7 Ways to Humanize Your Company Online
As brands move further and further away from face-to-face service and into the realm of online shopping, e-mails, webchat and social media content, many experts believe that essentially, your brand’s marketing department has been replaced by your customers. But, the rise of online shopping has led to an era where brand loyalty is diminishing; there’s no longer as strong of an emotional connection between businesses and their customers. And it’s all down to a lack of human touch. So, it’s never been more important to make an effort to humanize your brand, helping your customers feel like they belong to a community that they enjoy and find meaning in. Here are some of the best strategies that you can use to humanize your brand online.
#1. Avoid Using ONLY Stock Photos:
Stock photos are readily available today and for that reason, most companies are guilty of using generic, impersonal photos. But, maybe it’s time to rethink this practice. Investing some time in using pictures of your actual employees, or even your customers will give visitors a better idea of your brand and the people who make it tick. Generic photos of people who’re just modelling for the shoot and have nothing to do with your brand give new and existing customers little to go off when it comes to getting to know you.
#2. Be Your Customers’ Biggest Fans:
In the world of social media today, one of the biggest things that people want is to feel like they belong and are noticed. Young people in particular are hungry to feel that they are acknowledged and noticed by their favorite brands online. Because of this, it’s never been more important for companies to make their customers the biggest heroes of their story. Feature your customers in your marketing material and engage with them on social media regularly to create a strong sense of community. Ask your customers for content that you can use on your brand’s social media channels – Instagram image competitions, for example, are a great way to get content that you can use while increasing your reach at the same time.
#3. Know What Customers Don’t Like:
There’s no denying that the rise of modern marketing technology has given brands a number of ways to advertise their brand that tend to annoy their potential customers more than win them over. Understanding what your customers don’t like and making an effort to avoid using these strategies shows your caring, human side as a business. Some examples include gated content and pop-up ads; having to enter personal details to read an article or watch a video, then to be interrupted by a pop-up ad that they’re not interested in, is not the way to encourage customer loyalty. Instead, focus on the marketing strategies that work well because your customers actually enjoy them.
#4. Introduce Your People:
Getting to know more about the people who are behind a business is one of the best ways to encourage an emotional connection between your customers and your brand. If you have a business blog, you could post regular features on each of your employees and talk a little bit about who they are, what their background is, and what they do for your brand. Don’t just keep it to their day-to-day life in the office; perhaps an employee is currently studying for their master of science in supply chain management – you could use this to talk about their ideas for the future and how they want to help your business grow. And, talk about them outside of work too – what are their hobbies? Do they have any pets? Where have they traveled to? What’s their favorite food? Learning more about the people behind your business will help your customers form a stronger human connection to them.
#5. Speak with a Human Voice:
With the rise of online customer reviews and testimonials, social media, and an increase in influencers, the majority of marketing today is word-of-mouth and occurs without us. As a result, it’s important to get involved in the conversations that customers are having if you want to be as effective as possible in the marketplace. To humanize your presence and recapture the emotional attention of your audience, it’s crucial to adopt a human voice. Speak to your customers at their level and use your company culture as a key marketing strategy.
#6. Connect with Your Customers:
Today’s consumers aren’t just looking for the cheapest or the best quality products and services; they want something that they can see, believe, experience and relate to. For brands today, relating to customers and leading a community is more important than simply having the best product of the bunch. Today’s most effective brands are constantly coming up with new ways to make the entire experience personal to their customers, and not just by offering personalized product suggestions when shopping online. Show up in communities and demonstrate to your customers just how your brand can connect with their lives.
#7. The Most Human Brands Win:
With technology advancing at a rapid rate, it can be all too easy for today’s brands to focus heavily on all the rapidly changing factors of the market while ignoring something that doesn’t change; human needs. An important sentiment to keep in mind is that today’s brands are no longer what they tell the customer they are; they are what customers tell each other. So, it’s never been more important for businesses to earn their way into those all-important conversations between individuals through creating a strong emotional connection. Today’s customers don’t just want to get the best products and services at the best price – they want to be involved, included and respected by the brands that they love. They want to be treated like a friend and a human being, rather than a potential sale. As a result, it’s the most human companies that will always win the edge over the competition.
When it comes to getting the results that you want from sales and marketing, humanizing your brand has never been as important as it is today.