We can agree that human connection is pretty important, right?

We know that to be true in our lives in general – think Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – but it’s equally important when it comes to marketing. In order for customers to align with your brand and want to say “yes!” to whatever you’re offering, they’ve got to feel emotionally connected to you, your company, or your products.

So how do you make an emotional connection to your audience without sacrificing professionalism in your brand? Kate Bradley Churnis, Founder of TryLately.com, says authenticity is the key.

Access as a Commodity

With the seemingly nonstop growth in social media usage year over year (wow, there are 3.5 billion active social media users in 2019 according to We Are Social) it’s clear that opportunities abound to market using social media. Kate points out that businesses have an opportunity to not only leverage social media to connect with their audiences in general, but to take it a step further by doing so in a way that lets them feel like they’re getting “access”. 

What does giving access look like? According to Kate, giving your audience access means giving them a look behind the curtain. Sharing the backstories and day-to-day behind-the-scenes is a great way to give your community deeper insight into your company and the people who make it run. It endears your customers and followers to your brand, develops trust, and creates a more authentic connection. All of which can add up to more frequent and fluid conversions.

It Doesn’t Have to All be Sunshine and Roses

Kate points out that another key to sharing authentically is being brave enough to share the good and the bad. It’s easy to tell a story and create a perception through social media that makes your brand appear bulletproof, solid, invulnerable to anything negative. But the real power of connection comes from a willingness to also share what’s not working so well, what you’re learning, and how you’re growing. That, Kate says, is the key to creating the lasting benefits of authentic connection that impact your company’s bottom line.

“It’s hard to be yourself in life anyways, and then to communicate yourself in marketing is a whole other level.” – Kate Bradley Chernis, CEO – TryLately.com

Kate’s definitely on to something here. According to a Stackala report, 86% of consumers indicate that authenticity is critical to their decision to align with a particular brand. Those numbers are pretty compelling. And Kate says that a commitment to authenticity doesn’t only impact the brand’s outward perception. Allowing herself to be real and vulnerable has been a game changer for her with her internal team as well. An “open kimono” culture makes her team members feel seen, heard, and understood. When your team feels valued in this way, that can lead to more opportunities for innovation, increased morale and buy-in, and ultimately more growth for the company. Sounds like a win-win to us.

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