E-commerce Marketing: 7 Tips to Humanize Your Marketing Strategy

If you have been in e-commerce for quite a while, you may have come across the idea of “humanizing your brand.”

When we say that you should humanize your brand, it simply means making your business relatable and engaging. This is possible if you focus more on building relationships with your market, rather than shoving your products to their face.

Doing so allows you to have a support group ‒ a community of customer advocates. In relation to this, people prefer to make transactions with businesses that share the same values as theirs. Therefore, allowing you to increase your conversion.

But why it is important to humanize your brand?

Why You Should Humanize Your Brand

Making your brand appear human is one desirable trait that every business should have, and here are three reasons why:

Allows You to Build Relationships

As mentioned earlier, humanizing your brand lets you build a community of customer advocates through relationship building. After all, creating connections with your market is easier nowadays, thanks to social media.

Doing so allows you to understand them better, which means you can improve how you deliver your products or provide your services.

Lets You Tell Your Brand’s Story

Every business has a story to tell. It can be because you aim to help alleviate poverty in your community, you are fighting for a good cause, or you want to save the ocean.

Whatever the reason is, humanizing your brand allows you to tell your brand’s story. And storytelling is one of the many ways that humans communicate.

Enables You to Share the Spotlight

People will always prefer to talk to a human. Thus, you can share the spotlight to the people behind your brand.

Much like what Lush UK does. It is part of their branding strategy to feature people, communities, and grassroots organizations that promotes animal and human rights, as well as sustainable living. That’s because these are the causes that Lush supports and advocates

And who would not want to help a company that helps one of the marginalized sectors in a southeast Asian country?

How You Can Humanize Your Brand

Now that you know the importance of humanizing your marketing strategy, it is time to learn how you can apply that to your own business:

Feature your employees

The best way to humanize your brand is to use real humans, such as your employees.

For one, employees can effectively tell your brand’s story. Come to think of it; there is no more knowledgeable about your products and processes other than your employees. So, you can give them the freedom to build content about your products and services to educate your target market.

Another reason is that your customers are more likely to trust recommendations from a person. Thus, featuring your employees can create consumer trust, which can lead to an increase in sales. For your part as a business owner, that means reduced marketing cost!

Show your fun side

Another way to humanize your e-commerce marketing strategy is by having a sense of humor.

In case you haven’t noticed, brands like Old Spice, Dollar Shave Club, and Geico incorporate humor and fun in their marketing strategy. And there’s a reason showing your brand’s fun side works.

According to Neil Patel:

“In many cases, making your audience laugh is the key to winning them over, boosting your brand equity, and creating the perception of authenticity.”

For one, humor makes your target market less skeptical about your brand and marketing campaigns. Second, it makes you relatable. After all, they would not laugh at your brand messaging if it will not make them say, “This is so funny, I can relate!” Third and last, humor makes your brand relatable, which compels your consumers to share and talk about your brand.

No wonder the most shared content on social media is funny pet and baby videos.

Give your audience a voice

Back in the day, even before the dawn of e-commerce, every business’ marketing strategy is all about promoting their brand and emphasizing their unique selling point. The audience, on the other hand, can only receive the branding message.

Nowadays, the Internet enables brands to understand and listen to their market. This results in customer engagement.

Market surveys, data, and web analytics, blog comments, and online reviews are just some of the ways you can listen to your audience.

And because of two-way communication that you have between your consumers and your brand, you are sure to develop an engaging marketing campaign.

Evoke emotions through storytelling

As mentioned earlier, storytelling is one of the many ways that humans communicate. From a business perspective, storytelling is what makes you stand out.

As Ekaterina Walter pointed out:

“We live in a noisy world. Nowadays, to stand out as a brand, you either have to offer an unparalleled customer experience or become a really engaging storyteller. Or both.”

Here are some quick tips on how to include storytelling in your marketing strategy:

  1. Always hold on to your brand’s core identity.
  2. Build your campaigns around your business’ mission and vision
  3. Engage your communities by adding value
  4. Listen with your audience’s stories
  5. Use data to understand what resonates well to your market

Be transparent and own up to your mistakes

No one is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes. However, consumers tend to be unforgiving when it comes to businesses. Just like what happened to AirBnb.

Back in 2015, Harvard released a working paper based on social media user’s reports that they experienced discrimination while using the home sharing platform. According to the report, travelers with a distinct African-American names are “16% less likely to be accepted” compared to those with distinct White names.

AirBnb proactively addressed the issue when CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky issued an apology via email. This was followed by a 32-page report that evaluates where the company falls short on preventing racial discriminiation, as well as the measures that would be put in place.

Sure, mistakes can disrupt a business. However, owning up to your mistakes lets you demonstrate integrity and shows that you are human.

Nevertheless, you have to learn how to be sensible with your marketing campaigns.

Show and express your gratitude

Your customers are the reason your e-commerce store, and your business in general exists. Thus, it is essential that you show and express your gratitude towards them.

In the words of Mother Teresa:

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”

So, how can you thank your customers? It can be as simple as including a thank you note whenever you ship an order to something as grand as hosting a Thank You event.

Whatever you could think of, always find the time to show and express your gratitude to your customers.

Share user-generated content

In our opinion, user-generated content is the mother of influencer marketing. That’s because UGC includes product reviews and client testimonials.

And you also have to keep in mind that reviews can sway a person’s opinion about your products.

According to Sorilbran Stone:

“Your customers are far more likely to trust someone’s endorsement of you than they are to trust the content on your website. User-generated content helps you to forge a connection between your brand and your prospect.”

So, if you come across someone’s post about your brand, feel free to ask his or her permission if you can share it on your social media pages.

Wrap up

Humanizing your brand means making your business relatable with people. Thus, your customers would tend to connect with you.

So, which of these aforementioned tips are you ready to apply for your e-commerce store?

This post is contributed by Jake Rheude – He is the Director of Marketing at Red Stag Fulfillment, an ecommerce fulfillment warehouse that was born out of ecommerce. He has years of experience in ecommerce and business development. In his free time, Jake enjoys reading about business and sharing his own experience with others.

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