The old days of marketing were very pushy and direct, relying the interruption of a person’s attention in order to insert your sales pitch or brand message.  Folks don’t respond too kindly to that model anymore and tend to riot and troll you for the lack of respect.  In today’s world, marketing content strives not to be pushy or rely on bullying tactics, but to be inviting enough to earn and hold an audience’s attention.  When you speak to them like a person (rather than a “lead”), you get rewarded with their attention, interest, and (eventually) loyalty.

So what can a brand or business do to communicate like a person and not a profit machine?

Here are 3 tips:

1. Tell a Story

Humans, by our very nature, are creatures of story.  We care about what happened last week, to whom, and what other people think of it.  Storytelling encapsulates any conversation that communicates a person or company’s culture, values, beliefs, history, hopes, and concerns.  By speaking to the things that matter to you (besides sales) and to your audience, you connect on a human level that resonates emotionally.

2. Be Relevant

Millennials are a savvy bunch and their parents are catching on to Ad Speak pretty quickly too.  The days of mass market messaging are over.  If it doesn’t matter to me specifically, SKIP!  That’s why your content and brand messaging should not cast too wide a net.  Target your core audience and speak directly to them about the things that actually matter to them.

3. Humility goes a long way

Keeping in mind that today’s audience of consumers have heard it all before, don’t assume they care about you or your products.  Don’t sell them a pair of shoes.  Inspire them to go running and educate them about how a good shoe supports their feet and their goals.  Brands tend to make all their marketing a pitch about how great their product or service is but no one cares.  If you want your message to carry, give it a reason to matter to someone’s everyday life in a way that take you and your product a step back.

If you start to work your brand marketing around real people who have real thoughts, feelings, needs, and lives, you’ll begin to notice the difference in how they respond to you.  Gain their trust and represent something larger than a profit-seeking corporate entity.  The twitters and the tags will reward you.

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