Marketing isn’t a one way street. It’s also about interaction nd engagement, more so than ever since social media marketing grabbed a leading role. So how can you bring the personal, interactive side of marketing into play, to help win friends and influence people?
Getting personal with your digital marketing
Interacting on Twitter
Too many people Tweet into a black hole. You can Tweet yourself silly but unless you interact with the people who RT your stuff, follow you, comment on or favourite your amazing gems of wisdom, you’re wasting your time. The same goes the other way round. If you never RT people’s efforts, reply to or favourite their Tweets, it’s equally one-sided. A simple “Thank you for the RT, how nice of you!” goes a long way.
Interacting via your blog
You spend ages crafting thought-provoking blog posts, but when people make comments you just let ’em lie. If someone makes the effort to type in a pertinent observation or poses a question, answer back and start building relationships. There’s no need to go mad and write War and Peace – even a few choice words or an acknowledgement will make people feel warmer towards you.
I’m a fine one to talk. I know, I know… my blog doesn’t accept comments. But I have a reason. I’m fortunate to have enough work flowing in. If I ever run dry, you can bet your last quid I’ll be opening my blog to comments and interacting like a woman possessed.
Getting personal with marketing materials
You make the effort to personalise your enewsletters and email marketing campaigns with prospect names, starting them off with Dear (name). But unless you also personalise your end of things by signing off with your name, you’re missing another teeny weeny yet useful opportunity to connect with people on a human-to-human level.
Direct mail letters
In the olden days, we’d include a dummy name at the bottom of direct mail letters. Head-to-head testing proved time and time again that it pulled a much better response than laser-printing an indecipherable squiggle or signing off with the company name. People would phone up and ask for ‘Sue Smith’, and were perfectly happy when told, “I’m sorry, she’ on the other line. But I can help you.”
Other external communications
It’s easy to forget that the everyday gumph you send people also has a marketing impact. Use your name on form letters and invoices, payment demands and quotes, and you’ll add extra oomph. After all, you are not a corporate body, you’re a person. Your customers and prospects are people too, so meet them half way.
Getting personal with Google Authorship
Sign up for Google Authorship and everything you write is attributed to you, with a head shot of yourself appearing in the search results next to your stuff. You can’t get much more personal than that, and it’s amazing what a powerful effect it can have on trust and credibility. Update Sept 2014: Google has just pulled the plug on Authorship.
Including your photo on-site
If you’re a freelancer or a small business owner, including a good photo of yourself on site can give you an extra edge over the anonymous competition. Of course you take the risk that a percentage of people might be scared off by your ugly mug, but on balance it’s a sure-fire way to promote your services as a human being instead of a faceless online entity.