In a world saturated with deepfakes and uncertainty, people want something they can trust. Consumers now have access to an unprecedented amount of information, empowering them with valuable insights to make educated purchasing decisions. But what sources can be trusted?
Traditional marketing and direct advertising aren’t cutting it anymore when it comes to informing and building trust with buyers. Instead, people are turning towards more authentic material, like posts from fellow users or influencers. By embracing authentic marketing, brands can help their audience find more genuine content about their product or service.
Modern marketing techniques adapt how brands connect with people to build credibility and maintain loyalty. We’ve gathered a few ideas to get your wheels turning and inspire your own connection campaign.
Authenticity in marketing is not just a preference but a necessity in today's consumer environment. Consumers aren’t just seeking products or services; they want to form meaningful connections with brands they relate to. In fact, more than half of consumers will buy a product if they connect with the brand’s story and these connections stem from a brand's ability to communicate its values, mission and purpose.
A brand’s narrative and how it’s delivered affects shoppers’ decisions. When choosing who to support, 86% of customers weigh brand sincerity as an important factor. Authentic branding unites companies and their customers by encouraging a deeper connection through vulnerability and storytelling.
The consumption habits of modern consumers look drastically different from what they did decades ago, with considerable changes occurring just within the past few years. The economy is still recovering from the global pandemic while also facing additional resistance from consumers who raised their expectations from brands before they're willing to trust them. So, how can brands ease their skepticism and connect with customers? We've got a few strategies:
Communicate with transparency: People don’t like to be lied to or feel duped into buying something. When interacting with customers, be straightforward and honest about your product or service.
Be consistent in brand messaging: A uniform message establishes a clear brand identity. Consistent messaging across platforms also helps to ensure a cohesive brand experience that users can rely on. Plus, it can even increase revenue by 23%.
Align actions with brand values: Identify what your brand stands for and follow through. Consumers are now looking for concrete evidence businesses genuinely align with the causes they promote and aren’t just for show.
Build trust through genuine engagement: Find ways to share your brand’s story and listen to your audiences’ stories in return. Start conversations about your brand that will lead consumers to make connections to their own lives.
Consumers no longer want to see hyper-curated, scripted content from brands. This level of polish often disconnects viewers as it doesn’t reflect the often chaotic and disorganized reality of most peoples’ daily lives. They desire relatable content that acknowledges and represents their normal, which is why users prefer media that feels less produced and has more human touches.
We have some suggestions to help you produce more relatable content and form genuine connections with your viewers!
Shift the spotlight to your audience! User-generated content (UGC) is created and shared by consumers rather than a company’s marketing team. It can come in many forms, including text, images, videos or reviews. Often, UGC is voluntarily created by everyday users, making it an ideal way for brands to show the more authentic side of their product or service.
Because consumers are more skeptical than ever of brand values, integrity and authenticity, building trust through UGC is essential to sustaining modern connections. 85% of people say UGC is more impactful than content directly from a brand. There are many ways to encourage UGC, including using email reminders to generate reviews, launching Instagram hashtag contests and starting ambassador programs.
Influencers have significant power in influencing consumer decisions, with 49% of consumers relying on their recommendations when making a purchase. Influencer marketing is stepping away from overly posed brand posts and leaning towards more natural-looking videos and real-life applications. Consider this your sign to focus less on giving heavy edits and scripts to your influencers and let them do what they do best: create authentic content for their audience that converts.
Although partnering with influencers can be advantageous, be intentional about who your brand collaborates with. People still trust influencers more than brands; however, many viewers hesitate to believe influencers with larger followings, questioning whether they use the products they promote. While working with a mega influencer may seem like a glamorous idea to, smaller content creators are typically more trusted by their niche audiences.
Expressing authenticity in marketing campaigns is only one step toward connecting with consumers; establishing a standard of quality and integrity in products and services is fundamental. Shoppers want genuine products crafted to last a long time and services that exceed their expectations. The new trend of deinfluencing reflects this expectation, encouraging consumers to avoid unnecessary purchases of overhyped, low-quality products pushed by influencers. With deinfluencing on the rise, along with a growing awareness of the consequences of overconsumption, consumers are pickier with how they spend their money. It’s increasingly necessary for brands to stand out in terms of assuring real quality.
How to ensure trust in the quality of your brand:
Conduct frequent customer surveys about the perceived quality of the product or service.
Guarantee 100% satisfaction and offer refunds for returns.
Ask customers to explain their reason for returning upon receiving return requests.
Provide strong customer service to address any concerns or issues.
Identify ways the product or service you deliver is superior to what other brands offer.
When all is said and done, authenticity cannot be faked or manufactured. And people will catch on if brands attempt to cut corners or perform authenticity. Consumers are past the casual stage of empty flattery and false promises that traditional advertising offers; they want the real thing.
Buyers are ready for transparency and mutual commitment and want to see that brands are, too. To earn customers’ trust and loyalty, brands must be genuine and sincere in their interactions, fostering a connection that goes beyond a simply transactional relationship.
Worried that your brand’s story isn’t coming across authentically? We have even more ideas that could revolutionize your relationship with your buyers. If you need help finding genuine ways to connect with consumers, contact us!
Lexie Febel is a Content and PR Coordinator at thunder::tech. Her favorite pastime includes being cozied up with her cats while getting lost in the pages of a compelling book.