How can you translate your authenticity into your marketing strategy?

No matter what industry you’re in, the best way to connect with your audience is to be authentic. Fourteen members of Young Entrepreneur Council offered their advice for translating authenticity into your marketing strategy.

1. Open Your Email
In my experience, almost every founder will say that they don’t have time to write content. They’ll also say that they write hundreds of emails per day. Service companies thrive on problem-solving, so if that’s your world, here are the hardest problems that you solve. Keep a running document with any email longer than a few sentences and turn them into content pieces. – Corey Northcutt, Northcutt

2. Stay Raw and Unscripted
I think the best way to show authenticity is to show a less-than-polished version of your marketing campaign. Your message should be ingrained in your DNA so it should still come across even if the camera isn’t at the right angle. Going live helps with this and has seen top level returns in product sales. Clients will see that you’re not acting and that you truly believe in your offers. – Artem Maskov, DEVTRIBE INC

3. Take Team Photos
We recently launched a post-purchase email campaign that included a photograph of our team at the beach. This email generates the highest recurring revenue of any email we have in our campaigns. Why? Because our customers like to see that we are real. That behind the message there is a true company that is unafraid of showing who we are. They appreciate the authenticity and the results show. – Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors

4. Share User-Generated Content
One way to reaffirm your authenticity is by sharing the stories and content of people who actually engage with your brand. User-generated content provides social proof and visual word-of-mouth marketing for your brand. Setting up a fun contest with user-generated videos or inviting people to post videos of their experience with your products shows people the unfiltered side of your brand. – Kristopher Jones,

5. Focus on a Long-Term, High-Quality Content Strategy
Showing authenticity and being transparent in your marketing strategy takes time, so you need to plan for it. Produce quality content that your customers and clients actually want to consume. Make it compelling and interesting, not clickbait. Quality content doesn’t only keep your audience engaged, Google favors it. Content with a lot of engagement ranks higher on Google. – Kristin Marquet, Creative Development Agency, LLC

6. Make It Visual
Use visuals to translate authenticity since it can be somewhat hard to do with words that are interpreted different ways. Visuals serve as common symbols. Use pictures, graphics and video to translate those values and meaning to what you are doing. – Drew Hendricks, Buttercup

7. Trust Employees to Be Brand Ambassadors
Your team probably has some star players who really get the big picture. These people will probably have fun sharing the company’s latest marketing video or running your Twitter account. Tell them to have fun with the job, but then watch it closely to see what happens. – Michael Dash, Parallel HR Solutions, Inc.

8. Share Content That Excites You
Sometimes brand managers tend to put out content that is way too edited and mainstream just to maintain the brand consistency. If you took a picture that you truly like, but might not exactly fit with the “brand expectations,” take a leap of faith and post that content. Chances are people will feel refreshed to see your content from a different angle. This is what authenticity is all about. – Alejandro Rioja, Flux Chargers

9. Understand What Makes You Special, and How That Speaks to Market Needs
Authenticity is about expressing who you truly are as a person or organization and what you believe in. This needs to be reflected in your marketing. However, the mistake most businesses make is going too authentic and neglecting to speak to the needs (desires and pain points) of their market. You want both in your messaging to really hit a home run and nail authentic marketing. – Justin Faerman, Conscious Lifestyle Magazine

10. Do a Livestream
Facebook, Instagram and Periscope all offer a quick and easy platform to connect with your followers via livestreaming. Since being live on camera is more vulnerable than a recorded video, followers appreciate the effort and authenticity to connect on a more genuine level. – Syed Balkhi, OptinMonster

11. Use Your ‘Real’ Voice
When making audio/video content for marketing or any other purpose, many professionals try to develop a “broadcast voice.” This is a different speaking tone from the way they speak to their friends and family, focusing on proper enunciation and clear communication. A way to betray your authenticity through your marketing is to forego your radio voice and let your real voice be heard instead. – Bryce Welker, Beat The CPA

12. Share the Secret Sauce
Give away your secrets and provide value. Don’t hold back. In the world we live in now, you need to break out of the secret sauce mentality and share your insights with the world. This info is available everywhere and if your audience is going to get it from someone, it might as well be you. – Grayson Lafrenz, Power Digital Marketing

13. Go Behind the Scenes
One of the best ways to demonstrate authenticity is through transparency. For B2C brands, talk about how you design, engineer, manufacture and ship your product to customers. That helps shoppers get a better idea of how you approach producing your product holistically. Real brands control that process to ensure quality product and service, which consumers highly value. – Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep

14. Focus on How You Help People
While marketing and authenticity are often thought of as antithetical, this need not be the case if you really believe in what you’re doing. The key here is to focus on how you’re actually helping people and keep this in mind in all of your marketing. In my business, I try to never lose sight of how I help small businesses improve their credit, which helps them grow faster. – Shawn Porat, Scorely