The most effective marketing helps your company relate to your customers on a personal level. Successful marketers don’t think of their company as an institution, they think of it as a person.
Most marketers are charged with developing a brand identity, so the shift in perspective from institution to human to human to human (H2H) isn’t as far-fetched as it might seem.
How do marketers implement such a shift? It’s pretty simple, really. Make it clear that you care about your customers and your customers will care about you back. Here are some tips to get started:
Focus on Buyer Personas
Randomly marketing to a broad audience is like going door to door with your product—it’s a waste of time and money. Before you even begin to market, it’s imperative that you understand your company’s buyer personas. To do this, you must research your typical customers by gathering data on their age, gender, education level, profession, financial situation, and hobbies. These personas will guide the voice, tone, and content your marketing team develops.
…it’s important to reveal the personalities behind your own company.
In addition to researching customer personas, it’s important to reveal the personalities behind your own company. A great way to do that is to feature your employees, the people that make it all happen.
Mozy, a cloud backup solution, has done a great job at this. They publish individual profiles of their engineers on the blog. These profiles include details not only about their work routine, but also what music they listen to and what they’re passionate about. The result of transparency like this? Prospects are more comfortable doing business with a company when they understand who they’re dealing with.
Create Custom Content That Speaks to Your Clients
78% of CMOs think custom content is the future of marketing.
Creating custom content on owned media channels is a great way to humanize your company. According to a study by WebDAM Solutions, 78% of CMOs think custom content is the future of marketing. This same study found that nearly 25% of the entire ad market will be Internet advertising by 2015.
Your blog is one of the most important channels where this kind of custom content can live. If you don’t have one, start one. If you have one already, focus on updating it with useful and engaging content that speaks to your target audience.
GE’s blog, for example, reaches out to techies with its entertaining technology and science-related content. The GE editors have made this blog is image-heavy and interactive, often including photography, videos, and music in their posts. If stakeholders in your company are hesitant about investing the time and resources to develop a stand-out blog, consider this: Contently reports that you can increase your visibility by more than 50% when you include a blog on your company site.
Stand for a Purpose and Make a Difference
Marketers often underestimate the importance of purpose-driven corporate social responsibility to their consumers. Research conducted by the World Federation of Advertising revealed that while only 46% of marketers think consumers share and approve their support for good causes, 60% of consumers surveyed actually claimed to be seeking out brands with a sense of purpose.
60% of consumers seek out brands with a sense of purpose.
Standing for a purpose means a lot more than donating a large sum of money to a charitable organization. Take Starbucks, the poster child for corporate responsibility. They are on a very public mission to minimize their environmental footprint through ethical sourcing and energy-efficient stores. In addition to helping the environment, their efforts are doing a whole lot of good for their brand.
How do you incorporate purpose into your own marketing efforts? Determine what movement makes the most sense for your company, your customers and your industry. Consider the United Nations’ Ten Principles when deciding which area you’d like your business to focus on. Making your company one of the leaders of global change is a great way to showcase the humanity of your brand.
With these three tactics, content marketers can make a real impression on buyers, sparking a deeper relationship that moves them toward purchase. After all, they’re not just investing in your products, they’re investing in the experience of those products and the company they represent.
Getting Personal: How to Humanize Your Content Marketing