How to create authentic content that speaks to consumers: Part 1 

Being able to reach potential clients can be tough. What is the best way to advertise? Do you bedazzle clients with expensive and far fetched advertisements or do you keep it real and share your story? Creating authentic content is often the answer to getting consumers on board with your brand.

Often we think that audiences just want to see glitz and glam and don’t want to see reality but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Big brands such as Samsung have seen enormous success with their authentic content. The phone company encourages their customers to post pictures on Instagram captured on their Samsung Galaxy and then it gets reposted on Samsung’s Instagram page. Consumers respond well to this approach as opposed to rigid and staged marketing images.

So how can you be more authentic with your written content? It’s not a difficult task and we have come up with a few tricks of the trade for you.

Know your voice

What is the voice of your brand? Are you authoritative, humorous or a little quirky? It’s important to know this in order to keep your content consistent with the voice of your brand. For example, online retailer Showpo has established itself as a voice for the millennial generation. Majority of Showpo’s clientele would be millennial and therefore speaking their language has helped connect the retailer to their audience. If you look at the retailer’s social media, you will see relatable comedic memes and video content with self depreciative humour. You will also see advice articles from the founder which are usually very honest and humorous. Knowing your voice will help your audience feel part of the ‘family’ and feel connected to the core of the brand.

Know your niche and audience

In order to keep it real, not only do you need to understand your business but you also need to understand your audience. If you aren’t set up as a company that makes political commentary, then don’t make bold statements unless it’s completely genuine. Don’t start a political conversation that isn’t relevant to your audience just for the sake of publicity- people will read through that. Being authentic is all about staying true to your brand and your audience. If you have multiple target audiences, then it’s important not to isolate a particular group with content they won’t relate to. Make a list of who your customers are and write/ create content based on what you think they would want to read. It’s very important to do your research. 

Don’t be afraid of your opinion

Businesses are often afraid to write things in the first person. Don’t be afraid! People love hearing from the perspective of the owner, CEO or any senior staff member. It really helps to create genuine and real content. If you as a leader have a stance on something that is core to the business, don’t be afraid to share it! Audiences respond to an authoritative voice as long as it is authentic and genuine. If you don’t want to be too opinionated or authoritative than why not comment on light hearted things like the weather or congratulating well known figures on big milestones? You could also provide some words of wisdom to your customers. People love to hear the morning routine of leaders (or lack thereof). You could even get one of your staff members to interview you. It’s important to show your readers that there is a real and authentic human behind your business.

Always be respectful when replying to comments on social media/ website

While there are many companies who have nailed comedic and sarcastic answers to difficult customers (think Netflix and Woolworths social media), it is a hard talent to master. If you are going to reply to comments with memes and witty digs then make sure it is aligned with your brand and in good taste (and genuinely funny). It is important to address social media comments and to reply to as many as possible. Replying to comments in a robotic and generic way will distance you from your customers. If you are real, authentic and transparent people will be drawn to your brand and want to know what it’s all about.

The team at Creatively Squared have come up with some key takeaways:

-       Think about the story behind your brand not just the product/service

-       Know your audience and the voice that they will identify with most

-       Be consistent

-       Don’t be robotic in your replies and show the human behind the business

-       Most of all have fun! Content is all about being creative so don’t forget to enjoy the process along the way.

Be sure to check back in next week for our part 2 that will cover best ways to create authentic visual content.

Gali Blacher is a freelance content consultant who has been the Editor for publications such as Inside FMCG and Dynamic Business. Gali lives and breaths great content. When she’s not writing you can find her at the gym, reading a book or binge watching true crime documentaries on Netflix.