When it comes to marketing, understanding what most resonates with audiences is an ongoing endeavor since content, aesthetics, and user preference trends are continually evolving. In recent years, the idea of authenticity – being truthful, transparent, and equipping consumers to make informed choices – has been emerging as a dominant theme in the marketing world. The author of a recent Forbes article believes that the idea of authenticity will continue to have a significant impact on marketing, noting that it “has the power to shift the balance in the industry. Consumers may soon judge your brand based heavily on the authenticity of your content.”
The authenticity trend is nothing new to us here at Arco + Associates. We believe it was an almost inevitable evolution. Millennials and Gen X consumers in particular have long signaled their desire to give their business to companies that deliver a superior product or service and demonstrate their humanity, purpose, and values in a transparent fashion. Instagram is a prime example of a social media platform undergoing a shift directly related to authenticity. According to a recent article from The Atlantic, the iconic Instagram look – brightly colored background walls, carefully curated tableaus, and flattering filters – is on its way out. Instead, popular influencers are embracing an authentic aesthetic, posting candid content that is a more genuine reflection of who they are, versus an unrealistic and shallow online persona.
At Arco + Associates, we know firsthand that revealing and highlighting what is genuine, different, and unique about leaders and their organizations is an effective strategy for success. By embracing this truth, we help our clients stand out from the competition – and do so with authenticity. One of our favorite methods of showcasing our clients’ personalities, their businesses, and what makes them one-of-a-kind is through video. When clients go on camera and share why they began their business, their passion for what they do, and what sets them apart, it’s powerful. Recorded customer testimonials are equally as engaging, and act as trusted referral magnets that can be shared with a broad audience. While we like to use our professional videographers for these projects, we also know the cost of doing so may not fit into every client’s budget. For that reason, we also offer a lower-cost iPhone video option. In fact, we filmed our own FAQ videos using this method – you can check them out here. Regardless of which method is used to create the videos, this type of content strikes an authentic and compelling chord with audiences.
Knowledge sharing not only demonstrates authenticity, but also credibility. When business leaders share their industry insights through blog posts, thought leadership articles, or speaking engagements, it helps establish expertise and encourages consumer trust. Knowledge sharing also leads to earned media opportunities – when a business or owner is written about or quoted in publications, news outlets, or online. A recent post on Business.com discussed the power of earned media, noting that it “continues to deliver results when it comes to establishing a business’s credibility and name recognition. Studies from Nielsen show that audiences trust earned media significantly more than they trust traditional advertising.” When businesses establish trust with their customers and equip them to make informed choices, this is authenticity at work. Arco + Associates works hard to help our clients take advantage of earned media opportunities by pitching their stories and passions to reputable organizations and media outlets, ensuring they are aware of our clients and the valuable knowledge they have to offer.
At Arco + Associates, we believe the “trend” of authenticity has been a long time coming – and will continue to have a significant impact on future marketing success. When businesses and their leaders share their expertise, insight, and purpose to create meaningful connections with their customers, everyone benefits. If your business needs expert marketing guidance rooted in authenticity, let us know!