The rise of the internet has enabled companies to conduct marketing campaigns online, in some cases completely bypassing traditional marketing media such as television, radio, and newspapers. However, it can be counterproductive to assume that this trend means that marketing no longer needs a human touch to be successful. Digital advertising faces the same challenges as traditional advertising when it comes to attracting attention: consumers are used to tuning out these messages, making it essential in many cases to add elements that appeal to consumers on a personal level to hold their interest. The following tips cover various steps you can take to make your digital marketing more impactful by adding a human touch to it.
Embrace Customer Interaction
In the internet age, consumers expect businesses to interact with them as well as sell them products. Social media has made it possible to do this without expending tremendous sums of money in the process. Social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook are excellent venues for providing info about your products such as new releases, updates, sales, and the like.
However, if you just use these sites for announcements, you miss out on the chance to interact directly with your customers. Reaching out and interacting with your audience adds a human touch to your brand that can help to boost customer loyalty and, ultimately, boost your company’s sales as a result.
To organize your company’s audience interaction efforts, it can help to appoint a social media manager to make sure that your approach to interacting with customers and prospects is consistent over time and across different platforms. Your social media manager can serve as a traffic director of sorts, making sure that social media questions and service requests are sent to the department best able to deal with them.
Plan Your SEO Strategies to Help Customers
Many marketers tend to think of their own needs when planning an SEO strategy, which keywords they want to rank for and how much traffic they can get. The ideal strategy, however, is one that aims to help people and guide them to solve their problems. People searching for the solution to a specific problem are more likely to convert than those simply searching general keyword phrases for general information. The key to developing a complete SEO strategy is keeping your target audience in mind.
Don’t Shy Away from Emotion
While computers and robots can increase the efficiency of our work, they can’t change the fact that humans are still . . . human, and react emotionally as a result. When it comes to digital marketing, don’t rely strictly on product details to sell your product. Instead, add emotion to the process via elements such as:
- Overcoming dilemmas
Adding these elements to your marketing efforts can pay plentiful dividends by drawing peoples’ attention to the message you are sending. The more human touches you add, the more likely it is that people will pay attention to your personalized marketing.
Learn More About Your Customers
To appeal to potential customers, it pays to know them as well as possible. Personalized marketing works much better than the impersonal version. However, unless you understand who your customers are and what appeals to them, this type of marketing is likely to be out of reach. Categorizing your customers by their demographic profile or product preference can help you more effectively target your marketing efforts by appealing to personal factors. The more you know about your customers, the better you will be able to appeal to them in your marketing. Features to track when segmenting customer groups include:
- Demographics such as age, gender, income, education, etc.
- Buying preferences by product type
- Buying preferences by product cost
A variety of techniques can be used to help you formulate an accurate understanding of your customers and what drives them, including:
- Persona creation: Marketing personas are models of a typical customer type
- Use surveys: By directly asking your customers what they think of your products and what changes to existing products or new products they would like to see, you gain a greater understanding of what your business needs to do to appeal to them
- Sponsor focus groups: For a more in-depth exploration of your customer’s attitudes toward your product and company, in-person focus groups can be an effective way to gain insights into your personalized marketing strategy.
Enlist Brand Spokespeople
One way to increase the appeal of your digital marketing is to use spokespeople. Simply outlining a product’s benefits and features, while necessary to some degree in most marketing campaigns, may not be enough by itself to hold your viewers’ interest. This is where spokespeople come in.
Ideally, your spokespeople (or spokesperson) are users of your product who are genuinely enthusiastic about it. Celebrity spokespeople can significantly boost the attention paid to your personalized marketing efforts, but come at a cost. You will need to do a cost/benefit analysis to determine whether hiring a celebrity spokesperson is worthwhile.
People often prefer to see actual users of your product provide testimonials rather than celebrity spokespeople. You can try both approaches to see what works best for you. Either way, using spokespeople helps to humanize your image.
Focus on Your Customers’ Needs
To create personalized marketing content that resonates with your customers, understanding their mindset and what it is they need most about your products is essential. A variety of methods can be used to gain insight into your customers and what they need, including surveys and focus groups. Once you’ve studied the results from these surveys, make a point of infusing the knowledge you’ve gained into your marketing campaigns.
A good way to do this is to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Imagine how they feel about using your product and what they use it for. Doing so enables you to formulate a better understanding of what customer needs your products meet. This, in turn, allows you to appeal to these needs in your marketing campaigns.
Finding the “pain” point your product cures is key to identifying the need that your products meet. This point is the actual problem or issue that your product helps consumers overcome. For instance, if your product is a security software tool, the pain point would be loss of valuable computer data or potential identity theft. If your product is staff management software, the pain point would be the difficulty in knowing exactly what everyone is working on at any given time, who needs help and who needs more challenge.
Whatever need your product meets, make sure to focus on this in your marketing to at least some degree. Marketing that is concentrated strictly on enumerating product features lacks the human touch associated with personalized marketing that focuses on what your customers need and how your product helps them meet that need.
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