The Challenges of Humanizing Your Online Business

woman doing online business

As more and more businesses transition online, the loss of humanizing these businesses is not, well, lost on us. While technology changed our lives and the world dramatically, it is not without its challenges. In particular, online businesses have to make an extra effort to humanize their brands, to show to their customers that they are, like many of the people they see in grocery stores, retail shops, and pharmacies, are real people. The digital age also did not change the fact that people trust people they can see and interact with. They will buy from these people more than a bot they talk with over Messenger.

The relationship between a business and its customers is fragile. That is why there is a great need, especially these times, to strengthen this bond by showing the human side of your company. Who are you? Who are the people behind the smart marketing strategies and the quality products? What kind of culture do you have as a company?

That link between a brand and its customers should extend to outside the store or in the case of e-commerce, outside the realm of social media and the Internet. Brands shouldn’t see customers through follows, comments, and shares. They are real people with real needs, as much as your employees are real people with real stories that push them to work harder and pursue their dreams.

Show Behind-the-scenes

One of the biggest challenges of humanizing a brand is showing what happens behind the scene. Companies have to protect their processes, but it’s also crucial for customers to understand how products are made. This is more of a challenge for online businesses as they operate purely on the Internet and have no opportunity to extend their relationship through office and shop visits.

What many companies don’t realize is that people love to see how they manufacture products. That’s why shows like Unwrapped are popular. Shows, where people get to see how piston filling machines work to bottle their favorite sodas, humanize the process to them. At the same time, customers get to prove that you’re using the best materials, equipment, and technology to make the products they buy.

Put People on Your Website

woman working

Online businesses rely only on their websites to build a relationship with their customers. What do your customers see upon landing on your page? Putting people on the website will humanize your brand. Posting photos of real customers will make future customers trust your brand more. How important is this? More than 80% of consumers said they trust testimonials and reviews from real people far more than they do endorsements from top celebrities and paid ads.

Use Your Own Picture on the Website and Email

A lot of business owners are not comfortable enough to show their faces to their customers. It’s one of the best ways to humanize your brand. If they can put a face on the brand, they are more likely to trust it. Make sure that your face appears on the website’s About Us page, as well as in the marketing emails you send to your customers. This will increase the chances of your target market trusting and buying from your business.

Use Facebook to Show Your Personality

Instead of posting all about promotions, use social media to showcase your personality. People don’t go to social media to be marketed to. They like to receive information from the pages that they follow. They also interact with friends, connect with their families, and share photos, videos, and recommendations. Although you should use social media to promote your business, this isn’t the only purpose of being on Facebook and Instagram.

Act Like a Human

Generic responses are common on social media. Reposting the same comment or answer to a follower’s question is a practice of many businesses. However, social media is all about listening and responding. It’s an opportunity for you to answer specific questions about your business, products, and services. Use this chance to act like a real person. On social media, your brand isn’t just a brand or a corporation. You are a person who’s responding to questions on a personal level with accurate and relevant information.

Regardless of what marketing strategies and tools you use, remember that they must be about your audience. Bringing humanity back to your marketing tools is not an overwhelming process. It is, in fact, one that should be ingrained in your business strategy. Through practice, you will find that it is far easier to humanize your brand than to commoditize and commercialize it.

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