Organic and authentic marketing increasingly sought after by modern audiences
Staying abreast of the latest trends in marketing and advertising has always been of the utmost importance for businesses of all stripes, regardless of industry.
In light of various recent trends in both popular culture and the world of marketing in general, in addition to the continuation of trends which have been established and ongoing for some time now, there is solid evidence to suggest that modern audiences are increasingly drawn to organic and authentic forms of marketing and advertising.
A number of different factors involved in this trend and overall direction of marketplace preference include the following.
Content-first SEO proves more robust and effective over time
If you were to run a business and to conduct a detailed assessment of your online visibility over time, certain things would likely become quite apparent — not least of all the fact that particular approaches to SEO have consistently proven vastly more effective and robust than others.
In the early days of the rise to prominence of Google’s search engine, businesses who wanted to achieve good SERP rankings would rely primarily on filling their web pages and content with their keywords of choice, with the end result often being that the content in question became highly diminished in quality, and lost a lot of legibility.
This practice has become known as “keyword stuffing,” and not only has it radically fallen out of use among credible businesses due to the fact that it creates illegible and low quality content, but also because various changes to Google’s search algorithm over time have heavily penalised the practice.
In the modern SEO landscape, SEO practices that emphasise regularly creating high quality content, first and foremost, are those which have the greatest overall positive impact on influencing rankings, not only in the short term, but also over a more prolonged time frame.
One of the key features about content-first SEO is that it is more “organic,” almost by definition — as the emphasis is, first and foremost, on providing value for the target audience, as opposed to simply increasing keyword density.
Over the years, a wide range of different SEO tactics have risen and fallen in popularity — including, for example, sites going out of their way to acquire as many backlinks as possible pointing to their webpages, with scant regard paid to the quality of those links, the authority of the sites providing those links, or the content that those links were embedded in.
This practice has also been penalised in various ways and has become harder to “pull off” in the way it once was, and so, again, the most reliable approach to backlink generation is through consistent and high quality content.
Content-first SEO is just one example of an area in which the prevailing trends indicate that organic and authentic marketing practices are likely to be the best path forward for any business that wants to achieve and maintain long-term “future proof” success.
Over-exposure to marketing drives increasing demand for novelty
One largely undeniable fact about the marketing landscape, which both businesses and consumers would tend to agree with, is that it is oversaturated — particularly when contrasted against the number of visible and active marketing campaigns only a few short years ago.
There are a number of reasons for the growing prevalence of marketing campaigns in the current landscape, not least of all the fact that the meteoric growth of the internet in the last couple of decades has opened up all sorts of different channels for marketing to individuals not only in public, but also in their own homes.
Clearly, however, there are a number of significant implications of the fact that the average individual is now likely to come across dozens of marketing, advertising, and branding materials, campaigns, and slogans on a daily basis.
First and foremost, there’s evidence to suggest that the average consumer is “harder to please” with regards to marketing. Having seen many of the most common marketing tropes, tricks and approaches on a day-to-day basis, the average consumer’s interest in — or even tolerance for — “marketing by the numbers” is arguably at an all time low.
This is likely to be one core factor in the massive growth in popularity of authenticity in marketing — in addition to, of course, the continuing need for marketing campaigns to express some degree of novelty.
For many brands operating across many different industries, their most successful campaigns today are those that serve to humanise the companies in some way, to convey elements of the overall brand mission and journey, and that incorporate elements of humour, among other things.
Of course, the point of novelty is not necessarily directly tied to the emphasis on authenticity — but there is a good degree of overlap.
Companies and brands who are able to market in more novel and memorable ways will also, in many cases, be those who are not simply following the lead of their competitors, but are instead daring to put their own personal stamp on what they are doing.
Contemporary and younger audiences increasingly value authenticity in presentation
For younger audiences in particular — and for contemporary audiences in general, according to various commentators and trends — authenticity in presentation is something more like an active value than simply a marketing preference.
Increasingly today, various social trends emphasise the importance of following an authentic path in life, being guided by a sense of meaning and interest first and foremost, and living and behaving in a way that is genuine and displays self awareness and real preferences and tendencies.
While this is not to say that curated appearances and intentional branding are not still highly sought after and effective, there is an added dimension wherein authenticity in presentation is more and more of an aspiration and expectation among large numbers of people.
Marketing campaigns that convey a sense of personality and that incorporate elements such as a bit of playful irony or even carefully managed self-deprecating humour, may prove especially effective in many contemporary contexts.
Social media and the internet may be contributing to increased speed in popular culture; marketers need to adjust accordingly
An interesting social trend that has been observed and reflected on by various social commentators in recent times, is the way in which the internet — and social media in particular — may be largely responsible for an increasing sense of “speed” in popular culture.
In particular, members of Generation Z and Millennials are more likely to have a sense of popular cultural awareness that cycles from one topic to another rapidly, with many trends and memes only being relevant for a short space of time.
One potential consequence of this is the fact that marketers can no longer necessarily rely on campaigns that are long-planned and drawn out for a prolonged period of time, particularly when those campaigns are intimately connected to features of the Zeitgeist.
Instead, marketing is something that should largely be done in a more adaptive and ongoing way, with particular emphasis placed on things like maintaining a good and active social media presence.
In this sense, it could be said that effective marketing should ideally place a good deal of emphasis on organic campaigns and viral moments, which can respond quickly to developments in an ever-more fast-paced popular cultural landscape.
Growing interest in artisanal and luxury goods that break the mass-produced pattern
By all accounts, many of the most popular consumer goods on the market today are “mass-produced” products — such as digital devices from manufacturers like Apple and Samsung.
While many mass-produced have cemented their place as cultural staples, however, it is also the case that a significant niche market in artisanal and luxury goods has grown up at the same time — which is, in many ways, positioned as a response to the prevalence of homogenous mass-produced products.
In terms of marketing, this has meant that there is increasingly a lot of expectation for products of a certain price range — even including various mass-produced goods — to emphasise a premium feel in their packaging and branding.
For this reason, among others, many brands would be well-served by ensuring that graphic designers and other product packaging experts on their team are working to create memorable designs and “unboxing experiences” that feel somewhat personalised.
Continuing growth of social media popularity driving demand for human presence in marketing
With social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok continuing to enjoy enormous and growing popularity, there is an increasing expectation and desire among many individuals to see the faces behind brands and products.
Companies who want to market as effectively as possible in the current landscape are increasingly called upon to put members of their teams in front of the camera, in the form of promotional photographs, customer-facing videos and product demonstrations, and more.
Clearly, this seems to be connected to the same general trend of increased authenticity and organic marketing as a whole.