When you're a small business owner it can feel like you're balancing on a tightrope most of the time. You have to concentrate on moving forward, but there's always the temptation to look down or think about what'll happen if you fall... with a sharp intake of breath.
Looking for ways to grow your business can be one of those never-ending tasks. You have to constantly work towards finding new and innovative ways to attract customers and build your brand.
Sounds familiar, right?
Well now we have a whole wealth of sparkly, newfangled technological tools to utilize, so you can increase your reach and communicate with more people. But don't rest on your laurels. Technology is great, but a human-to-human approach is essential for any effective marketing strategy.
Put simply, technology on its own can't make people feel connected.
And connection is what your business needs.
How Technology and H2H can work together
Emotional connection is a crucial element in the marketing process - and it isn't your business that has emotion. Emotion and passion come from you and your team. Mobile, cloud and collaborative technologies, these can all help you to deliver your message and reach more customers, but it's you who delivers a human touch.
For example, you can have a presence on every social media platform, but if you aren't putting messaging together that resonates with your audience then it's not going to be an effective marketing tactic.
Technology can take you so far, but it can't create a connection for you.
Using Data for Personalization
The potential of data, as facilitated by modern connective platforms, is amazing.
We now have the means and opportunity to learn more about our customers than ever before, and using this data can be extremely useful for your brand, particularly as a way for you to personalize your offerings and messaging.
For example, you can find out which parts of your marketing strategy are particularly effective then tailor your content accordingly. People are looking for more tailored and personalized customer experiences and such efforts will help them to decide which brands they want to engage with.
Personalization can be anything from segmenting your users into smaller subsets and groups, creating tailored offers that are directed at certain audiences, developing unique products and so on. The key is to use your data intelligently which can lead to a deeper, richer relationship with your users.
Conversion leads to Customers
Getting customers to convert is about encouraging them to move through each step of their buyer journey with your brand and compelling them to take action. It's your job to use technology to assess what makes people move to the next step, and decide what you can do to improve the user experience.
Business is about figuring out what makes potential customers have their moment of truth - but too many brands focus on acquisition. How many subscribers do we have? What were our sales figures last quarter? Yes, these questions are important, but they need to be viewed in conjunction with other factors.
Acquisition can be achieved with technology, but retention is where you need a human-to-human approach.
Keeping your customers around and encouraging them to stick with your brand can be done through human interaction or personal touch. Offering rewards for loyalty can sound cheap, but it works for customers. Loyalty programs, discounts, and exclusive content can make customers feel valued. We feel good when we feel valued.
For example, Shop 4 Vitamins saw a 265% increase in repeat customers by using loyalty rewards, according to Big Commerce.
What not to do
You have to work on bridging the gap between you and your customers. At an essential level, we're all humans that want to connect with each other and that's an idea that should never be lost in translation.
If your brand distances itself from your customers, then they'll find it more difficult to feel loyal to you or like they have any relationship with you at all. Using complex jargon can make you inaccessible to your audience; it may make you look authoritative, but it isn't inclusive to every one of your customers or someone trying to get involved with your brand for the first time.
You might recognize a few of these examples.
Communication should be genuine and simple. Use the language your customers speak and not the language you believe they should be hearing.
Having a Human Approach - Final Words
Technology enables you to change and develop your brand in a range of new and exciting ways. But it can only take you so far.
Tools need to be combined with a human-to-human approach, otherwise your connection to your customers, which can be created using technology, won't be retained or maximized to best effect.
Small businesses need to work on forging relationships with customers and creating loyalty. Technology lets you get your messages out there but it's up to you to humanize their meaning.
The post How Technology with a Human Approach Helps Grow Business originally from Bryan Kramer.