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Why Humanizing Content Is Important

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by: Loren McDonald (@LorenMcDonald)
21 June 2011

We all want that small-town feel, where the barista at the local coffee shop knows your order as soon as you walk in or the cashier at the grocery knows your name. Unfortunately, we can’t all live in small towns where we get personalized, one-on-one interactions.

With the rise of social media, though, today’s customers are starting to expect their dialogues with businesses to more closely resemble conversations with mom-and-pop store owners than monolithic corporate entities. As a result, sending generic marketing and advertising messages to the masses is becoming less effective, making it the perfect time to infuse your marketing content with a more human feel. Here are a few how-tos to get you there:

  • Drop the robot language. Do your emails have a consistently sales-y tone? Keep in mind that consumers are living in a social world where they’re checking emails in between checking out the latest tweets or on their mobile devices while they’re standing in line at the grocery store. Pay attention to your consumers’ behaviors and then talk to them like they are human beings—because they are.
  • Reevaluate your content. You don’t need more content, just a different kind. Consider looking at your blog, Twitter and Facebook posts or your customer support staff. All can be great resources for a new twist on content.
  • Laugh a little. It’s OK to be funny. People like it and respond to it. Adding humor to your messages is an attention-getting way to add personality—but it’s not the only way. Your voice should be the most logical extension of your company and its brand or image.
  • Incorporate customer and employee voices. According to Nielsen’s 2009 “Global Online Consumer Survey,” customers and prospects place tremendous value on peer opinions and reviews—more so than on ads. Do you blame them? Add user-generated content like peer reviews and testimonials to give your emails a more human feel—and increase your revenue.

As you start adding personality to your content, remember that “humanization” isn’t just a phase or a new buzzword—it’s a way of doing marketing that brings your customers’ and employees’ personalities and styles into your company messages. Humanization has become an expectation, so lose the “corporate speak” and start talking to people, well, like they are people.

For more tips on humanizing your marketing content, check out these resources:

  • Tip sheet: 5 Tips for Humanizing Content and Engaging Recipients
  • Blog post: Content Humanization Sets You Apart From The Sizzle-Sellers
  • Blog post: Moosejaw Touts 'Humanization' e-Marketing
  • Email Insider Summit Panel (video): The Humanization of Marketing Content -May 4, 2011
  • Client presentation: Humanization of Email Marketing Content –by King Arthur Flour and Moosejaw at Silverpop Client Summit



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