It doesn’t matter if you’re a blogger, journalist or B2B marketer writing sales emails, you should always create content focused on your audience. Yet there’s more to it than that. If you want to be successful in content marketing and establishing trust with your customers, focus on building a connection with them. That’s where the idea of establishing rapport comes in.
It can be difficult to build a personal connection with someone from a written post or article. Readers don’t know who you are, and this can make it feel more like they’re just reading about an anonymous entity. They can’t see your face, interpret your expressions, or feel like you’re talking directly to them.
So how can you humanize your post and create a connection with the reader? Here is a list of ways to improve this aspect of your content marketing.
“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”
Start a post off with a quote
People like and relate to quotes that inspire them or move them emotionally. Start some of your content marketing posts with a quote relevant to your niche. If your content has a motivational theme, a quote that encourages action will engage readers. If you sell health products and focus on health content, a quote about healthy eating might be appropriate. You’ll hook the reader early on and keep them reading.
Post a quick video discussing your topic
Another way to connect readers is by recording a quick video about the topics you cover through content marketing. Rather than post a wall of text on a website, break it up with a video. This works especially well if you’re covering a project or DIY adventure you can demonstrate in pictures, videos, or audio. Although you can create screenshot videos and instructional videos that don’t show your face, you’ll establish a stronger connection if you include yourself in the video.
Share your personal experience
Although the focus of what you post should be on the reader and their problems, sharing something about yourself or your own experience with your products or services will strengthen your connection with your reader. Customers want to know that you “walk the walk.” Also, if you love what you do and are passionate about it, let it shine through in your writing. Share your passion with your readers to let them know why they should be excited about the topic at hand. This helps show them that you care about what you promote and write about.
If appropriate for your brand, talk about why you started in the industry you’re in. If your readers feel they know you better, it helps establish a connection with readers and customers.
Create a list of favorite posts
Another easy way to help readers relate to you is to compile a list of posts you’ve published. This shows you’re consistent and reliable with the content you share, and that you’ve been around for a while. People like to know they can count on you to be there in the future. Show readers through your content marketing that you’re a reliable and dependable source who will be there in the future.
Speak directly to your readers
One of the biggest topics in publishing right is how to make writing feel more personalized and human. To reach your readers at a deeper level, talk like a person and not a corporation. Articles with a genuine voice rather than a corporate drone are far more interesting to read because they connect with a reader on a personal level — usually through narrative. One way to do this is to talk in the second person voice. Use “you” when you talk to your readers and structure your content, so the reader feels they’re talking to an old friend, but a knowledgeable one. Too much content marketing is “stuffy” and fails to engage the reader. Many large companies make this mistake! You don’t have to.
Give readers an inside look
Another way to humanize your content marketing and connect with readers is to give them a peek at office life within your company. People love being an insider, and getting a glimpse at what’s going on inside a company or business makes them feel special. Take photos of employees and behind-the-scenes events, so your customer can see what’s going and feel like they’re part of it.
The bottom line
Now, you know why you should humanize your articles, blog posts, social media posts, and all your communications. It’s a movement from brand to human, and a conscious shift in content strategy that more businesses are undertaking. The result is content that’s more authentic and that creates stronger relationships with the community and customers, while also building thought leadership in your industry.