Editor’s note: This post was written by Aby League, a qualitative researcher and a passionate writer. She is an innovator and technology enthusiast. She has been writing about health, psychology, home improvement and technology. You can see more of her articles on Elite Daily. To know her more, follow @abyleague on Twitter.
Everything in the virtual world is intended for humans. These humans are not merely numbers, projections, or KPIs. They are real and they decide whether to love you or leave you, whether your brand rocks or sucks. Every single piece of content you put out there must have the H factor, the human factor. Forget B2B (business to business) or B2C (business to consumer) in your content marketing strategy, from now on it is H2H, human to human.
Forget buzzwords and all your intimidating jargon. Increase engagement and boost relevance by humanizing your content. A study by Janrain called Online Personal Experience found that 74% of consumers get frustrated with websites that publish content that does not interest them or does not seem relevant. If consumers cannot relate with the content, why should they even care?
Learn how to humanize your content with these surefire tips.
Understand their persona
This is perhaps the most basic and yet most important aspect of content marketing. You have to be able to craft a content persona to humanize your content marketing. Go beyond bio data information like age or location when you are defining your target market. You have to know what interests them, what they like and what they don’t like, what motivates them, what moves them to act. If you are selling dresses online for example, figure out if your audience is Beyonce sexy or Taylor Swift sweet.
Have a personality
Your audience has a persona and so must your brand. You should know who you are. Are you funny? Helpful? Expert? Or a little bit of everything? Your personality must be reflected in all platforms, online and offline. If you are funny online but your customer service center is grumpy, then you have a problem. Be consistent.
Show that your team is human
Once in a while, let your fans and followers know who the team is, what they’re like, how they look. Instead of a brand logo, why not use your team’s “groufie” as your profile picture? Also, encourage employees to be social. It makes your audience feel like they know your team, like you’re family. Pictures of real people show that your brand is human intended for humans.
Stop with the robot language
A screen already goes between your brand and your consumer. Don’t make it any worse by talking like a robot. Be creative and interesting every step of the way. Remember that you are not writing a legal or a technical paper. Do not look for a synonym for every word just to impress your audience because chances are they are not getting it anyway. What is important is you find your brand’s voice and express it in the most precise, truthful, and interesting manner. Kill the business babble and just speak clearly.
Tell a story
People love stories. Stories make them human. If you are working on humanizing your content, tell stories that are consistent with what your brand stands for. Stories make for competitive content. If you’re a sports brand, share stories about dreams and making them happen. Publish stories that inspire, motivate, dare, and empower. This is how you can humanize your brand on social media where human-interest stories always work.
Forget promotion, go for emotion
Emotions make us human. If you are looking for ways to humanize your visuals and narratives, make sure they strike an emotional chord because people will never forget how you made them feel. A survey by the Corporate Executive Board found that brands that can connect with their audience on an emotional level are twice as effective compared to those promoting a brand using functional value. Marketing is personal and emotional. Publish content that make people laugh, amused, even angry and anxious.
Laugh it out
A little bit of humor will not hurt you. In fact, people love it. Humanize your content by injecting humor and tickling your audience’s funny bone. A global survey by Ogilvy & Mather and SurveyMonkey reveals that 40% of social media users share content just because it is funny and entertaining. Do not think that humor makes you less of an expert, because if at all, it makes you a cool one.
Use visuals more
Humans are visual creatures. If you want their attention, you have to be visually stimulating. No wonder 70% of marketers plan to increase visual content this year. Infuse images, short videos, gifs, memes, and infographics in your textual content. Strike a balance and don’t be boring. Make sure your visuals tell a story, gripping, and consistent with the personality of your brand.
Build a community
Social channels are about building a community. Without a community, your content is merely an advertisement. Make your fans and followers feel that they are a part of something bigger. Stay social on social media. Encourage people to interact with each other and don’t underrate the value of responding to questions, comments, and real conversations. It would be nice if you have a community manager and introduce him in a fun and amusing way.
Say sorry and man up
Screwing up is part of being human. This is not to suggest that you should make mistakes just to have an opportunity to humanize your brand. But if and when you publish a content that is insensitive, offensive, and even politically incorrect, own up and say sorry. No one expects you to be perfect. People will move on from your little faux pas sooner than you expected and your brand will emerge as a brand that can man up.
In the end, it’s the relationships that matter
Invest and focus on relationships. These are not very easy to come by. Do not think like a corporate engine and instead be real in conversations and publish content that establishes a connection. Do not ignore them. When relationships are strong enough, expect your audience to follow you despite how the virtual landscape changes.
Don’t fake it. That is the first rule in being human. Don’t try to be what you’re not because the audience is going to find out sooner than you think. Your followers are your brand’s best critics, motivators, and supporters. They are your friends. Treat them like you would a friend.