The stakes are higher than ever these days for large companies to be more authentic. An article produced by the Economist states that smaller companies are twice as likely to be trusted to do the right thing as opposed to larger companies. All businesses work to build a trusting relationship with Google, but with less and less people believing in brands nowadays, it’s becoming increasingly more important for businesses to build back the trust between the consumers and the brand.
Back in the day, they were able to do this through traditional ad campaigns that sold the company’s mission statement and shaped the image for the consumer. But in today’s world, a shift has occurred. Traditional advertising has become less effective and consumers are finding other alternatives to ads which provide them with the necessary information they need when deciding on a brand they believe is authentic.
How can they do this? User generated content (UGC) – reviews, social media posts, customer testimonials, social mentions, and other content are all means which consumers use to develop an interpretation of your brand. It is for this reason that it is so necessary for big businesses to encourage UGC and develop an image that consumers see as authentic.
What’s All the Hype About Local Authenticity?
In short, Local Authenticity is about building a positive brand image among your local audience. 68% of consumers stated that they would buy from a more authentic brand. This is due to the fact that authenticity inspires trust in customers and trust drives sales. The most successful brands on the market today are successful because they are a trusted. According to a graphic developed by the Authentic Brand Index, authentic brands also receive a greater share of higher value customers in comparison to institutions who aren’t seen as trustworthy by consumers. One of most direct ways to enhance the local authenticity of your search engine listings, predominantly Google, is through the use of UGC.
UGC and Your Authenticity: What Does it Mean for Your Bottom Line?
UGC is among the most important things that a company can have to provide a sense of consumer connection to their business. 80% of people surveyed believe that UGC influences their purchase decisions and indicates brand quality. This is due to the fact that UGC demonstrates that there is an active online community that cares about a business and shows interested buyers that others trust and care about the brand. Think about it this way: have you ever looked back on some of the things you enjoy (a movie, a clothing brand, a type of food) and really considered what the original reason was for your interest in it in the first place? If you think about it, you’ll most likely remember that it was someone else who recommended it. This is no surprise since about 74% of people recognize word-of-mouth as a key influencer to them making a purchase decision. UGC can be any number of things that work towards helping shape the image of your brand in the eyes of the consumers. This can include pictures, reviews, testimonials, social media posts, tweets, responses to other customers, you name it. By having UGC it produces valuable social proof which contributes to the development of genuine relationships and increased traffic to your business. According to one study, product pages with UGC see as much as 200% more organic traffic than those without. If utilized correctly, UGC can have a profound impact on your business’ revenue.
Tips to Bolster Your Local Authenticity:
Being authentic is probably one of the hardest things for any normal person to accomplish, let alone an entire company. 63% of consumers have stated that they prefer to buy from brands that are more authentic in comparison to competitors. To achieve this takes time and no small amount of effort – but the payoff is tremendous.
Interested in determing how authentic your brand is in the eyes of consumers? Schedule your free audit today and allow Local Brand Manager start you on the path to acheiving the best image for your brand.