Do you ever find yourself browsing the news and getting the surreal feeling that you’re living in a world that’s much closer to science fiction than you ever imagined seeing in your lifetime? We felt that way after reading about an AI that could read the facial expressions of mice.
The fact is, while we may think of AI as being directly tied to robots with human faces, the reality is much more nuanced than that. Smart assistants like Alexa or Siri are great examples of AI technology without a face. We’re teaching our computers to learn – which is nifty! (And maybe a little alarming if you’ve seen Terminator too many times.)
It’s a great story, and if you know anything about SEO you already know that half of marketing is about ensuring that algorithms like your content. But even with that knowledge, after reading this story we found ourselves consumed with a thought:
In a world of artificial intelligence, google algorithms, and automated services, how do we ensure that we’re marketing to PEOPLE?
The answer is much easier than you might think–by showing your own humanity: imperfections, goofy coffee addictions, mismatched socks, and all.
ALERT! ALERT! ALERT!
Stay tuned for this SHOCKING announcement and segue:
The team at SizzleForce Marketing consists of a group of absolute dorks.
But does anyone need to know that? Does it help us if potential clients know that one of our team members plays Dungeons and Dragons, another watches I Love Lucy on a daily basis, and another listed “a year-long pass to Disneyland” as something she considers to be a personal luxury?
We’d argue: yes.
By marketing to people we’re allowing our clients and readers to get a little peek behind the scenes so they can feel connected to us! It also allows us to lean into the branding we’ve already established for ourselves: as a team that values communication and connection with each other as well as our clients! (Pssst… we really do.)
This approach can work for you too–and set you apart as a heart-centered brand. Not a machine
But don’t just take our word for it! Let’s roll up our sleeves and determine if behind the scenes “human marketing” is right for your brand!
Uhhhh…is behind the scenes marketing right for my brand?
What a great question! The answer is…probably! But we can do better than that. Numerous factors impact how you approach this style of marketing. Factors such as…
“Is my Industry too dry?”
If you read last month’s Marketing Minute, you know there’s a great chain of gas stations in the midwest called Kwik Trip that goes hard on their Instagram page. Aside from memes, hilarious videos, and midwestern inside jokes, they use behind the scenes marketing to give their audience a glimpse of the people behind their marketing. We’re super impressed by their ability to market to people.
“But, they’re a gas station! What business does a gas station have making their Instagram account hilarious?”
The answer: with the right creative team and the right approach, any industry can use behind the scenes marketing to show the heart behind the content!
Your company culture should influence every aspect of your marketing plan. This includes a behind the scenes social media post. If your company presents as being socially conscious and putting people first, your content should reflect that.
Take for instance, how Starbucks chose to approach human marketing by showcasing one of their employees. Rianne has been delivering 5-pound bags of coffee to her local fire stations after almost losing her own home to a forest fire. This story is heartwarming and reflective of Starbucks’ core values.
Knowing Your Audience
Wyrmwood, a company specializing in making accessories for Table Top RPGs has its audience figured out. Their YouTube channel, WyrmLife gives customers a peek at the nerds behind the product and allows the personalities of those involved to take center stage.
Their content is messy and loud, and the way they tease each other often zooms past passive aggression and flies head-first into confrontation. For most companies, this tactic isn’t a great idea. However, for Dungeons and Dragons players this type of content is candy! Wyrmwood’s ideal customers may even find themselves relating to the personalities and the process. Seeing the sweat, tears, and love that go into each product even helps the perceived value. It’s a risky tactic, but in their case, it pays off!
So…where to start?
Now that we’ve confirmed that you could probably benefit from including behind the scenes marketing in your strategy, the question becomes how to implement it when you’re marketing to people! The truth is, there are tons of ways to showcase the humans behind the content.
Meet the team!
In human marketing, you can never go wrong with a video, post, or photo session with your team! What this looks like is dependent on your brand, of course. If you want to present your company as being buttoned up and professional, this may be a polite interview or a short bio specifying who they are and what they do. You can even sprinkle in a fun fact here or there to make them feel more personable without sacrificing that professional tone.
Engaging With Your Community
This is our favorite thing in the world. Showing community engagement is a great way to simultaneously give back and market to people. It’s not only good for your business: it’s good for the world. One of our favorite examples of this is Houston’s “Mattress Mack” who provided shelter to Houstonians during the winter storm. An act of kindness goes a long way.
Milestones and Accomplishments
If someone on your team just earned an award for their accomplishments in your industry, why wouldn’t you want to share that? Not just on your website, but on your social media too! Showcasing success in your marketing is a great way to display the talent of your team as well as the company’s appreciation for them.
How You Have Fun
An alternative to that buttoned-up professional tone is showcasing how your team has fun! This could be a short video of two coworkers playing a board game at lunch or a Facebook post about the team voting on “The Best Western Movies of All Time”. The point here is that, once again, you’re showcasing that the individuals behind your product are human beings who like to let their hair down! This is great human marketing!
Updates and Events
Wishing your team members a happy birthday can be a wonderful way of relaxing your tone. So is sharing pictures from an office holiday party! Maybe one of your teammates decorates their desk for every single holiday and you post what they did for St. Patrick’s day this year! This is a great way to keep your social media feeling fresh and keep your audience connected.
Is something new in the works? Give them a taste!
If you’re working on a new product or package, giving your audience a sneak peek is an excellent way to get them excited about it. There is an art to this, of course. You don’t want to provide a sneak peek until you’re certain the product is going to be released. Similarly, you want to ensure that what you present is exciting and concrete. You need to show enough of the new project to get people talking, without it looking too ham-strung or half finished.
Are You Marketing to People?
As you can see, there are all kinds of tactics to use when implementing behind the scenes marketing. So many, in fact, that you may still be unsure about the best way for you to move forward with your tactics. If this isn’t your only uncertainty, and you frequently find yourself unsure of how to move forward with your marketing plan, we’ve got just the thing for you. Check out our quiz to help you better understand how you can grow your business with the right marketing mix!