I am sure you are thinking; Emily what are you talking about, in a digital age where you actively promote remote working and digital marketing!

But what I mean is putting a face to the company, making your digital marketing more personable, making you more of an approachable company. Having photos of people on your social media, ideally people who work for or with your company. If this is impossible models will do the trick because people relate to people.

It often said in marketing and particularly for e-commerce website that an item of clothing sells better of a model then on a mannequin. This is supported by multiple journal papers:

“websites with images that include facial characteristics are more positively received by users than images with no facial features or no human images at all”  (Cyr, et all 2006)

“initial trust was found to be enhanced for Web sites employing photographs and video clips compared to control Web sites lacking such images” (Aldiri et al, 2008)

Imagery

But what if your website doesn’t sell products that models can wear or it’s difficult to get photography around you service because it’s not visually appealing, or of a sensitive nature. Well stock imagery has it’s place, but when choosing your stock imagery think carefully about the photos you choose. We use pexels.com and pixabay.com  to get free copyright free photos, but you need to check the commercial small print before you use these on your website, most are fine, but always check. Go for imagery that features a person, you’ll see we have a variety for our feature blogs and 9/10 our blogs photos are stock imagery to make them stand out on social media. The featured image for this article was intentional as it’s a photo of me and puts across the clear idea for making your business personable.

Think carefully about your models / stock imagery, consider your demographic. We have been working with a client reviewing their website, their stock imagery didn’t look right and we realised their target audience was much older than the models in the stock imagery, so their website was unrelatable by their audience. There are many alternative stock imagery websites, some you will have to pay but it’s worth it to, get it right.

Our website is littered with photos of the team, some more than others as I do understand it often difficult to find willing models within the company. I think it is so important that 90% of all your website photography should be photos that are of your people, product, office or service, making your marketing more transparent.

So get yourself a good photographer organize a session. Or just snap photos all the time and save them into a folder for future use. I am not telling you how old some of the photos on our website are! Do to the fact I never change my hair style I can get away with most of these photos!

Social Media

Think about your social media how can you make it more human, what images can you use. We do a lot of text laying, this is super simple to do on a free platform such as a canva.com. It provides templates and layout with you can drag and drop and it’s completely free, if you are using your own images, even if those images are taken from Pexels or Pixabay.

Autoresponders big no no

24/7 instant chat is very popular with websites, but I hate the auto-responders or even worse the robots with a set number of answers. These are not humans and they are pretending. The auto responders on Facebook messaging annoy me, I completely understand why they are there, but often a human will forget to follow up thinking the auto-responder has done the job.

E-mail Marketing

Consider your e-mail marketing, it’s not just the images but the sender, do your clients know you or your business name better? Would they recognise an e-mail from you, the business owner, the sales rep or their customer services rep. This also helps get through spam filters, but that’s another blog from another day How to avoid spam filters in your e-mail marketing.

Have a think about the people behind your business and how you can portray this online. Traditional businesses have a reception desk with a human behind, or a telephone with a human to answer it so why can’t your digital marketing have a human to front it.

Sources:

Khalid Aldiri (University of Bradford, UK), Dave Hobbs (University of Bradford, UK) and Rami Qahwaji (University of Bradford, UK) “ The Human Face of E-Business: Engendering Consumer Initial Trust Through the Use of Images of Sales Personnel on E-Commerce Web Sites “ (2008)

Cyr, Dianne; Head, Milena; Larios, Hector; and Pan, Bing, “Exploring Human Images in Website Design Across Cultures: A Multi-Method Approach” (2006). SIGHCI 2006 Proceedings. 6.
https://aisel.aisnet.org/sighci2006/6