You can make or break your company’s brand by the quality of customer service your provide. As we move closer to an all digital world & 100% online businesses pop up on a daily basis, customer yearn for something human.
There is no greater example of this then your business website. A sometimes stagnant place of existence that you’re always trying to improve. But, in reality, it seem a little black and white in the greater scheme of things.
I believe we’ve reached a point in our society where the latest bell or whistle on our website or the newest social media strategies aren’t working. The truth is your customers want more from your digital brands & to step ahead of your competition is to take a step backwards.
Back before the age of the internet businesses had to rely on human interactions. There was simplicity in dealing with another human being for a business transaction. Somewhere in our race to grow our digital side of our business we forgot about the human aspect of it. This leaves our digital brands weak and almost see through.
But don’t fret, there are simple ways you can fix this ailment. If you’re looking to strengthen your online brand you just have to take a little digital out of it & add in some humanization. Here are 5 ways that you can get started humanizing your digital brands:
1. Who Are You (About Page)
A website about page is one, if not the, first things a potential customer will look at. As far as your website goes, it’s the top spot you can instantly add some human touches.
It also happens to be the most underutilized section a business website has. In our great search to conquer the SEO game, we forgot about all of the things that make our business human. Keywords are great but they only can go so far.
If you want to compete in today’s competitive online world you need to take your about page from ‘black & white’ viewpoint & add in a little color. Here are three ways you can humanize your about page:
Tell A Story
The first step is to get out of your own head & stop talking about your business. Instead, talk about what your business can do for your potential customer. Remember, your potential customer only want one thing answered “What’s in for me?”
Step inside the metaphorical shoes of your customers & keep that question in mind when you write your about page. Then you can take it a step further create a narrative for your about page.
Video is a great way to bring your about page to life. You could interview your staff & ask them what it’s like to work for your company or what brought them to the industry. This is a great way to uncover little gems about the passion your staff brings to the company.
If you don’t have a staff, try interviewing yourself. Instead of blatantly stating who you are & what you do treat it like you’re the subject of a documentary. Again, however, always take the point of view of a customer asking, ‘what’s in it for me?’
Be More Than A Mugshot
When you take a tour across the web’s about pages, you’ll probably find that 90% of the pictures are your standard professional mugshots. Now, I would bet that of all the about pages you’ve ever visited you only remember the 10% that brought you more than just mugshots.
Don’t be afraid to change it up by separating yourself from the bland backgrounds & giving us some in action pictures. These could be with you at your desk working, talking with colleagues or even serving customers. The point is to give the impression that you’re actually human.
2. Get Social with Social Media
One of the greatest missed opportunities businesses have with social media is they forget they’re supposed to be social. A lot of businesses get caught up looking for better ways to streamline the social media posting process they ignore the potential they have in front of them.
Keeping this in mind, you can see how to stand out from the crowd by simply thinking less like a robot & more like a human. Social media is no longer just a thing we do, it’s a marketing discipline that is as much art form as it is a task. It’s an important aspect of any business’ digital brand. Here are three ways you can humanize your social media presence:
Marketing Automation has really become a necessary evil of sorts. In the world of social media everything moves so quickly that for businesses, especially small ones, to keep up they are almost forced to automate. The whole point of marketing is to be heard, however, too much automation could be your audience stops listening.
This is all not to deter you from marketing automation all together. But, if you adopt a ‘less is more’ attitude you’ll find that your posts are reaching your audience. When you become more tactful of what & when you post you automatically start putting thought into each one & your audience will notice.
Emotionalize Your Efforts
If you truly want to stand out from the crowd you have to start doing something different. You’ll want to go against the grain in the most strategic way possible. Take a moment and think before you post. The goal should be to emotionally engage your audience with every post you send out. By incorporating emotional words in your posts you’ll be able to connect more with your audience.
For example, instead of posting this article as ‘5 Ways to Humanize Your Digital Brand’, you could send out a post that says something like, ‘If you’re curious on how to bring your digital brand alive, you’ll love these 5 ways.’ Stating your post this way sets you apart from everyone else & tells your audience you put thought into the post itself.
Focus on the platforms that work for your business
Social Media has come a long way since platforms starting popping up in the early 2000s. It’s common knowledge that you should be promoting your business online at least somewhere but not everywhere. This is where you’ll have to do a little digging and find out where your competition is & where your audience hangs out.
Find a marriage between those two & what you’re personally comfortable with & you’ll find out that you don’t need to be on every social media platform.
3. Go Live (Live Video)
The latest marketing rage is the use of live video. It represents one of the best ways to humanize your brand to you customers because after all you’re showing off your human side.
