The Importance of Ethics and Authenticity: Why Do We Need It?
As we spend more time online and our digital platforms rapidly evolve, our online content consumption habits also change. Content marketing agencies and creators have the potential to reach vast audiences to drive the growth of their brands and that of their clients, but this comes with responsibility.
Content can be powerful and shape opinions and beliefs, which we must consider when creating. Therefore, we must establish trust by maintaining authenticity and ethical values throughout our work.
Take a look as we explore the importance of ethics and authenticity in content and why you should incorporate them into your online work.
The Moral Compass of Content Creation
Responsible Handling of Sensitive Topics
Sometimes content involves sensitive topics which we must treat respectfully. There are various ethical considerations in research and methods throughout content creation to do this.
When conducting your research, ensure you use various sources to prevent bias within your work. This level of research is essential when discussing controversial subjects.
Thoroughly explore the topic and allow your content to express the issue truthfully. If you include bias, readers can question your credibility as a source, and depending on the subject, it can negatively impact others.
Instead, ensure your research includes detailed, factual information about the subject and convey that to your audience. You can also reduce the bias in your content in numerous ways, depending on the topic, such as by using inclusive language.
Additionally, include multiple points of view in your content where appropriate. Not only does it help reduce bias, but it also avoids presenting misleading information or one-sided content. Again, this will help your followers and audience build trust in your brand and be more inclined to use your content as a source of information.
Make sure your content is culturally sensitive, particularly for more complex topics. Cultural insensitivity can lead to stereotyping and misrepresentation. Instead, ensure you represent your target audience appropriately and carefully select any images you include. Equally, check your facts on different cultures are accurate and that you remain considerate in what you create.
Navigating Ethical Dilemmas
Ethics in content marketing also extends to permissions and disclosures. If you create sponsored content, you must specify that the content is sponsored. This is because another brand has paid you, such as through money, products or services, to create content for them, and your audience must be aware of this when they view your content. You may see this through phrases like ‘sponsored by’ on micro-influencer social media pages.
Depending on your location, declaring sponsored content may be a legal requirement. Even if it isn’t, audiences want transparency, and they are more likely to trust your brand if they know what content is paid for and what isn’t. When you include your disclosure, ensure it is easily visible on various screen sizes, such as mobile devices and laptops.
You must also gain permission to use personal information or stories. Not only is this required through GDPR, but it gives your company transparency with data. Individuals are entitled to privacy, so ensure you gain consent before sharing this data.
‘Do no harm’ is a phrase you should consider when creating content. When creators aren’t careful, they can form content that can harm individuals or groups. Protect those you include in your content, and ensure you don’t create content that can cause harm. This is particularly important when talking about sensitive information or subjects.
Authenticity: The Foundation of Trust
The Power of Genuine Storytelling
Authentic content marketing is a powerful tool to help your online audience trust your content and brand. You can use it to form a stronger connection with your target audience as your stories resonate with them. These personal connections also increase brand loyalty and the chance of returning customers.
Stories enable people to connect, particularly if they are emotionally invested in that story. By sharing your stories through your content, you can make your brand appear more approachable as your staff become more relatable. It also encourages empathy in your audience.
This authenticity is how you can gain long-term clients and customers. When your audience trusts your brand, they are more inclined to remain with it and can even become advocates, promoting your products or services to others and expanding your online reach further.
Building a Consistent Brand Image
Personal branding is a great way to promote your business and resonate with your audience. The importance of being authentic within your brand is undeniable, and you can use it in your content to help build trust and loyalty from your readers and followers.
Incorporate your brand’s values and mission into your content. If you’re a beauty company against animal testing, create content that sticks with that message. Remain consistent within your content about your values to promote authenticity.
By doing this, your content can hold a unique perspective, and your audience can trust that your brand remains true. It also makes you a more transparent company.
Use this to be creative and reveal your brand’s personality. Show behind-the-scenes content to show off what your company is like and how fantastic your employees are. Platforms such as TikTok are great for this.
Additionally, humanise your brand. Show that there are living people behind the corporation to help improve your brand authenticity. You can also use user-generated content to add authenticity and personality. However, ensure you have the relevant permissions to do so and credit the creator.
With that human element, your brand becomes more trustworthy, encouraging potential customers and clients to use your website and increasing site traffic online.
Creating content responsibly is crucial, and creators must ensure they form their work ethically and authentically. Content can influence people positively and negatively, depending on the content produced, so we must do it correctly and treat subjects with respect and sensitivity where appropriate.
By being ethical and authentic, you also encourage trust within your brand, which can lead to higher web traffic rates and increased brand loyalty. Remain consistent with your values and transparent communication to gain credibility and make the most of your online presence.
Fly High Media are here to support you with your digital marketing needs. Whether you need SEO support or PPC campaigns, our passionate team of experts can gain results whilst offering trust and integrity in our services.
Contact us today and see how we can help your business.
Cheshire (Head Office)
Get in touch
Let’s find the best solution for your business