Looking to revamp your marketing for the new year? Â Well here is a great tip from, Eric Sampson, that should help. Â We hope that everyone has had a great 2014, and hope that 2015 can be ever better!
People do business with people they like. That adage rings will ring as true asÂ ever in 2015. To improve your ROI on marketing, you will need to humanize your communications.
Humanizing your marketing means you think aboutÂ peopleÂ instead of the quantity of likes, fans and followers. Someone reading your branded content for 10 seconds is different than someone doing it for 10 minutes.
How much time are people spending on average? Similarly, how many people get to the end of your article? To answer these types of questions, measure success with quality-centric metrics such asÂ reading impactÂ andÂ read ratios. You could also measureÂ live chat engagement.
It also means shifting the focus from purely volume and quantity into one that inherently involves more quality. Hereâ€™s how to humanize your marketing for the coming year.
Balance quality and quantity.
Naturally, you need to have an audience to share your content with. You can measure this through traditional metrics, such as the size of your email list or your Facebook audience, but approaching your audience purely as clicks, likes, or views can quickly alienate them. Worse yet, you won’tÂ generate worthwhile results if yourÂ content doesnâ€™t have a meaningful impact on your audience.
You should shift your mindset to gaging the reaction your audience is having to your content. This can be done by diving into analytics, reading comments and listening to social conversations your audience is having about what content youâ€™re producing.
There some great publishers and companies doing this that you can look towards for guidance, likeÂ UpworthyÂ andÂ Medium, two publishers that churn out a ton of quality content and are now measuring the success of their content with attention minutes.
Publishing higher quality content of interest to your audience increases the likelihood your brand will stay top of mind. For example, Baileigh Industrial, a metalworking and woodworking machinery company, has a visually compellingÂ Instagram account. Tyâ€™ve taken the time to share images that better reflect the topics that matter to their customer base, while also highlightingÂ customer successÂ stories. Their competitors donâ€™t even come close to this level of engagement and therefore, itâ€™s much easier for them to come off as a more relatable, humanized business.
Donâ€™t automate everything
There are some very useful tools out there to automate aspects of your marketing efforts, like Buffer, Optimizely and HootSuite, but none of them provide the proverbial silver bullet to make your efforts successful. You have to balance your automation efforts with sensibility.
If you try to automate everything, your customer will notice your scripted messaging and the use of templates, which makes it far more likely that youâ€™ll be ignored. At the same time, you wonâ€™t be targeting or segmenting your audience appropriately, which defeats the purpose of using some of these tools to save time, remain productive and reach your marketing goals.
Marketing tools likeÂ MarketoÂ andÂ HubspotÂ can help your business target select groups among your audience, understand their needs and pain points and cater your messaging accordingly.
To start, try better segmenting your email list to begin to see results. Automating a few different templates, each with a unique message to a few segments of your audience. This way youâ€™re able to both automate your messaging without overdoing it and coming off as too robotic to your customer base.
Be honest about your intentions.
Lastly, be honest and open with your customers and admit when you mess up.Â Studio Neat, one of the first companies with a Kickstarter campaign that raised more thanÂ $100,000, follows this mantra by consistently updating their customers on their campaigns and blog when there are delays in production or expected problems with shipping.
Blogs likeÂ Farnam StreetÂ and Ramit Sethiâ€™sÂ I Will Teach You To Be Richfrequently tell their readers to unsubscribe if theyâ€™re not interested in receiving their emails, because they donâ€™t want an audience that isnâ€™t engaged or isnâ€™t actively participating in the community.
Microsoft, on the other hand,Â asks their customers multiple times to opt-inÂ to their promotional emails during check out, even if youâ€™ve already said no. This isnâ€™t an ideal experience for their customers and potential subscribers, instead it comes off as being too focused on growing an email list for the sake of growing it.
Todayâ€™s consumers have become much more intelligent with their buying habits, less loyal to the companies they frequent, therefore itâ€™s important to be honest about your intentions and cater to the needs of your audience or youâ€™re more likely to lose their interest.
With so many different ways to measure the impact of our marketing efforts, itâ€™s easy to start perceiving customers as statistics like clicks and open rates, instead of people. In 2015, we should strive to humanize our messaging and marketing as a way of both delighting our audience and differentiating from the competition.
Eric Samson is the founder of Group8A. Group8A is a boutique consulting firm focused on developing and executing integrated marketing and digital solutions for companies of all sizes.