Let’s kick this week’s freshly squeezed off with some hard facts:

What do these three things have in common? They strongly indicate marketers have the important job of influencing decisions by tapping into emotions. A person’s ability to perceive, interpret and react based on emotion is enough to tell us the authentic content needs to be present in order to influence purchasing decisions and build brand loyalty. Authenticity is especially vital in today’s digital marketing landscape, and it’s only going to become more crucial as Generation Z enters the workforce and accounts for more consumer spending.

What is ‘authentic’ content marketing?

First impressions are created in a matter of seconds. Whether it’s an online review, a social media comment or the latest gossip, there are many outside influences that can morph a consumer’s general perception. A preconceived notion makes it highly important for brands to present themselves with honesty and integrity. Creating a positive brand image is an essential step to building brand loyalty and requires the trust of the consumer. In fact, a recent study stated a whopping 86 percent of consumers said authenticity was important when choosing brands to support. Additional research revealed that consumers perceive the same type of personality characteristics in brands as they do in people. And let’s face it, people want honesty and true nature.

Authentic marketing can be described in three words: honest, inclusive and insightful. Of course, all brands are structured differently, and authenticity may look different from one brand to another, but one thing remains constant. Brands need to stay true to who they are, what they do and who they serve and portray this through their content.

Authentic content is showing more than just a polished, finished product, but showing the organized chaos that happens through the creative journey. It’s content that inspires an audience or tells an intimate story through a series of social media posts.

How Authentic Content Can Help Brands Emotionally Connect With Consumers

If a consumer is going through the effort to expend their financial resources for a product or service, they’ll want more than a transaction. Therefore, marketers need to tap into another major component of a consumer’s purchasing decision – emotion. These terms are essentially grounded in the desire for authenticity. Let’s take a look at the Dove Real Beauty campaign. The powerful concept of inspiring women to love the skin they’re in takes a drastic play on emotions. Its empowering videos and real-life stories helped to shape a positive perception in the minds of many women.

Following a similar approach can be effective, as research shows time and time again that consumer purchases are significantly influenced by emotions.

The experience a brand provides their audience should be at the forefront of any marketing strategy. Being authentic can result in brand loyalty, consumer interaction and most importantly, trust. The richer the authentic content of a brand, the more likely the consumer will be a loyal user.