We all know there’s a human behind every brand, but sometimes it’s really hard to actually see it. Their newsfeeds might be full of dulcet corporate tones, uninspiring content with industry jargon and not a human being in sight, but at least they’re trying, right? Wrong.
Where’s the passion for what they do? The people behind the scenes who have the knowledge and expertise to offer you an amazing product or service? The human side of the brand?
Think about is this way … would the content I’ve just described encourage you to follow them? To trust them? To buy from them? I suspect the answer is no.
Why do you need to humanise your brand?
Have you ever heard the phrase ‘people buy from people?’. It’s true on every level and that’s why, if you’re trying to build your audience, attract new customers and grow your business, you need to show people who you and your team are behind the keyboard.
Why? Because that’s how you’ll build a connection with your audience. As humans we purchase based on emotion and if you, as a brand, can create an emotional connection with your audience then they’ll become raving fans, your chief referrers and repeat customers of your business.
I know I’m making this sound quite simple and it is in theory, but in reality it takes a huge amount of investment – both in terms of time and conveying a persona that represents your brand and appeals to your audience.
5 things you can do to humanise your brand
So now we know why you need to show the human side of your brand, let’s talk about how you can do it. Here are 5 things you can do to humanise your brand:
#1: Decide on your brand narrative
Every brand needs to have a story and how you share it will have an impact on how your audience relates to you.
This narrative should encompass you and your business journey – from the starting point of your career to launching your business – why you’re in business, what motivates you, how what you offer will benefit your customers, the highs and lows of your work life etc etc.
These are the aspects of your story that your audience really wants to hear about, because this is how they’ll start to relate to you. The only thing I’d say on this is you need to share your narrative in a personable way – it’s not a series of events and facts, it’s your story, so share it with a sparkle of your personality.
#2: Create content that speaks directly to your audience
I’ve touched on this point already in my intro, but it’s really important to highlight generally. Your audience needs to know that they’re consuming content created by a human being with a personality, rather than feeling like they’re reading, watching or listening to content created by a bot.
The best way to do this is to create content specifically for your audience. To do this, you need to have an in-depth understanding of who your audience is, taking into consideration things like:
- Their likes
- Their dislikes
- Publications they read
- Social media channels they use
- How they communicate with their customers
- Their online and offline tone of voice
- The types of content they digest
Once you understand all of this, you can create content that not only speaks directly to them, but also caters to their needs by solving a problem or challenge they face.
#3: Show your personality
How do you want to be perceived by your audiences? …. Quirky? Funny? Sensible?
Whatever way you choose to convey your personality, make sure it matches your brand values and appeals to your wider audiences. This is how you’ll attract their attention online and keep it for a long time i.e. it’s how you’ll build long term relationships.
Obviously to achieve this, you need to be confident and sure about who you are as a person who represents the brand and its personality. The only piece if advice I’m throwing into the mix here is that you need to be you. Don’t create a false persona that’s almost impossible to keep up and don’t act one way in person and another way online (this is my biggest bugbear) because your audience will see straight through you. They won’t trust you or your brand if you come across as fake.
Show your personality in a way that matches who you are as a person, one your team can relay in their own way and one that will resonate with your audience and their values. If you manage to achieve this then you’ll be perceived in the right way.
#4: Go behind the scenes
Do you ever show your audiences behind the scenes of your business? If not, then you should because it’s essential if you want to build a rapport with your followers.
Share a tour of your office, introduce members of your team, take them behind the scenes of your decision making, maybe by adding polls to your stories or tweets or asking followers their preferences on new products can really enhance your brand.
This will basically allow your followers to get to know you and feel like they’re involved in your business, seeing things first hand and experiencing things when you do. They’ll also get an insight in the day-to-day goings on in your work life.
#5: Focus on relationships first
Tactics like email marketing, webinars, blogging etc are all great for marketing your brand and growing your audience, but do they actually give you the opportunity to be hands on building relationships with your existing and prospective customers? I don’t think so (well not on their own anyway).
These tactics come into their own when you use them to shape your conversations – when you listen and respond to followers online, reply to emails and focus on the people side of your marketing rather than the automation.
At the end of the day, if you focus on building relationships first, your audience will not only consume the content you’re publishing, they’ll react, like it, share it and comment on it.
My final thoughts …
Regardless of your business or industry, it’s in your best interest to create and maintain good relationships with your audiences – whether they’re paying customers or not. The only way to do this is to show them the human side of your brand.
This will not only help you standout from the crowd (because let’s face it, we’re all unique and there’s no one out there with the same personality as you), it will also give your audience a reason to follow you, consume your content and (hopefully) buy from you when they’re ready to.
Do you want to learn how to build influence and become to go-to expert in your industry? Check out my membership site Headliners: The PR & Digital Marketing Academy to learn more.
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