August 12, 2021 - Brittany Garlin

Digital Authenticity in 2021: How to Build More Authentic Relationships in Business

Digital authenticity has been put on the back burner for many marketers who have been focused exclusively on using data-driven tactics to drive traffic. As Google’s algorithms become more intelligent and intuitive, marketers switched tactics to focus more on brand personality. Winning the love of consumers is not easy. Businesses are always in search of various strategies and approaches to stand out and succeed. Those companies that have progressed are often exceptional: the audience is loyal to them, shares their views, and supports their initiatives.

Digital Authenticity | Stackla 2019 | Agency Vista

If you’ve been wondering how your business can improve your digital authenticity, then you’re in the right place. At Agency Vista, we decided to dive into the topic and collect essential tips on building digital authenticity in 2021. Check them out below.

4 Tips on How to Create Authentic Relationships in a Digital World

1. Be active and social

Treat your followers like the real people they are and not the data points you’re following on Google Analytics. Although Google can provide you a wealth of information on your website traffic, it can’t tell you the values that mean the most to your loyal followers. Take the time to connect with them and find these answers out! 

Digital Authenticity | Stackla | Agency Vista

Consumers are increasingly expecting brands to take a stand on supporting causes that matter to them. Before, brands never wanted to get involved in these topics as it could hurt their sales. Well, that thinking is completely out the window in 2021. Nearly 60% of Americans want the companies they buy products from to have a position about racial discrimination and social justice issues; a survey carried out in June among 1,004 respondents found. Roughly 50% of the survey’s respondents said they often do online research to see how a brand reacted to social issues. Most likely, you have seen brands take a stand on these issues on social media. If your business is not one of them, then it’s time to start! 

If you’re hesitant about saying the “wrong thing” on your company’s social media pages, then it’s worth partnering up with an agency that can help!

Agencies that can take your marketing efforts to the next level in 2021:

2. Focus on relationship-marketing

Let’s get one thing straight a follow or like from a user, does not mean you have a solid relationship with them. While a connection is only a “click” away, a relationship requires a commitment, and it needs space and time to grow. Most businesses operate on transactional marketing over relationship marketing. Unsure of the difference, take a look at the below chart for reference.

Digital Authenticity | Transactional Marketing vs Relationship Marketing | Agency Vista

Put simply – transactional marketing is short-term thinking, while relationship marketing is long-term thinking. Technology allows us to make more sales this quarter, but we should strive not to just numbers but experiences. You might argue that you are already doing some form of relationship marketing in your business – offering discounts, loyalty programs, personalized services, and upselling. But these are tactics, and tactics are a dime a dozen.

Here are three ways that you can incorporate relationship marketing into your strategy:

  1. Create an emotional connection with your customers
  2. Establish a meaningful reason for being in business
  3. Leverage your community

3. Admit mistakes and take actions to fix them

Sometimes consumers hold brands to higher standards and view the organizations as a soulless logo. One way to overcome this is by putting a face to your brand and attributing more personal characteristics. Acknowledging errors is a progressive approach that should be followed by all companies, regardless of size and capital. And the culture of failure must become part of a larger culture of change.

Another, more recent example, is a Twitterpology from Papa John’s. After CEO John Schnatter accused the recent NFL protests of hurting the company’s sales, the chain received massive backlash from consumers. But it got worse for Papa John’s – the franchise received praise from the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website that ended up giving them the title of “the official pizza of the alt-right.”

Papa John’s took to Twitter in an effort to recover:

Corporate Apologies | Papa John's Pizza

An authentic brand will always adhere to the transparency policy. An honest discussion of mistakes and problems is a mandatory component of every sprint in every company. Let your audience know what actions you take to resolve the issue and keep them informed of the progress. This practice should be extended to the entire workflow to be a part of the corporate culture.

4. Build a presence on the right platforms

With a vast array of networking platforms available, businesses need to focus on connecting with their audience on the right channels. Pushing content on sites that your customers aren’t as active on can be a complete waste of time and resources. 

For B2B organizations, this is especially important, sometimes focusing on trending platforms or the big four social media networks isn’t the best way to connect with your target audience. Take a look at platforms that target your niche, allowing you to make a bigger impact with your content and foster better connections.

Try the following platforms to connect with your target audience:

  • Agency Vista is the largest marketing agency network and a top destination for businesses looking to hire. This agency ecosystem allows for the discovery of verified marketing agencies, reviews of trending agency tools, and access to connect with top agency experts. Uniting forward-focused marketing professionals across the globe with leading brands to drive awesome results. It’s completely free to sign-up; however, if you’re looking to scale your marketing efforts, there are upgraded plans available!
  • Clubhouse is an application based on the principle of a social network, in which people communicate only through voice messages. Users create rooms that anyone can join. Sometimes you just listen to others, and sometimes you are invited as a speaker. Learn more about what Clubhouse is helpful for. 
  • TikTok is a creative social platform that allows people to upload short videos. What makes the application so unique and popular is the ability to apply a music track or a variety of filters and effects to the video. If your goal is to reach young people and generation Z, TikTok marketing is for your brand. It is the source of the most viral videos at the moment, and such videos, in turn, are one of the best content strategies today.
  • The main goal of Reddit is to create subreddits, that is, categories with their target orientation, where people from all over the world can share their content and comments. When you bring value to the audience, you build an authentic relationship with it.

Conclusion 

In today’s digital world, where the Internet is full of information, choice opportunities, and fierce competition, what distinguishes a great brand from others? Digital authenticity.

Digital authenticity is the essential property of a brand that affects the consumer mentality. The modern client is smart, technically savvy, and research-oriented. Today, consumers can watch you even when the projectors are turned off. And they are looking for a unique, trustworthy, and authentic experience in this hyper-connected virtual world. So run through the tips suggested in the article and ask yourself if your brand is true to itself and its customers.

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