There is something beautiful that happens when you unlock the perfect combo of eloquent messaging, customer knowledge and product or brand excitement. You take these elements, and if you have the right strategy in place, you connect with the people who matter most — the humans whose lives will improve if they use your product or service.
For B2B marketers, automation tools are integral to the content process. They interact with social media and website visitors, gather customer data and help buyers on their journey. From chatbots and predictive text to the seemingly wizard-like collection and sorting of data, it’s no wonder that AI is pretty much marketing’s secret weapon.
But, of course, there is a caveat regarding automation: you don’t want your marketing and sales outreach to feel like it’s coming from a robot (even if you work in SaaS where you are literally, trying to sell software or automation solutions).
Spoiler alert: it boils down to your content.
First, understand your audience
Look, you can have all the content — blogs, social media posts, emails, eBooks, whitepapers, etc. — but it’s useless if you don’t understand your audience.
Customer or user personas can help craft messaging that can speak directly to the humans who, if you do your job correctly, will use your product to solve a problem in their lives. To understand your audience, you need to identify their pain points, think of what they need in their day-to-day job and consider where they land in the decision-making process.
Once you understand our potential customers, you can begin work (or start some updates) on our branding and messaging!
Give your content a consistent, human “voice”
One of the most important things you can do before you even implement any automation is to ensure that your content has a consistent narrative voice and tone. Messaging frameworks and style guidelines (+ periodic training!) can help to keep all members of your organization writing and speaking about your brand in a uniform way.
Often, this time-consuming and resource-heavy groundwork is best suited for an external agency that can offer an outside perspective. By enlisting outside help, you can eliminate biases that your internal team may have developed about your company and customers. (Now, if only you knew someone who could help you with this step…)
But if you want a quick sample of ways to define your tone, think of how you want a user to experience your content. It can be helpful to think of in terms of “are” and “but not,” examples:
- We are confident but not arrogant
- We are friendly but not familial
- We are fun but not sloppy
- We are knowledgeable but not pretentious
To take it one step further, the following elements can help your content appear more human:
- Using contractions and shorter, concise sentences
- Avoiding jargon
- Keeping content conversational
- Speaking directly to the audience
- Integrating empathy
An outside agency can dive much deeper into the nuances of your messaging, but hopefully, this example helps paint the picture of why your company can benefit from some branding guidelines. Using your messaging frameworks, establishing a natural tone and adhering to a few best practices can help your content feel like it comes from a human. This way, when you start using automation tools, your content can speak – or read – in a more authentic and genuine way.
You don’t always have to follow all the rules
Aligning your people on how your brand looks, feels and sounds is key.
But, to humanize your content even more — one of the top-secret practices of copywriters everywhere, shhh — use grammar as a guide, not an end all be all. Grammar is important, and we cannot stress the value of having a proofreader for all your content (plus, there are some great AI tools for checking spelling and grammar), but once in a while, it’s ok to not be perfect. What human is?
Marketing automation tools can help collect detailed information about who’s spending time on your site, downloading your materials or curious for more (and what channels they are using) to engage with them quickly. Additionally, technology can help you gather more data about the people curious about brands and products that are similar to you. Use this data to help craft more compelling content for your audience.
With a clearly-identified brand voice in place, you can create content that resonates with customers for your website, social media, automated emails, chatbots and more. Need help with any part of your content strategy? Reach out to one of our non-robots today!