We’re wired to connect
For the most part, we now live in a society that proudly supports authenticity; one in which we as individuals can proudly fully embrace ourselves and celebrate who we are.
Being authentic enables us to make deeper and more meaningful connections, and, as humans, we are wired to connect. Some scientists like Matthew Lieberman, the Social Cognitive Neuroscience Lab Director at the UCLA Department of Psychology, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, even go so far as to claim this need is as fundamental as our need for food and water.
Consider your brand. What makes it special? Your top-of-the-range product or exceptional service no doubt, but is that enough to make a consumer really connect? Not likely. To truly build trust and loyalty, further buy-in is needed, and this can be achieved through consistent, authentic content.
What makes your content authentic?
As humans, we seek out stories, particularly compelling ones. We want to follow and buy into brands and people with inspiring stories to tell. Brands need to know how to add value to the consumer journey, yes—but more importantly, how to make it feel authentic and natural. Authenticity comes easily to some, but if you’re unsure of where to start, consider these three important factors.
- Tell your unique story.
- Tell it to the right audience, your community.
- Engage with your audience.
By focusing on your unique story rather than trying to fit the model, you will take your audience on your journey with you, making them feel part of your brand and what you’re doing, and ultimately creating your community of followers who align themselves with your brand.
Overproduced content or content with an obvious sell is far less likely to make an impact with consumers, particularly Gen Z.
Connecting with the right people
Global competition for people’s attention is fierce. Perhaps it’s since the global pandemic forced us to slow down and take stock, but consumers now understand that their attention is worth something. They want something in return for giving a brand their time and effort—whether it’s purposeful content like a recipe how-to or tutorial, or a sense of belonging to a community of like-minded people.
It doesn’t stop at creating great, authentic content.
Get to know your community and make sure to reach out to them using the right channels. Take care not to force them off the platforms they are used to using simply because you consider website page views a key KPI. Instead, realise that every moment of someone’s attention is invaluable. Strike a balance and focus on the impact your content is having, rather than the numbers; attention to drive intention.
Always remember that humans are social creatures. We need to feel valued, so engaging with your community is essential. Plus, the more your followers interact with your content, the more the algorithm will favour you. Prompt interaction by utilising clever CTAs in social captions or video voiceovers, posting polls, or posing a question in comments.
Brands nailing authenticity
This online vintage clothing website run by Grace Collier from Limerick is a fantastic example of a brand connecting with consumers using authentic content. Grace invites her community to join her on her travels overseas to hand-pick clothing for her online store. She also posts videos showcasing her styling her new collections drumming up lots of excitement to new collection drops and shares day-in-the-life sneak peeks: behind-the-scenes content that is truly unique to her brand.
Zahra is home to Ireland’s #1 food magazine, easyFood. We keep authenticity at the fore day-in-day-out, whether in our printed magazine, or across our suite of digital channels. Our community of home cooks love to see what goes on in our test kitchen; how we develop recipes; the taste test; an inside look into our magazine feature photoshoots; and more.
LUCY & YAK
Lucy and Chris, the self-proclaimed founders of ‘the comfort movement’ are experts at nurturing their community of Yakkers. They share an abundance of user-generated content (which help build trust within your community, along with fun, how-to content; and behind-the-scenes videos showcasing how their clothing is made, focusing on collaborations with new creatives and more.
At Zahra, we’re experts in connecting the dots; linking brands with their people and creating loyal and engaged communities through smart content. Get in touch to find out more about how we could help you find and build and nurture your community, authentically.
Head of Food