People don’t buy from companies.
People buy from people.
If you want to leverage your content marketing strategy to convert viewers into customers, you have to show your audience that you’re a real person ready to have a conversation with them.
So how do you do that?
The answer is simple: express your personality.
Believe it or not, your content marketing strategy, no matter how dry or boring it may seem, can serve as a highly effective tool to showcase your personality to your buyers. In this post, we’ll explore six unique strategies that you can use to start humanizing your content
1. Get Visual
Seeing is believing. There’s just something about visuals that connect with a viewer’s sentence in a way that text simply cannot replicate. If you haven’t already, you need to hop on the visual marketing trend ASAP.
Now, remember: this doesn’t mean that visuals can or should replace your text-based content entirely. Each has its own place. Text can elicit emotional connections just as often as visuals can—after all, if they wouldn’t, then the great works of marquee literary figures like Shakespeare and Mark Twain would have gone unnoticed.
Instead, visual marketing should be used as a complement to your other content formats. Your personality will be most obvious to your audience when you express it across multiple forms.
2. Tell Stories
We just talked about how novels are living proof of the fact that text-based content can absolutely demonstrate personality and emotionally connect with readers. There’s a simple reason behind why a human reader would want to stare at walls of text for hours upon hours: stories.
Storytelling has been an integral part of culture since ancient times. Thousands of years before there ever was content marketing, the Internet, or even written language, human cultures passed down stories of their history from generation to generation.
Stories are ingrained in the human brain. That’s why telling a story in your content will not only humanize the post but also result in a deep emotional connection with your reader.
Whenever you can, leverage storytelling to drive home your points. Case studies, company news, even personal anecdotes can go a long way towards ensuring that personality permeates your content all the way through.
And remember: the text doesn’t have to be the only medium through which you tell your stories. Often, stories are best told visually, when you can delve into the second layer of emotion with visual triggers to make the connection even stronger.
3. Ask Questions
When you ask your readers specific questions within your content (and give them a forum in which to share their answers), you do two things:
- Show the prospect that you care about understanding their business and their pain points.
- Massage the prospect’s ego by giving them an opportunity to voice their opinions.
And now, you’ve shown yourself to be the kind of personality that wants to hear from and listen to your readers, exponentially increasing the chance of a connection.
4. Write Like You Speak
At the end of the day, content marketing is not a one-way street. It’s a conversation. Every piece of content you publish is, in essence, an attempt to start a conversation with a potential buyer.
With that in mind, why would you ever want to write in a dry, boring, uber-professional writing style that no one ever uses when having a conversation offline?
When you look at it that, a stiff and proper writing style just doesn’t make any sense. Instead, you should be writing the way you speak, complete with idioms, pop culture references (more on this later on), and contractions.
If you’re hesitant to do so, I understand. Old fashioned wisdom dictates that whenever you create communications in your work environment, propriety demands a rigidly over-professional tone.
But as you well know, that simply isn’t what works anymore in today’s online world. Don’t sacrifice the chance to connect with a buyer for the sake of writing subpar content the way “it’s always been done”.
5. Make References to Popular Culture
This strategy ties into the one above, but as a standalone technique, it’s probably my absolute favorite way to infuse personality into the content I create. Here’s why:
Your personality is made up of a whole lot of different aspects of your life and character that define you. Your job and work are only a couple of the many factors that affect your personality. The rest of it comes from your hobbies, interests, involvement in popular culture, etc..
Thus, the best way to express your personality in a fun, conversational way is to leverage those non-work related factors. Case in point: pop culture references.
The only caveat with this is to make sure that your references are still going to be relevant to your target audience. If you’re a twenty-something millennial, your perception of pop culture will overlap in different ways with buyers dependent on whether you’re trying to connect with a counterpart or a sixty-year-old C-level executive.
Just be mindful of that one potential pitfall, though, and you’ll be just fine incorporating Game of Thrones references into your next tweets (no spoilers though!).
6. Unveil the Men and Women Behind the Scenes
Last but certainly not least, expressing your personality doesn’t always have to be done in an indirect way. Sometimes, the best approach to expressing your personality is just taking some time to talk about yourself!
There are so many ways to unmask the faces behind your content marketing strategy. You could do a weekly “meet the writer” blog post to introduce each team member one by one. Or, you could promote employees’ personal social media accounts in company posts. A video series where each team member takes a few seconds to share a fun fact could be especially well-received.
Pick, choose, and combine as you see fit. Any way you do it, your viewers are really going to start seeing the faces and getting to know the personalities behind the content marketing strategy that draws them to your brand.