how your business presents itself to the public through logos, typefaces, photography and graphics, language, and more. Successful companies seamlessly blend their visual identity with written and verbal messaging to create an instantly recognizable brand.
For example, language-learning app Duolingo effectively standardizes communications through writing, marketing, and visual assets in their brand kit, all while projecting the company’s core values and goals. The app wants to make education fun and accessible, and its brand messaging reflects that mission with bright and engaging colors, simple illustrations, and a playful tone.
Schedule Your Social Media Content
Building out a social media calendar keeps your brand marketing efforts organized, allowing you to execute a social media marketing strategy that includes when and where you’ll be sharing brand content on various social platforms. You can even use automation tools to schedule posts and monitor your competition.
While your posting frequency will depend on your audience, industry, and the social media platform you’re using, sharing social media content consistently can increase brand visibility, convert new customers, and help you collect meaningful metrics.
Align Your Strategy with Brand Values
It’s good to define your brand values before developing a brand marketing strategy. This makes it much easier to stay on message and ensure you’re delivering a consistent impression of your brand online. It can even help you determine what kind of digital content you should be putting out into the world.
Despite its many platforms, food and lifestyle expert The Pioneer Woman rarely strays from its established brand. This company consistently embodies its core values by creating content that’s appealing to its audience, with a focus on home, family, and food. The brand’s blog, TV show, cookbooks, and restaurants offer a unified look, voice, and topics that are geared toward women with families who want to balance their work and home lifestyles.
Be Transparent to Boost Brand Credibility
Transparency is all about being forthcoming and candid about your company’s values and operations—including both your successes and failures. This might mean sharing information relating to your business’ performance, pricing, internal processes, and more. Being open about how you run your company or create products adds credibility to your brand and helps humanize the people behind it.
Show Your Day-to-Day Operations
Giving your audience behind-the-scenes looks at your business can build customer trust in your products or services. For instance, ethical clothing company Everlane has a mission of radical transparency and is open about the sourcing of its materials. Their website also features a “transparent pricing” section on their product pages to let shoppers know exactly what they’re paying for.
Another transparent marketing strategy that allows you to share your brand’s story and its values is email marketing. You can establish a connection with your audience and celebrate wins by sharing relevant company news in a company newsletter. Email newsletter ideas that build brand authenticity include user-generated content, product development processes, and customer loyalty programs.
Honestly Advertise Your Products/Services
Showcasing how your products or services work and how they’ve helped customers is a simple way to achieve authenticity with your brand. Just make sure that you’re accurately representing and being transparent about what you offer so that you’re not overpromising and under-delivering.
Product demos are a great way to show how and why your product is used by customers. For instance, project management tool Slack shared a product demonstration ad in which a character walks through the tool and how she uses it for her work communications and projects. This gives potential customers a glimpse into how Slack, as a tool, works and what it allows its users to do.
Case studies are also effective tools for showing proof of your business’ success, as they highlight how your brand helps customers succeed or solve a problem in real-world scenarios.
Brands don’t have to be perfect to be authentic. In fact, brand authenticity means sharing failures and difficulties and being vulnerable in a tactful way. Responding to negative reviews, for example, can show that your brand cares about resolving issues and addressing the concerns of your customers.
Similarly, issuing public apologies on social media demonstrates responsibility and gives you a chance to fix a problem. For instance, when Taylor Swift wrote an open letter of disapproval to Apple in 2015, the company’s CEO Eddy Cue publicly responded on Twitter, and Apple reversed its policy of not paying artist royalties during customer trial periods.
Personalize Your Web Content
Personalized content projects your brand voice, positions your business as an authority, and helps you reach your target audience. Whether it’s through website content or social media content, focus on your target market and analyze what needs they have and what information matters most to them.
Create FAQs for Your Customers
Building out FAQ content isn’t solely an SEO tactic. It’s also a valuable resource for customers visiting your website and shows off your brand knowledge. By investing time into creating FAQs on your website, you can provide helpful and instructive information for customers who want to learn more about your business or who encounter common issues with your products or services.
FAQs even provide you with opportunities to show off and continue building upon your distinct brand identity. Take Cards Against Humanity, for example. They utilize their specific dark humor in their FAQs, which further solidifies who the company is, what they care about, and what you’ll get with their products.
Become an Authority in Your Niche
Your business should strive to educate your audience by sharing information that’s relevant to their interests and unique to your brand. Building website and social media content that’s within your area of expertise is important for helping customers see you as a trusted source of information. And when your audience can trust you as an authority in your field, it helps boost your overall brand reputation, too.
