Today’s digital landscape is crowded with voices. Consumers are intelligent and can distinguish between inauthentic and genuine messaging. Therefore, the necessity of ensuring messaging is authentic has become increasingly important.
Let’s talk brand values
Successful brands are deeply rooted in a set of values and beliefs. With the number of choices continually on the rise in this digital age, success lies heavily in creating an emotional connection with customers. Consumers want to support brands they can trust, and trust comes from authenticity.
Be original but authentic
In addition to being contextually relevant (check out Part 1 of this series), a great way to ensure you are effectively engaging your audience is to provide original content. Show your users something unique that evokes a positive emotion, and they will be far more likely to engage with your content.
But don’t push things too far at the expense of being authentic. Know your brand and where you stand, and be true to that. Audiences see right through inauthentic experiences, and will respond negatively to content that is not in alignment with your brand.
Here are a few simple tips for making sure you are presenting original content:
- Avoid commonly used/low quality stock photography – image quality, composition and subject matter are all critical to providing effective imagery. These days, there are plenty of stock image sites out there providing affordable, high quality, original options.
- Invest in custom illustration – Custom illustrations require an investment in good design, but they are an effective way to create a unique content experience, and often a more sophisticated look-and-feel that can elevate your brand.
- Include some small moments of delight – Adding subtle creative design elements, animations or copy that is discoverable or unexpected is a great way to create memorable moments.
- Work with skilled writers – Every brand should have a unique and consistently used tone and writing style. This is a really cost effective way to be original and set your brand apart.
Optimizely came to us with a desire to boost community sign-up and engagement. We helped Optimizely execute a gamification and “badging” experience. Introducing gamification and badges increased content engagement by 50%.
Being authentic doesn’t always fall in line with the status quo
One of the most significant trends to emerge from 2017 was the tremendous value of brands expressing their beliefs in their marketing messages. Don’t be afraid to challenge concepts; readers appreciate and respect honesty in brands. An authentic brand doesn’t always go with the norm, but will always be applauded for paving its own distinct path in the marketplace.
A personal brand voice gives a human touch to brands
Brands that express marketing messages with an authentic voice are steering the future of brand content. Customers want to create emotional connections with brands and brands want to drive customer loyalty. Therefore, to create “great content,” brand marketers should write their own personal experiences in tune with the values of their brand to help forge a meaningful connection with customers.
Watch for the third and final part in our Have Great Content series, Part 3: Develop Visual Storytelling, coming next week.