2020 will be the age of authenticity
Can influencers and authenticity ever be compatible? That’s the question that Quartz had top of mind when the global news and insights brand did a definitive article on influencer trends. Authenticity. The biggest social media story of the year — the one that keeps on writing itself again and again — is how to create an authentic online presence.
Why? Because influencers are legion — anyone with a blog can become an Influencer. But not all influencers are credible. But listen to Quartz tell the story: “Authenticity is what influencers are supposed to lend the brands they promote on Instagram and other platforms,” Quartz states, adding: “Marketers value their content as more honest and grounded than traditional advertising. But this central tenet of the influencer economy is also the fulcrum of most of its problems.”
The insightful article points out: “Part of the problem is that the supposed authenticity is projected and produced through social media platforms, which themselves are constructed upon filters, upon the idea of curation—upon a certain inauthenticity.”
So how can influencers switch the script and become more authentic? The first lesson is obvious. Only embrace those brands that authentically fit into your lifestyle. The only way to look authentic is to be authentic.
Another strong strategy is to lean into storytelling and to embrace the hard work of consistently creating top-notch content. By doing this, influencers can build communities where people feel safe and respected, and where readers keep coming back for good content.
Storytelling and quality content over quantity
By showing the stories of the human faces behind a brand, or by showing a company becoming a change-maker and trying to make the world a better place, corporates can become more real, relevant and resonant.
When you build trust and rapport with your followers, they will happily wait for a couple of days for you to upload a new piece of content. By focusing on top-quality content, many influencers have created a strong following. People will subscribe and sign up for notifications of your posts, if you post things that capture the long-term attention of your followers. By way of example, take a look at what Shane Dawson is doing on YouTube.
This YouTuber hasn’t posted a video in several months but his subscriber count continues to grow. This is because Dawson’s production values are so high, and his previous series was so well done that now all he needs to do is to tease new streaming content. Like Netflix, he’s created a strong and loyal market following.
Learn from this by focusing on authenticity, honesty, and quality. People can easily spot a ‘fake’ — video is a very transparent medium. Today’s rules are all about transparency, so be a brand that keeps it real and honest.