Content is the name of the online marketing game. At least, it's one of the names, one that's getting more and more attention. With attention comes competition, the results of which are painfully obvious to us whenever we do an online search - the Internet is filled with content that's generic, that could be applied to thousands of brands at the same time, that lacks something that will make it stand out from the crowd, or at least be recognizable enough to serve as part of a wider brand identity.
Content, it seems, is lacking a certain personal flair. Might be because people don't think adding a personal touch to content gives results, or because the fine line between sharing and oversharing is sometimes hard not to cross. For one reason or another, businesses aren't sharing their stories in effective ways, at a time they really should.
Why Personal Matters?
One of the main reasons a business - your business - could do with a more personal approach in content is because it's one of the things that will make your business seem more authentic. Authenticity started as a very important buzzword that turned into one of the guiding principles of business who want to cater to the millennial market. If you're struggling with wrapping your head around the concept of authenticity, all you really need to know is that sharing your business' story (or your own) in your content is a sure way for your business to appear more authentic.
By writing content that has a personal touch, you will provide more information to potential customers who might jump on the opportunity to learn more about a business to which they might become customers. If you don't embellish and stick to the truth, you will come off as honest and real, along with authentic and open.
You can also cross your own personal and your business' personal stories in order to create a personal brand for yourself. It can help you in more ways than one - it can set you up as an authority figure in your field, it can increase traffic to your website, it might even increase sales. All you need to do is set up your own personal online presence you'll use only for business-related content. You can start with a Twitter account.
The bottom line of all of these advantages of giving a personal touch to content is that, in time, it will build trust. Your business will become trustworthy, people will feel like they know it, and know you.
How to Start Getting More Personal?
Going personal means telling your own stories, in your own voice, and engaging with people on a personal level. It doesn't sound hard because it isn't. All you have to do is remember that you shouldn't write stuff you've fabricated if it's not clear you're writing a fabrication. Finding your own voice might take some time, but don't be discouraged - everyone has a voice. From there, you need to make sure that your stories have a flow and a purpose, and that all the obstacles that could prevent people from getting sucked up into your story are removed.
You can go beyond the content in giving your business' online presence a personal touch. When someone tries to engage with you by commenting on your post, for example, you shouldn't try to shut them out. You can't reply to each and every comment, but you should to some. You added a personal touch to your content as a way to engage with your customers, so engage away.
A word of caution, though - you should always make sure to stay on topic. It might be easy to get carried away and start oversharing stories that are simply irrelevant to your business and your content strategy. Determine a topic and stick to it. Remember that you're talking with clients, existing and prospective ones, and the things you say should, after all, be of some interest to them. You don't have to go so far as to write exactly what they want to hear, but if you don't give them what they came for, you will lose them.