How marketing can humanize small businesses

If you want to humanize your brand, you have to be relatable.

As a small business owner, you likely do a great job of relating to folks when you talk with them face-to-face. People know you, they like you, and they want to do business with you.

But an estimated 81% of people start the customer journey online. And when they find your company, you need to appear like a living, breathing person—not some faceless organization.

In this post, I’ll talk about the benefits of humanizing your brand using digital marketing content.

Why humanizing your brand matters

It’s estimated that 70-80% of people research a business online before making a purchase with them. People want to know they’re doing business with a person, preferably someone they like.

As such, you’ll need marketing content that humanizes you (i.e., makes you relatable to your audience).

The first step to humanizing your brand is by creating content your customers will want to read.

Use memes strategically

Some folks say you shouldn’t use memes on LinkedIn. Generally, I agree with that.

The exception to this rule is if the meme works for your brand. If you’re posting to your business page on LinkedIn, the meme should be in line with your brand’s voice.

Feel free to post memes more often to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Again, these should reflect who you and your employees are.

Typically, this means staying away from memes with profanity, divisive rhetoric, or potty humor. But, if your business thrives on divisive rhetoric, or your customers love potty humor or tend to curse like pirates, you may be able to successfully buck this rule.

Don’t be afraid to be a little vulnerable

We’ve all experienced professional failures and learned the lessons that come from those experiences. Talking about these failures helps humanize your small business.

A good way to do this is by writing a blog post that details these failures. The lessons learned may help resonate with your audience, and you may also help them avoid the same mistakes you made.

Get personal (within reason)

My post with the most views is personal. In it, I talk about what I learned about life and business by having cancer. It was a challenge that I experienced and overcame. And it was relatable because readers could remember their own challenges that they’ve conquered—even if they never had cancer.

You don’t have to talk about personal tragedies. Getting personal may just involve something generic, such as discussing how your hobbies have informed your business decisions. The point is to find something, no matter how small, about your personal life that you can share.

For instance, I have one client who will occasionally post on LinkedIn about his love for sci-fi novels, and he’s gotten some good feedback on those posts. While these posts don’t have anything to do with his business, they help him show a little about who he is as a person.

Wrapping Up

People do business with people. So, don’t be afraid to use memes, be vulnerable, or get personal in your marketing content. This will help potential customers get to know you long before you meet them face-to-face.

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