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Why Brands Need Authentic Content Marketing This Year

Brands must become engaged in authentic content marketing this year. But what does that mean? Learn more about authentic content in this in-depth guide.
Parker Dietz
April 4, 2023
April 11, 2024

More and more consumers are choosing what to buy based on how authentic a brand is. Don't believe us? Here are a few quick stats to prove it:

  • 88% of consumers say trust is critical when deciding who to buy from
  • 71% of US consumers say if they can relate to a brand, they'll want to back them
  • 70% of consumers have more confidence in authentic brands

These numbers prove authenticity goes a long way to attracting and converting your target audience. Before we share the secrets to using authentic content to showcase your brand, let’s clarify what authentic content marketing is.

Table of Contents

What Is Authentic Content Marketing?

Authentic content marketing involves creating and publishing content meant to inform, engage, and convert viewers without manipulating them. For content to be authentic, it must be honest, transparent, and valuable to your target audience.

Businesses post authentic content to boost brand credibility and build audience trust. The rationale behind creating such content is people are more likely to engage with a brand if they believe it's genuine and not just after a sale. According to surveys, consumers trust authentic content, such as user-generated content, more than brand or influencer-created content.

Authentic content does not rely on self-promotional tactics. Instead, it reveals your brand’s core identity and values to buyers and lets them decide whether you fit their needs or values. With authentic content, you can build a lasting and loyal connection with a target audience that resonates with your content.

What Does It Mean to Make Content "Authentic"?

Look at authentic content marketing examples, and you will notice a trend. This content is always valuable to the target audience and does not try to trick viewers with shady sales tactics.

Creating authentic content that fits this mold requires first understanding your target audience's needs, interests, and pain points.

With the insights from your target audience research, you can develop transparent, informative, and helpful content that addresses your audience’s concerns. Consistently publishing content like this will help you build long-term relationships with your audience, leading to increased customer loyalty and retention.

To recap, content is authentic only if it's:

  • Original and genuine: If you want your content to stand out from other brands' content, it has to be unique and honest. It should also reflect your brand’s personality, voice, and values and avoid being overly promotional or sales-driven.
  • Transparent: Authentic content is transparent so that viewers can quickly understand the intentions and motivations behind it.
  • Relevant: Besides being original, authentic content must be relevant to the audience's needs and interests. Otherwise, the content won’t deliver value, leading to poor viewership and engagement.
  • Consistent: Your content must be consistent with your brand's values and mission. Consistency is crucial for building long-term trust and credibility with your audience.

Why Your Brand Needs Authentic Content Marketing

Successful content marketers understand the importance of authenticity. What are the benefits of harnessing the power of genuine content?

  • Builds trust: Authentic content marketing can help your audience trust you more. It does this by providing genuine, unbiased, and valuable information that your audience will find relevant and useful. The more people trust you, the more likely they'll do business with you. A 2021 survey revealed that over 80% of consumers prefer buying from trusted brands.
  • Increases engagement: Authentic content is far more engaging because viewers find it more relatable and truthful. In fact, customers engage more deeply with brands that post authentic content, such as user-generated content.
  • Improves brand awareness: Authentic content marketing can improve your online brand awareness. How? Customers are more eager to share content if it's authentic and valuable. People sharing your content will increase your reach and boost brand visibility.
  • Fosters loyalty: Authentic content marketing can create a sense of belonging and community among your audience. It accomplishes this by showing audience members that you share their values. Having common values can foster loyalty that leads to long-term relationships with customers.

5 Foolproof Tricks for Creating Authentic Content

Now that you understand authentic content marketing and how it can benefit your brand, you're probably considering using it to your advantage. If so, here are our best tips for creating authentic content that works.

#1. Truly Know Your Audience

As we’ve mentioned, authentic content should engage and deliver value to your audience. However, you can't create content that checks these boxes if you don't know and understand your audience.

You can perform audience research to identify your audience’s demographics. The research will also reveal your audience’s preferences, such as the topics that interest them and the questions they want you to answer. You can use these insights to create authentic content your target audience enjoys, engages with, and finds valuable.

#2. Lean on User-Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) is content created about a brand or product by people who have used that brand or product.

Examples of UGC include customer reviews, testimonials, and unboxing videos. A recent study involving US, UK, and Australian consumers revealed that consumers find UGC more authentic than brand-created content.

The authenticity of UGC makes it excellent for connecting with and engaging customers. You can post UGC on your website, social media channels, and other platforms to boost brand awareness and educate customers about your product.

However, curating authentic UGC from review sites, comment sections, and social media can be tedious. At Cohley, we eliminate hassles by connecting brands with creators who can provide them with high-quality UGC tailored to their marketing needs. It’s far more convenient and effective than finding UGC online and seeking the creator’s permission to use their content.

#3. Create Valuable Content

Valuable content helps your target audience solve a problem or satisfy a need. If a piece of content isn’t valuable, it will likely have a high bounce rate and low engagement because viewers have no use for it.

On the other hand, the more valuable your content is, the more engaging and shareable it will be to your target audience. Use the below tips to make your authentic content as valuable as possible:

  • Research: Research your topic and gather as much relevant information as possible from credible sources. Your research will help you deliver content that offers answers your target audience may not find elsewhere. It will also make your content accurate and trustworthy, which will boost your authority.
  • Be creative: People prefer visual content like photos and videos. Distinguish yourself from competitors by posting creative and attractive visual content. For example, instead of written reviews, post video UGC that shows customers using and enjoying your product. Interesting visuals with storytelling and humor are more effective for capturing your audience's attention.
  • Make it actionable: Provide maximum value with your content by mentioning specific steps viewers can take to apply your information to improve their lives.
  • Use the right content format: Tailor your content to display on your target audience’s preferred channels. For example, if your audience prefers TikTok, create and post engaging short videos on the platform.

#4. Don't Be Afraid to Show Your Brand Personality

Everyone, including your target audience, is searching for some form of connection. Studies show that 83% of millennials want brands to have the same values as them. So, it's best to inject your brand personality into your content.

Is your brand witty? Don't be afraid to tell a joke. Is your brand bright and colorful? Be sure to inject color into your photos and videos. Showing off these aspects of your brand can help you better connect with your audience.

#5. Interact With Your Audience

Don’t just post your authentic content and abandon it. Instead, interact with viewers in the comments section by liking and responding to posts. You could also comment and interact with potential customers in other people’s posts.

Interacting with your audience in this manner has several benefits. First, it increases the engagement and reach of your post. Second, interacting with viewers can generate even more UGC, which you can repost. Engaging with your audience can make your brand more approachable and trustworthy.

Create Authentic Visual Content With Cohley

Authentic content marketing is the most effective way to win over your target audience. Don’t know where to get high-quality and authentic content? Book a consultation today to discover how Cohley’s creatives can provide user-generated content tailored to your brand, audience, and marketing goals.

Parker Dietz
Head of Content
With a wealth of knowledge about competitors and pricing, Parker is all about exploring the best way to communicate Cohley's benefits. Outside of work, Parker enjoys poorly playing guitar at parties, watching every Adam Sandler movie ever made, and eating Arabic food.