It’s hard to feel human sentiment through a website. There’s no eye contact, no welcoming smile – none of the usual things you’d expect when meeting someone for the first time.
But first impressions count. It takes just 50 milliseconds for a user to form an opinion of your site. You wouldn’t yell “Buy my items!” as someone enters your shop and the same goes for your digital presence.
Understanding how to humanize your brand is an essential business practice and is often be overlooked in favor of sales-focused strategies. But as customers lean into socially responsible marketing, humanizing your brand is becoming more and more important to increase both interest and conversions.
So, how can you do it? Read on for our take.
In this article, we’ll discuss:
- The importance of personality
- The face behind your brand
- Authentic social interactions
- How your employees can be your biggest advocates
- 7-Step Checklist
The importance of personality
No-one likes dull copy. So, break up formal sentences with abbreviations and colloquialisms. It will help to give your text bite, making it less corporate and more casual – and much easier to read.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that because you own a business what you write needs to be safe. Plenty of brands show their personality in how they present themselves. Take Ben and Jerry’s, for example. Their brand appeal is their charm and cheekiness, so don’t throw yours away in lieu of a bland appearance.
Give your site a quick once-over, and lose anything that doesn’t really sound like you (and by you we mean the brand you) or that you wouldn’t say if you were face-to-face with someone.
The face behind your brand
Although it might feel more comfortable to keep yourself hidden under the veil of your brand name, it’s important for customers to see the ‘who’ behind your company. Show them you’re more than just a logo – because nothing screams ‘not human’ more than stock photography filled with employees and offices that aren’t your own.
People respond to people. You can go a step further and encourage your employees to write blog posts for your site, or takeover your brand’s social media channels for a day to show a ‘day in the life’ of the behind-the-scenes at your company.
Not only will this show the human side of your brand, but it’s also great content to engage your audience and grow their interest in you and your company.
Authentic social interactions
People like to know they’re being heard, and there’s no better way to do that than to engage with them personally. So, if you’re running a campaign with a hashtag for engagement, don’t just let it happen and do nothing with the responses you get.
Ahead of replying to comments on social platforms, you can go a step further. By dedicating a page on your site to user-generated content you can form an area for inspiration. Seeing your product in use by a real person can influence others to want that life, or to have that item to experience what that person has already got.
Using your customer’s content also shows humility – you’re not just out for the most picture-perfect, polished content possible… you’re into what’s real. This will resonate with your audience, and in turn, help to humanize your brand.
Let your employees be your advocates
No-one knows your company better than the people who work for it. Encouraging brand advocacy from your employees shows you have faith in them and value their opinions.
Not only will your employees feel more engaged and invested in your company, but your customer base will also see an authentic, true-to-life example of what your brand is all about from the people who live and breathe it every day.
Encouraging this kind of activity on your employee’s own social profiles becomes a human action in its own right. It’s coming from someone’s personal account, without a brand logo.
It may seem intimidating to start with, but making these changes to your website and your online presence will start to humanize your brand, letting your customers connect with you on a deeper level, and building that all-important long-term loyalty.
How To Humanize Your Brand was written by Lucy Farrington-Smith