Our world is becoming increasingly robotic. When’s the last time you called a 1-800 number and immediately spoke with a live phone operator? Or had a bank teller process a withdrawal from your checking account in person? As technology and automation continue to advance, more businesses are taking advantage.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing—digital capabilities can save businesses a ton of money and, when executed properly, can even increase sales. In fact, according to this Statista chart, it was predicted that marketing automation would generate $1.8 billion in revenue by the end of 2015.
The challenge, however, is figuring out how you humanize your brand in the midst of all this automation. The goal is to never let your customers feel as if they’re getting spammed or working with an army of emotionless robots. You want to show the faces and passion behind the company so your customers can feel more connected to you. This will help establish trust and, hopefully, result in more sales.
Even though there are many ways to humanize your brand—while still taking full advantage of automation—the best place to start is with the About Us page on your company’s website.
What Is An About Us Page?
This may seem pretty self-explanatory, but you’d be surprised how many businesses get this wrong. Yes, the About Us page on your website is where you introduce prospects and customer to your company and team, but it’s also where you should answer the all-important customer question: “Why?”
Why should your customer care about who you are and what you do? Can you get them on board with the “why” of what you’re doing? Because, as Simon Sinek points out in his New York Times best-selling book, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, you need to get your customers to buy into the “why” of your business.
Essentially, Sinek explains through Start with Why that customers don’t buy what you do—they buy into why you do it. The “why” is the driving force behind your business, the passion that gets you and your team fired up and ready to assist your customer base with whatever they need. If you can define your company’s “why,” then you’ll definitely want to include it in your About Us page. But we’re jumping too far ahead here—let’s take a step back and break down the discovery process.
How To Write A Compelling About Us Page
If you want your About Us page to sound personal, authentic, and compelling to your customers you’ll need to walk through the following steps.
Know your audience
This is, hands down, the most important part of any copywriting task. You absolutely must know your audience better than you know yourself.
Let’s say, for example, that your company makes handmade lockets. Unlike your competitors, you can etch photos on the inside of the locket so no one ever has to worry about the pictures getting lost. So, before you go and draft up and About Us page, you’ll want to first define who your target consumers would be. A few likely targets would be moms, brides-to-be, and grandmothers.
Once you’ve identified who your audience is, then you’ll need to find out everything there is to know about them. What are their fears, hopes, dreams, or desires? The information you uncover can guide the type of content you include on the About Us page. In the case of the locket company, you might want to create copy that’s sweet and sentimental or consider including the photos of your employees in the shape of a locket.
How well do you know your own company? Do you know the tone of voice you should convey or the types of needs your products address? If not, now’s the time to find out! The answers to these questions, combined with what you’ve discovered about your audience, will help you define and develop a brand personality.
What is a brand personality?
According to Investopedia, “a brand personality is a set of human characteristics that are attributed to a brand name.” This not only humanizes your brand but allows consumers a way in which to relate and connect to your company.
If you want to see two very different brand personalities in action, then take a look at these two examples:
Example 1: “From a renovated gas station in Burlington, Vermont, to far-off places with names we sometimes mispronounce, the journey that began in 1978 with 2 guys and the ice cream business they built is as legendary as the ice cream is euphoric.”
Example 2: “For over a century our farmer-owners have been committed to providing families with the most consistent, best tasting, highest quality dairy products made in the most natural way possible and our origins stretch back even earlier.”
Notice the stark differences between examples 1 and 2? Example 1 is from the fun, iconic, and over-the-top ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s, while Example 2 is from the Tillamook ice cream About Us page. While both are dealing with the same type of product, they create About Us page copy as if written by two vastly different personalities.
That’s not to say one is better or worse than the other, but both are a reflection of the brand. Ben & Jerry’s is more casual and vivacious while Tillamook is far more traditional and sentimental. Either way, this copy can tell consumers a lot about what they can expect from these two companies.
Answer the 5Ws
Overall, your About Us page should provide your customers with answers. So, how do you determine what answers your customers are looking for? Well, a good place to start is with the 5ws:
- Who – Who is this company? Who are the faces behind the product or services?
- What – What basic needs, desires, or fears is your company solving?
- Where – Where can your customers find you and your product (both physically and digitally)?
- When – When was your company created and how long have you been around? (If your company hasn’t been for all that long, you might want to skip including this for the time being.)
