The Human Factor
Published by Jane Cirigliano, December 11th, 2014
In this digital age, we are all vying for potential customers’ limited attention. Social media gives us another outlet to reach new demographics and share our message. However, we must be aware and respectful of our audience’s expectations. For example, social users are much more inclined to engage with a company that is sharing useful information than one that is shouting about its exceptional products.
Human vs. Machine
It is better to be found than to push your message on an unsuspecting audience. Search Engine Optimization and Content Optimization both help you pull qualified prospects in – people who are already searching for a product or service that you offer. Seems like an easy sale, right?
Unfortunately, often when websites are written so that search engines will rank particular pages high for targeted keywords, those pages are not relevant to the prospect who arrives on the page. We call it writing for the computer, not the customer, and it’s often the cause of poor lead and conversion rates.
Customers talk about products and services before purchasing. Online reviews and social media are convenient ways for customers to get feedback quickly from groups of peers. Developing brand advocates and increasing customer loyalty through quality interactions leads to additional sales through referrals. Accomplishing this feat requires less screaming and more humanity.
If you find yourself posting self-promotional messages too frequently in your digital campaigns, try applying the rule of thirds. For every post you make about a product or service (and these can be given a human element as well), post two items of interest and value to your customers – industry news and trends, whitepapers, savings calculators, share a success story from a customer, etc. Balance your advertising messages with your company’s more human side.
The Value of a Good Story
A colleague recently shared a story with us of how his company showed its employees that what they do every day matters. At an annual meeting where virtually every facet of the business was represented, from the CEO and board members to the manufacturing staff, they brought in a surprise guest speaker. A woman told the story of her daughter’s illness and how doctors and specialists could not find the cause of her symptoms. Then the mother explained that using one of the company’s unique medical devices, a team of physicians was able to pinpoint, diagnose and treat the illness. The presentation ended with the little girl, fully cured, coming on stage and simply saying “thank you.”
Needless to say, everyone in the audience that day went home with a better understanding of the impact what they create each day can have on a real family. Relatable stories like this show our customers how we think, and give them a glimpse of the human side of our business.
Brand loyalty is inspired when we make our customers’ lives easier. Whether we accomplish this with a product or service, the way in which we communicate our value drives people to choose us over the competition.
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