Remember a time when you landed on a really good blog and the content shared was mesmerizing. How did you feel when that authentic content was something that you could really relate to?
On the flip side, I know you have come across content that was indifferent and somewhat irrelevant to your needs. It is very easy to sense when the author is just releasing facts and points that matter to them and not to the reader.
Why users bounce off from a site
When people sense that the content being released is not empathetic enough, they scroll past it. Google Webmasters say that Google pays attention to how much users spend on a post or a website. If users spend a lot of time on your posts it means that they are gleaning value. As a result, it positively impacts your search engine rankings.
That means that you need to pay attention to the readability of your content and make it attractive to the readers. Authentic content is one of the ways you can keep your readers glued to your site.
The more people enjoy your content, the more they share it and the more Google sends organic traffic to your site. Organic sales and conversions will steadily increase without having to break the bank in exorbitant advertising costs.
Authentic content means having unique insights, articles, topics, writing styles, tone of voice, authoritativeness and so forth. The uniqueness of your website will all the more ensure that you appear among the first in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).
The statistics support authentic content as Social Media Today did a survey which revealed that 90% of consumers said that authenticity is important when deciding which brands they like and support. This is a 4% increase from 86% in 2017. The change can be attributed to diversity in the brands and a growing millennial audience.
The millennial audience has been attributed to driving the demand for content marketing. More than 70% of millennials say that they find TV ads annoying.
Marketers, on the other hand, have said that authenticity is key to their branding. Social Media Today revealed that 83% say that authenticity is very important to their brands. An additional 61% of marketers believe that authenticity is the most important component of impactful content.
What is authentic content?
According to Medium.com authentic content is content that tries to be of service genuinely to its audience and industry. The source of the authentic content does not try to manipulate their audience since they really intend to help their readers. That is why marketing experts have been referring to authentic content as the new revolution in marketing.
The role of social media in influencing authentic content
Brands started coming up with authentic content when an increasingly aware audience started growing on social media. Social media has given people the freedom to express their pleasure or displeasure publicly.
With social media marketing, companies have been able to employ social media listening and monitoring to see what their target market obsesses about. It is easy to see what makes people tick by observing what they hate and what they yearn for.
Empathy for your audience
This then forms the basis for authentic content. Empathy is the whole point of content that will genuinely help and inform your readers. Without real care for your audience, you will only release indifferent content. People these days shun and sometimes shame irrelevant content.
There are specific examples of companies that have suffered the ire of audiences for inauthentic content. Pepsi’s advertisement in 2017 which featured Kendall Jenner giving a policeman a Pepsi during a protest drew a lot of flack. The condemnation was widespread across various social media platforms. They accused the ad of downplaying the black lives matter protest.
Tips for writing authentic content
1. Defining your target audience
Any successful content strategy has to be audience-centered. You, therefore, need to come up with a “reader persona” which stems from your buyer persona. Then you will research what they like and what they need.
2. Stay true to your identity
Nobody likes copycats because they come off as annoying and irritating. You should write content that speaks to who you are and what your brand is all about. This is where you develop your brand personality. According to Investopedia, “Brand personality is something to which the consumer can relate; an effective brand increases its brand equity by having a consistent set of traits that a specific consumer segment enjoys.”
Your company needs to keep a consistent tone. If you choose a tone of humor and playfulness, your content has to remain that way across all your platforms.
4. Humanize your brand
Human beings trust people more than brands. That is why more than 60% of readers say that they trust reviews by other users more than the company itself. You should write blogs from a personal perspective. Share your stories from a human point of view and even use the first person account. Such as embracing “I” or “We” and addressing “You” so that the articles and blogs can sound conversational.
5. Build relationships
This is particularly important when you want to fuse your content marketing with social media marketing. Your content should not be just about posting things for the sake of it. Authentic content should be about building a genuine connection with your followers. Address them by asking questions and sharing user-generated content.
6. Be transparent
Transparency about things that your company is doing and also when things don’t work out will be great sources for authentic content. People are genuinely drawn to that.
I started reading when I came across enjoyable blogs and I could not stop clicking on the next article. They were so relatable and it felt like a real person was talking through those typed words. You should look at the content we release here at Digicurated. Look at our blog and see how your successful content strategy can look like.