The Authenticity Advantage: Connecting in an AI-Filled World

connecting in an AI-filled world

The origins of the content economy are rooted in providing value. When a brand, organization, or person can convey ideas that resonate, it is a virtual goldmine. 

Remember the early days of content? YouTube videos passed along in video chains? “Like for” posts on Facebook? These were valuable because they were connection points. The chain video email became somewhat of a cultural symbol of the moment. “Like for” was an immediate way for two parties to connect over a shared interest. 

Then things evolved. Into memes, shorter videos, BuzzFeed articles. Content became more mainstream, more marketing-driven, and less interesting in a deep way. I remember about a year ago, I read a piece called “The Fast-Foodification of Everything” by Greg Isenberg, whom I ended up working with on an AI newsletter and community.

I was enamored by the observation that so much content looks the same these days; it’s become junk food—and a heck of a lot less valuable. There’s a special irony to the fast foodification of everything, in which content is simply copied and pasted. With literally infinite cyberspace and opportunities to stand for something, most brands and creators jump on the bandwagon; they become one of the many in their respective industries. Artificial intelligence has only exacerbated this phenomenon, making original, authentic content a rarity.

Standing Out Among AI Content

With artificial intelligence improving by the second and algorithms growing stronger, there’s a palpable lack of connection that might be felt between a person and content. Remember, content didn’t start with the internet. It goes back to books, magazines, and, if you want to really rewind, even hieroglyphs. But the beautiful thing about content and business is that it is all about connection. Even the most niche B2Bs are suited for best practice niche marketing, including influencer strategies.

Connecting in an oversaturated, AI-filled landscape is not easy, but it is possible. AI-written content has become so widespread, but it’s not value-adding content. It’s filler content that takes up space without really saying anything.

AI content resonates on a surface level but often fails to dig deeper. This creates an experience for buyers in which they feel like they are deriving insights while reading the content but walk away with nothing. 

This is problematic for organizations and their profitability, because brands need loyal customers who will spread the good word about the products, services, and message. AI-generated content often fails to connect on a real level because, when not manipulated properly, it can come across as unoriginal. 

Brand Commitment to Authenticity: Connecting with Audiences

To really connect to audiences, organizations need to commit to authenticity—for the sake of their brand, their employees, prospective talent, prospective customers, current and future customers, and beyond. Authenticity requires trust, and brands are tasked with cultivating that trust to truly be recognized as authentic. 

Now, why does authenticity matter? Does it really impact your bottom line? 

According to a Gallup poll, buyers give brands that they are aligned with twice as much wallet-share; when customers feel aligned with a brand, they are likely to remember that brand and come back to it when they have a need. B2B marketing is about cultivating long-term relationships with prospects so your brand becomes the default choice when they are ready to buy. 

Crafting a niche in your content is a strategy that will help to build trust. Emphasize elements of your brand that connect with your audience, like activities, pop culture, and references. Acknowledging and responding to customer interests is a key factor in gaining loyalty and attracting business from your target customers.

5 Picks: Balancing “Niche” Content is Key to Authenticity

Being niche is a fine line. You don’t want to be so niche that you exclude slivers of your target audience; you want to be niche enough that your business represents something like a personality, horoscope sign, or caricature. Not offensively niche in a polarizing way, but niche in a way that is courageous and, yes, authentic. 

Inscribe’s Niche Triumph: Redefining B2B Landscape with PR Precision 

Inscribe, a fintech company, faced the challenge of emerging in a crowded fintech world and sought to redefine the financial services landscape with its state-of-the-art automation software (in 2017!). 

We developed a digital PR strategy to increase Inscribe’s share of voice, placed it in front of strategic venture capitalist audiences, and positioned their spokespeople as thought leaders in automation and fraud detection. 

This campaign significantly increased Inscribe’s brand recognition and media coverage, demonstrating the power of a targeted and well-executed niche strategy in the B2B sector. 

Key Takeaway: A targeted and well-executed niche strategy in the B2B sector, like Inscribe’s, can significantly increase brand recognition and market presence.

New Cosmos USA: A Gas Detector Leader’s Journey to Amplifying Voices and Balancing Risks

New Cosmos USA is a leader in natural gas detectors. They faced the challenge of promoting the advantages of natural gas appliances while acknowledging the risks. Our strategy involved crafting compelling press releases, targeting trade outlets significant to the natural gas appliance and safety industries, and developing consistent messaging. 

This approach helped New Cosmos effectively balance political concerns and position itself as a voice of reason, ultimately increasing its share of voice by 689% and leading to deals with major retailers.

Key Takeaway: Effective communication and a balanced approach to addressing risks and benefits in marketing can dramatically increase a brand’s market influence and credibility.

TrueLook’s Rise: Unveiling Construction Tech Innovation through Influencer Alchemy

TrueLook, a company known for its construction job site camera technology, leveraged influencer marketing to unveil its latest innovation. Zen’s strategy involved selecting influencers from various platforms, ultimately leading to significant increases in site traffic, brand awareness, and follower growth. This case illustrates how even niche industries like construction tech can benefit from influencer marketing. 

Key Takeaway: Even niche industries can benefit from influencer marketing. TrueLook’s use of influencers significantly increased its brand awareness and market presence.

Bee’s Wrap: Crafting Authenticity in Sustainability – A ‘Better for the World’ Approach

Bee’s Wrap is a reusable food wrap alternative to aluminum foil, cling wrap, and plastic bags. The clean, reusable option captures an environmentally friendly population willing to invest long-term for a pliable, durable, natural solution. Its personality is earth-loving and hopeful, its horoscope Libra for weighing the pros and cons, its caricature: a queen bee, of course. 

It is not so niche—like made from an actual animal or smelly plant—that it is off-putting and is authentic in its commitment to being a ‘better for the world’ product. Their social media nicely represents their niche audience. In this post, which features a makeshift dog bowl (on a hike), Bees Wrap is paying homage to their earthy customer base, who likely appreciates all life forms, especially animals. 

Key Takeaway: Authenticity in product positioning and marketing, especially in sustainability-focused products like Bee’s Wrap, can resonate deeply with target audiences and enhance brand loyalty.

Hill House Home’s Niche Mastery: From Nap Dresses to Millenial Old-Time Faves

Another brand that does an incredible job at being authentically niche is Hill House Home: the B2C trademarked “Nap Dress” purveyor that regularly posts bows, poodles, and ethereal women in fields. 

Both buyers sympathetic to “cottage core” and “city chic” personas will identify with HHH’s style because its core niche is sophisticated, sweet, and innocent, yet none of those characteristics are exclusive to a country mouse or city mouse. 

Brands need to be intentional in selecting a niche that is defined but not rigid. For Halloween 2023, the brand leaned into the iconic Broadway show Wicked and featured nap dresses that are suited for both the characters of Glinda and Elphaba. 

This Instagram post showcases both dresses, in both women’s and baby sizes, appealing to young moms who remember Wicked as a fond part of their childhoods. Hill House also does an excellent job at incorporating memes that are relatable and shareable. Meme marketing is a surefire way to help reach your goals.

Key Takeaway: Successfully identifying and targeting a niche market, as Hill House Home does, requires a balance between specificity and inclusivity, allowing the brand to connect authentically with a wide range of consumers.

Authenticity + Strategy = Results

Authenticity sets brands apart from their competitors. Differentiation should be a core strategy for businesses. Understanding a buyer persona and tailoring content to their interests and patterns helps brands to be authentic. This balance is delicate and requires applications of artificial intelligence and the human touch. Agencies can outline guidelines and niches worth drilling down on, as well as persona-based content that moves the needle.


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