How To Make Your Brand Its Most Authentic Self

How To Make Your Brand Its Most Authentic Self

You know what people hate? Lying. Fortunately, Bazaarvoice’s APAC managing director, Kate Musgrove (pictured), is on hand in this op-ed to give you all the tips and tricks to make your brand look and feel authentic.

The need for brand authenticity continues to grow within Australia, as shoppers are seeing their purchasing decisions increasingly influenced by a brand’s reputation. Although paid and branded content can help build a brand’s credibility, user-generated content (UGC) is often a forgotten pillar that can significantly build on a brand’s reputation.

Going forward it is becoming increasingly crucial for Aussie brands to be authentic. Brands can elevate and guide their marketing strategy by using these six user-generated content best practices:

Crackdown on fake reviews

A key giveaway that your brand might not appear to be authentic is if your content appears to be spreading misinformation. Some brands have taken to enhancing their brand image through spreading fake reviews over their business’s socials and websites, however, consumers can tell straight away when a review or content is not real through:

  • Multiple similarly worded reviews
  • A lack of photo reviews
  • Reviews that don’t match the product
  • Overwhelming positive or five-star reviews
  • Incorrect spelling and grammar.

Embrace negative feedback

Although your first instinct may be to hide bad reviews, brands are encouraged to use negative feedback/reviews to acknowledge any concerns the consumer might have around a product. From our recent research report on fake news, 84 per cent of Australian respondents think negative reviews are either as or more important than positive ones.

Customers also don’t always see negative reviews as bad. For example, a young family with three children might not worry about negative reviews for a ‘loud’ washing machine because their priority is fast, clean cycles plus they won’t hear the machine over a noisy family anyway.

Keep up-to-date on local legislation

A growing issue for shoppers is that they want legislators to have greater control over brand content that is not authentic. From our recent research report, 67 per cent of Australian respondents think the retail industry needs a new set of standards to combat fake reviews.

Of late in Australia, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has cracked down on both brands and influencers who have incorrectly disclosed partnerships leading to false or misleading claims.

Be completely transparent

It is crucial for brands to be transparent with their consumers to establish a trusting relationship. It’s okay to sponsor content and influencers along with promoting incentivised reviews, however, you just need to be open and transparent about it.

  • Acknowledge if there is a connection or relationship with the content creator
  • Always disclose if there was a material benefit given to the reviewer or content creator, this especially applies if you pay an influencer to post or write a review
  • Be cautious of content disclosures and make sure they are clearly displayed. If the influencer has benefited (free sample, payment, etc) this needs to be very clearly stated.

Choose your influencers wisely

Influencers significantly impact the reputation of a brand, so deciding which influencers to bring into your marketing strategy is a vital decision to make.

Both locally and globally we are seeing shoppers turn away from celebrity influencers and towards everyday influencers and subject matter experts. This rings particularly true for smaller brands as these subject matter experts can build trust without relying on a big brand name, and more often than not see a greater connection with their posts.

Rely on trustworthy content partners

The operation of securing authentic content for your brand can become a tiresome and inefficient process. For a more effective approach look to find a solution provider who offers capabilities and takes genuine action to recognise and prevent fake reviews, ensuring that your brand is always its authentic self.

Incorporating these practices into your marketing strategy and day-to-day business will help to improve the transparency and authenticity of your brand. After all, customers are the lifeblood of any business, so why not be genuine and open with them?




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bazaarvoice Kate Musgrove

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