Now more than ever, in an internet landscape where we're always being advertised to and can't be sure who to trust, people seek out businesses they can relate with. If you can humanise your business and brand, you can make a real connection with people. Nobody wants to support a business that doesn't care about them, no matter how great their services.
If you're wondering how to humanise your brand, follow this simple guide.
Speak Like a Person
There's nothing worse than going onto a company website and understanding nothing you're reading.
You may be an expert in your respective field, but your customers are not. A lot of complicated business talk and jargon is enough to turn anyone off. Try using a conversational tone for the majority of your content, especially the surface-level stuff.
Keep the more complex technical talk for deeper-level content. Ease your customers in with easy-to-digest content that feels like a conversation. Nobody wants to feel like they're being lectured to, so don't lecture your audience.
Long gone are the days where stodginess is an ultimate business practice.
Adding a little humour to your branding isn't just on the table, it's the way to go. No matter what kind of business you have, people like to laugh. Using humour rather than straightforward jargon and business talk adds a very human element to any copy, whether it's in your 'about' page, on your social media, or in the descriptions of your products.
Of course, you don't want to sacrifice the integrity of your information in favour of humour. It's all about balance. Make sure you get your points across, but don't be afraid to throw in a joke or two or some wordplay into the mix.
Just as communication within your business needs to be a fluid, two-way system, so it does with the customers, too.
If you get a lot of emails -- both positive and negative -- respond. Pay attention to comments on your website and social media pages and answer in a human way. These days, internet users expect companies to answer them within 24-hours -- after that point, they start to lose faith.
What's more, strive to respond like a human. Don't leave all your responses up to a bot, and don't use a copy-paste response. The more genuine your reply comes off, the more human your brand appears.
The worst thing a company can do is come across as an emotionless machine.
To really connect with your audience, you should try a little emotional branding. Relate to your customers by supporting a worthy cause, and make that cause clear. From the environment to human rights to anti-hate, any popular cause works as long as you genuinely believe that cause needs support.
Show your customers how you're looking to solve an issue that may affect them. Tell a story from your personal life that strikes a soft spot. If you can engage your customer base emotionally, you'll see a lot more conversions.
No More Stock Photos
Stock photos are great at times, but they're not exactly the most personal way to show off your company.
When you can, take your own photographs and create your own graphics. Hire a photographer or a graphic designer for professional results. If you need photographs of people doing things, get your employees in on the action.
Even without a watermark, it's fairly easy to spot a stock photograph. Recognising one plants the idea in some people's heads that you slapped your content together. Don't let that idea enter their minds for a minute by using original photography when you can.
Give People an Inside Look
On that note, you can also use photography to give people a glimpse into your company culture.
If you have a company outing, post some pictures of your employees having a good time to your website or social media feeds. Take some candid shots around the office and post those occasionally. The more human beings your customers and potential customers see, the more human your company comes off.
Sometimes, the best humanising strategy is to show off your humans. This also makes your employees feel appreciated! Just don't go too overboard -- again, it's all about balance, and you don't want to sacrifice product representation for human representation.
Own up to Your Mistakes
Ideally, your company will never dip its toes into controversy or mistakes. But if it does happen, you'd better own up to it.
Nobody is perfect, but companies often like to pretend they are, especially when faced with backlash. When this happens, customers and outsiders alike see this as sweeping the problem under the rug. This turns people against a company, which can be detrimental for small or medium-sized businesses.
Own up to your mistakes and let the people know what you're going to do to correct it. Acknowledge you've made a mistake and make reparations that overwhelm the original issue. You'll never convince everyone, but you'll come across much more human by refusing to sweep anything under the rug.
Appreciate Your Customers
Your business would be nowhere without customers. Show them that.
Send your customers discount codes. Listen to their feedback and implement it, and have conversations with them in comment sections. Don't leave your customer appreciation up to a third-party -- put a person you trust in charge.
Most companies talk to their customers at large, but it's that personal element that really sells your business to potential customers.
It's Time to Humanise
If your business is missing that key human element, follow the tips above to humanise your brand. At the end of the day, the most human company wins the battle. By humanising your brand, you'll notice much more loyal customers, and better conversions.
If you need some help humanising, marketing, or other engagement strategies, see what Lift Strategies can do for you.