One month before the world locked down, Marketing Unplugged invited Vidyard VP of Marketing, Tyler Lessard, to chat about videos, storytelling, and even curling. Throughout the conversation, a common theme that emerged was the focus on connecting with customers at a human level in all aspects of B2B marketing. At the time, Tyler had no idea that in just a few months we would all be craving personal interactions. In a virtual world, one of the best strategies is to connect on a human 2 human level, rather than a B2B level, and Tyler offered us some valuable tips to achieve this.
Authenticity and empathy were the two concepts that Tyler emphasized all marketers should consider in order to foster stronger human connection. Why do these two words matter? Because customers tend to engage more with content that resonates with them rather than content that has zero resemblance to their current situation.
When it comes to authenticity, Tyler believes that from time to time we need to take our marketing hat off, and actually work with no hat on at all, instead generating content as a real person. If you were reading a blog or watching a promotional video, what would genuinely appeal to you? Thinking in this way will help your work feel more natural and it will translate better with your audience. If you’re not sure how to take your marketing hat off, Tyler recommends that you read what you’ve created out loud, or show it to a non-marketing friend. If you or your friend thinks it sounds off, it might be a good idea to take a break, and take another stab at it with fresh eyes.
On a similar thread, Tyler stresses that we need to empathize with our customers in order to keep them engaged. What Tyler means is that we need to put ourselves in our customers’ shoes to see how they enjoy consuming content. For example, an estimated 55 million Americans listen to podcasts every month, so it may make sense to share your brand’s message through podcasts or other audio sources rather than 30 page guides or whitepapers. Taking the time to research how your customers consume content, can make a huge difference in your marketing strategy, and guide you in the right direction to truly optimize your channels.
The importance of fostering human connection in marketing will undoubtedly continue once this pandemic ends, and generating authentic and empathetic content is a great starting point to achieve this and humanize your brand.
To hear more of Tyler’s marketing insights (or curling stories) check out our interview with him on Marketing Unplugged.