At this point you’re probably saying to yourself “that’s great for some businesses but not for mine.” Well, if you are saying or thinking that – you’re wrong. Every business can utilize live video in their marketing campaign. What makes it even better is that the technology you need is in your pocket. Every modern smartphone comes with a camera feature that is good enough to get you started.
Here are three ways you can use live video:
Behind The Scene
Everyone wants to know how things are created, especially is they’re interested in becoming one of your customers. The ultimate in transparency you get the opportunity to walk your audience through the process you take to get to the end result.
A monthly or weekly behind the scene on how things are run in your business let’s you not only show off your expertise in your chosen industry but shows off what kind of business you run. It can show off the passion you and your employees have for your business which can positively translate to your customers.
Have you figured out an interesting way to promote your business? Do you have something you could teach your customers? Something that would benefit them in their daily lives? A live webinar is the way to go with that kind of information.
It instantly establishes you as a leader in your industry as well as helps you build credibility & trust with customers. A webinar gives you a great way to get email addresses for future marketing efforts when your audience signs up. You can add in a little freebie at the end of the webinar leaving your prospects happy.
Exclusive Deals or Unveiling
This one combined with social media can be a powerful method. By gaining interest or traction on social media you can build towards an unveiling of a new product/service. You can start building anticipation at the beginning of the week towards the end of the week where you make your big announcement.
This will give you a chance to increase follower through social media & maybe even harness the power of word-of-mouth marketing.
4. Make A Movie (Video Marketing)
You can increase conversion rates by 80% by including video on a landing page. That’s a powerful stat to understand when you’re deciding whether or not to start video marketing. When you consider YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine & third most visited website, you’ll quickly come to the conclusion video marketing is here to stay.
Unlike live video, this avenue give you a chance to make sure things are right. You can map out the points you want to make, write a script & shoot the video. There are numerous video editors for beginners on the market from free to high price professional platforms.
Here are three ways to use video in your marketing.
Vlogs which stands for “Video Blog” are quickly becoming mainstream. You can use a Vlog in place of or in addition to your blog. If you want to quickly cover a topic or offer a tip that you want to share quickly simply hit the record button & let loose. Or, you simply don’t feel like writing a long format blog & find it easier to explain a technique on video.
Vlog give you the perfect mix to show off your expertise while giving your audience a little personality.
If you run a service oriented business, you’ll find that case studies are a priceless way to show off your past work & how you came to the conclusion you did. By making it a video you get the opportunity to dive deeper into the case study giving your audience chance to get a look at your thought process.
A video case study is great way to connect with potential buyer building enough trust for them to contact you for potential work.
Animated Explainer Videos
Animated explainers videos give you a chance to show off a product or process to your audience to give them a better understanding of what you do. They can be an excellent medium to show off a technical process in a fun way. This is where you can chose a problem that your business solves an show your audience how you solve that problem in authentically.
Another way you can use explainer videos are in ‘Countdown List’ infographic style. This way you give useful information to your prospects in an entertaining way. It will keep them engaged & coming back for more and even help them through the buying process.
5. Look Up From Your Screen (Get Off the Computer)
The last, but definitely not least, way to humanize your digital brand is to stop being digital. Yes, that’s right get off of your computer, put your phone in your pocket & get out and meet actual people. It doesn’t matter what trick, technique or tip you implement nothing beats good old fashioned networking.
Connecting with your prospective customers offline is still one of the most invaluable ways to spread your marketing message & build your brand. It will instantly put a face to the business & give you a leg up on your competitors who stay glued to their computers.
Here are three ways you can instantly connect with your prospects in real life:
The Business Meetup
Business Meetups or networking events are always run throughout the year for various industries. They offer you a professional but laid back atmosphere to meet like minded business people who may need what you sell. A positive impression can start the word-of-mouth marketing engine when a prospective customer you may not even know about asks about your product/service to someone you just met.
Trade Shows or Industry Conferences
Trade Shows or Industry Conferences can be great especially if they are not related to your industry. The key here is meeting people that would be interested in the products or services you offer. Attending events that don’t have anything to with you industry but an industry your business can help can prove to be one of the best investment you make.
Standing In Line
You never know who you can meet standing in line. More importantly you never know who you can help waiting for a coffee or in a grocery store. Go ahead spark up that conversation & be friendly when you’re pout in public. the key here is to keep the conversation less about what your business is and more about the person you’re talking to. Don’t worry it will eventually come around to your business.
The more friendlier you can be when your out and about the more positive impact it’ll have on your bottom-line. Remember, the golden rule here is people like doing business with people they like.
As we approach a more digital world where things can seem a little robotic doing what you can to humanize your business’ brand will go a long way in your success. While your competition is busy trying out the latest technique or marketing trend, I challenge you to work on making your digital brand more human. It will not only make your business seem less black and white but your customers will enjoy doing business with you.