Is Authenticity Killing Advertising?
Imagine if Cigarette’s had just been invented and marketers began to sell there goods, do you think cigarettes would take off with the new media now available? They would have to contend with social media and video bloggers, imagine an unboxing of a cigarette packet and a description of the product benefits & cause for health concern. It is hard to lie on the internet as you can easily be found out if your product or services are not authentic and that can go viral faster than the original intention of the marketer.
Now days selling products and services is not just about the product or service you are selling, but it is also about selling yourself and the best way to sell yourself is to be authentic. Remember, people buy from people.
Social Media has changed the media landscape
Advertising has taken a huge shift in recent years. In the past businesses advertised on the range of media where advertising was available. TV, radio, print, billboards etc, this type of advertising is still a large outlet but we have realised the importance of social media marketing and this shift has occurred due to the role social media now plays in our everyday lives.
Social media has given us the ability to sell, not only products, but ourselves. For small businesses such as myself it is about getting my face out there and hopefully people will pick my expertise because they ‘know me’, over that of someone who has not put themselves out there on social media and hence is not known.
People who don’t follow me or like my page could get my number from a google search or the yellow pages, but in this day and age they will still check out my website, see what my business is about and follow a link to one or all of my social pages; as a consumer I always do this. From the posts on my page they can then decide if I’m the right person for them. The information age is here and the information shown via social media can make or break your business.
Let’s paint a picture; I want to sell my house so I decided to go looking for a real estate agent and I googled a couple in the area, I found two companies I liked because they both had a good website. One had a facebook link at the top of the page and after following it I immediately liked them. The facebook page was full of what you’d expect from a real estate; local house listings, a new team member, a link to a blog on the current market but the thing that grabbed me was a few fun posts like this image with the caption #HappyMonday. Such a simple thing that caught my eye and now I ‘like’ their page.
When I go to sell a house in the future, who knows, I may very well use this real estate company now. The other company does not have a social media page (well at least nothing I have found on their website) and straight up they have lost my interest and my business. The #HappyMonday post made this company and these people ‘real people’ by adding some character. Not just sell sell sell, but someone who, like many of us, would prefer a longer weekend than going back to work on a Monday morning.
Social Media has introduced a paradigm shift which has changed the way we communicate to each other. Whether you use social media and are an everyday poster or the occasional poster you are communicating with friends or followers. This shift in communication enables a fantastic platform for people to sell themselves and communicate on a regular basis with a variety of people. When communicating with people by any means I think it is very important to be authentic.
I see authentic communicators as those people who project open-mindedness, understanding, and confidence. If a client sees you as one person on social media and they hire you based on this, you need to live up to the reputation, so being yourself is very important in both social media and face to face.
Presenting yourself as a leader
Rather than following the lead of others I think it’s important to be a leader, take initiative and don’t stay in the safe zone of “well that person thinks this so it must be true”. I think the best traits for leaders are to be approachable and confident; if you present yourself as an approachable yet strong person then who wouldn’t want to use your services.
Stand out from the crowd
You want to stand out from everyone else, particularly those selling similar products or services. Advertisers have tried to do this for as long as advertising has been around. Whether it’s a catchy phrase or a bright coloured image, they want to stand out. Same goes for selling yourself. You want to be liked and you want to be remembered. If you stand out people will remember you and they are more likely to use or refer your services.
People buy from people!
A large percentage of my business is referral based; people directly telling people about the quality of my work or people indirectly telling people (testimonials). For this reason it is important to be an authentic communicator; open minded, strong and confident; so that you are recommended and your business can grow.
Many people (me included) who buy a new product, research the product. They check out the star rating and product reviews and it helps them determine whether the product is right for them. The same goes for services, we check out testimonials and reviews. So you need to be the person people recommend; being a person who is authentic, a stand out and a leader will certainly have people recommending you to others.
Non referral based work is where the rest of the business comes in. This means first impressions and the way you communicate with people is very important. I know if I need someone to do some work I usually get three quotes. I do not do this to get the cheapest quote; there are other things I look for. Can I talk to the person and do they listen, do they get back to me in a reasonable amount of time and do I trust and like them. I know I am not alone here; it is hard to hire someone you just don’t feel good about. Be the stand out that people choose by being authentic, which can be expressed on social media!
As communication channels widen and are taken up by the masses I see authenticity as becoming the new way to advertise and while face to face relations are still important social media is a great platform to get yourself and your business out there. I have summarised a guide on how to post on social media which includes 5 essential post types along with examples to get you going. It has and continues to improve my business, go check it out here.
psyborg® was founded by Daniel Borg, an Honours Graduate in Design from the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. Daniel also has an Associate Diploma in Industrial Engineering and has experience from within the Engineering & Advertising Industries.
Daniel has completed over 2000 design projects consisting of branding, illustration, web design, and printed projects since psyborg® was first founded. psyborg® is located in Lake Macquarie, Newcastle but services business Nation wide.
I really do enjoy getting feedback so please let me know your thoughts on this or any of my articles in the comments field or on social media below.