What is it, how can you do it and why do it at all..?
First of all, what does authentic marketing mean? Well, according to the Oxford Dictionary, authentic means, “of undisputed origin and not a copy, genuine.” So that is that in a nutshell – be honest and original!
We as people are naturally attracted to, and gravitate towards, people who are being real, who we can trust and we feel are telling us the truth.
This will transfer through into your marketing – the best way to be authentic is by being yourself in your marketing. Let the individual personality of your company and brand shine through in your marketing, the right way to use this style of marketing is simply by being yourself.
We all as people are unique and different, the same applies to your business and the way you market it. I suppose if we were honest we are all guilty of being tempted to copy other successful business’s – but have a go at being authentic with your branding and marketing – it is what makes you special after all!
You may well be sure that you and your business are unique, but when it comes to marketing we often fall into the trap of trying to copy and replicate what other people do. The problem with this strategy and pretending to be something you are not is much harder work than just being true to your brand! Plus, your customers may smell a rat if you eventually make a mistake. The moment you apply your own truth, (even the imperfections,) to your marketing strategy, you may notice it works better and you understand the best way to start marketing for you and your business. For example, are you worried your business is too small? Use that as a positive, you care and know every customer in a way that a bigger business cannot match!
A great way to master authentic marketing is to listen to your customers, what was it that made them choose you? What do they like about your work, your product and your service, that makes them return, stay or recommend you? There is strong evidence, particularly with millennials, that being transparent and honest in how you market yourself is what draws them to you. Authenticity is a process and the more you practice it, it will become more natural.
Expect some resistance in your attempts at authentic marketing, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Your individual and authentic marketing strategy may naturally attract both your supporters and haters. Expect this, your natural followers will stick around and love what you do and recommend you to like-minded people!
Now the basics have been covered and you are still wondering how to start, a good place is to ask yourself where have you not been as authentic and true to yourself? At worst you might have slipped into not focusing on your real USP’s, at worst, you could be miss-leading the market.
Start to tweak what you do and you may well see that you will get more engagement, and custom, just by being you!