COVID-19 seems to have long-lasting effects and has disrupted economies across the globe. The brands need to plan ahead to recover from the commotion & evolve. Therefore, it becomes of utmost importance for marketers to humanize their PR & marketing efforts. Reflecting on the human aspects of the brands enables businesses to enhance their ‘reliability’ quotients in the eyes of the customers which can be successfully accomplished if brands strategize their PR & marketing endeavors.
Brands need to build and invest in communities, nurture relationships with customers, and frequently engage in healthy interactions with other people. Optimizing the customers’ experience by enabling & optimizing omnichannel experiences allows marketers to form a more reasonable and long-lasting connection with their customers. The more the customers would be able to relate to your brand, the better it gets from the PR perspective, as it evokes a life into your brand that is humane and more relatable for your customers.
Humanizing your PR and marketing efforts can be a challenging job. It requires constant endeavoring, community participation, and prioritization of some critical elements to be just correct.
Following are ten effective ways to humanize your PR & marketing endeavors that will help you grab hold of your ways to success:
· Invest in Building Your Own Community
Building community around a brand by leveraging marketing and PR services is an effective strategy for brands to make themselves known. Usually, the brands that build communities around their niche are the ones that are perceived to be highly reputable by their target audience groups and by the group of influencers they surround themselves with.
Building a brand today transcends beyond the primary practice of indulging in a one-way communication via advertising. Building and participating in communities is the new trending practice for brands to keep themselves aligned with their customers’ successes and to create a cosmos of co-creation with their customers. Once you allow customers to extend their expressions through a community, they will be quickly and easily being able to comprehend what’s out there that your brands have to offer, in terms of unique value propositions as well as in terms of communal participation.
Also, having a community allows brands to stand-out amidst the stringent competition in the marketplace.
· Encourage Design Thinking
Design thinking is the cognitive, strategic, and practical process that strategically aligns marketers to work from the perspective of users to optimize the UI and UX. This strategy involves key concepts and aspects that are represented with the help of design and involves product proposals, buildings, machines, communications, etc. Design thinking has several innovative and social pursuits that simplify the design process to optimize the users’ experiences.
Design thinking is amongst the most effective PR & marketing strategies for humanizing a brand. It breathes life into your brand and enhances the perceived reputation of your brand. A critical aspect of design thinking is rethinking the ways you do your logos, color schemes, etc.
· Leverage Your Content Strategy Across Omnichannel & Amalgamate User-Generated Content
The omnichannel content strategy allows marketers to design seamless experiences for the customers across all feasible digital & physical channels. As customers are provided with consistent experiences across all brand platforms and channels, the remarketing strategies of the brands gain traction.
The brands also need to upgrade their content management architecture for multiple channels as well as develop a cross-channel perspective. Additionally, the users’ perspective also needs to be amalgamated into the content to make it more intriguing for the target audience groups.
Marketers employ user-generated pieces of content to better engage with their target audience groups on social media platforms as well as to inspire trust in the target audience groups. Such content is perceived to be more authentic, credible, and free for marketers.
The prime benefit of user-generated content (UGC) is that it is created based on people and their experiences and hence it addresses the pain-points of the customers more articulately.
· Strike an Emotional Chord
Emotional brands are the brands that are building real relationships in the social ecosystem. Make your customers laugh. Make them cry or make them mad. Do something that makes your customers think differently, be different, and evokes an emotion. Inspire your customers to do more, be more, and leverage you, your team, or your products and services to do so. The more you can connect with your audience, the better you will be at understanding what emotional chords will work best with them.
· Be Real & Transparent – Practice What You Preach
Transparency and accountability have evolved as two key attributes for the organizations during the current unprecedented times of the pandemic crisis in particular.
Your culture needs to reiterate, focus and reflect on the ethics, empathy, and transparency that your brand preaches. Transparency is an integral part of the value-centric marketing & allows brands to rethink, amend and consolidate the dynamism of their culture which in the long-term will consolidate the public image of the brand and will lead to building up of a truly resilient and sustainable brand architecture focused on revenue recovering, rebuilding & re-instilling operational values and rethinking organizations’ operating model in a way that is better received by the target audience of the brands and viewers at large.
· Share Photos and Videos of your CSR Activities
Embracing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and allied activities is a brand’s way of iterating their sustainable image as well as showing their sensitized approach to give a bit of goodness back to society. CSR activities humanize your brand. People relate with you more when they see that you are aligned to a purpose.
The very concept of CSR activities is aligned with the ethical management model wherein brands aim to integrate their social, economic, and environmental concerns along with the amalgamation & consolidation of human rights issues in their business operations.
The significance of CSR activities is tangible and surpasses beyond the ideology of just raising a charity to social, economic, and environmental realms.
Sharing the photos and videos of your CSR activities reflects on the human face of your brand, having a mindset to stand out and contribute their bit to the society, like good citizens by balancing their money-making operations with activities that make a positive impact on society.
· Employ the Philosophy of Social Listening
Social listening empowers brands to monitor their social media channels for mentions of their brands, competitors, products, and more. As brands engage with the mentions and discussions around their industry, products, competitors, product, and more they are able to better interact with their users’ preferences, just like a human and keep that ingredient of personalization intact.
