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Staying Human – Bringing out your brand's human side in 2021

ClickThrough Marketing

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December 10, 2020 | 4 min read

Amy Dugmore, Director of Content - ClickThrough Marketing

Amy Dugmore, Director of Content - ClickThrough Marketing

It should come as no surprise that under the pandemic, we’ve seen brands with a strong sense of identity and personality have a stronger platform to build upon when speaking with their audience. Our increasingly digital lives are placing more emphasis on the need to be human and connect – brand personality and tone of voice are key to building rapport and trust, even when times are tough. If you don’t know who you are, 2021 is the time to find out and bring this through in your digital content.

“Few people would be surprised to learn that, as a rule, we most prefer to say yes to the requests of someone we know and like.”

~(Cialdini, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion).

Cialdini goes on to break down this notion of ‘liking’ or likeability into core factors, including similarity and familiarity.

So how do you bring out the best of your brand’s human side in 2021 and make yourself 'likeable'?

Develop or redefine a brand that your audience will love

Brands like Oatly and BrewDog have been able to successfully reach more people, precisely because they have a clear and bold brand personality to act as a baseline. Making your brand instantly recognisable becomes even more important in 2021, as social feeds become ever more cluttered with advertising from brands. You need them to remember you as that familiar,

Not there yet? Remind yourself – and your audience – what you do best. Be honest, what are the biggest reasons that your customers buy from you, on a practical and emotional level? Make sure that message is conveyed clearly and regularly to your audience through your digital channels as the first step to brand clarity.

Want to go further? Using a model like the classic brand archetypes framework can help you get a handle on who you want to be and what you mean to your customers. Determine if your brand is a jester, a rebel, or a sage. From there, shaping your tone of voice to convey this effectively will help you to bring your personality to life – something that was crucial in 2020 when it came to conveying some of those trickier messages at times. Clear brand guidelines and regular reinforcement of these are the final piece in the puzzle.

Invest in content that tells your story and helps your audience, not just sales content.

Now is the time to audit your content against the marketing funnel to make sure you’ve got a good balance. If your current content is weighted towards the purchase end of the journey, it’s time to look at expanding the content you have in that early awareness stage as, no matter the shifts over the coming months, this is the content you can use to continue to engage your audience.

Need some inspiration for expanding your top of funnel content?

Be helpful: This may even mean going beyond the bounds of your product to provide your audience with links to other useful resources they can engage with, or it could mean showing them how they can get more out of your products and services. For example, how to make products last longer – in line with the sustainability message – has been a popular approach in 2020 and likely to continue to appeal to audiences in 2021, as lockdowns, tightened finances and environmental concerns make the make-do-and-mend mentality more relevant.

Have fun and inspire: Everyone needs feel-good stories! Being the brand to bring this to your audience can be incredibly powerful. Whether you decide to showcase the lighter side of your brand, or curate positive news from other sources, find those opportunities to spark joy among your audience and make them smile.

Share your caring credentials: From sustainability to committing to workplace wellbeing initiatives, whatever you’re doing to make the world a better place, now is the time to make sure that you’re sharing those stories. It’s also a great opportunity to put your people front and centre in stories about your brand and products.

This article originally appeared in ClickThrough Marketing’s 2021 Digital Marketers Playbook – available for free download now.

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