People want to do business with people they trust. For a company to earn human trust, it needs to act and sound human.
It is in every company’s interest to connect with their audience on a human level. Companies like Airbnb, Wendy’s and Warby Parker have successfully mastered the art of brand humanization. With “Stories from the Airbnb Community,” Airbnb tells its customers’ stories, instead of its own. Meanwhile, Wendy’s has capitalized on a specific voice to transform its social media from a page to a destination. Finally, Warby Parker gives customers an inside look at how its glasses are made to give the customer a place to feel like they’re a part of its process. Changing the narrative to people first, rather than product first, makes customers feel that you care about them more than sales.
To successfully humanize your brand, make your brand feel like a friend that your customers have known for years. You want to be reliable, honest and trustworthy. We’re sharing six simple ways you can humanize your brand online:
- Find a unique voice. An essential aspect of human interaction is the unique way in which we talk and interact with others. Everyone has their own way of talking, and companies should be the same. For example, a healthcare brand needs to maintain a caring and dependable voice, while a sports brand will want to portray an authoritative and motivating tone. In determining your voice, outline how you want your audience to feel.
- Build a blog. Use your blog to educate your audience. Don’t deliver infomercial after infomercial. If you’re going to discuss specific products, focus on the solutions — not the features. Deliver a conversation that is informative and connects to the audience. Share your blog on social media to increase awareness and drive website traffic.
- Leverage social media. Like blogs, company social media channels can be used to educate (rather than, per our recommendation, sell to) the audience. Always include visual content — such as original photos, short videos, memes or even a simple GIF — with your written copy. To fully connect with your audience, leverage as much visual content as possible. A picture is worth a thousand words.
- Put the spotlight on employees. Share stories of your employees through social media and blog posts. You could do a weekly or monthly segment that focuses on employees behind the scenes. If featuring an employee in the manufacturing department, create an episode on “How It’s Made.” Or if highlighting someone in the engineering department, allow them to answer some of their most-asked technical questions.
- Share user-generated content (UGC). Manufacturers in the AV industry often overlook user-generated content. Share your customers’ success stories in the form of case studies, blog posts or social media posts. The customer will appreciate your effort to showcase their own business, and the effort will show outside customers that you value your relationships with them.
- Engage with your audience. Promote two-way interaction on your social media channels by responding to questions, sharing ideas and commenting on relevant posts. This is often the easiest way to promote brand humanization — but it’s always overlooked.
People crave social interaction and connection (especially during a time of social distancing). You can provide moments for connection by humanizing your brand through the content you share. Give your audience a reason to connect and follow your brand. Once you have their attention, then you can build trust. And with trust comes an opportunity to win big.