When you’re a small business owner it can feel like you’re balancing on a tightrope most of the time with a human approach to life. You’ve got to focus and 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 to having an effective marketing strategy.

Technology on its own can’t make people feel connected.

How Technology and H2H can work together

Keeping a human to human approach at the forefront of your business is important. It isn’t your business that has emotion; emotion and passion come from you and your team. Mobile, cloud and collaborative technologies can all help you to deliver a message and reach more customers, but it’s you that delivers a human, personal touch.

Harnessing the potential of technology and getting it to open doors for you, allows you to achieve personalization, emotion and connection. To create emotionally intelligent content that resonates with your customers and a brand tone of voice that enables you to connect with them.

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 cannot create a connection for you.

Using Data for Personalization

The potential for data collection when you use new forms of technology is enormous. We can learn more about customers than ever before and get to know them on a greater level. Using this data is really useful for your brand and can become a way for you to personalize your offerings to your customers.

You can find out which parts of your marketing strategy are particularly effective and tailor your content accordingly. People are looking for more tailored and personalized customer experiences and this helps them to decide which brands they want to engage with.

Personalization can be anything from segmenting your users to improve open rates and tailoring your content towards different groups, having tailored weekly offers that are directed at certain sub-sections of your audience or custom, unique products. The key is to

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 makes 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 decide they should be hearing.

Having a Human Approach – Final Words

Technology allows you to change and develop your brand in loads 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 can be created using technology, but it won’t necessarily be retained or flourished without emotive, personalized strategies.

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 your messages.

Originally posted at Insight