Why do people buy Oreos instead of store brand chocolate-and-creme cookies? The answer is simple — for that person, buying Oreos is a purchase that feels more personal, and even more trustworthy, than buying generic brands. 

How in the world can buying Oreos be personal? Many customers have spent a lot of time enjoying Oreos throughout their childhood and adult lives. Not all small businesses have the same luxury of a long cultural history, but you can still connect with your customers in a meaningful way and perhaps even become part of their lives through personal marketing.

From A Newsletter Perspective: What Makes Content Personal?

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When you’re trying to appeal to everybody — in other words, create generic content — an odd thing starts to happen. Your content becomes flatter, is more boring, and blends in with the noise of your customers’ daily life.

At Newsletter Pro, we’ve found that our most successful clients have overcome the hurdle of trying to appeal to as many people as possible. Instead, they’ve mastered appealing to the people that matter most, and their newsletter readership grows stronger than ever from there.

Why? Imagine you’re feeling highly paranoid about choosing your own life stories to appeal to customers. You might intentionally choose a topic you don’t feel too strongly about or decide to leave out interesting or funny details that’d excite your customers. The truth is that people like to read about emotion. What did you feel when you were faced with real challenges in your career? What did you do then? Finally, how did you overcome them and how did that make you feel?

Personal stories create incredible professional content all the time. Think about every famous entrepreneur’s startup story that you know. When Elon Musk still worked as co-founder of PayPal, it was voted as the Worst Business Concept of the Year in 1999. In the following year 2000, he was ousted from the company while on his honeymoon. Then, in that same year, he nearly died from malaria while on vacation in Brazil.

Even if your personal stories don’t feel as dramatic, you can surely think of moments in your life that made you question your decisions. Looking back, did your decision pay off? How and why? What lessons did you learn from the experience? Sharing these stories can create content that’s personalized to you, your company, and your brand’s story that customers can deeply relate to.

But personal marketing doesn’t just apply to content from the business owner themselves – it also applies to your company voice and overall content strategy!

How To Utilize Personal Marketing Even Outside Of Newsletters

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In every relationship, listening is just as important as speaking up. That’s why, if you want to create personal marketing content for your business, it starts with deeply understanding your target audience.

Michelle Manafy, the editorial director of Digital Content Next, wrote on Inc. that “more than a third of consumers (and more than half of those under 50) prefer personalized messages.” Yet, between 40%–50% of consumers don’t think the personalized messages they currently receive are good enough.

Worst yet, the consequences are steep: Over 40% of U.S. consumers dump a company because of “poor personalization and lack of trust.”

When you give your company its own friendly and unique voice, you have to make sure you’re directly engaging with a customer’s needs — not what you think they are, but what you know they are. This may mean frequent data analysis or even creating a mobile app to help make your business more available and easier to interact with for your customers, like Manafy writes in her article.

Maybe your brand isn’t as cozy with your customers as Oreos is. That’s okay! It’s never too late to get to know your customers and constantly listen to more deeply understand the ways their ever-evolving needs and experiences with your company are changing. Once you master that, use personal marketing to seal the deal. Your connection with customers will feel bolder and stronger than ever.

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