We’re deep into the digital age – where we can be anyone we want and portray ourselves in any way we please. Yet, just because you can portray yourself in unrealistic and exaggerated ways doesn’t mean you should. And the same goes for your business.
Consumers are more informed, connected, and empowered than ever before. They recognise the often cynical nature of the current world and therefore want businesses that go above and beyond to remain authentic and transparent. Despite how easy it is to be fake and dishonest, higher value is put on those businesses that resist temptation and remain unapologetically themselves.
Authenticity and business
90% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding on which brands to support. And while 92% of marketers believe that most or all of their content resonates as authentic, 51% of consumers believe less than half of brands’ content is authentic.
Being authentic is about staying true to yourself and your business’s core values through every step of the customer journey. From start to finish, consumers want to deal with companies that are trustworthy, honest, and transparent. And not appearing authentic and genuine can be detrimental to your business’s success and growth.
Winning over the sceptics and cynics
Consumers, as a whole, can be relatively untrusting. Big corporations often appear as cold, greedy, and lacking an essential human element. Everything is seen as having an agenda and many businesses are perceived as being out for financial gain alone.
The rise of social media has also made us all more sceptical. Between brands, celebrities and influencers, reviews can’t always be trusted. And with concepts such as fake news, it can be hard to separate fact from fiction.
This fundamental trust gap isn’t helped by past scandals. Think back to the Facebook data scandal of 2018, where millions of users’ personal data was used without consent for political advertising. There’s a discrepancy between what consumers want and what they’re often given by brands.
Fundamentally, any content you create will have an agenda. After all, you want to sell your business. No one’s blaming you for taking this logical approach. But it’s when your motivation stops there that this becomes problematic. You should want to add value to your audience as well.
It’s a two-way street. If you’re hoping to win over new customers, it’s important you prioritise giving your audience something worthwhile for free. Make sure you’re always engaging, adding value, focusing on quality over quantity, and being consistent and reliable. Take the time to understand your audience so you know exactly what they’ll value most from you. Give the people what they want and they’ll be more likely to give you the custom you’d like.
The power of user-generated content
While we’re talking about authenticity, it’s impossible to ignore user-generated content. It’s arguably the most authentic content out there. Why? Because it’s generated by real people and is an unbiased perspective on brands and organisations.
58% of consumers agree that user-generated content – whether this takes the form of reviews, testimonials, ratings, or social media – is an authentic, trustworthy source of information.
Above all else, consumers will recognise inauthenticity from a mile away. They want to trust that the businesses they use will do best by them. Inauthentic content breaks this trust with consumers and could lead them straight to a competitor.
As a business, it’s important to focus your time and resources on the content that matters most. The content your audience will truly value, respect, and respond well to. Sure, you want to add value with informative blog posts and engaging digital content that sells your brand – but combine this with some user-generated content that will reinforce you as trustworthy and show you genuinely care about your audience.
At Coster Content, we create engaging content that’s authentically you. Whether you’d like us to take the reins of your content entirely or want guidance in improving your own team’s communication, get in touch with us today on 0161 413 8418.