While online marketplace Etsy and clothing boutique ModCloth are both e-commerce websites, each company uniquely defines itself through their blogging strategies. Etsy has established itself as a crafting and DIY expert, and ModCloth has staked its claim as a lifestyle and fashion guru. These content marketing initiatives tie back into each brand’s products and expertise.
Engage Your Online Audience
Thoughtful engagement with customers lets them know that you’re there to listen and meet their needs. Interacting with your audience also shows that you care about feedback and improvement, which is essential to maintaining authenticity.
Target Relevant Social Media Users
An authentic social media presence is key to building a lasting brand identity. Brands should communicate openly on platforms when and where their target audience is most active. Businesses with an older audience should consider social media channels that have more senior users, such as Facebook and YouTube, whereas companies who want engagement from younger consumers will likely want to incorporate Instagram, Snapchat, or TikTok into their digital marketing strategies.
Different social media platforms call for different types of content, too, and that content will depend on what each community wants. For example, a professional networking platform like LinkedIn lends itself well to company news, whereas Pinterest could be better for promoting retail products or sharing blog content.
Acknowledge & Accept Feedback
Responding to customer feedback is one of the most obvious ways of engaging with your audience, but brand authenticity is built by actually implementing some of their suggestions. Interacting with reviews—both positive and negative—or conducting surveys shows your customers that you’re constantly looking to improve your products or services and correct any problems.
Most importantly, adapting your brand based on the feedback from your audience can show that you’re willing to meet their needs. When their customers expressed concern about the company testing its products on animals, Dove pivoted to cruelty-free practices to bolster goodwill and develop a product that was still wanted by their target demographic. The company even incorporated this change into their marketing strategy through paid ads, since they knew this issue was important to many of their customers.
Let Your Audience Do the Talking
Feedback only works if your business takes the time to listen. By integrating social listening into your brand’s social marketing strategy, you can better understand what your customers think of your brand and what you have to offer. Social listening can also help you better engage with your audience by identifying their questions and giving them a space to share their thoughts.
User-generated content is one of the most organic and authentic ways a brand can utilize this online feedback. UGC helps combat the “I’m being marketed to” feeling that some customers can get when faced with ads and promoted content, as it shows other customers promoting your brand without being pushed to promote it. It can even turn customers into loyal brand advocates who are compelled to talk about your brand and care about the long-term success of your business.
Collaborate with Compatible Brands
Collaborating with other businesses or individuals who align with your brand’s values can help you boost brand awareness while also remaining authentic. Influencer marketing, getting involved with your community, or taking a stand on social justice issues can impact how your brand is perceived by customers.
Utilize Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is a more subtle type of marketing strategy that can reach a target audience and build trust with your brand. Before you develop an influencer marketing strategy, take some time to define your marketing goals. Assess what type of influencer aligns with your brand values and can help to build authority in your niche. Start with influencers who might already use your products and believe in your brand.
Influencer Danielle Bernstein partnered with Fiji Water to create Bodyworewhat, an influencer marketing campaign that offered eight-minute workout videos with Bernstein and personal trainer Eric Johnson. The campaign demonstrated Fiji’s commitment to hydrating those who want to feel as fit as Bernstein.
Get Involved with Your Community
Doing charitable work is another way you can show your target demographic that you’re a brand worth trusting. Businesses can work with community organizations to push donation campaigns, bring awareness to specific causes, or simply showcase collaborative charitable projects.
Investing time into your brand’s community allows for genuine dialogue with your customers and shows its human connection as well. When your business gives back to causes in your community that support your brand’s values, customers see that you’re not just talk.
Programs like Panera Bread’s Day-End Dough-Nation—in which the fast-casual chain feeds the hungry with unsold bread and baked goods that remain on the shelves after locations close—are a great example.
Become an Advocate
Demonstrating a stance on social issues can show that your brand is willing to use its platform for social good. For the sake of brand authenticity, the issues your company chooses to support should be in line with your core values. For instance, marketing your business as woman-owned, black-owned, or LGBTQ-friendly can help to showcase your commitment to being an advocate in these spaces and communities.
Fashion retailer H&M is a company that took a stance in recent years by showcasing their commitment to sustainability. The company reports that 65% of its materials are recycled, organic, or sustainably sourced, and they’ve even implemented a recycling program in their stores.
Want to reach and engage more customers with your brand? Hurrdat Marketing offers content marketing services, social media marketing services, and more that can help you tell your story online. Contact us today to learn more!