Authenticity and Inclusivity in Digital Marketing: Why It Matters

Recently, social media platform Instagram made headlines for its decision to make a move towards policing inauthentic marketing that promotes poor body image or unhealthy habits. Body positivity is a huge topic of discussion currently, and for this reason, the social media platform that’s well-known for giving a filtered view of many users’ lives has begun to crack down on this, particularly when it comes to younger and more easily influenced users.

More rules and restrictions have now been placed around the advertising of products such as weight-loss teas or cosmetic surgery, particularly among minors. Unfortunately, so many brands have made a business out of shaming young women for the way their bodies look. Instagram aims to put a stop to this and instead promote healthy body imagery.

Authenticity has taken the front and center seat in the digital marketing space, and along the same vein so has inclusivity. Body positive campaigns and campaigns depicting a wide array of humans are commonplace now. In order to stay with the times, brands must get on board with this approach as it increasingly becomes what consumers expect.

How can this be accomplished without it coming across as gratuitous or self-serving? One such way to begin a more authentic and/or inclusive campaign is simply just to do it. Making an announcement that the brand is now body positive or now plans to be more inclusive in its campaigns can be seen as more of an attention grab than anything else. The best way to integrate something new is to just simply start doing it.

After all, we all know that actions speak louder than words, right? So much of marketing comes down to actionable tasks that lead to end results. By shifting a brand’s messaging and marketing materials, a higher degree of authenticity can be achieved without the need for a big fuss that can be interpreted in the wrong way.

This sort of authenticity can also be applied to marketing tactics. Content that can be considered to be clickbait, improper sales tactics, or false/exaggerated advertising are all things that should be avoided at all costs, especially in today’s digital environment. Committing a faux pas such as false advertising can backfire quickly and cause more of a PR nightmare than anything else. While there is often a case for making a splash in marketing, brands should be cautious that their marketing efforts aren’t interpreted in the wrong way.

Why does this matter so much? Because consumers are beginning to shift in the way they perceive the world around them. Now, more than ever before, consumers crave authentic connections. Perhaps it’s because we’ve become so reliant on our mobile devices that we want more of a human connection. Whatever the reason may be, brands are now tasked with making genuine connections with users and giving them material that resonates with them. Inclusivity is one way to do this. Now, more demographics of users are seeing themselves represented in marketing materials and mainstream media alike. This shift is one that will likely only continue to grow, so it’s important for brands to get on board now and adjust their marketing accordingly.

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