In our last blog, we explored the importance of authenticity in marketing and how it will likely be a defining trait of B2B and B2C marketers’ plans for years to come. Here, we’ll discuss ways brands can adapt to consumers’ desire for authentic marketing strategies in their paid, earned and owned channels.

How do marketers portray authenticity through paid channels?

Using marketing dollars to pinpoint and advertise your brand through digital and tried-and-true paid channels allows marketers to locate audience segments and specifically measure return on investment. Here are some ideas to inject a little more authenticity and transparency into paid efforts.

Paid social media tactics

The rise of social media influencers, content creators and brand ambassadors helped brands unlock many new and effective partnerships. However, internet users also coined the term “deinfluencing” early last year, where content creators share honest and sometimes harsh views about products and services they feel missed the mark and encourage followers to purchase fewer material goods.

Critics of the trend say deinfluencers are simply pushing a specific product or service from a brand they partner with under the guise of being real with their audience. Really, they’re still saying, “buy this and not that.”

So, what can social media marketers do? Partnering with content creators is still a great tactic to reach audiences that wouldn’t otherwise be tuned in to your paid efforts. It’s crucial to properly vet the influencers you’re partnering with to ensure their values and content align with your brand. Micro-influencers, or influencers who have a smaller following and speak to a more specific segment, are a great option.

Often viewed as more authentic than their larger counterparts, micro-influencers bring back the original word-of-mouth, small-group marketing tactic. B2B and B2C customers alike are more apt to take the advice of their friend, peer or an individual one step removed from someone they know personally.

Authentic ads

While there is likely still a time and place for your brand to pair beautiful visuals and product displays with their digital and traditional ad placements, try incorporating advertisements that honestly depict your products and services with slightly less polished visuals. If your company has put effort toward improving a feature of a product or service, highlight improvements in a paid ad. 

How do marketers focus on authenticity through owned channels?

A brand’s owned channels can be one of the most efficient ways to create and release content. Let’s look at how to put authenticity at the forefront of some of these common owned channels.

Social media

It’s more imperative than ever to use social listening tools or partners to monitor what is being said about your brand on social media, especially with deinfluencing trends here to stay for now. Luckily for organic social media marketers, these platforms are one of the easiest to share quick brand updates and nimbly pivot tactics. Many social media experts will notice that some of the least-polished images they post rank next to or above those that are perfectly curated, proving that their audiences crave a dose of authenticity. Don’t be afraid to incorporate a regular “inside look” of your company, employees, leadership and processes.

Website and blogs

Consider posting your brand's mission, vision and values on your website where internal and external users alike can view them. Blog posts and other timely site updates may also allow your organization to keep audiences apprised of recent initiatives that harken back to company values on improving the community, being transparent, and other values that drive engagement and loyalty with audiences.


Videos are one of the most experiential mediums through which your brand can release messages because it pairs imagery and sound into one immersive package for viewers. Use this to your advantage by having company leadership share updates through a timely video, allowing audiences to see and hear a transparent message directly from them. Don’t be afraid to have employees at every level speak about their work through videos, as well.

How do marketers focus on authenticity through earned channels?

Using earned media relationships with local, national and industry publications is a great way to improve your brand’s authenticity.


Media publications have built their own brands on transparency, objectivity and fact-checking. Because of this, it’s a great platform through which your brand can speak. If possible, your organization can position itself as a transparent thought leader by doing interviews if asked to comment publicly on an issue related to your industry or your company directly.

Proactive communications strategies

A proactive communications plan should include steps for promoting your brand when you have great news to share and for when things go a bit awry. It’s a good idea to foster relationships with local media so you can share timely updates; however, you also want to be able to quickly contact the media if they’re reporting about a difficulty your organization or industry is facing. This allows you to transparently address internal and external audiences’ concerns and share how your organization is proactively managing those issues.

It’s important to keep in mind that proactive internal communication is essential for keeping employees informed and involved in the larger picture of your company and brand. Having everyone on the same page makes it easier to establish a cohesive brand identity and keep the focus on portraying your brand authentically.

While it can feel daunting and unnecessary for brands to adapt to every shift and trend in marketing, we promise that authenticity and audiences’ demand for it are here to stay. Incorporating any of these strategies will help your brand be more authentic and build audience loyalty and trust. There’s a reason the people behind your brand come to work and put in their best effort daily. Consumers want to hear how a brand fits into their overall life and how your values can build on their own.