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Digital Marketing Made Human

by Nick Maglosky, CEO of ecomdash

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One of the reasons why I watch Netflix so much more often than I watch traditional television is because Netflix doesn’t have commercials. Seriously, if it’s not a sporting event, I don’t turn on my television unless it’s On-Demand. I don’t want my entertainment interrupted by someone trying to sell me something. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who feels that way.

Buyers have become savvy to marketing. They’re more empowered and they know how to reject or even avoid traditional marketing. I love it as a buyer, but it’s nerve-wracking to me as the CEO of a startup, especially a startup that works directly with small businesses in ecommerce. We see our customers struggling to translate their value to their customers online. How can we sell in a digital space to a populace who’s learning more every year that they don’t want to be marketed to?

We’ve got to make our digital marketing more human. Our newsletters, blogs, and social media have to come across less like an ad executive responding to focus groups and more like friendly advice from a trusted buddy. Most people use the internet for communication and to keep up with what’s going on in the world. That’s because they’re interacting with people, whether it be friends and family or strangers. The more you can make your digital marketing lifelike, the more you’ll be able to reasonably build trust that can lead to more sales in the future.

Here are three ways you can pull it off:

Jokes.

Imagine there’s someone at your job who’s all about the numbers, keeps every conversation serious, and never speaks to you unless they want you to do something. Now imagine the office cutup, the guy who’s always cracking jokes and does a great impression of your boss. Which person would you rather hang out with? We all want to be around the funny person, and the digital personality of a business is no exception. Humor in marketing establishes a rapport. The first coworker is a digital marketing strategy oversaturated with percentages and action steps. The second is a more light-hearted approach, regularly incorporating puns, jokes, or even timely memes into your online marketing efforts. If you can make them laugh, they’ll stick around long enough to see what it is you’re selling.

Opine.

It’s hard to talk to a person who never takes a stand on anything. When I ask someone about their favorite genre of music and they respond “I like everything,” I’m never sure where to take the conversation from there. Opinions do two things: they establish connection and they inspire conversations that can drive up word of mouth sales. Keep in mind when I say opinions I don’t mean opinions about your own product. Simply yelling “We’re the best!” only works if you’re DJ Khaled. Share your thoughts on related news in your industry and show your audience you’re smart, informed, and connected.

Interact.

I love seeing brands interact with each other on social media. Something about it makes me feel like I’m not just being subjected to wave after wave of calculated ad copy, but like I’m participating in a wider cultural conversation. Whether it’s some friendly playslapping or some unexpected friendliness, interacting with your partners and even your rivals on social media mimics the way human beings behave in real life. Take this flair for social interacting to your customers as well. We recently created some specific guides for engaging your audience on Pinterest, Instagram and Vine. Get creative with it. Think about what offers or participatory behavior you can push on your social media channels.

Closing Thoughts.

Very few people want to be sold something. You have to first prove your value to a potential customer before you can sell to them. That value shouldn’t always be your go-to customer success numbers or what percentage lower your price is than your competitors. Your audience also values humor, opinions, and interaction, human elements that will give some life to your digital marketing strategy. Set yourself apart from the pack and win more customers.

 

nick maglosky

Nick Maglosky is the CEO of ecomdash, a multichannel inventory, order, and listing software for ecommerce retailers. He’s a devoted Ohio fan, and hopes to witness a Cleveland Browns championship in his lifetime. He’s also the last tech CEO to own a Blackberry.

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