Human Stories & AI Tools: Six Ways to Crush Your Marketing in 2024

Todd Jensen

Written by: Todd Jensen | Snoball Editorial Team

Last Updated: Jun 19, 2024

Marketing Insights

AI is here and having a massive impact on marketing. We all know this. What does that mean in our day-to-day life? 

More noise than ever.

The rise of AI is revolutionizing our industry, flooding us with a sea of AI-generated content. But here's the thing: in this ocean of automation, people will crave the human touch more than ever. They'll want to see real faces and hear genuine stories – the one thing AI can't authentically create. If you get better at infusing human stories and putting human fingerprints all throughout your marketing, people will crave it like oxygen.

This means you need to master AI tools and, just as importantly, learn how to tell compelling stories about your customers, prospects, and brand ambassadors. The new era is about leveraging the time savings from AI while ensuring your marketing is deeply human. Without that touch of humanity, you'll get lost in the tsunami of AI-generated noise.

So, let's explore how to blend the best of both worlds: harnessing the power of AI to be more efficient while keeping your marketing genuine and engaging. There are six people-based principles I’m following right now, as the CMO of Snoball, to make our marketing more human and more AI-powered. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Share Human Stories and Snippets
  2. Build a Community of Brand Ambassadors
  3. Personalize Outreach
  4. Create Conversations Through Podcasts
  5. Provide an AI Sandbox
  6. Leverage AI for Content

Let’s jump in.

1. Share Human Stories and Snippets

We work hard to infuse every touchpoint with as much humanity as possible. We share real stories to connect emotionally with our audience in a way they can relate to. This includes case studies, not just a writeup, but an in-depth video interview. 

We also do something that we like to call “early wins.” We post graphics bragging about the number of reviews and referrals our customers got. Rather than simply bragging about our referral and review software, we frame it in a way that reflects how great they are. Also, we intentionally engage with our customers, ambassadors, and others on social media. We like, comment, and repost some of their posts to fan their flames. Finally, we quote our customers in our thought leadership blog posts. We do everything we can to have each touchpoint dripping with the voices of anyone that works with us. 

2. Build a Community of Brand Ambassadors

This is new, but we’re working our butts off on building a world class ambassador program. We’ve identified two types of ambassadors. First, customers that are crushing it and love us and second, connections we form with those in adjacent industries. For example, people that sell or work in the same industries we care about. Building off our ambassador program, we’ve created the best B2B referral program in the business. We share the love by offering a generous ongoing payout. We want an ongoing relationship, so we pay them a healthy portion of the revenue that’s come from their referrals  for 2 years. 

Additionally, we spoil them with swag. Not off-the-shelf stuff, but custom items that don’t make them feel like a Nascar driver with our logo plastered all over it. Instead, something we know they’ll wear and love.

3. Personalize Outreach

With the time saved by our AI tools, we’ve been able to personalize our outreach over social media. For us it’s LinkedIn. For some, we offer a straightforward description of the problem we solve in their industry. For others, we offer a useful resource or pdf guide that they can use to grow. 

For others, we invite them to be a guest on our podcast. These are tailored and personalized conversations that we nurture over time, which allows us to build relationships with other marketers, industry leaders, and strategic partners.

4. Create Conversations Through Podcasts

We don’t just use our podcast to tell our story. We also use it as a vehicle to build deeper connections. In our Marketing Playbook series, creating great content, counter-intuitively, is our secondary goal. It’s still super important but secondary to giving those we’re building relationships with a chance to shine. This isn’t just for our customers, but our prospects, ambassadors or ambassador candidates, and industry thought leaders too. People we want to build deeper relationships with. 

Meanwhile, in our Local Business series, we pull in experts and sponsors to help a local business thrive. We are able to tell the story of a local entrepreneur and allow others to be the experts and help this local business grow. Believe me, we get fantastic content, but our goal is to build relationships and to tell stories.

5. Provide an AI Sandbox

We encourage our team to implement new AI tools with a focus on automating stuff they don’t like to do anyways or augment their creative work to give them the ability to create more options and to iterate more quickly. Our marketing team intentionally looks for any pain point or brain killing task and looks to outsource it to our robot friends. 

At times it’s chaotic, and our processes are morphing mid-flight, but each of us is pretending to be a child in a sandbox and simply playing. We’ve found some real time-saving tools and workflows and it’s created more time for podcasting, interviewing for case studies, and personal outreach.  

6. Leverage AI for Content

We intentionally leverage AI for content ideation and creation while maintaining our unique brand voice. Then, we use AI to better distribute this content. From thought leadership articles on our blog and podcast interviews to social media content and short snippets we call, “principle to platform” (how-to videos that connect real human behavior science to the features of our platform). 

AI tools are invited to every team meeting and every brainstorm session. Every piece of content starts with a rough draft crafted inside a generative tool. Our team then enhances it with personal insight and copy editing. Each piece of content is repurposed, sliced and diced, and landed in the appropriate place: website, youtube, LinkedIn, Instagram, newsletter, or email.  

New Era of Marketing

The six principles discussed—infusing human stories, building a community of brand ambassadors, creating conversations through podcasts, personalizing outreach, providing an AI sandbox, and leveraging AI for content creation—are not just strategies but a roadmap to achieving authentic and scalable marketing.

Remember, in this new era of marketing, authenticity is the currency that will set you apart. People crave genuine connections and real stories amidst the flood of automated content. By blending the human touch with AI efficiency, you can create a marketing strategy that not only stands out but also resonates deeply with your audience.

As you work hard to keep your marketing strategy relevant and effective, consider these ideas and keep these principles at the forefront. Use AI to amplify your efforts, but never lose sight of the human element that makes your brand unique. In the end, it’s this blend of technology and humanity that will enable you to crush it with authentic and scalable marketing in 2024.

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