Authenticity: The Key to Your Brand
"What makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful. There's a word for it. Authentic."
-- Tim Brown
Advertisements are a part of our lives every single day. Whether you are consciously aware or not, you are being influenced by everything going on around you. From magazines, billboards, TV commercials, social media, flyers, sales pitches, seminars, and a more, you are being “SOLD TO." I know we’d all like to think that we have complete control over our decisions and purchases, where we spend our money and how, but don’t think that you aren’t being influenced by the world around you on a daily basis.
Commercials on TV go all the way back to 1941, if you can believe that. Most people aren’t watching commercials like they used to, because of technology like DVR and live streaming video. If you watch videos on YouTube, you will see advertisements which, many times, you can skip after five or ten seconds. That doesn’t mean that we are immune to their effects. Companies, businesses, and brands are having to get smarter and more creative with the ways in which they are talking to their potential clients or customers. It doesn’t matter the size of your company – no one is escaping the changes in today’s marketing and advertising climate. The companies who are paying attention are making changes accordingly, and of course one of the big areas that many are focusing their efforts is social media.
But the advertising game has changed. Where before, often companies were bold-faced and fake with their approach to selling their product to you, there has been a shift in what appeals to the larger masses. One of the biggest and most important changes is that genuineness and authenticity is now really the key to selling. People no longer want the message that YOU want them to hear – people want to be courted by you, get to know you, and have their trust earned before they pull the trigger on a sales decision. We are a lot less concerned about what is being sold than what the product sold can do for me.
To add salt to the wound, the selling now has to happen in a manner that is consistent with how we like to receive our information – not only does it need to be real, it needs to be FAST. Studies show that 15 and 30 second video advertisements gain the most amount of attention. For a brand, that can mean a lot of information to shove into a short amount of time. How do you retain your authenticity when you only have a small amount of time to appeal to your audience?
The answer is consistency. Not only do all of the aforementioned approaches need to be on point, they also need to be consistently happening. This is no change – repetition is still extremely important and people still need to see you sometimes upwards of 15 times before they decide to buy a product or service from you. Gaining followers and engaging them is the best way to stay in tune with your prospective clients or customers. If you are leveraging your social media correctly, then this is already what you are doing.
People want to hear your story, not your sales pitch. If you’re talking about your business more than 15-20% of the time, you’re doing it wrong. Be present, be real, and attract the clients or customers that you are looking for. It’s that “simple” – yet we know it’s not simple at all.
Overwhelmed with where to start? I get it, which is why I do strategy and consulting for business who aren’t yet taking advantage of their social media presence. By demystifying not only the audience that you are trying to entice but also the approach in which you are talking to them, you can open up the possibilities in a new world of brand recognition.