This blog was contributed by Sheila Sands who shares compelling wisdom about tapping the human side of your brand for success.
Once upon a time, doing business of any kind meant picking up a telephone, speaking to a person politely, maybe booking an appointment and then strolling through town to their office or store. But not anymore. These days, almost all interaction is done through a screen, whether that be the 15.5inch screen of a MacBook, the 8-inch screen of a tablet or the too-big-for-your-pocket smartphone, which is great in a million ways, but dreadful when it comes to one all-important factor: being personal.
It’s a massive problem at the moment, but it also means there is a huge opportunity for you to succeed. With so many brands only operating online, creating an emotional connection with your audience has become more important – and tougher – than ever. But it’s something you need to put a giant red ring around at your next marketing meeting.
It’s about telling people you aren’t just an online bot, but a human. It’s about building trust, showing off your quirks, your personality, your heart and soul, and telling the sort of stories that people totally relate to. Why? Because people inherently want to engage with other people, not businesses. So, trust us when we say: the brands that will succeed moving forward will be those that put people at the very center of their marketing. The problem is, well, it’s not easy to do.
So, without further ado, here are a bunch of ways you can give your brand a little dollop more personality:
- Show Off Your Humans
You’re a brand, right? Which means you have a bunch of humans working for you, yeah? So, what better way is there to show off your human side than putting the spotlight on your employees? Have each of your new team members write a blog post when they join your company. Show them off on your social media platforms. Embrace the Instagram stories function to show the hilarious side of your office antics. Replace stock images with real photos of your team. Anything you can to put the focus on the humans behind your brand.
- Be More Fun. Always.
One of the phrases we loathe more than any other is, “work isn’t meant to be fun, that’s why it’s called work.” It’s nonsense. Work is a facet of life and life is definitely meant to be fun, so have a little and let your customers know about it. If you have an office that clients visit, put a games room in the lobby that anyone can use. If you have a hospital or a home care agency, head to this scrub shop to give your uniforms a dash of personality. If you’ve got some real characters in your employment, the kind that lifts everyone’s spirits, let them take over your Instagram account for one day a week. Fun is infectious.
- Embrace Your Quirks
Your quirks and idiosyncrasies are what make you, you. They’re what make you unique and special and one of kind, so acknowledge them and then use them to make you more approachable. Humans are not perfect, so don’t pretend to be. Just take Raised By Kids, an Instagram Dad we love, who highlights the struggles of fatherhood in the most hilarious and candid ways possible. what people want to see. Another great example of this was that (now infamous) tweet by McDonald’s, when they published a tweet that read, “Black Friday ***Need copy and link***”, before owning this by admitting their fault, showcasing why you shouldn’t tweet before your first cup of McCafe. Genius. In a world where comparison and filters are so rife, be a unique voice by lapping up your flaws and owning them.
- Get Your Customers Involved
If there is one thing people look for when hoping to up their trust in a brand, it’s their peers; their very human peers. So, make them a huge part of your marketing strategy. Incorporate user-generated content on your social media platforms, give your customers the chance to interact with you by creating discussions, do what Copper Milk Creative did (who have probably the best testimonials page in the world) by making it stand out and funny, and let your customers solicit their thoughts. This sort of stuff will help them connect on a much deeper level. Fact.
- Go Behind-The-Scenes
We’ve sort of threatened this piece of advice a few times above and now we’re giving it the spotlight because nothing is going to take the perfect glare off your brand more than a glimpse at the human-world that hides behind the facade. Let people see how you operate, how you make your shoes, how your employees act with one another, what your staff socials are like, how funny the team-bonding sessions are what the company culture is saying. That can be done with photos and videos on your social media pages, having a few Facebook Live adventures, or going down the Snapchat-slash-Instagram Stories route.
- Write Yourself More Human
There is no better way of making your brand look and feel more human than through the medium of AWESOME COPYWRITING. But of all the things you can through copy at, none is more important than your About Us page. Why? Because it’s the most frequented page on a website, according to Moz that is. This makes it the one page where you can establish a deeper emotional connection and kick off the kind of human-bond you need to be a success. Don’t just stop there, though. Make all of your copy more personal, which can be done through simple storytelling, emotional writing or adding a splash of humor that people can’t ignore (dark and sarcastic humor works best, but it ain’t easy to pull off). Of course, this is not the time to try your hand at copy yourself. Oh no. You need to hire a creative copywriter that knows how to bring your brand and your audience together in Holy Matrimony.
Your customers want to see know that you are human, so give that to them every way you can.