This is a guest blog post by Gemma from Contently Driven, one of Melbourne's favourite copywriting coaches. In this post she provides some great tips on how your ecommerce brand can connect with people in an authentic way.
Product-based business owner?
Fabulous, you're in the right place to discover how your brand connects with people.
And it's simple. Your business needs to be human-centred.
Because emotions connect people to brands.
But I bet you're thinking, how do you do this?
How does your online product brand connect with people? Real-life humans, I mean.
Glad you've got your thinking cap on because here it goes.
Stories are how brands connect with people
Does your brand tell a story?
If not, here's why it should.
Firstly, I'm heading back about 60,000 years to tell you about the gossip theory.
It won't take long, I promise.
It's one theory about why humans communicated differently to other animals. The others who wandered the planet Earth thousands of years ago.
There are two theories behind early humans and their communication abilities.
Early humans were able to say more than "look a lion" above other animals.
They could create a story to relay precisely where the lion was, what it was doing and what place to avoid.
Why? To keep the species alive?
Yeah, sounds like a good enough reason to me.
But the gossip theory suggests the human language evolved as a way of gossiping.
(Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind)
And this form of storytelling is what maintained human survival.
Which means humans have told stories for thousands of years.
Perhaps it does something to the neural activity of our brains?
But I'd need to be more science-y to know that.
Ok, back to your business. And present time.
Here's the thing, if humans have told stories for years, and it's kept us alive, then sharing your brand's story will help your brand survive.
Woah. I'll let you sit with that for a minute.
Human brains love stories. Because they help us learn, discover and connect.
So use the power of storytelling to attract your human's brains.
Here's why connection is essential to humans
By now you're probably thinking, yes storytelling is great, but my brand is recognisable.
Which means people buy your products and know your logo.
So why make it more human?
Let's talk about the brand Virgin.
And if you're like everyone else then, of course, you know Virgin.
But here's what you don't know.
Richard Brandon's LinkedIn has 18,018,424 followers.
Eeek, that's almost a whopping 18 million people following him. The human.
Could be more now when you're reading this blog.
So what about Virgin the brand then?
It's got a lowly 202,870 followers.
Say what? I know, seems mad, huh?
But if this isn't evidence of people connecting with people, I don't know what is.
You know Richard Brandon to be a lively, out there and a full of energy person.
Which means you want to connect with him and not his brand.
But at the same time, you know Virgin is his brand.
Having mind drama?
Don't. Understand humans connect with humans behind a brand.
Here's why your brand should be human-centred
Firstly, your brand is intellectual property.
Again, stay with me.
Your business is an intangible creation which includes copyrights, trademarks and all of the things.
But what makes your business real are humans.
So while your logo and brand are recognisable people have emotions attached to it.
It's the same as how people recognise the intellectual property of Virgin but connect to Richard Brandson.
Secondly, we're in a digital age, and the automation put into businesses is dramatically increasing.
Now, I'm not saying don't automate.
Because you need to. So you can sleep at some stage of running your business.
What I'm saying is more things get automated and computerised, so tangible relationships suffer.
Furthermore, do you get confused with what's real and what's a robot?
I know I do.
Which means more than ever you're craving a real connection.
I know it sounds crazy, but with so much technology in your face, you still crave your human association desire.
Your brain lights up when you make a genuine human connection.
And it's because you have a feeling of belonging, connection and compassion.
So why not have your brand create this?
Unsure if your brand is human enough?
Then ask yourself these questions,
Do you allow for customer conversations with people?
Is it easy for people to speak with a real human?
Do you ask your customers for their feedback?
Do you understand the consumers of your product?
And are your marketing emails friendly and asking questions?
These are ways to humanise your brand.
Let me delve further into this.
How brands connect with people is brand attachment
What's brand attachment?
JoAnn Sciarinno spoke at Content Marketing World and defined it as "the emotional connection between humans and brands."
You know the days are dead of sales-y marketing, and screaming "doors, doors, doors" at someone to sell doors.
Did you also know you face thousands of ads (almost daily) and you're evolving from falling for the traditional forms of advertising?
So what do you do?
Create a human-centred brand which allows for an emotional attachment.
It's where psychology meets marketing.
Use your marketing content to build these three elements:
Can your brand story create affection?
Do your values connect?
How about your product's names? Can they create passion in your humans?
Think about your brand and how you can generate these emotions to form a connection.
But back to your content.
Here's the best place to begin creating a human-centred business, so your brand connects with people.
Believe it or not, your about page is the second most visited page on your website.
Don't believe me?
That's ok, check your website stats.
So what does this mean?
People care what you're about, stand for and your humanness.
So what they don't care about is how much your brand's sold or the money you've made.
They want to know about people, those behind the business.
Such as your brand's values, purpose and vision.
(Here's where you can create your brand attachment)
Here's the thing about about pages
I want you to check your about page for one thing.
Are you tooting your own horn? Meaning it's all about you and your business.
If so, let me tell you you've got an about page fail.
But don't worry, it's easily fixed.
Remember when I said your about page is your second most visited page?
Gosh, you've got a great memory.
Well, think about it as a sales page.
Is your mind blown?
Stay with me.
Because if you think about it this way, then the easiest way to transform it is to ask yourself this question below.
"What's in it for me?"
Because if you were an external human you (outside of your brand) and read your about page would it tell you what's in it for you?
If not then your page isn't connecting with humans.
You about page readers what to know:
- What's in it for me?
- Who are the humans in this business?
- What do you stand for?
- Do I align with your values?
- Have I got common interests?
- What do I get if I buy from you?
If people can answer these questions, then they'll understand your business.
Because they'll know what they get and if they can create an emotional attachment with your brand.
And why do people do this?
Well, it goes back to the selfishness of humans and what's in it for me.
It sounds harsh, but it's true.
You're selfish. And I know this because I am too.
You buy because you want something in return, right?
Something for you.
And with so much competition in the interwebs here's where a connection will hook in your humans.
So use your about page as a sales tool, so it connects with your humans.
A good example is Robert Gordon's About us page:
And finally, does your business have a brand voice document?
Because it's the fail-proof way of making your brand relatable, friendly and humanised.
Once you've developed the way your brand speaks, then you can unleash your voice.
Notice how I've asked you a lot of questions?
It seems like I'm having a conversation with you, huh?
It's because questions keep your writing engaging.
Like when you have a conversation with a person.
And in this case, it's you (my reader), and you feel included and compelled to read on.
(As yes, you've made it this far.)
So asking questions is a sure-fire way of connecting with your humans through written conversation.
Otherwise known as copywriting.
Your About page matters. So, don't let it be narcissistic and lose valuable human connections.
Because people want to connect with humans in your brand. And not get disconnected by your technology.
You know because you connect with people through beautiful conversations.
Have a friendly chat with your audience using the copy you write for your business. Across all your content.
Remember, a human-centred business is how brands connect with people.
Over to you
Have you created a brand voice document for your product business?
Or, do you use the power of storytelling already?
If you need some help, book a time with Andrew to get the ball rolling