Face the facts: people buy from people

24 October 2022 | 4 min read | Digital
George Hartrey

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I’m aware there is a certain sense of irony in hiding behind my keyboard while I tell you why you should put a face to your business and its marketing presence, but just hear me out.

Sitting down in front of a camera, with lights blinding you from every which way and a camera operator asking you to go back over that bit “just one more time” can be a daunting prospect. It doesn’t feel natural, you start tripping over your words and you can’t fathom why anyone would want to sit and watch you babble on for a few minutes, so why even bother? Surely your time would be better spent elsewhere?

Not quite. There’s evidence, both statistical and anecdotal, that proves speaking directly to your audience and showing the faces behind the business have a positive impact on conversion. Let’s start with the former and delve into some of the statistics.

The evidence

  • 64% of people preferred marketing materials with faces in than without
  • 74% of 2020’s most-watched Youtube videos featured a human face in the thumbnail
  • 80% of people have bought from a brand following a celebrity endorsement (a glorified, expensive way of putting a face to your brand)

Trust is a two-way street and using people to represent your brand helps to build it. While the big-name brands might use celebrity endorsements to do that, don’t assume you can’t do something similar without forking out for external representation – whether that’s in the form of a chart-topping rapper or anthropomorphic meerkats. There is an extremely long list of brands who use their actual business and department leaders as their face.

Would Tesla be where it is now with Elon Musk fronting it? Rewind a century and Henry Ford was playing a similar role at Ford. Steve Jobs brought Apple to life, and Tim Cook continues to do so. Coco Chanel left a lasting legacy not only on her company but on her industry, and Mark Zuckerberg remains Meta’s figurehead. None of these people are running successful businesses because they are famous; they are famous because they are running successful businesses (and fronting them).

How do I do it?

Now I know you aren’t trying to be the next Elon Musk or Tim Cook, but we can scale their examples back and we’ll start with your socials. If I was to go on your company’s LinkedIn page right now, would I see the people who make up the business in your posts, or would it just be news article after news article, unattributed blog post after unattributed blog post?

Now you might think it’s just me that’ll notice that because I’m looking out for it, and you might be right. But half of consumer behaviour is subconscious, and without showing who your business is your potential clients and customers will immediately feel distant and disconnected from you.

Welcome them in by speaking to them, directly. Show them you know what you’re talking about. You’ve got a camera in your pocket, so make use of it.

It’s such a simple approach that has real, tangible outcomes – in fact when our MD Paul posted this video at the start of lockdown in 2020, it directly led to £60,000’s worth of work over the two years that followed. Those would-be clients saw him talking about topics that mattered to them, and it opened the door.

We’ve taken things step further now, but it has only taken a little bit of investment – both money and time – to get to the point where Paul is sitting in front of a camera, reading a script on an autocue, and adding some graphics in afterwards. It gives us a bit more of a polished final product, but in essence the outcome is the same.

What now?

Get to it! No, really, just get started. If you’ve got something to say, say it. Inform your audience, show your potential clients and customers you know your stuff, and let them know who you are.