Updated: Jan 31
Authenticity, transparency and value marketing. The three pillars of content marketing for 2020. Content has come a long way, people are now looking for the ‘real’ thing. They want to relate to brands, they want to feel like they are part of the mission, while at the same time learning and growing.
At the same time companies now are looking for value marketing content. People need more, and companies need to do more in terms of content. Everything and everyone is becoming more sophisticated.
Let’s break the three pillars in sections and examine how to integrate each one of them in your content.
Why is Authenticity Important and How to Use it
Although the answer might appear obvious, we need to examine authenticity. Everyone wants authentic, reliable information, as opposed to unreliable and fake.
Especially since the term ‘fake news’ has been coined by the President of the United States, Donald Trump.
People find it too easy to dispute anything now just by yelling ‘fake news’.
Being able to produce authentic content is possibly one of the most important skills for anyone working in marketing. With consumer trust at an all-time low, according to Adweek, brands must invest in authentic content. If there is no trust between a company and its potential consumers, there should be no expectation of sales and growth.
It is important to remember that:
Authenticity builds trust
Being personable, fun and transparent is part of the ‘authenticity’ formulae
Putting your audience and their needs first, is the best way to stay on track
Content marketing has gained traction and is now the most trusted form of advertising, with traditional ads and marketing methods quickly moving down the scale of ROI and trust.
Companies have started to come on board with marketing content, but they didn’t quite know how to do it right. They asked a few of their employees to write a little bit for the company blog, and worked sporadically with writers, but refused to create a proper content marketing strategy.
As a result, a lot of irrelevant content started floating everywhere, and readers developed content fatigue. This is why authenticity is a must! When you read something authentic in a sea of useless material, you connect instantly with the message. You are left wanting more.
Quick Steps to Create Authentic Content Consistently:
Define your brand, the message, and the voice. Think of your brand as a person. To trust that person, they need to exhibit some consistent traits. Right?
If every time you met your friend Thomas for example, he had a different tone in his voice, wore a different style of clothing, and his opinions constantly changed, it would be incredibly hard to trust him.
Create original content, otherwise, there is no point. Search engines will penalize you for plagiarism if you don’t. Also, unless you are creating original content, there is no way you are being authentic.
Think of your audience and write for them. You have to find the balance between writing for your people and creating content that search engines will love. Many companies focus too much on SEO friendly content, but that is wrong. If you are strictly SEO, you will find yourself repeating words for the sake of the word, and your audience will get bored.
Did you know that over 90% of the best performing content prioritizes the audience over SEO?
Share real stories whenever possible. If you have a message, do not just dictate the message. Connect it to a real story. This is authenticity.
Why is Transparency Important and How to Use it
Mistakes happen, people are not flawless, neither are products or services. The whole point of innovation and capitalism is to strive to be better. If we are trying to be better, then by default it means that currently, we are trying to solve problems and correct mistakes. People are tired of the shiny perfect pictures of how everyone is constantly doing better than them. There is a shift in the world, where people are moving away from fake, seemingly ‘perfect’ solutions.
There is a need to relate to brands and people. The only way to achieve that is through transparency. Of course, there is a balance. Your content should not expose the deepest darkest secrets and monumental mistakes you have made. You do not want people to think less of you.
You want people to relate to you.
It is important to remember that:
Transparency builds trust and relationships on professional and personal levels.
Transparency is proven to increase motivation and innovation
Quick Steps to Create Transparent Content Consistently:
Share your personal story of how and why you decided to create a product or service. This is a common PR approach that many new companies take to humanize their company to their potential clients. A purchasing decision is driven mostly by emotion.
Do not lie about your pricing. Be upfront about the cost of your products. Do not keep asking customers to buy more and more after they decided to try out your product or service. You run the risk of appearing needy and desperate, as well as deceptive.
Why is Value Marketing Content Important and How to Use it
Value marketing content is any content that offers value to your audience. Value can be defined in many ways. Value marketing content provides added value to your audience’s reading experience. It goes hand-in-hand with authenticity and transparency. When writers create new content they need to remember that at the end of their article the reader has new transparent and authentic information to assist in making a decision.
In some cases, value marketing content is defined as the process of giving a neutral presentation of the various options to assist readers in choosing the best solution for themselves.
It is Important to Remember That:
Value marketing content is a wide term and to keep it simple, you need to focus on your audience by providing content that adds value to their experience.
Quick Steps to Create Value Marketing Consistently:
Incorporate value marketing within your company’s training procedures. Training your staff on all the technical aspects of your products and services will allow them to service your clients better.
When writing for your audience always think of the ‘why’. For example, why are you writing this particular article?
If you want to help people solve a problem, dedicate the majority of the article on the possible solutions. If you are writing an article on why a product is better than competitors, dedicate the article on all the amazing features. Fluff content has no value, avoid it whenever possible.
Authenticity, transparency, and value marketing are shaping a new content world. If you have the time, it might be good to go back and revisit old blogs and update them to reflect these values.
Remember Simon Mainwaring’s quote that “the keys to brand success are self-definition, transparency, authenticity, and accountability”