- Why – Why should anyone care about your company or buy your product? Why should the customer pick you over the competition?
Draft out the answers to all of these questions. It’s okay if it’s rough, you can always polish it up later, but the answers you provide here will dictate what you’ll want to include on your About Us page.
Scope out what the competition is doing
Once you’ve established who your audience is and who you are as a brand, then it’s time to scope out the competition. What are they saying on their About Us page? Where do you think they’re failing or winning? Assess what you think they might be doing well and consider how you might be able to use it as a starting point for your own page (while, of course, avoiding plagiarism).
Scope out what different industries are doing
Don’t limit yourself to what the competition has on their About Us page—find out what other companies in different industries are doing as well. For example, let’s say you stumbled onto an auto dealership’s About Us page and noticed they’re using 360° videos to walk prospects through the showroom. You may be able to take this same idea but walk your customers through something pertinent to your business—like your mobile office facilities or the state-of-the-art warehouse you’ve partnered with for over 30 years.
Craft content that speaks to all of the above
When you set out to craft your About Us page content, what you’ve uncovered in steps 1-5 will define what you want to say and how to say it. As long as you’re keeping your audience in mind and answering how your company or products will serve their needs, then the sky is the limit on what you decide to include.
However, there are some standard About Us page content you might want to consider including:
Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to craft a mission statement that accurately describes who you are and what your customers can expect from your company.A few brands who do a really great job defining their mission statement include:
- Under Armour
Mission: Under Armour’s mission is to make all athletes better through passion, design and the relentless pursuit of innovation.
- KIND Bar
Mission: We believe that kindness can change the world. That’s why we’re on a mission to make the world a little kinder and have been since we were founded in 2004. We call this the KIND Movement.
- Barnes & Noble
Mission: To operate the best omni-channel specialty retail business in America, helping both our customers, and booksellers reach their aspirations while being a credit to the communities we serve.
- Under Armour
Where do you see your company in five or ten years? What is your company’s goal?
For Amazon, their vision is to “to be earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.” That’s a pretty big vision to achieve, but we all know Amazon is working tirelessly towards it. And while Amazon is certainly going big with their vision, you’ll want to make sure your vision is authentic to your company and goals.
What is it that your company values? Hard work? Sustainability? Unparalleled customer service? Sharing these values can help build trust with your customers and it will also clearly define expectations for your employees.
If you need some inspiration on core values, check out these examples:
Leadership, collaboration, integrity, accountability, passion, diversity, and quality
- Anthem Inc.
Accountable, caring, easy-to-do business with, innovative, trustworthy
- Home Depot
Excellent customer service, creating shareholder value, entrepreneurial spirit, taking care of our people, respect for all people, doing the right thing, building strong relationships, giving back
Unique value proposition
What is it about your company or product that makes it stand out from the rest? Customer service? Quality? Sustainability? Whatever it is, consider including it on your About Us page.
Meet the team
Showing the faces behind your company can go a long way to humanizing the brand.
When it comes to a “Meet the team” section, feel free to include both employees and partners. If you work with any vendors, this is also a great place to give them a shout out.
Are your customers raving about the service or product they received? If so, see if you can get permission to use their reviews and testimonies on your About Us page. This will add a level of authority to your mission, values, and vision statements.
For those in the service-provider industry, you might want to consider showing off a portfolio of what it is you can do.
Awards or accreditations
If you’ve achieved any awards or accreditations, don’t forget to share them on your About Us page. Similar to the testimonials, this lends credence to what you’re claiming.
If you work with high-profile clients or customers, consider sharing their logo on your About Us page.This is also a great way to give your clients some SEO karma by linking the logos back to their websites.
Videos are all the rage right now. If it makes sense, try including a short hype or introductory video that features the faces of your team and the process of how you do what you do.
If your company has a rich history, the About Us page is the perfect place to share it. This shows customers you’ve been around for some time and have experience in the field. Check out this really interesting timeline on the Ford About Us page for some inspiration.
By following the above steps, you won’t be creating a standard, run-of-the-mill About Us page. Instead, you’ll be creating a page that will humanize your brand, build trust with consumers, and help you gain a loyal following. And even though there is no one-size-fits-all approach, as long as you are creating content that keeps your audience in mind and is authentic, then you’ll be on your way to creating a killer About Us page.