Can I be Honest with You? The Truth about Authentic Marketing

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Authentic PR and marketing is trendy right now, but it’s more complicated than it sounds.

PR and marketing require careful planning and by that nature, lack the spontaneity of an actual moment. However, creating authentic PR and marketing is more about storytelling – the production, timing and preparation may be forced – but the story is real.

What do authentic brands do?

  • Care about customers and their stories
  • Live by their core values
  • Are original and sincere

Audiences value brands that demonstrate through personal or customer stories mutual respect, honesty and trust between them. Authenticity in marketing is about creating or finding real stories that represent your brand and turning them into marketing efforts. This might sound scary, but when done right, it can better establish your brand. Start by thinking about your value proposition and what solutions you provide to your audiences. Your goals should be to express these values through storytelling.

Why is this important?

  • Search Engine Optimization – Search engines got smart fast to the black hat SEO. Now brands are penalized for keyword stuffing. You will rank higher in searches if you captured the intended meaning of a keyword by covering topics associated with it, rather than just forcing the keyword it into every other sentence. Google also rewards good backlinks, or pages that also intentionally address the intended meaning of the keywords in the query.
  • Brand Loyalty and Trust – People are more informed and have more choices in the goods and services they pay for today than ever before.  So, people place a high value on open and honest communications about products and services. ­ Many will even pay more for brands they feel share their values and become loyal to those brands.
  • Conversion – Building a loyal base often translates to more site visitors who are paying customers. Enough said.

How do you get started?

  1. Start by thinking about your value proposition and what solutions you provide to your audiences. Your goals should be to express these values through storytelling.
  2. Listen to what your customers and stakeholders are saying about you and how you can build upon their positives and address the negatives.
  3. Commit to what’s important. Once you have identified your values and what matters to you and your audiences, find the stories or engage in opportunities that reinforce those ideals.
  4. Sharing is caring, so tell others about these values, what you are doing to reinforce them and let them hear first-hand about other’s experiences that are emblematic of your organization.

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