6 SXSW Sessions To Help You Boost Marketing Authenticity

Published: March 13, 2017

Everyone can produce content online, whether it’s clickbait YouTube videos about cats or your latest E-book or blog. That means that attention spans are low, while content clutter continues to grow. To stay top of mind, authenticity can be the key differentiator between mediocre and superb content.

A variety of the sessions taking place in the Branding & Marketing track of SXSW 2017 in Austin, Texas, are focused on the theme of authenticity, as well as how to better market in a more self-validating environment.

Here are six sessions in particular that caught my eye that may help marketers to be more authentic:

Is Authenticity In Advertising Possible?

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A common challenge, especially in the B2B marketplace, is producing relevant content and messaging that is authentic and valuable to the target audience. This panel discussion with advertising experts from Bazaarvoice, Fyre Media, Tribal Worldwide and COTY shared methodologies and tactics for authentic advertising using content and data. The panel also discussed the idea of consumer-generated content, which can be effective when looking to market your brand’s story while also remaining customer centric. You can’t get more authentic than to enable customers to create the content themselves.

Media Vs. Fakers & Haters In The Post-Fact Era (Past)

The U.S. Presidential Election shows that people are going to consume the information they want to consume that meets their needs and expectations. Presenters from media giants such as The New York Times, The Associated Press and The Huffington Post discussed who is tasked with determining the “quality” and trustworthiness of content when audiences seem to be moving further away from trusting the media. From the look of things, there is no clear solution for regaining this trust, but offering authentic content that is also relevant to your target audience can help readers make that assessment themselves.

Communicating In An Era Of Self-Validating Facts

The 2016 Presidential Election ushered in a “post-fact” era in which content consumers today are making their own assessment about whether the information they take in is valuable to them or not – and true or not. This session, hosted by Appropriate, Inc., will discuss how to leverage buyer perspectives without hampering your brand message—ultimately bringing more value and relevance for your audience.

How To Master Blending Journalism & Content Marketing

To provide more authentic content, industry experts are suggesting companies take a journalist’s mindset when producing content to combat the “alternative-fact” marketplace. During this session, hosted by thought leaders from Monster, presenters illustrated how a journalistic approach to content creation can help a brand cut through the clutter and better engage audiences.

Clickbait With a Conscience: Gimmick Free And Open

Many content creators fall victim to the “if you can’t beat them, join them” mentality. This session, hosted by executives from Mozilla, Wikimedia Foundation and SpiderOak, will demonstrate how it’s easy to go with the flow of clickbait and gimmick marketing, but it will not help you to have meaningful conversations with your audience. Creating honest conversation is the best way to stay top of mind in a busy marketplace, according to the panelists.

Being Human: How Personal Stories Change The World

Ultimately, buyers are more likely to engage with personalized content made just for them. Therefore, humanizing your brand is a great way to bring active storytelling into you content creation that audiences will love. This session—presented by experts from the Ford Foundation, Funny or Die DC and Atlanta Media Strategies—discusses how personal stories can help build that authenticity that audiences crave. The panel will also cover how leveraging emotion, such as humor and grief, can add the personal touch your brand needs to gain the trust of your target audience.

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