In an age of content saturation and digital interactions, building trusting relationships between businesses and consumers isn’t a walk in the park.

It’s a constant, upward hike that requires a dedicated team of content marketers who have their consumers’ best interests in mind. Peruse the web and you’ll likely come across dozens of web pages that contain robotic blocks of text implying nothing beyond a transactional relationship.

Yet some companies are thriving in their journey to humanize their business and building personal connections with consumers.

Take a look at General Electric. For nearly 124 years, the multinational, conglomerate corporation has been developing and manufacturing everything from aircraft engines and refrigerators to health care products.

Yet 124 years hasn’t taken a toll on the company’s creative strategy. In fact, GE wears its age well.

GE’s strategy, humanizing its business and building sincere connections with consumers, has allowed it to amass a loyal following and a stronger air of trust than rival businesses.

You didn’t think to check out GE’s Pinterest board for the latest trends, inspiration and gift ideas, did you?

Why it’s Important

Sometimes, there’s no formal handshake between you and your consumer. Your brand voice, website, social media and conversations are what define your business.

It’s easy to fall into the workflow of an automatic machine, cranking out professional content for your website, but consumers don’t want that.

They want to know the people behind the curtains and the meaning behind your stories. Even if your industry doesn’t lend itself well to being creative, don’t fall into a rut. These businesses took it to a whole new level despite industries that don’t lend themselves to obvious points of excitement. Here are a few ways you can humanize your business:

1. Include an “About Us” Page

This is your chance. Are you a growing corporation with a worldwide presence? A mom-and-pop shop that’s been in the family for decades? Tell your consumers about you, and don’t mess up. Avoid a jumble of business jargon. Instead, make sure you’re relatable, and sprinkle in some humor if it fits your personality. Your consumers want to know who they’re actually working with.

2. Add Personality Though Pictures

Are you sure you exist? Photos elevate your words to the next level. Not only should you use a variety of photographs on your website and online presences, you could also feature some of your own employees! Publish pictures of your staff during activities or outings so your followers can see what you’re up to (We’ve had our own fun gatherings and outings recently). People could be more willing to trust you when they see photos that clarify the humans behind the brand.

3. Prompt Conversations

It’s one thing to provide content to your consumers. It’s quite another to invite them to comment. Ask for their input and opinions through contests, examples, prompts and other methods. Don’t always assume you know what your consumers want or need. Ask them.

4. See Those Conversations Through

Don’t forget to respond! After you’ve prompted a conversation or when people have provided feedback or comments, you’ve got a chance to begin a dialogue. There’s nothing to lose, and you might gain some valuable insight. Also, don’t assume you need to produce canned responses. Stay professional, but talk to potential customers like you’d talk to a friend.

5. Nurture a Blog

A blog is a perfect way to both instigate conversations and answer readers’ and clients’ questions. If there’s a burning question about how to solve a business problem in your industry, or if something cool is happening in your company and people should know about it, write a blog post, film a video or make an infographic. Not only does this help out your rankings, it also builds trust and credibility. Provide resources and value to your consumers, and they’ll be appreciative.

6. Value People

Perhaps most importantly, value people — and not just your customers. If your employees aren’t on board and don’t support your goals and initiatives, you’re going to have quite a difficult time executing those objectives. The end results will feel compromised and inauthentic.

Looking for more content ideas? Check out our blog! If you’ve discovered valuable ways to humanize your business, be sure to share them in the comments.