If you browse the internet, you can find a wealth of information about how to get your content discovered or the best SEO tactics. While this information is valuable, marketers often lose focus on the most effective way to reach an audience that does not have an immediate need for your products or services. This critical component that is often overlooked is authentic content marketing.
What is Authentic Content Marketing?
You've probably heard the term "authentic content marketing" tossed around, but what does it really mean?
Authentic content is original content that is created with the intention of providing value to readers. Different than the promotion-focused content that so many marketers are privy to using, authentic content places emphasis on educating readers first and selling second. By making authentic content a priority, you'll be able to convey a passion for what you do, provide tangible value, establish trust, and earn conversions.
Why is Authentic Content Appealing?
Over the years, consumers have been inundated with traditional marketing content that exudes a "salesy" vibe. Consumers, particularly Millennials, view traditional marketing as fake and manipulative, which are obviously two traits that you don't want to have associated with your business.
Today's consumers equate authenticity with honesty. They have a trained eye to spot brands attempting to make a quick sale from a mile away. Think about some of the debacles that brands have made as a result of trying to cash in on a trend. One that immediately comes to mind is Dodge and its tasteless use of Martin Luther King speeches in an attempt to sell more trucks. These content marketing fails are difficult to recover from.
Considering that so many brands are creating promotion-focused content, authentic content offers consumers a breath of fresh air. When you can create content that is honest and transparent, you'll engage the customer and leave them wanting more.
How Do You Create Authentic Content?
According to research, 88 percent of consumers place as much trust in online reviews as they do from personal recommendations from friends. Have you ever wondered why consumers place so much stock in the opinions of others (especially in those they don't even know)? It's because these online reviews are generally unbiased and authentic.
Like it or not, our opinions as consumers are heavily swayed by social media and what we read online. Research continues to indicate that consumers' purchase decisions are impacted more by emotion than logic.
While user-generated content such as online reviews needs to be part of your strategy for providing your target audience with authentic content, you also need to take the time to create and share this high-value, original content on your website, blog, and social media.
Here are some best practices for creating authentic content:
1. Find your voice and inject it in every piece of content that you write.
Marketing and promotional content is notorious for feeling artificial. When writing content, eliminate the business-speak and give your brand a unique and personable voice. Creating content with a consistent, passionate, and approachable voice will help your audience believe what you say about your brand.
To help you find your authentic voice, look at yourself in the mirror while you recite your brand's value proposition. Do you believe it? Then tell your brand's story to a colleague. Does your story resonate with the listener? Once you can answer yes to both of these questions, you're on your way to finding your authentic voice.
2. Identify relatable moments.
Uncovering moments in time that your audience can relate to is your key to connecting with them on an emotional level. Consider what your audience's pain points are. Sharing a relatable moment that touches on a pain point will help to draw the reader in. Instead of directly telling your audience how your brand relates to that moment, focus more on the experience and link positive emotions and feelings to your brand.
3. Focus on the customer.
When creating content that connects with the reader on a more personal level, it's tempting to use words and phrases such as "I thought," "I realized," and "I learned." However, you need to make your content about your customers and how your authentic story impacts them. Focusing too much on your brand's perspective will put up a wall between you and your reader.
In summary, too many businesses make the mistake of creating purely promotional content. Help your business stand apart from the crowd by creating high-quality, authentic content that adds value to your readers. By putting these storytelling tactics into practice, you'll be able to create authentic content that connects your audience to your brand and establishes a lasting relationship.
Are you interested in learning more about how you can take your content marketing strategy to the next level with authentic content? Contact us at New York Ave to learn more about our full-service content marketing program that will allow your business to shine with interesting, relevant, and conversational content that engages your audience.