Many years ago, the agency I was working for at the time got invited to a new business pitch from Bu...
Successful marketing campaigns are about creating connections that promote action and positive word of mouth. To effectively engage modern consumers, businesses need to establish trust by taking a consistent, authentic approach to their digital marketing efforts.
What Is Digital Authenticity?
From a digital marketer's perspective, authenticity means being original and genuine, while maintaining a consistent voice, perspective and image throughout every single channel and customer interaction. Whether it's published content, a PPC ad or a customer service interaction, people should know what to expect from a company's brand without wondering if it's real or if it will change tomorrow.
For a long time, digital marketing focused exclusively on using data-driven tactics to drive traffic. As Google's algorithms continue to become more intelligent and intuitive, however, companies have reined in their marketing tactics to focus more on brand personality.
What Does it Mean for You?
To some companies, authenticity is little more than a buzzword to make corporations seem more human and less corporate. To others, it simply means presenting their brand - in visuals, words, advertising and customer service - in a more direct and friendly way that's different from the competition.
In reality, authenticity should mean staying true to your brand’s DNA, while fully understanding your consumers and what they expect from your brand. This has become especially important with the rise of social media, where consumers and businesses are expected to communicate with one another in more casual, natural ways. When they engage in real conversations on social media, businesses nurture a culture of belonging that establishes loyalty and trust. It's not about logos or even content; it's about the conversations that are inspired by the content.
With all that said, authenticity still means different things to different brands. For some, it means being bold and unapologetic. For others, it means being insightful, inclusive, and, occasionally, a little edgy. A company that sells beard balm is going to be authentic in a much different way than one that sells cosmetics.
To establish and maintain effective authenticity, companies have to consider a lot of unique factors, including their unique values, missions, products, services, and customers. They also have to be consistent when disseminating this perspective through every marketing channel and customer interaction.
Authenticity Is Not Just a Tactic
These days, companies operate in a new media era, where old marketing ideas no longer work. New technologies have altered the way people engage with one another, leading to major paradigm shifts that have seriously impacted businesses.
Digital authenticity is an effective way to cut through all the endless content "noise" and make meaningful interactions with consumers. In essence, this simply means that brands should stay true to who they are, what they do and who they serve. In execution, it requires a thoughtful approach that centers on empathy, integration, understanding and consistency between campaigns, tactics, communications and goals.