Being authentic in business is set to be one of the most significant game-changers in the future, especially in the fast-moving digital landscape we’re doing business in. Recently there has been a notable evolution of business pages and brands online, and it will keep moving this way.
Firstly, when social media started out everyone was finding their feet and testing things out. Then brands, big and small went for polished and refined content with beautifully polished photos and crafted content. And now, we've seen a shift with more authentic video taking over; Instagram stories and Facebook live. This recent shift is seeing more life behind brands, and the ones that don't have much identity and authenticity in their approach will be left behind.
The shift to being authentic means for those accounts who copy other people’s content, and who don’t have much personality, it will not translate well with their followers (which I am very happy about!).
The polished and perfect persona that some have been putting out is starting to no longer convert online. People want to see more lifestyle content, more life behind a brand and a business, and more behind the scenes footage. This is an exciting time for digital marketing and the perfect time for brands to develop strategies to show who they really are, and think about what they want people to see of their business.
So how do you be more authentic online? Well simply it’s about knowing who you are as a brand and putting some of you into your content creation. That could be by doing behind the scenes footage for Instagram stories, daily tips, or a short video each week (for Instagram or Facebook) that talks about what you've been up to for the week.
It could be about sharing what your team are up to at work or in their downtime and injecting a bit of fun into your social media strategy. People like to identify with the people behind the brand because it makes you human, so don't be afraid to talk to people through your creative copy as if you were sitting down and having a chat with someone over a cup of coffee. Ask questions and actively engage with your audience.
People love to know a little bit about you as a person and why you do what you to do, so don’t be afraid to share a little bit. And if video, Facebook live, or Instagram stories is a bit daunting for you then just start slow. Aim to do one a month or focus on a process in your business instead of yourself. You might find the day to day of your business not so exciting, but that doesn't mean that other people do. They may find what you do fascinating.
And always aim to be you in what you write, post and talk about online. One trick I find especially helpful is reading your words and copy out loud. If it sounds weird coming out of your mouth, then it's generally not on brand.
Kate Bickford MD & Owner - BK AGENCY: