What is authentic marketing and how is it different from public relations?

The two are often confused.

July
14, 2021

Read for 4 minutes

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur Contributors are their own.


Attention is sacred in today's world. Bringing attention to your company will help existing and future customers discover you and do business with you. As advertising becomes less effective, marketers are looking for new ways to attract potential customers. This has spawned a new category called authentic marketing.

So what exactly is "authentic marketing"?

Authentic marketing is a way of reaching and attracting potential customers by being authentic online and offline. This can be achieved by meeting users where they are, through podcasts they listen, newsletters and articles they read, events they attend, and social media channels they use. There are currently many channels available for companies to share their experiences and insights in a way that makes people interested in what they are building.

Businesses typically rely on public relations (PR) to handle communications with the rest of the world. This is why authentic marketing is often confused with PR. This is how authentic marketing differs.

Authentic marketing involves your entire team, not just the C-suite

The history of every company changes with its journey. There is always something new that employees learn in their respective roles. Different teams in a company are constantly learning new things about their market, their product, their sales process, etc. Authentic marketing enables teams to share their stories and insights on the go and position them as active thought leaders in their industry. Think of this as "public building" for the rest of the world, beyond Twitter.

PR, on the other hand, is mostly about making announcements about specific events like funding, launches, etc. These announcements and statements are designed to maintain or enhance the company's preferred public image. This type of communication usually doesn't resonate with people because it's scripted and often sounds spurious.

Related: Marketing Strategies To Effectively Increase Your Brand Authority And …

Authentic marketing reinforces your company's vision, mission, and values; it's not about news

News occurs when something significant happens within a company or industry. PR is all about news. An example is a company making a great hiring or going public. While news sharing is great, most of it is repetitive as the majority of people are unaffected by it.

In contrast, authentic marketing enables companies to share their culture and belief system in a way that resonates with people on an emotional level. For example, Tesla employees see their work as their way of converting the world to sustainable energy. The company regularly communicates its mission at events where it speaks, in podcasts, every time it stands in front of an audience. Firms engaged in authentic marketing can lead the general public to become interested in the problems they are solving and, more broadly, the products they are developing.

Similarly, when brands advocate for social causes, authenticity is key

Authentic marketing is recurring

Unlike PR, which takes place on news, authentic marketing can be used multiple times each month. Teams from different areas of a company can now use authentic marketing to get people excited about what they are building. For example, a VP, engineering and product manager of a startup can provide insights into various podcasts and events over the course of a month. The following month, the Head of People and CMO could share some stories with relevant tech newsletters and / or publications. Because authentic marketing works better with the whole team, it's now easier to share stories from different perspectives within the company.

The Creator Economy offers companies (and their team members) many new opportunities to share their experiences and insights with the world. This allows companies to build a trusted brand that attracts potential stakeholders and enables them to differentiate themselves from the competition.

Related: Why Authenticity Is Key To Creating Great Social Media Content …

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