Authenticity is what everyone is (or should be !) craving for right now, and for all the right reasons. BeInfluence understands that maybe better than anyone, and we are here to help.
In the past, brands and people were trying to achieve that sense of perfection promised in ads and magazines. At the time it was a brilliant form of marketing and it worked like a charm. It offered consumers something to aspire to. But it was the 70's, and nobody wants to live in the 70's anymore, especially young people.
In an age where we have loads of information at our fingertips, we want to know that what we are buying and who we are buying it from is real. Real people that live real lives with real customers using the products or services.
But today’s marketers are in constant competition for consumers’ attention – not just with each other but also with people’s social feeds.
Consumers have more ways than ever to discover, research, purchase and promote products and services, and since the mistrust in advertising and marketing is increasing rapidly, authenticity has become absolutely critical for brands.
86% (!) of consumers said authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support. And that number is even higher among Millennials, with 90 percent saying authenticity is important when choosing which brands to support !
With this in mind, how can brands become more authentic ?
90% of Millennials say authenticity is important when choosing a brand !
1. Personalize every possible experience.
Since no two people are the same, we shouldn’t expect their purchasing habits to fall into generic, senseless categories.
While there are now countless brands that offer customizable products — from custom taxi rides to curated peanuts subscription boxes — few have expanded personalization beyond their products to create truly individualized brand experiences.
L’Oréal recently launched its Style My Hair app, leveraging 3D augmented reality (AR) technology to give users a chance to virtually experiment with new hair colors and styles.
Turning people’s phones into an interactive makeover tool, L’Oréal’s app helps users create and capture their ideal look, then uses geolocation data to seamlessly connect them with salons and stylists in their area.
That's personalization done right.
2. User Generated Content is King
No matter the channel, if you want to get your customers and potential customers attention visuals are key. But not just any visuals.
People now ignore 95 percent (not a typo !) of the branded content they encounter and nothing is more inauthentic than a perfectly staged professional, or worse, stock photo.
No, what people seek out, trust and, most importantly, relate to are the real photos and videos their friends, family and peers are creating on social media. This user-generated content (UGC) is authentic, relatable and more influential than the visuals brands waste tons of time and money creating.
In fact, 60% of people said UGC is the most authentic form of content. And authenticity equals influence to consumers. For all the buzz around influencer marketing, it turns out celebrities and influencers are seen as the least influential in impacting consumers’ purchasing decisions.
People now ignore 95 percent (not a typo !) of the branded content they encounter.
70% of Millennials say social media content from friends and family impact their purchasing decisions, while only 23% say celebrity influencer content was impactful. And it’s not just talk. Over 60% of Millennials have decided to eat a restaurant or book travel because of consumer-created content they saw on social media.
That where the magic happens when partnering with BeInfluence. By leveraging everyday social media users to recommend products and projects to their friends and family while creating authentic, original content we are putting our clients at the center of the recommendations ! Creating word of mouth in a native and thus authentic way.
3. Treat your everyday followers as influencers.
The main reason is explained just above but to recap: Although social media influencers are becoming a growing part of marketing strategies — helping to grow awareness and spark social engagement — the more followers they have, the less authentic they appear to a skeptical youth. And that's why traditional influencer marketing is already declining.
As Bethany Johnson, Director of Digital Content and Commerce for L’Oréal’s Professional Products Division, put it at a recent Glossy beauty forum, “Influencers are really becoming celebrities and the more they become celebrities, the less authentic they are going to be.”
How to counter that ? By transforming your everyday followers into your most precious brand advocates ! Since real customer content is what consumers turn to and trust most, why not give your customers the spotlight they deserve ?
Since authencity is pretty much all that matters today, how can you get your followers involved in your marketing, creating awesome content for your brand and recommending your products to their friends and family ?
As seen above, you can personalize every part of your business and give your followers features they can play with and make their own, just like L'Oréal did. You can also create opportunities for face to face interactions ! Even though we now live in a digital world, nothing beats face time with your customers. Not only do in-person interactions create deeper and longer-lasting impressions, but they also present an opportunity for people to actually try out your products. As we all know, there is no substitute for being able to physically see, touch, smell and test a product for yourself.
But perhaps the best solution is to simply launch a campaign with BeInfluence ;)