Humanising content is any kind of content that you or your business is producing that is centred on the people involved in the work – but why is it so important?
With social media ‘feeling connected’ holds multiple meanings. We can be in the loop without truly being connected. Think about a social media feed full of advertising and not one post from someone you know – it’s not appealing. Plus, the recent explosion in the use of AI has blurred the lines between human and machine-made content, contributing to a decline in audience trust (the keystone of successful professional services and client relationships). Content about and featuring you, your staff, clients and community feels human and communicates to people on a genuine level.

The adage of ‘People buy people’ still holds up and always will

Your target audience isn’t just buying your services, they’re buying you. Before they will do that, though, they need to trust you. “Know Like Trust” (KLT) is a marketing concept that describes how a prospect’s relationship with your brand will need to change for them to convert into a client. They will need to go all the way from knowing you exist to trusting you, and content that humanises your brand is one the best tools you have to make this happen. There are a lot of different things you can do to showcase your staff and community from sharing staff development and milestones to “meet the team” and fundraising.

Celebrate together

An easy place to start is to share major milestones of your business and staff. When a team member adds another year to their time with you, share it on social media. You can take this opportunity to thank them for their hard work! If your business is reaching a major milestone, consider sharing the story of how the business started, and how it has gotten to where it is now. If you’ve been entering awards, you should always share any positive results, whether you win a category or get highly commended. This is particularly true if the award or nomination was for an individual in your business, as these have great stories of hard work and great service attached. The celebrations don’t have to stop at the border of your business though – consider your community and sector.

A LinkedIn post from Consortium - more than marketing that's celebrating community award winners, which is an example of Humanising Content
A LinkedIn post from Consortium – more than marketing celebrating winners at the LawNet conference 2023.

This example from Consortium – more than marketing has a good amount of engagement, both in likes and comments. The vast majority of the post is not about Consortium and does not sell anything – it’s just celebrating the achievements of members of our community.

What this post does well (that you should steal for your posts):

  • Tags individuals and businesses, involving them directly in post and increasing the post’s reach (this also makes the copy more personal!)
  • Includes hashtags specific to the event, so others who were there are more likely to see and engage with the post
  • Sharing excitement and congratulations for others builds a sense of community and reflects well on the author (in this case Consortium)

Share your knowledge

Whether it’s a quick tip in a social post or an in-depth article in a journal, sharing information is a form of humanising content because it puts the knowledge of yourself or a team member in front of your target audience. It’s a great method both because of the variety of methods to do so, and because it allows you to demonstrate what you know directly to your prospects. Here are a few of our favourite methods:

Thought Leadership is writing that establishes you as an authority on a particular subject. These pieces are a little more time intensive, but the reward can be quite large – you can pitch your piece to industry journals to see if they’ll publish them. Thought Leadership works best when it’s leading the conversation, so make sure to share the piece and then follow up on comments and questions.

Bite-sized insights like quick-tip social media posts tap directly into the audience’s appetite for life hacks and time-saving techniques. If you can condense your hard-won lessons into accessible tips, you humanise your expertise by making it approachable.

Fundraising and CSR

Your business likely has some core values or a social responsibility statement somewhere on your website. Showcasing any fundraising or volunteer work that your business or staff engage in provides tangible evidence to the community of your commitment to the greater good. This is profoundly humanising content as it changes your company from an amorphous brand to a collective of individuals. For example, if one of your team members is running a marathon for charity, make sure to share their endeavour – it both helps their fundraising and personalises your business with their name, face and effort!

Sharing your team’s community investment helps to build trust with your target audience and is a great demonstration of company culture. If you’ve been fundraising, sharing the numbers you’ve achieved promotes transparency, and images of your staff working together towards a cause will demonstrate a team that collaborates and builds connections. Most industries will have charity groups that exist within them already, such as WillAid. Taking part in these has the added benefit of showcasing your expertise.

The key to posting your charity initiatives is ensuring the work is genuine. Donations made or volunteering done solely for the sake of content – or to ‘make you look good’ – will damage your reputation.

Include photos and videos

The use of images in a social media post is a guaranteed boost for performance. Including photos, especially of people in your social media posts or any kind of marketing is a guaranteed way to win people’s hearts. After all, posts with at least one image can see up to 650% more engagement than a text-only post.

The best-performing imagery will be of your team or business. Photos of you and your staff will introduce you to your target audience, building that trust and authenticity we’ve been talking about. It’s the very definition of humanising content. Plus, stock photography can be hit and miss in its performance, so you might as well avoid the gamble and invest in some professional photography.

As beneficial as images are, video has quickly become the king of content. Video feels authentic partly because it is – it gives you a unique opportunity to communicate wholly who you are. It’s also a very versatile format. It can be used for information exchanges such as webinars, to convey the culture of your company and even for testimonials.

A testimonial for Consortium – more than marketing from Paige Collins of Warren House Accountants.

Video testimonials are great, as they put what’s excellent about your work in the language of your target audience and contextualise what would have otherwise been static text in the story of a real human being.

Want to find out more?

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