Along with the assistance in capturing audiences’ interest, social listening also empowers marketers to build brand awareness, generate qualified and high-quality leads, and build on brand awareness by some positive word-of-mouth. This, in turn, helps get more leads from different social channels, as well as, helps lead acquisition, engagement, conversion, and retention.
· Integrate Automation with Humanization to Scale-Up Personalization
At a time when marketing automation tools have virtually become indispensable to keep audiences intrigued and focused on what you have to offer; no one can deny the acceptance and proliferation of the MarTech tools.
Research by Social Media Today shows that 75% of the marketing teams are using some sort of automation tool to engage with the audience groups and address their concerns in real-time.
In fact, customers are also getting habituated to a technology-driven ecosphere.
A global study by the PWC group found that with the advancement of technology, most customers prefer brands that leverage technology to extend and enhance the element and scope of personalization.
Nonetheless, automation can’t alone take it all over. Alongside automation, the brands also need to focus on injecting & optimizing human personality into their automated marketing campaigns, email campaigns, and automation campaigns. It is always advisable to have a customer support team that involves real humans with a bit of support from marketing automation tools to improve their efficiency when it comes to mundane everyday tasks. Similarly, when it comes to building social media engagement and engaging with the audiences in real-time, it is always wiser to have an ingredient of genuine empathy from real humans.
The best tactic to scale-up personalization remains engaging with your customers in-part by using the latest MarTech tools and in-part by having a team of customer executives or real humans who can humanly vocalize your brands’ tone.
For example, while you can always send welcome emails to your customers in real-time with the help of the latest MarTech tools, the more intricate queries require more personalized attention.
· Build a Perfect Pitch to Tell Your Brand Stories Effectively
Data-driven storytelling has evolved as an irreplaceable strategy for the futuristic marketers who rely on data. It empowers your brand to actualize and propagate the impact of data on their businesses. The power of stories reiterates the transparent culture of your brand. When data is converted into stories, it is easily comprehended and logically received by the target audience groups.
In order to add purpose and insights to your business operations as well as to effectively tell the data-driven stories to consolidate the omnichannel attribution modeling architecture of the brands, brands need to have a strong pitch process.
Wording the perfect pitch to nail the ideology of your brand and assimilating it with data-driven storytelling allows brands to demonstrate their credentials and creative solutions to further optimize their pursuit of growth.
Data-driven storytelling amalgamated with a perfect pitch not only equips brands to make wiser decisions based on actionable insights gathered and conveyed by the data-points but also generates some of the most beneficial pre-emptive discernments for the brands to act on – to devise more cost-effective and personalized solutions for their customers, to ultimately scale-up their bottom-line revenue goals.
· Give Your Customers a Voice, Go Live and Speak Their Languages
It is imperative for a brand to capture the interest of their target audience groups, in ways that allow organizations to comprehend what is expected of them so that they work rigorously to build & optimize phenomenal experiences for their customers across omnichannel.
Voice of customers (VOC) is an important KPI for businesses that want to capture the interest of their users and their level of engagement with the ideology of their brands. It can in turn be captured by assimilating several engagement metrics such as comments, UGC (User-Generated Content), reviews, referrals, and other forms of word-of-mouth.
Voice of Customer is a customer’s expression that can be captured and mirrored by brands to do justice to customers’ preferences, and optimize their interests in a product or service.
As globalization spreads its wings and brands have multiple preferred geographies, transcending the international boundaries, the brands need to seek ways to connect the local communities as well as speak in the language and tone that a geo-specific audience might prefer.
The post-pandemonium era demands brands to be more sensitized to the needs of their customers than they have been ever before. Whether it comes to developing a new product or service or solution, giving your customers a voice becomes of utmost importance. In the dawn to the next normal, the proliferation of your business ecosphere and the underlying trajectories to scale-up the revenue goals would depend on the centricity of your brand to ensure customers’ successes and in turn, optimize the indexes for the same.
Brands can think of sponsoring the local events of enormous emotional or recreational significance to their customers and thereby can engage with their customers effectively.
There is absolutely no doubt that humans connect with humans, on grounds such as shared interests, shared problems, and the way they find their individual ways appealing and relatable. Trying to project an image of perfection based on profane grounds and perceived notions makes a brand look sloppy, lifeless, uninteresting, un-relatable, and vague. So, if you’re dealing with humans, you need to humanize your brands’ images to make them more relatable. You need to mimic, clone, and reflect human emotions and respond to the concerns of your customers from a place of empathy.
We all seek community and the focus of the brands should be to establish themselves as the ‘go-to’ community for their customers. Branding, content development, social media, and analytical platforms all present opportunities for brands to embrace opportunities to replicate and reflect on human behaviors in ways more than one.
Try to coalesce data-driven insights with a sprinkle of humor to talk to your customers and observe how they reciprocate. Test-run and optimize several approaches to engage with your target audience groups.
Empathy and evolution are the underlying principles that the brands need to focus on and while having the strive for perfection is entirely human, projecting yourselves as perfectionists may actually distort your brand image. Try reflecting on your value-centric approach and subject-matter-expertise instead, and focus on fostering long-term relationships with your customers beyond just the mono-transactional ones.
As the brands, you should be passionate while talking about your visions and objectives and let forgo the inclination to be over-obsessed with excellence, at times. Recognize and invest in the power of real human intuition, listen to your customers, and accept your failures to evolve.