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A Guide to Humanizing Your Marketing Efforts

17th Mar 2017
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There’s a reason people like working with local small businesses over national brands when they can. The average customer doesn’t want to feel like he’s just another person conducting a faceless transaction. He’d rather feel like he’s doing business with a living, breathing individual – or at least an individual behind the brand.

Whether you’re a big brand or a small business, you can put customers at ease by humanizing your company through strategic marketing this year.

1. Attach Your Content to Real People

A lot of businesses think they’re making a solid investment in content marketing, when they’re actually throwing money down the drain. One way brands waste resources in this area is by producing a lot of generic content. If you want to understand what it looks like to attach real people to your content, look no further than The Wirecutter, a niche tech site that reviews new gadgets and tools.

“Trust more in the power of real people,” advises Eric Siu of Single Grain, a leading digital marketing agency. “Modern consumers are wary of ads, banners, and paid search results. They want real recommendations from real people. And that’s what The Wirecutter delivers to such sparkling success. They’ve made the review (a.k.a. the “ad”) the product. People share them, like them, and rely on them to decide what to buy.”

2. Develop a Brand Voice

From a content marketing perspective, one of the worst things you can do is write generic content without a brand voice in mind. If you want your content to have personality and read like it’s written from an actual person (not a computer program), you need to hone your voice.

Are you funny or serious? Intellectual or relatable? Conservative or in-your-face? Every brand has a different voice and you want readers to immediately recognize yours.

3. Use Real Photos

If you’re going to attach your content to real people within your organization, you should go ahead and include actual headshots and photos of the authors in the byline. Research shows that people connect better with content when they’re able to see the person who created it.

The same goes for website content – such as your “about us” pages. Including actual images – such as the ones you see in this example from HubSpot – will help your readers get to know your company as more than just a logo.

4. Get Socially Active

One of the best things you can do to breathe some life into your brand is invest more time and effort into social media – especially newer platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and Periscope.

The latter is particularly powerful, as it allows you to occasionally take customers behind the scenes, host Q&A sessions, or perform live product demonstrations. There’s a bit of a learning curve to using Periscope, but you can get ahead of the game by getting involved now (as opposed to later down the road).

5. Ask for Feedback

Your customers shouldn’t feel like they’re being lectured or preached to when you post a blog entry or publish a new ad. People prefer two-way conversations and it’s imperative that you regularly ask for feedback – such as comments and/or guest posts.

Give Your Brand Some Life

The most successful brands are the ones that are able to relate to customers. In 2017, part of relating to customers means humanizing your brand’s efforts through strategic content, social media, and a willingness to accept feedback. If you feel like your brand is struggling to connect in meaningful ways, spend some time reviewing your marketing strategy and identify some opportunities for growth. There’s almost always room for improvement.

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