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Time and time again, authenticity is a term that is always top of mind for many marketers and consumers. How often do you see the words “real” or “authentic” being used in company mission statements or slogans? In addition, how many times do you see articles that pop up every year reminding marketers about the value of authenticity? 

There is a reason why authenticity has become a repetitive term, because it is arguably one of the most powerful elements in marketing. Just this week, TikTok released an article which took a closer look at the value of authenticity when marketing on the video sharing platform. It found that brands who marketed on TikTok had a more authentic feel to it, where 61 percent of users noted that advertising on TikTok is unique from other social media platforms as the content appears to be entertaining and relatable. 

So what is the takeaway from the TikTok example? Since the video sharing platform released the TikTok For Business feature in July, this has made it much easier for brands to connect with users on the app. Just as the article above highlighted, authenticity is important universally for marketers, regardless of whether they use traditional or digital media.

In Deloitte’s 2020 Global Marketing Trends, it established that brands need to remember that the digital audience they are engaging with expects brands to be more human. The study noted the importance of creating human connections to brands in order to stay relevant in the digital world. Brands should also remember to stay authentic with their intentions in order to have a lasting impact.

Despite the crucial importance of authenticity, many marketers are still not doing it properly. In a study conducted by Stackla, it found that 92 percent of marketers believe that the content they create is deemed to be authentic by their consumers. However, there is a major discrepancy, as the same study found that 51 percent of consumers believe that less than half of brands they follow create content that appears to be authentic. 

But this is the most important part. The same study indicates that 90 percent of consumers consider authenticity in deciding which brands they like and support. 

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How Do You Create Content That is Authentic?

The ultimate goal for many marketers is to create content that will resonate with their consumers. But marketers often face a conundrum when it comes to creating content, because on one hand, their objective is to sell products to their audience, but on the other hand, they want their brand to appear more personable and relatable. How do marketers strike the perfect balance to maintain authenticity? 

In the last few years, brands have been more vocal about their willingness to support causes and communities. From creating corporate social responsibility campaigns, to using their platforms to raise awareness about certain movements, brands have slowly begun to break out of the robotic mold.

As noted by a Forbes article this year which drew comparisons between major corporations and startups, major corporations have a higher tendency to create marketing campaigns that come off as being tone-deaf. Major corporations can learn from startups with how they roll out their marketing campaigns, but we will explore some of the considerations brands can follow to create content that is authentic and true to their brand.

Personal Gain or For Awareness?

When creating content for your social media platforms, one of the key things you need to consider is when a major movement comes around (ex: #MeToo and BLM), is your brand chiming in to genuinely raise awareness or to simply jump on the bandwagon? 

Many brands have been criticized for creating content that comes across as tone-deaf and reads off as virtue signalling, just take the now infamous Pepsi commercial that featured Kendall Jenner. Brands need to remember that authenticity can only be achieved by creating content that has the right intention set in mind – if your brand’s intention is to try and profit off of a movement, you are doing it wrong.

Consistency with Your Mission/Vision Statements

Brands love to champion their mission and vision statements, as they are one of the defining characteristics that give definition to a brand. In another article by Forbes, it noted that having a consistent mission statement that fosters a brand’s culture is important for both employees and customers. When brands live up to their name by following their mission or vision statements, it showcases their true authenticity. 

The takeaway from this is that social media marketers should also create content that aligns with their brand’s mission and vision statements. If there is a discrepancy, or the mission or vision statement is only for display, it can contribute to adding distrust towards a brand.

The Human Element

For brands, having a human face that represents the brand can contribute towards authenticity. In a study that was published by the European Journal of Social Psychology, it found that consumers preferred brands that had faces on them. This human element is crucial because numerous studies in the past have indicated that consumers prefer to interact with brands that behave more like a human, as noted by the Deloitte study earlier in this blog. 

However, brands who do have a human face attached to their brand should still tread with caution, as it does not automatically guarantee immediate trust. While working with influencers can contribute to adding authenticity, it can be dependent on who the individual is. Brands have to be mindful of the people they choose to represent their brand, as it can contribute to their authenticity if it is genuine, but if it is not, it will do the opposite.

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Photo by Gigi on Unsplash

If your company is looking to create more authentic content for your social media platforms, then we can certainly assist you. With years of proven experience, we are social media experts who can create content that will resonate with your audience.

Qode Social is a Toronto-based social media marketing agency that specializes in community building, account growth, ad analysis, Facebook and Instagram support, and more. Led by experienced social media experts, Qode Social has worked with companies such as Gay Lea Foods, Days Inn Canada, TP-Link and more. Qode Social is a division of Qode Media, which is the parent company that focuses on SEO and graphic design.