The 21st century is a digital age, and businesses worldwide continue to rely on technology to fortify their brands. However, in creating, nurturing, and maintaining these brands, there seems to be a gradual shift from humanizing businesses and operations. It is therefore not too surprising that 65% of marketers struggle significantly in the area of brand humanisation. So, if you are at a stage in your business where brand innovation matters, perhaps, you can learn how to infuse the human element with these tips.
- Focus on your website’s ‘About Us’ page
For starters, your website is the digital face of your business. It is the space that contains all the relevant information you want clients and potential customers to know about. Without a website, you may be operating a business nobody knows about apart from your immediate family. The success of a business is not solely dependent on your family’s patronage. It would help if you had the support of a wider circle who believe in your product or service and are ready to commit money to it.
Therefore, the ‘About Us’ or ‘About Me’ page is the perfect opportunity to show the human element of your brand. Remember that the average website guest spends between eight and ten seconds on a page. For this reason, if nothing appears appealing on your ‘About’ page, the likelihood of losing a potential customer can be incredibly high. To get this page right, it helps to use simple and easy-to-understand language in this section. Succinctly state the page’s mission, business or brand, without losing sight of the perfect story. This way, people who read it can be convinced that your brand is not all about selling and making profits.
- Make effective use of chatbots on your online platforms
Usually, when people are on a website, their main activity is to skim pages and get a fair idea of what it is all about. Sometimes, though, reading through the information may not be enough to satisfy a guest’s curiosity and questions. This is where you can consider using a Chatbot integration system on the page. Although it is purely robotic, the chatbot works with artificial intelligence to imitate actual human interactions.
Therefore, you can type a question into the chatbot bar and will immediately receive a reply tailored around a suitable answer. Although these are not actual beings a person interacts with, they are apt for giving your brand a much-needed human face at all times. Even better, they are available 24/7, and your online users will be attended to without long waiting times.
- Use videos to leverage visual content
Have you ever come across a business or brand whose attempt at drawing in customers is a long and winding post? Can you remember how that made you feel? Indeed, a long post like that may only appeal to a small group of people who can commit time to read everything. However, there is a better option for the majority who may not want to read long pieces. Videos or moving pictures have been proven to capture and retain attention more than long write-ups.
One of the strongest human senses is sight, and according to market research, the potential customer pays attention to what they see from a few seconds to a full minute. Grabbing their attention in the first sixty seconds is the real deal. So, if you’re able to retain their interest beyond a minute, then your video may have just hit the jackpot. In this day of social media, businesses and brands can leverage videos to make an impact. Moreover, the eclectic nature of the online community makes it possible to have your videos ‘travel’ far and wide.
With that said, keep in mind that there are rules to making videos. It is not all about putting moving images together. First of all, it begins with a plan. What is the overall purpose of the video? What emotions are you looking to evoke in the potential customer? Last but not least, what actions do you want people who see the video to take? When you answer all these questions, it is possible to have a final video that can generate the desired results. More importantly, it helps to humanise your brand.
- Infuse humour into your brand activities
Undoubtedly, everybody loves to have a good laugh now and then. Therefore, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to add some humour to your brand commercials or posts. The principle here is to avoid going overboard with the humour element. Too much humour may cause potential customers to perceive your brand to be overly carefree and unserious. So, how much humour is too much? The best answer to this is moderation.
In adding humour to your brand, you do not need the presence of a stand-up comic. With the use of a single picture, funny post, or other creatives included in your commercials, you can make people smile or laugh. It is good to have customers attach positive emotions to your brand. That way, when they think happy thoughts, your brand comes to mind. Emotions are human qualities and, in effect, make this strategy effective in humanising your brand.
- Put the focus on your employees
Every business relies on its employees to push the agenda and help the company grow. You may be the founder of a business, but it is close to impossible to continue to do everything without some help. Your employees can be seen as extensions of your hands, ears, and eyes. Although they are employed to work in specific roles to help the business, it is vital to help them understand and believe in your dream. Through that, you can delegate tasks and put measures in place to ensure everything is working as expected.
By putting the spotlight on your employees, you automatically present your brand as a humane one. It also means you understand the importance of teamwork and employee appreciation. These are some vital qualities potential customers look for in brands they wish to transact business with. The last thing you want is to come across as a brand that restricts its employees from expressing certain fundamental rights.
For example, if your company compels employees to stop social media usage, that could hurt your business’s reputation and image. Indeed, this is not the same as restricting your workers from engaging in social media posts that violate company policy. In essence, the idea is to create a free but guided environment to safeguard employees’ activities on these online platforms. Moreover, your brand stands to benefit in the long run when the public sees you putting a favourable spotlight on employees. And it is good for others to see the humans behind the brand.
- Acknowledge mistakes and work towards correcting them
If you are looking at humanising your brand, it also means being ready to receive and acknowledge mistakes from the public. Errors or mistakes are human characteristics you shouldn’t be too ashamed about. And allowing your company to acknowledge a mistake means you understand the shortcomings of being human. Remember that your mission to humanise your brand is not entirely a bed of roses. Therefore, rather than project only the positives, your target market and the public, in general, will appreciate a business that holds itself accountable when problems arise.
Contrary to public perception, owning up to an error can help you win public trust. Furthermore, if your company is in the throes of rebuilding a tainted reputation, perhaps, this can be a technique to use to regain some trust. The downside of openly acknowledging business mistakes is the increased likelihood of being seen as unprofessional and incompetent. Therefore, you may want to limit your usage of this strategy when humanising your brand.
Additionally, if you’re apologising to aggrieved customers, you can consider drafting a personalised message for each one. Standard messages and templates tend to look detached, indifferent and distant. These three are negative elements you may want to avoid as much as possible.
- Engage your target audience and the public in general
This is essential if your company has social interactive online platforms. Social media thrives on the concept of timely communication delivered to an extensive community. For this reason, it is worthwhile to be alert on all your social media accounts. Moreover, setting up business accounts on these platforms indicates your readiness to engage the community. Therefore, it helps to make it your company’s priority to answer questions, resolve problems or chat with your followers.
Indeed, it can be confusing to know what to talk about on these platforms. However, you can overcome this hurdle by having a plan. For instance, if your social media handlers dedicate specific days to topical subjects or issues, there will always be something to post. It is also necessary to define your target audience. Again, by creating the picture of an always present brand, you would have put a human face to it.
Indeed, it is the digital age and automation era, but you can bring a human element to your brand. It will be a good decision since people connect a lot more with brands that put the customer first.