By Brian Conlin
Don't be a marketing zombie.
Zombies lumber mindlessly toward their target to feed an insatiable appetite for live flesh. Marketing zombies hurl mindless tweets and emails around to feed an insatiable appetite for a quick sale.
In zombie movies, survivors tend to bypass, rather than engage, hordes of zombies because contact has little upside. Likewise, a marketing zombie's target audience will skirt those torrents of impersonal messages that provide no value.
You can't afford to be a marketing zombie—and the good news is that you don't have to be. You have a skill that no zombie has: the ability to be human and build relationships.
Here are 24 tips from top marketing sites for humanizing your brand and turning the tables on the zombies.
- Respond to comments on Twitter with employee accounts as opposed to the company's branded account. (Vocus)
- Make social media interaction more personal by calling a follower by his/her first name and avoiding jargon. (Vocus)
- Respond to commenters through an alternative Facebook page that has the picture and name of the employee responding. (AskAaronLee)
- Host Twitter chats for people in the industry to make connections and let your personality shine. (Convince&Convert)
- Strive to include a video or image to supplement text in one of every three social media posts. (Forbes)
- Ask for and give recommendations on LinkedIn. (Successful Blog)·Admit mistakes, apologize, and offer a solution promptly and publicly. (Mashable)
- Link email and Facebook efforts to alert people of viral deals and new content that's too big to email. (Vocus)
- Segment email lists to aim specific messages to the appropriate portion of a target audience. (Business2Community )
- Make emails sharable by including social media buttons and the brand's handles. (CTSmithIII)
- Test email delivery times to find what best fits the recipients' schedules by analyzing open, click, and conversion rates. (Brafton)
- Build relationships with industry reporters by commenting on articles and connecting on social media. (Vocus)
- Learn the reporters' style by reading their work and following them on social media. (Vocus)
- Pitch story ideas by sending free products and creating a compelling story. (Vocus)
- Allow reporters to connect emotionally with the story by offering ideas for art to accompany it. (Sterling Kilgore)
Search engine optimization:
- Write appealing headlines and copy without worrying forcing in keywords. (Vocus)
- Create a Google+ account to share content and increase SEO. (Vocus)
- Boost a brand's "about us" page with video, stories, and information about awards it has won. (Technorati)
- Use personal relationships to create more backlinks to a website. (SEOpedia)
- Gain consumers' trust by having the brand's CEO post to social media and interact with followers. (Vocus)
- Create an emotional connection by publishing case studies that tell a story. (PRWeb)
- Reach out to other bloggers and offer to host a guest post or write a guest post for them. (SEOmoz)
- Give behind-the-scenes access to show customers how the business operates or to highlight star employees. (Mashable)
- Inject humor into content to make it more enjoyable and personal. (MarketingProfs )
Brian Conlin is a copywriter at Vocus. A version of this article first appeared on the Vocus blog.