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Building Brand Loyalty with Authentic Advertising

Authenticity in advertising, especially in the age of advanced social media techniques and the Metaverse, has become extremely challenging. Where consumer trust and public skepticism are at an all-time low, brands are in danger of creating an existential future for themselves, especially when inauthentic and lowest-common-denominator messaging remains the most significant part of their strategies.

Not surprisingly, an Ipsos Veracity Index from 2022, which surveyed UK adults’ trust in various professions in Britain, found that advertising executives were amongst the five least-trusted professionals, alongside politicians and government ministers. But, perhaps shockingly, journalists have also joined their ranks, highlighting the challenge of the media to gain public trust.

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So, with so many advertisers getting their strategies wrong, how can companies and media providers authentically interact with consumers that resonate with them the most?

Delivering exactly what consumers want

There is a belief that for every consumer, there are 100 pieces of content produced. Therefore, to stay competitive, brands need to promote their content in a way that sets them apart from competitors and strengthens relationships with their consumers. Ultimately, companies must offer the desired content and user experiences that meet their expectations to encourage people to visit their channels more frequently and stay longer.

Successful content marketing delivers what consumers seek: relevant content, engagement, dynamic search features, and seamless interfaces, all contributing to efficient research and user experiences. As a result, brands can achieve their goals of increased website traffic, a growing consumer base, more followers, and higher revenue.

It is also important for brands to identify the channels and methods through which their target audience accesses information.

For example, although social media platforms are excellent for distributing content, their ever-changing algorithms and user agreements make them unstable platforms for building a content marketing strategy.

Staying true to your values

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Brands should also focus on following their values and walking the walk. Unfortunately, too often companies rush to monetize content from social events and awareness days to increase publicity and profit. One of the most prominent examples in history is the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020, where companies were too quick to release statements of support via social media posts and TV advertising spots. However, little did they expect to be put under a microscope by consumers, with many brands trending for all the wrong reasons and going in the opposite direction of unification and solidarity for the BLM movement.

This highlights an important lesson for brands – not aligning your values and actions with marketing and advertising strategies is the direct route to disengaging your customers and creating a negative image. Seeing how these mistakes can damage the reputation of even well-established businesses such as McDonald’s and P&G, smaller brands should spend more time researching their audiences and rethinking their strategies if they can’t prove they are aligned with company values.

This is particularly true for younger generations, who are more in tune with expressing their opinions and advocating for their beliefs. The “cancel culture” is real, especially amongst Gen Zs. Customers are responding better to ads that showcase company values and a sense of humor – perhaps the most famous example is Oatly with their “wordiest, stupidest billboard” campaign in 2021 which went to great lengths to tell its audience all they need to know about the brand.

Seeking creative ways to deliver content

As we’ve seen, it’s essential for brands to stay authentic, find their voice, and tailor their content. Sponsorship of liveblogs is a way in which brands can better connect and engage with different types of audiences and make sure their content gets in front of the right consumers.

Liveblogs enable bloggers, publishers, media houses, businesses, and more to create immersive live content stories and better engage with audiences. The technology can cover and report on almost anything – from natural disasters, sporting events, and live elections to own blogs detailing the latest fashion or cooking trends. By sponsoring liveblogs covering topics related to their brand, like the Minute Maid Orange Juice sponsorship of a Good Morning Liveblog for example, brands can associate their names with valuable content that also feels authentic. Also with the increase in ad-blocking technology, live blogs are emerging as a more effective platform for brands to advertise.

Our research shows that consumers relate to short, snappy, digestible, and relevant content. Brand ads can also be displayed at different points within liveblogs, allowing more ads to be integrated within one story without the advertising overwhelming the consumer like it sometimes does on articles.

Sponsoring liveblogs or integrating ads within them can be easier for smaller brands, with key monetization opportunities available to help turbocharge their revenue streams, enabling them to compete with larger brands – in an authentic, tasteful, and noninvasive way.

The road to ethical advertising strategies is proving to be much trickier than expected by many companies. Long gone are the days of blanket messaging and utilizing broader channels – how customers consume media has changed, dramatically impacting their values and beliefs. For companies to stand out, they must take a long hard look at their values and see whether their internal operations match their advertising and marketing strategies. Balancing nurture content focusing on brand values and user needs and revenue-driving content will help influence the brand’s authenticity and drive consumer engagement and sales.

[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

 

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