How to do good marketing – be more human, be yourself

By Renata Mathewson, Maple Marketing

The key to good marketing is marketing that helps you connect with more prospects and clients and create more revenue. I always say that marketing is simply this: Getting the right message to the right audience.

How do you do this? There is one simple way, and that is, just be yourself.

But how do you do this when you're a company? How does a company connect with people?

There are three ways you can apply this philosophy to your business.

 

1. The first way you can connect one-on-one with clients and prospective clients is through the use of social media. Now I know what you’re thinking – isn’t social media all about talking to the masses, getting a message out to many? Yes, in some ways it is. But it is also your modern day customer care or customer service department. This is where you can talk to a customer one-on-one when they have a query or complaint. For many small businesses, Facebook is where a customer is going to go when they want to find out about you or get in touch.

Social media also allows you to create a social media personality for your business. This is the place you can be slightly less formal, less ‘corporatey’ if you like. This is where you can inject a more human side to your customer service or interaction with customers. Readers know that when you’re limited to a certain number of characters or words, or when you’re writing for an audience who is usually on the run, with a short attention span, it’s okay to write with an informal tone. This by no means implies that it’s okay to use an unprofessional tone. It simply means that a conversational tone will be excused – almost expected by some audiences.

2. Another place where you can really show your brand personality and a more human or personal side to your business, is with the use of video. People do business with people, and they love to know who the people inside a business or behind a business are. So if you haven’t yet started using video on your website or your social media platforms, it’s time to get on board. Video is a much better way to engage with people than by just using words on a page, and it’s likely to help boost your search engine rankings.

Use videos to tell the story behind your business or products, to demonstrate how products or services work, to answer frequently asked questions, to interview or introduce staff members, to announce new offerings, or simply as a regular weekly or monthly video blog. Whether you create your videos in-house on a smartphone or whether you have them professionally done all depends on why you’re creating them and where you’re going to use them. Just remember, once you’ve created videos, make sure you upload them to as many places as is relevant – your website, blog, social media, and a company YouTube channel. (Many sources claim that YouTube is the second largest search engine, so make sure you’re using it.)

3. Lastly, a ‘human touch’ really works when it comes to your writing. When you write any marketing materials, write as if you were writing to an audience of one. Imagine yourself writing to your best friend, your aunt, a single customer in your shop. Don’t worry about imagining your target audience or ideal client specifically for this exercise. Just write as if you were writing a letter or email or social media post directed at one single person. When you do this, all of a sudden you get very specific and concise with your language and you tend to cut out a lot of the waffle. As an added bonus, your true personality and human touch shine through.

 

So it may be a bit of going back to basics, but it really is true. People do business with people. Talk to your customers as if they were standing in front of you in your shop. Don’t hide behind your keyboard or your business profile. Maintain your professionalism and the business tone and language that is appropriate for your organisation. But be genuine, be yourself. You’ll come across as being more honest. And we all know that the sequence of events for good marketing is to get people to know, like and trust you.

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