We all like to work with and buy products from people and/or brands that we have a connection with. It’s human nature to gravitate toward something familiar or someone with whom we share a common interest.
Even if your industry isn’t innately engaging or your business is more traditional, you can still make connections with existing and potential customers by simply being authentic—by introducing people to the person/team behind your brand.
Authenticity and transparency make you approachable—and also relatable. When you’re honest about who you are, what you do, and why you do it, people can’t help but be drawn to that real, unedited version of you and your business. That relatability is a powerful element in successful marketing.
According to Ann Handley of MarketingProfs, “Relatable means that you infuse your marketing and writing with point of view and perspective.” She offers a few ideas for how to make your business relatable to your audience. Here’s Ann’s list (along with a few extras):
Show your personality. Don’t shy away from exposing—or promoting—the real you: Maybe you’re a running enthusiast, a prankster, a pet rescue volunteer, a random-act-of-kindness advocate: Share the stuff that resonates with you and you’re bound to make instant connections with others who can relate.
Celebrate the actual people behind the brand. Let your team do the talking: Use behind-the-scenes videos in emails and on social media channels; include personal bios on your website; let employees take over your blog or Twitter feed for a day; create an event or open house to introduce your team to your customers.
Talk to your prospects as peers. Use a conversational tone in your marketing—talk to people as if you’re sitting across the table from them, chatting about how you can help them solve their business challenges.
Remember, it’s not about you. Instead of making your product or brand the hero, turn the tables and focus what your product can do for them. With you (or your product/service) in their corner, what will they gain? Defining your brand value from the customer’s vantage point lets your audience know that you’re in touch with their needs.
Use storytelling. People will listen to a good story, so use this creative marketing tool to your advantage. You can pack a lot of important brand benefit into a story without it feeling like a sales pitch. A few storyline ideas: How/why you founded your company, a customer user experience, how your product fits the customer lifestyle, a mistake you’ve made, your proudest moment as a business owner.
Tell the truth. Be honest in your communications. And when you screw up, own it. We all make mistakes; instead of cowering away from the situation use it as an opportunity to provide full-disclosure. This goes a long way toward building trust through transparency.
With people today “liking” the brands they favor, it’s smart to make authentic connections with your audience—and making your brand more relatable is a great first step. Do you have other ideas to add to the list? Join the conversation on Shamrock’s Facebook page.