We’ve already clarified what content marketing is and what it isn’t. But how do you actually implement it the right way and produce content people can trust?

In addition to hiring experienced writers who know their way around research and syntax, you also need to establish guidelines to keep your content at the right quality level. A recent article in Forbes says that in order to do so, quality content must also be authentic.

Let’s take a quick look at what this means. If we combine The New American Oxford Dictionary and the Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s definitions of authentic, you have something that is “based on facts, accurate, or reliable,” and is “true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character.”

Although defining such a simple word may seem elementary, many marketers struggle with authenticity as they fail to prevent self-promotional messages from mixing in with published brand materials. Granted old habits die hard, but we need to identify the basics in order to implement a true content marketing strategy.

In order to create quality, authentic content, here are a few suggestions, as outlined by the Forbes article:

  • Understand that quality content means it should meet a higher standard than what is considered to be the norm. Whether your content lives on a blog or a YouTube video, it should be well written or well composed, grammatically correct, concise, and interesting. The message should be clear and comprehensible to the consumer.
  • Your content should not have any ulterior motives and should not be sneaky. Avoid link baiting and writing with the specific purpose of gaining revenue instead of consumer interest and trust. With trust, revenue will follow.
  • Content should be truthful and objective, or at least acknowledge any unavoidable bias. Support your claims with evidence, or identify when it’s a personal opinion.
  • Authentic content should provide interesting and helpful information to your targeted audience. It shouldn’t contain any promotional plugs.
  • Content that is true to your brand means that it should also stay within the realms of your industry, which consumers consider you to be an expert in. Avoid dabbling in irrelevant topics.
  • Always be ready to admit your mistakes. If you publish something that’s factually incorrect, don’t try to cover it up. Just as your PR advisor would instruct you to address the heart of a brand crisis by validating concern and taking action, you should do the same with your content.