When I step into someone’s home for the first time, what I notice most are their personal photos. The perfectly placed décor (and mess) blend into my peripheral view. Instead, I see the photo of their wedding and wonder what stories they have to tell from that day. I recognize the collage of babies who have since lost their chubby cheeks but still have the same recognizable eyes and smile. With each photo prompts an instinctual urge to learn more about their history and find connections with my own.
As humans we are designed to connect with faces. As babies we are born loving to study faces. We are also born to love a good story. Like our fascination with faces, curiosity and empathy towards other people is ingrained in our DNA. Storytelling is powerful because it draws our attention and creates an emotional connection which leads to building trust and loyalty.
As a marketer, I am ultimately a storyteller who uses images and words to deliver a message and create a connection. It may seem obvious, but what I have learned works best to engage and connect people is authenticity….and well, real people.
Google agrees, and last August, it rolled out its latest helpful content update. This recent update places a far stricter requirement on content quality and authenticity, with the goal being to make digital content more relevant and valuable to actual humans.
We can create authenticity in our Google Search efforts and across all marketing channels including Social, Email, Paid, and Print. But doing so means branching outside the cookie-cutter graphics and general copy we have gotten used to producing. Much like the pretty paintings on the walls in our living room, these are a great way to look modern and professional, but they won’t grab the attention of your guests as meaningfully.
Here are my top 3 tips for getting more personal with your marketing efforts:
Feature photos of the real people behind your brand
Faces capture attention, create a personal connection, and build trust with your brand. Admittedly, getting these photos is one of the most challenging parts of my job since I typically can’t snap these photos myself. But I promise, the extra effort to get these photos to us is worth it!
Tell meaningful stories
Storytelling helps bring an emotional connection to the forefront. For our healthcare clients, we find that sharing stories of patients and staff has a great impact on building trust and fostering patient-centered care. For staff, it is also a way to recognize their hard work that can often go uncelebrated and boost morale among staff.
Most of us turn to reviews for authentic feedback and personal experience. We are social creatures by nature and look to our friends and family for recommendations. Reviews allow us to do this at the click of a button. Share your brand’s reviews and make it even easier for people to access the experience of a real person.
Don’t be afraid to get more personal and show the people behind your logo. The passionate, smart, and hard-working people behind your brand are your most captivating story and influential voices!
Lindsey Hanson, Digital Marketing Manager
Lindsey has been a nomad in the digital world since its creation in 1993, joining networks on MySpace to Instagram and present-day (incognito) appearances on TikTok. She began her career in Digital Marketing 7 years ago and has evolved into a marketing ambassador, bridging the gap between the virtual and real world.