As marketers and content creators, we know stories that are personal and emotional elicit more from the brain. We’ve blogged about the power of storytelling—more oxytocin, more memorability, more brand affinity. We see the story in what real estate pros, marketers, and designers are publishing today on Issuu—from amazing catalogs to profiles of everyday heroes in today’s extraordinary times. Now, we want to talk about how to grab your customers’ attention by infusing your brand with authenticity.
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The History of Marketing is a History of Differentiation
How do I make myself stand out in a sea of sameness? How do I make myself unique?
In the Social Media era, the ability for marketers to target the right audiences has expanded beyond anything we could have imagined even ten years ago. Today, there are more opportunities than ever before to create and sustain a unique brand in today’s marketing landscape. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram give marketers the ability to target based on highly granular demographic and psychographic criteria. (We’ve blogged about why they’re so critical to marketers.) But better targeting can’t rescue a brand from a lack of authentic storytelling.
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The Difference Between Differentiation and Authenticity
Branding is about how you make your mark. Like the cattlemen of the past, companies look to stamp a unique sign on the market. But you need more than a fancy logo—which is why leveraging a branding concept in your content is so important.
Ford. Disney. Uber. When you read the names of these companies, you have a clear idea of what they do. They’re unique.
For example, consider the difference between Uber and Lyft, even though the service is essentially the same. You can see it in their brand: Uber’s black versus Lyft’s pink; the colors suggest two different experiences. The black conveys professionalism, even privilege—while Lyft’s pink suggests fun and youthfulness. However, although brands may be differentiated, they may not always convey authenticity. They may not always connect with people on a personal level.
For smaller businesses, however, the key to being unique AND authentic is really knowing who your customers are, what they want, and who you are.
The 4 essentials to authenticity
To create an authentic brand, start with defining these four brand essentials:
- The category you’re working in.
- Your category is the type of business you’re in, such as real estate or digital publishing.
- Your audience and their pain points.
- You may have multiple types of audiences; to start, focus on the needs of your primary audience.
- Your mission as an organization.
- It’s what drives your business on a daily basis.
- Your vision of the future (if your mission were realized).
- It should ideally be aspirational. For example, our vision at Issuu is a world where connecting people to amazing content is as easy as uploading a PDF.
Once you’ve defined these four essentials, you’ll be well on your way to identifying the stories that will resonate with the people who matter most to your business.
Here’s a challenge for you: Can you distill what’s unique about your business in 20 words or less?
See our blog, “Why Authenticity Is So Important for Social Media Marketing,” for a more in-depth discussion of authenticity.
About Issuu Blog
Connecting content to people, the Issuu Blog seeks to cover the topics of interest to our community—from tips to trends to best practices. See how Issuu can transform a single PDF into a high-quality campaign that connects on Facebook, Instagram, and across the Web.