Welcome Back! (or, WELCOME! Go read Part One here and then come back so this all makes sense.)
The last time we got together, we talked about WHY you want to “Humanize” your brand.
(It sounds like a thing that an evil scientist would do to an unsuspecting rat in his lab, right? Like “POWER UP THE HUMANIZING RAY!!!” and suddenly there are all these people that used to be rats… ((shiver)) But it’s not that.) And we decided that it’s never about pretending to be something you’re not; it’s always about understanding the people you serve.
This time we’ll dive into the “How” of it all, and maybe you’ll leave with some homework.
You’re awesome. You do great work. You have drive and gumption. But you still can’t reach everyone. Decide specifically what matters most to your business (Profit? Social good? Width or Depth of your Reach?) and figure out who will most likely achieve that for you.
Whether it’s soccer moms who compete in demolition derbies, Gen Z birdwatchers, or even something less niche (think age, income, education, geographic location), learn what they care about, how they express themselves, and where you can find them.
Admittedly, this is Marketing 101 stuff so if you’re a veteran marketer, you’re already applying this to your work, but as a pre-internet Marketer myself (yes, we still exist…), it never hurts to be reminded.
Tough love time, ok? Some of us, for various reasons, are NOT in our own target demographic. Maybe because of your education, income, gender-expression, age (gulp), or something else, you’ve just grown away from that exact demo. That’s ok. But know that you’ll need a healthy amount of self-awareness, perspective, and research to talk to the humans you want to connect to.
The first thing you need to do is realize that there will be differences between you and your audience, and, in that case, they have to “win” if you want to succeed. Your job is to use the style choices, vocabulary, social networks, and types of content that your audience will love and set your preferences aside if they get in your way. But don’t get me wrong, it’s not all about following trends.
In Part One, we surfaced the idea that being more “Human” doesn’t equate directly to being “Trendy,” right? If you and your team are outside of your core audience, you can leverage trends to help shape your human approach. Just don’t substitute that trendiness for genuine empathy and understanding.
Yes, I’m going to pack all the rest of this advice in the “final” step because there is no final step in a very real way. (Also, all words are made up, and time is a social construct, soooo…)
You’ve done your homework, you know who you’re talking to, and you know enough about them not to be dangerous, so it’s time to put that all into practice one connection at a time. Maybe that sounds overwhelming, but good news, you get so many chances to try.
Good news!! You’ll have another chance, so capitalize on it and pay attention to what works.
If you want your brand to connect to people on their very human level, understand that it’s about growth and evolution. Commit today to view your work through the eyes of your audience and honor that commitment every day through what you say, what you do, and how you talk to the people who mean the most to your business.
About the Author: Suzanne Campbell is the Brand & Content Manager on the Exclamation Services Marketing team and the self-proclaimed evangelist for Brand Voice. She’s picked up a lot of smart ideas from a lot of amazing people in her more than 20 years of experience and you can frequently hear them on the Awsomology podcast.