There are so many different businesses that struggle daily in order to create and maintain some sort of foothold when it comes to having an effective online presence. Having a digital presence is based on so many different factors these days. From being able to sway back and forth between the constant algorithm shifts, to having a the proper digital strategy and/or team in place. What can make some business owners want to pull their hair out is this: One can’t solely rely on just one particular outlet when it comes to marketing. It takes strategizing, self reflection, brainstorming, A/B testing, and a ton of patience when it comes to branding.

BRANDING has evolved into so much more in the digital age. Branding has morphed into boosting post after post for the week’s special, spending a pretty penny on SEO strategies, AdWord campaigns, programmatic display banners, email blasts, and Social Media have all become a necessary evil in the tool belt of marketing strategies. Beyond this list of possibilities, there is one key component that a lot of businesses are falling short with. While being so focused on generating revenue and trying to create a logical ROI with marketing efforts, owners are failing to realize consumers want to feel connected to the brands they endorse.

CONSUMERS find comfort in knowing the brands they trust are in fact people just like them. As mass consumers of digital media we have grown accustomed to having, and even wanting, to have our heart strings tugged on. Everyone remembers the video of the color-blind boy who tries on a pair of special glasses allowing him to see colors for the first time, or the baby that gets the cochlear implant and hears its mother’s voice for the first time. These videos get me choked up every single time, and seem to never get old. There is an abundance of these heartwarming videos all across the internet, and it goes to show how humans still love an emotional connections, even when it’s on social media.

BUSINESS OWNERS are falling short is in the way they are engaging their audience. Owners need to think about letting their guard down every once in a while and let their audience in. We are human and desire connection. Here is my point. Tell your story! Social media marketing is the perfect medium to humanize your brand by telling how you got started. Everyone has a story. Everyone has a beginning. We all love the sweet and the sincere, and even those stories have roots in the bitter and the bleak. We all love a great underdog story. We love hearing how people, just like us, were able to overcome a wide array of adversity and find the gratitude, the lessons, and the education within their struggle. Instagram stories, Instagram Live, Facebook stories, Facebook live, YouTube, and Snapchat are all fantastic mediums for communicating your story.

STORIES like yours, mine, theirs, his, hers, and ours should be blasted from the rooftops. Allow your audience to connect with you, and then they will adore, admire, and thrive on connecting with your brand. The human condition requires connection. We are creatures of emotion and make a variety of decisions based on emotion. Tap into that. Find a way to get at the underbelly of how your business became what it is today, and convey that to your end user. What is your WHY?! When you figure out the driving force behind your business, and no it’s not making money, you will open a new door of relevance, trust, and compassion within your target audience.