Small Business Marketing Should Focus on Authenticity

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Small Business Marketing Should Focus on Authentic Branding

Spend any time researching marketing trends and tactics for 2017, and you’ll see the words ‘genuine’ and ‘authentic’ over and over. Today’s marketing plan is to channel your authenticity and invite customers into your world. Marketers create relationships with their potential customers by making customers feel like they know the people behind the brands.

Individuals and companies are more visible than ever before. With dozens of social media outlets, brands have the opportunity to tell their story even as it’s happening. Social media is a staple in most people’s lives. It makes us feel like we know everyone that we follow, and that’s bled into how customers consume businesses. Companies have to build genuine connections within their target demographics to succeed today.

To invite your customers into your world, you have to open up. Creating online content like blogs, videos, podcasts or photos that tell your company’s story helps to humanize your company. Offline, supporting causes that align with your company’s mission, or doing pop-up shows where people can meet you in person helps to plant your brand in their hearts and minds.

You can focus on authenticity in your brand marketing easily. Here are three ways you can tell your story, and three things that accomplishes.

Three Marketing Tactics That Build Authenticity

Create marketing content that shares your story. Today, everyone feels entitled to a behind the scenes look at things. We want to see the final product AND how it was made. We want stars to share their stories during red carpet interviews and on their personal Instagram stories. When you create content that shares your business story you open your world to your potential customer. You can introduce them to employees, share your values and practices, and make them feel like they are a part of the team.

Introduce yourself and be consistent. Brands that jump around are dead in the water today. There’s so much competition for a customer’s attention that you need to hammer home your message several times before it really sinks into anyone’s mind. Being consistent helps get your message to more people and helps it resonate more. Plus, you tell a cohesive story. Customers don’t simply want to know what you have to offer them. Customers want to feel like they know the brands they support. They want to know the history, the practices and the ethics of your brand. Customers give their money to brands that they understand.

Allow creativity to take the front seat. Again, competition is fierce out there. In order to stand out, allow your creativity to run wild. Take some risks. Share personal triumphs or stories of struggles. Be that guy in your field. When you do this in your marketing you come across as real. Nothing is more paramount than authenticity today. Brands that rely on automation or canned, clunky responses will fail. Customers want to connect with the humans behind the logos. When you take a risk, it shows that you’re about more than just profits. Stories that share personal information, such as work habits and challenges, resonate with people. It makes you real in their eyes. It makes you relatable.

When you’re developing a marketing plan, look to brands that move you. Marketing works on all of us. Even when we’re in the same game, a well-executed marketing plan will still wriggle into our hearts and minds. Business owners are still consumers.

So, what are the brands that tug on your heartstrings? Which company’s Instagram accounts do you stalk? Take the aspects that you respond to from them and incorporate them into your own plan. For example, Dove is a multi-national company that relies on using ‘everyday’ people in their marketing. American Eagle clothing has vowed to do away with airbrushing their models, to create more ‘realistic’ pictures of bodies. Their company message is that everyone is beautiful as they are- they just happen to be companies that sell beauty products.

You don’t have to be a beauty or clothing company to piggyback on their ideas. Use real people in ads for your tool company. Snap a picture of yourself before you get all dolled up for an interview and post it to social media. Your message is bigger than sales- it’s sharing a relatable story. Sales will come after your story has been shared.

Authenticity is the name of the game at the moment. It’s the best strategy to get people to notice and remember your brand. It’s the way to establish a true and lasting connection with your audience. Invest your time and energy into content marketing to see a difference in your growth and business success.

Wax Seal Photo via Shutterstock

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2 Reactions

  1. Aira Bongco

    These days, branding is more about being who you really are. Gone are the days when image is tweaked. It is about transparency and realness.

  2. Martin Lindeskog

    The first letter, A, in Amber Mac’s ABC formula (in her book, Power Friending) is standing for authenticity. I will have her guideline covered in the next (and last) site I am launching during this year.

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