How to Market to Humans In a Digital Age

There’s one thing all of our businesses have in common, and that is that we market to humans. This is a fundamental step that most businesses are getting wrong. They jump straight to AI without realising that people buy from people.

As brilliant as AI tech has become, it is still missing the human element of emotion and understanding.

Marketing to humans

And as humans, our audiences have a few natural biases and built-in pre-dispositions. One of the big ones is that we need to feel connected to each other. We relate to each other. We are social beings.

Most digital marketers know this.

Yet they still keep missing the simple opportunities to make their brands human.

As a digital strategist, I work with hundreds of companies. Every day, I’m on calls with businesses and their digital marketers, answering questions about how they should present their brands online. 

  • Little brands often ask me how they can look big.
  • Big brands often ask me how they can look smaller.

All brands should really just try to look more human, more personal.

Ironic, isn’t it? And it’s simple. The fastest way for any brand to better connect with their customers, their visitors, their future prospects is to show them that they care and have a mutual investment in helping them grow their own business.

Possible reasons businesses don’t market to humans

Let’s start with why brands prefer to hide behind AI and forget the importance of humanising their brands.

There are various reasons. Here are some of the more common excuses:

  • Internal politics (who should we include?)
  • No one wants to step forward (I don’t like the way I look)
  • Concerns about photo quality (our pictures aren’t high quality enough)
  • Fear of having their team poached (what if competitors call on our people?)

But none of these concerns outweigh the benefits of adding humanity.

I’d like to highlight a few fundamental concepts that you can consider bringing into your brand when marketing to humans.

Be more human in your social media content

Our brands share content on a daily basis. These posts are often created quickly, but every post is a set of little decisions about the text and the images.

Those decisions affect how personal – and therefore how social – that social media post is.

In other words, it connects with your leads and future prospects.

The LinkedIn team conducted experiments comparing social posts featuring images of objects to those with images of people. The results indicate a significant difference, indicating that posts featuring people have higher click-through rates (CTR) and conversion rates compared to those without.

Humanise your email marketing

This represents one of the fastest and most dependable victories in email marketing. It comes at no cost and requires minimal time investment, yet its impact is often remarkable. For instance, in a particular case, this simple adjustment has doubled the open rates of the email campaign.

The concept is straightforward.

The sender’s name stands out prominently in the inbox, alongside the subject line and preheader text. In fact, it’s often the only information recipients consider when deciding whether to open an email or not. By switching the sender name from something impersonal, like a company name, to something personal, such as a human name, you significantly increase the likelihood of making a connection and enticing recipients to open the email.


It’s more challenging to disregard an email from an individual than from a brand. When you combine a personal sender name with an engaging subject line and meaningful preheader text, the impact is substantial, particularly in the mobile inbox.

Humanise your service pages

In the realm of digital marketing, the significance of SEO, social media, and email cannot be overstated. However, as you progress further down the digital marketing funnel, the stakes escalate.

Visitors landing on sales pages, which are dedicated to promoting your products and services, typically possess transactional intent. Conversely, those exploring your articles are often seeking information.

It is precisely on these sales pages where adopting a human, personal, and approachable approach becomes paramount.

Surprisingly, many sales pages across the web neglect to establish a personal connection. They lack human presence, personality, and any semblance of humanity.

Take a minute to go glance through your service pages before coming back to reading the rest of this article.

Be more human in your call to action

A great salesperson asks the prospect for the deal. 

A great sales page asks the visitor for the lead.

In the moment of truth, once the questions have been answered and the evidence presented, the best sales pages present a call to action. 

But not all CTAs (call to actions) are created equal. Some are more human than others. 

Take a look at the calls to action on your site. Are there any images nearby? 

Putting the face of someone on your team near that the call to action instantly changes the psychology for the visitor.

First, it pulls in attention. Then it implicitly answers the question: who might I connect with if I click this button?

Again, look at your CTAs. Do you see a simple “contact us” without any context? Is it specific to your brand or generic to every company on the internet? Does it sound conversational? 

Humanise your ‘About Us’ page

We have access to hundreds of Google Analytics accounts. Digging into this data, day in and day out, patterns emerge. Here’s one of the big ones:

About Us pages are always one of the top pages on websites.

The reason is obvious. People want to feel a connection with other people. Visitors want to know who you are.

They want to see who is behind the company. They want to know who started this business. Who are the characters in this story?

The best About Us pages tell the origin story, show the people and tell the visitor about the beliefs of the people involved. They help the visitor feel a connection to that brand. 


It’s not really more difficult to be human.

We do it every day.


It’s not difficult or expensive to put the most human parts of your brand and your people into your digital marketing. And until you’ve done this, you are simply a difficult brand for your audience to feel a connection to.

The biggest human need is to connect to humans.

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