Unless you live like a hermit on a secluded island, avoiding all human contact, we will go on and assume you have friends. Be it a large group of people that you rely on always being there to crack a cold one or a tight clique you’ve known since your diaper days, there is that certain trait that makes them all special and unique in their own individual ways. Nobody likes to hang out with a bland, boring person, especially if that person has nothing valuable to offer and talks only about themselves and how cool they are, right? Well, it’s the same with marketing. Content marketing, to be precise.
There is good marketing and there is not so good marketing, but all technicalities aside, what differs an extraordinary marketing strategy from an average and unremarkable one is its personality or soul. Imagine content marketing as a person. Would you like to hang out with him/her? Does he/she have something interesting and smart to say, do you have an emotional connection with them, do they seem trustworthy enough for you to stick around with them?
These are all traits of a good marketing strategy with a personal touch done right. On the other hand, there’s that tad old boring person, disinterested in any form of deeper contact, the one who cares only about delivering their message that they forget to actually stop and listen to others. Unfortunately, we all know at least one. Well, this is an equivalent of a content marketing strategy that lacks a soul. This does not necessarily mean something bad, but, it’s a no-brainer that companies who utilize personalized approach properly will attract and possibly convert more simply because of the fact that most people hate corporate brands.
In the sea of sameness, we naturally tend to want to stand out, and it should be the same with your brand. The first step is recognizing something unique that your services or product have to offer and building your online brand persona around that. As simple and sound as it may seem though, this advice alone has ironically created a complete paradox with a chilling nihilistic undertone, at least in the oversaturated online marketing world, and that is – If everyone’s special, no one is.
Thus the question: how to create something unique in the world where everyone ‘’is’’ unique? (Damn hipsters, you ruined everything). This is exactly where personalization comes into play. That being said, look and behold as we present you a couple of tips that will turn your brand into your customers’ best friend.
You cannot be insightful, and intimate with your customers if you don’t know who they are, what they like/dislike, etc. Therefore, naturally, the first step is getting to know your target audience. Facebook is of great help here, since you can use its Ad Manager and create custom Audiences consisting of people who share the same interests and are of specific age, location, gender, education, income, etc. Depending on your patience and experience, this might come off as frustrating and stressful.
After all, understanding your audience is kind of a big deal, but rest assured that this kind of customer profiling (if done right) will be a very important cornerstone and a foundation for everything that follows. Not only will you learn a lot about your potential customers, their wants and needs in the first place, you will also get a much clearer picture of just how to deliver it to them. Keep in mind that not everyone will like or be interested in everything that you have to say, simply because we are all individuals.
Your audience cannot just be thrown into a box with a label, but you can at least narrow and define your target by using their common denominator.
Whether you are writing a blog post, or thinking of a good caption for your Facebook page status, you have to be able to be a good storyteller. This doesn’t come naturally, many of us had to learn it, but it is something you definitely want to have as your brand’s trait. The first step is creating your brand’s voice. It can be playful, entertaining, simple, savy, casual, humble, modern… The key point here is to recognize certain trait(s) your brand possesses and adjust your voice accordingly.
The second thing you want to do is to elicit emotion. The most engaging and shareable content is the one that provokes a reaction, be it good or bad. For the sake of your brand’s integrity, try to avoid the negative part. We’d recommend staying away from touchy topics related to world events or politics. These can do you more harm than good, especially if your customers recognize you pushing your own agenda and individual opinions rather than emotional support and genuine care.
Get involved! Do not neglect your audience, especially on social media. Monitor your hashtags, keep an eye on brand mentions, stay in the epicenter of events. You will build a much deeper connection with your fans if you answer their questions and comments, even more so if you ask them something yourself. They will feel even more encouraged if their opinion is appreciated. That being said, every review must be responded to, not just the negative ones. Brand mentions are there for a reason, do not ignore them, you’ll be surprised at what you can find out about your company, and you’ll be able to improve many aspects of your brand, just by social listening.
Podcasts and videos are a great way of letting your fans get to know you better. Something funny or interesting happening in the office? Go ahead and tune in with an Instagram live feature. Are your employees feeling extra motivated and talkative today? Podcast it is! Humans are curious creatures by nature, and your followers will be more than interested to learn about what’s happening behind the scenes too!
Make sure your audience sees the real machinery behind your brand – and that’s you and your team. Is your colleague celebrating a birthday or a work anniversary? Make sure you feature that in your next Facebook/Twitter/Instagram post, with an appropriate caption. You can even invite your fans to congratulate them too! This will make your followers feel part of your clique.
Remember, whatever you do in life, you should do out of pure love and passion. Marketing is no different. Your audience will recognize the emotions you are trying to convey and they will act accordingly. This can be a two-edged sword though, as any kind of faking or trying too hard will seem cringy and dishonest. This is why a personalized approach to marketing takes time to incorporate and fully take effect.
Set aside a couple of days to sit and truly think about a personalized marketing strategy for your business. Take into account every aspect, trait, feature, and characteristic of your brand. Think about it like this: how would you describe your service or product to your friend or a family member? Which details would you mention? What part would you emphasize and what would you choose to leave out? What tone would you use? These are all the questions that can help you get started.