Get Personal - Humanize Content for Engagement

Liz Kistner - Monday, October 27, 2014

When you visit your Starbucks each morning isn't it nice how the barista makes sure to get your mocha latte drink just right?  Do you feel great when you go into a Godiva store knowing your spouse loves chocolate covered cherries and the sales associate puts a few in your bag free of charge? People like to connect with people.  Marketing to the masses may be a trend, but one-on-one personalized attention does not have to be a thing of the past.  Humanizing content takes more effort but it can go a long way towards building lasting relationships.  Here are three tips for humanizing content:

  • Tell Stories
    Stories connect. Stories are remembered. Facts are forgotten. Humanize content by using peer and user focused stories. Have alumni tell "look at me now" success stories to help prospective students relate to the impact your university might have on their own success. Incorporate stories of adult learners who had a difficult time balancing home life, kids, and school, but made it. Use stories that inform, entertain, and surprise your prospects.

  • Be Relevant
    Keep it relevant. Listen to what your prospects are saying on social sites, offering in their comments at Open House events, sharing during focus group discussions or submitting in surveys to understand what is first and foremost important in their minds. Drop the robotic messages.  Use content that helps solve their problems, helps educate, and helps them make informed decisions.

  • Resonate
    Humanize by using communication themes that resonate. What type of messages do your prospects value that aligns with their lifestyle and behaviors; incites action and engagement?  Use segmentation analysis to understand which communication theme connects with your prospects. Connect with your prospects by using customer-centric messages such as "Work Hard, Play Hard", " No Time Like the Present", "Stop and Smell the Roses" or "It's All in the Name". 

With the explosion of digital media it is becoming a crowded world. Many institutions are vying for the same prospects. Humanizing your content will help prospects see that they are not a number or part of a mass, they matter!  Humanizing your messages can be a highly effective way to increase brand awareness and lifetime value as well as gain student loyalty.