It's often easy for marketers to get bogged down in data. As we peruse the latest keyword trends, CTA conversions and linking metrics, the human element can sometimes get lost. However, it's that very element that can elevate a humdrum content marketing strategy to something truly spectacular.
Inc. reported that customers have grown to expect a certain level of authenticity from brands — and will pay more for the ones they feel they can trust. Forbes highlighted Dove and Airbnb as brands that have embraced the shift toward a more "human" approach; both have seen significant returns from increased interactions with customers.
It can be a tricky balancing act to inject some personality into your content marketing in a way that seems natural. If you're struggling, here are some practical ways to help jump-start your creativity:
Change Your View
Countless institutions, including the Huffington Post, have joined the debate over whether or not companies should legally be considered people. No matter what side of the argument you choose, the fact remains that brands are at the very least comprised of people — people who can be a good starting point when it comes to developing brand personality.
The goal of marketing is to connect customers to brands. Imagine replacing your brand with the people in your marketing department, or even just with yourself, and consider a conversation with a potential customer. Would you start with a joke? A surprising statistic? When you begin to see your audience as human (and not just a data point), you can more easily craft accessible content that communicates not just what you are but who you are.
For example, a local comic book shop could connect with customers who are interested in the latest pop culture trends. Shareable posts that reference upcoming movies, conventions or even popular TV shows could be an effective way to distribute content to a larger audience and attract interested customers.
Anyone who has been through high school probably has some idea of the rules of "formal" writing, and how proper usage can change when you write for the "real world." Like so many things taught in school, there's more nuance here than one might think. Of course, you always want to be sure your posts use correct spelling and appropriate language, but it's OK to craft messages in a relatable voice that elicits a more natural response from your audience.
Continuing with the comic book shop example, if you write a post about must-read comics related to the new Thor movie, using common acronyms, film references, emojis and more can help convey genuine excitement. While it might not have been acceptable in 10th grade English class to start an essay by writing, "OMG. Holding your breath for Thor? Us too," it's that kind of familiar language that can help you relate to your audience.
It can be tough to strike the right balance between personality and message, but with some trial and error, marketers can get this critical facet of their content marketing strategy just right.