If you want to stand out in today’s busy online marketplace, you need to find a way to make your brand more human. Creating consistent content that is both valuable and engaging is one of the best ways to show consumers that there are real people behind your brand who care about their needs and challenges. Here are some of the top tactics that you can use to humanize your brand through content creation:
1. Establish a unique brand voice.
To differentiate your company from all the other brands in your industry, you should first develop a unique brand voice. Your brand voice allows consumers to understand your company’s personality better. Not to mention, it enables you to create content that is more consistent, which can help with building brand recognition in the marketplace.
One way that you can start to develop your unique brand voice is by imagining your company as a fictional character. If your company was a person, who would it be? Give the character a name, a physical appearance, and some personal qualities. What does it like or dislike? Is it calm or more energetic? The avatar that you develop will help you better understand what type of personality your brand has. Once you have a more defined idea of the character you would like to present to your target market, you can work on developing a distinct voice that communicates that personality.
After you’ve developed your brand voice, it’s important to ensure that the people in your organization who create content all understand this voice. This way, it will carry through all your content assets. Creating a brand guide is one of the best ways to make sure that your team creates content that is consistent with your brand. In your guide, include details about your brand identity, including a style guide for content.
2. Publish content consistently.
Another way that you can humanize your brand is by publishing content consistently. Humans are always in conversation with one another, communicating their ideas and sharing their take on what’s going on around them. If you want to be a part of this conversation and show consumers that there are real people behind your brand, you need to think of content creation as an ongoing process.
Create a content calendar to ensure that your brand is consistently creating and publishing content. Whether you use a simple spreadsheet in Google Docs or choose to utilize a content calendar app or program, there are a few things that you will need to include:
Content Topics – Brainstorm with your team to determine which content topics are most valuable to your target market. Consider what questions consumers might have, challenges consumers face, or what’s new in your industry.
Content Formats – Once you have topics that will be of interest to your audience, you’ll need to identify which formats are best suited for these topics. For instance, is it better to create a blog or a video? Don’t forget that many of content assets can be repurposed later.
Parties Responsible – One of the biggest challenges of publishing content consistently is having enough resources to create a variety of content over time. Be sure that your content calendar makes it clear who is creating which pieces of content.
Publish and Due Dates – Your content calendar should also include due dates and publish dates for each piece of content. Make sure that your due dates allow enough time for review and editing before publication.
Promotional Plan – How do you plan to promote this content after it’s finished? Be sure to include whether the content is gated or not and which organic or paid channels you will be using to publish and share your content. You can promote content on social media, through email, PPC ads, and more. It can help to include a blog update CTA on your site.
It’s best to keep your content calendar to a three-month period. This gives you enough time to plan and get your resources together, but it isn’t planned so far ahead that you can’t respond to important trends or news in your industry. By clearly laying out when you will publish new content, you can help make sure that your content creation is consistent.
3. Tell a story.
Humans are social creatures who want to feel a personal connection. If you want to capture your audience’s attention and build real relationships, you’ll need to do more than just write powerful headlines. Your content needs to tell a story that will help consumers better understand what your brand is all about.
When it comes to brand storytelling, you want to be detailed. It is much harder for people to connect to a story that is abstract. Your stories should be from a specific person’s point of view. They should include lots of rich details that help the consumer better understand and connect with the character(s). Use specific scenarios that the consumer can connect with. For instance, you might discuss a challenge that your consumer faces or doubts that they may have.
Don’t be afraid to tell a story that brings out an emotional reaction. Whether you are aiming to appeal to the consumer’s nostalgia, make them laugh, or make a connection through fear, the more emotional appeal your story has, the better. Through your choice of details and words, you can work to evoke emotions that help consumers better connect with your brand and understand the value of your products and services.
4. Build relationships through social media content.
Creating conversation is an important part of humanizing your brand. While businesses can’t exactly converse with their clients, the people behind the brand can. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram provide the perfect platform for starting conversations that will help your company build stronger relationships with prospects and customers.
Start by developing social media content that is engaging and invites others to participate. This can be as simple as asking your followers a question on Facebook or developing a fun Twitter survey. You can also develop social media contests that ask your followers and fans to submit their own content. By sharing user-generated content on your own social media pages, you help humanize your brand by showing consumers how your products or services are helping real people.
In addition to creating engaging content, you will also need to engage in conversations on social media with your consumers. Remember, it’s important that your brand voice carries through in all your communications, including social media content. Though social media is a less formal platform, you don’t want to lose sight of your brand personality. For instance, if your company has a brand that speaks in the voice of a young professional, be sure to carry this tone throughout your conversations with consumers on social media platforms.
Using the strategies outlined in this post, you can start creating content that works to humanize your brand. By showing consumers there are real people behind your business, you will be able to differentiate your company and demonstrate what sets you apart from the rest.
Andy Beohar is the Chief Inbound Marketing Strategist at SevenAtoms Inc, a San Francisco Inbound Marketing and PPC Agency. At SevenAtoms, he manages and develops inbound marketing and Google AdWords strategies for companies with the goal to substantially increase their online visibility, grow their brand and bring in more leads and conversions.
Original post: Humanizing Your Brand Through Content Creation