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Stay human | Thursday, 01st October 2015

10 Rewards of Using a Human Approach to Marketing

Written by Melissa Manthos

What is the one thing that customers and businesses have in common? They are both humans.

We crave human interaction, we desire to build relationships and connections, so that we can feel we belong to something. We do this at home, at school, at work, and, even though we might not think about it, we also do it with brands.

In a world jam-packed with businesses, how will you manage to be the one that customers will want to build a relationship with?  Target their feelings, show them your human side, give them a voice and allow them to be part of your brand.

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You can gain so much by simply adapting a human-to-human approach.

Here are ten reasons why it makes sense for your brand to be human:

 

1.    Brand Credibility

 

What your customers think of your business is extremely important – if they have a negative perception of your company, you will not achieve much. Building brand credibility can be challenging and difficult, as trust is hard to gain and easy to loose.

Many businesses believe that it’s enough to promote their products/services over and over again, invest all their money in adverts, and simply focus on what they are selling.

Do you believe that is the correct way to go about it? Nope? That’s what we thought. You create credibility by proving yourself, not only as a brand, but also as a company.

 

2.    Brand Loyalty

 

Adopting a human approach will lead you to having more loyal customers. The people who trust your brand are the ones who will re-purchase your products and services. Those people are the ones who are happy with the overall experience: from buying the product, to consuming it and engaging with your company.

You want to reward your loyal customers, and you can do this by simply sending them a personalised email to thank them for being so awesome. Never forget the importance of making your customers feel special – you wouldn’t have a business without them, so remember to tell them how important they are to you.

 

3.    Sense of Belonging for Employees

 

Happy employees are productive employees.

Creating a good work environment is very important for your business. You want your employees to feel safe at work and enjoy what they are doing. Just like any other person, they require human-interaction. Organise activities where they can interact with each other, build relationships in the office and have fun together.

We end up spending so many hours in the office that it almost becomes like home, and the colleagues are our family – so make sure that everyone is satisfied and feels like they belong to one big happy family. Look at your employees as human beings with feelings, and not moneymaking robots. Remember, no business can ever work without manpower.

 

4.    Employer Branding – Building a Sense of Longing

 

Become the company that people want to work for.

Happy employees also help you attract top talent. To do so, your company needs an identity – a face behind the logo. Show the world who your employees are and how valuable they are to your business. Share your achievements as a company, but most importantly as a team. Emphasize on the importance of human interaction within your business.

Remember that you must be credible. The way you portray yourself to the public has to represent the way your company actually is. Forget uploading happy pictures and videos to your social media unless your employees are actually happy. Once you’ve become the ‘desirable company to work for’ you will be able to attract valuable future employees along as maintaining satisfied ones.

 

5.    Brand Ambassador

 

Brand ambassadors are the perfect example of successful human-to-human marketing, as they are customers who love your brand so much that they decide to preach about its virtues out of their own will.

These people are gold to your company, because they provide trustworthy and credible information about your brand.  Keep in mind that word of mouth is credible, and people like to hear about other customers’ buying experience.

 

6.    Brand Engagement

 

People have the desire to belong to something bigger – hence the desire of engaging with a brand. Having a human approach to marketing will increase the engagement of your loyal and potential customers with your business.

Answer their emails, interact with them on social media, and when possible invite them to your offices. There’s never such thing as too much engagement.

 

7.    User Generated Content

 

Creating content is time consuming and expensive, this is why you will gladly accept content generated by your customers. User generated content creates trust; seeing other people interact with your product or service shows credibility.

If your audience believes in your brand, it will generate content without you specifically asking. Customers will take a picture of your product and share it with everyone on their social media pages.

The Coca-Cola Instagram account is full with images produced by their audience. Every few minutes, users post pictures of Coca-Cola products on their accounts and use the hashtag CocaCola to make it visible to everyone. Now that’s a lot of user generated content that’s both a result of and a contributor to the human face of your brand!

 

8.    More Press Coverage

 

If your brand acts as a good human, you will gain two things: customers’ admiration for engaging in good activities, and more press coverage. How do companies try to be better humans? By practicing CSR, of course.

Whether big or small, businesses come up with different CSR campaigns, varying from planting trees to raising money for causes, in order to show their audience that not only are they humans, but they also care.

When done properly, CSR campaigns can result in more press coverage – which is exactly what you want to promote your company.

Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group, has found the way to draw attention of the press to his business by making his company more human. Check out his post on: How human is your company?

 

9.    Increase Organic Reach

 

When people engage with your brand, when they generate content and when brand ambassadors talk about your business they are ultimately increasing your organic reach.

Current and potential customers learn and are reminded about your brand without you needing to spend money on adverts and bombard them with messages. All this happens between people – individuals who share information between each other.

 

10. It’s Good for You

 

Why should your brand adopt a human approach? Running a business all boils down to one thing at the end of the day: it’s good for your business.  Adopting a human approach will inevitably result in your company being able to target a wider audience, increase brand awareness, build a community of loyal customers and therefore have more sales.

Melissa Manthos

a little more about

Melissa Manthos,

Melissa is the definition of multiculturalism: she is half French and half Greek, has lived for over a decade in Libya and her mother tongue is Italian. She is a social media freak who loves writing and photography. You can find her 365 days a year at the beach, her natural habitat.