As business owners, you want to make sure that your products and services reach as many people as possible. You know that your business is great and you want to make sure that other people know that as well. When promoting a business, it can be tempting to create fabricated tales about your business’s success, whether it’s making up a particularly poignant interaction with a client or an ambitious project that was completed in an impressive amount of time. You don’t need to do that. In your social or viral marketing for your business, it is best to tell the truth and be honest about different clients you’ve had. Use original, real testimonials and experiences. This will pay off, big time, and here are three reasons why:

Your Business, Your Story

#1: It would be really bad for your business if your lie got found out

You might be thinking that there’s no way that you’d get caught fabricating tales, and even if you did, marketing’s a shady business and not always honest, so who could hold it against you? But there is a chance that you will get caught, and the excuse of “everyone does it” wouldn’t work. Take Volkswagen, for example. They were caught plotting to violate US pollution laws—particularly the US Clean Air Act—and trick customers on a major scale. This scandal was extremely  damaging to Volkswagen’s credibility, particularly because the carmakers were doing this completely on purpose.

It wasn’t negligence, nor was it human error—the Volkswagen scandal was a deliberate plot to befuddle regulators with hidden software to rig emissions. People found out about it, and the purposeful nature of the lying reflected poorly on the company and caused a massive loss of trust. One German newspaper headline read: “‘Made in Germany’ in the gutter.” It was a very serious, both overseas and in America. The risk of getting caught lying is too great, particularly for a fledgling company.

#2: People can tell when you’re being authentic, versus when you’re not

Lying is unethical, but that argument alone usually isn’t convincing enough to get people not to do it. There are concrete benefits to not lying, one of which being that people can tell when you’re being authentic. You could get the best writer in the world to tell a fabricated tale about your business, but that fabrication will never be airtight enough to 100% prevent someone from doing a little digging to find out the truth. In a poll conducted by the UK Telegraph referencing the aforementioned Volkswagen case, 56% of people said that they would reconsider purchasing Volkswagen vehicles because of the scandal. This shows the damage that being found out can do to a business, and if a multinational corporation using advanced software can get caught, so can you, even on a much smaller scale.

#3: Creative content is best when it comes from your employees and customers

It’s a shared bonding experience for you and your employees or you and your customers to be able to reminisce about experiences you’ve had. The originality and truthfulness of what you’re saying will shine through in your writing as you won’t have to scramble for details. It will bring your business closer to sharing these true experiences with one another, and you can also learn from them as a way to improve other similar situations. For example, if you have a client write you an excellent review detailing your business’s great customer service, you can take the elements from that interaction and apply them to other clients you work with in hopes of achieving the same satisfaction.

As you can see, true tales beat out fabricated ones any day. Creative content doesn’t have to be created; it merely can be sourced from your business, employees, and clientele. Not only is that the ethical thing to do, you can sleep easier at night knowing that you’ve been 100% honest with the public and that you’re not hiding anything. Allow your enthusiasm and poignancy to shine through by telling the truth.

To learn more about sourcing your company’s stories visit Kreativa.co, an online marketing community, where marketers share insights and tips into creating true and effective content.

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