By Kailynn Bowling, co-founder of ChicExecs PR & Retail Strategy Firm

The currency of today's marketing isn't quantity, but depth. Value-driven content is the key to building a tribe of dedicated, loyal customers around your brand.

By building a crave-worthy sense of connection in the anonymous digital age, you'll deepen customer relationships. Invest in these customer relationships and they'll invest in you, paying dividends for your bottom line. 

But how can brands be more authentic online? I've found that the key is to share behind-the-scenes content, or BTS, to forge better relationships with your audience. 

Why does behind-the-scenes content matter?

Not every brand is chomping at the bit to share their behind-the-scenes magic online. After all, isn't it oversharing? Won't BTS content make you seem less professional or put-together? 

If you master the art of BTS, you won't have to worry about this at all. BTS content balances the right amount of self-disclosure with protecting your brand's secret sauce. So, don't worry -- you don't need to leak your latest product design to use BTS to your advantage. 

BTS is valuable to brands because it humanizes your company. It shows you're fun and that you have a sense of humor. Instead of pretending to be a high-and-mighty, perfect brand, you embrace your innate humanity to connect with customers in a way that's real but still professional. 

BTS shows the multifaceted identity behind your brand. It leads to more customer relationships, which leads to interaction, sharing and, ultimately, more sales. 

Break the fourth wall by strategically placing BTS content within your marketing strategy. 

Here are three best practices for behind-the-scenes content.

Behind-the-scenes content helps customers get to know your brand. Breathe new life into your content marketing efforts by following these three best practices for BTS content that won't spill too many beans. 

Be visual.

You might love your company blog posts, but the reality is that customers probably don't want to read them. It's hard to connect with customers through huge blocks of text. Video is key to forging more personal relationships with your audience because it mimics real-world interaction. 

If you want customers to feel like they're chatting with their BFF, showcase your content in the format they want: video. If you want your BTS to succeed, opt for visual channels like photos and videos.

Strategize your content choices.

BTS isn't about disclosing what you ate for breakfast or talking about your childhood pets. It's about relevant disclosure that gives your audience value. 

There are plenty of ways to make your brand shine with BTS. Use these types of BTS to shake up your content while connecting with the audience. 

  • Appreciation and relationships: Do you have fantastic employees and incredible clients? Share their stories through BTS marketing. By building a culture that celebrates employees and client collaborations, you're better able to attract potential customers with the same values. Plus, this helps your employees feel more motivated and appreciated. It's a real win-win for boosting customer relationships as well as employee retention. 
  • Progress updates: Your friends send you a quick text when something exciting happens in their lives. Why not do the same for your brand? Celebrate awards, certifications and other wins. If you've completed a giant project for a client, showcase your work. The goal is to inspire your followers by sharing a stream of good news oriented around improvement. 
  • Humor: No matter how buttoned-up you think you are, you're human. As a human, you have a sense of humor. Sharing appropriate humor for your industry and brand is a great way to deepen customer relationships quickly. Don't be afraid to post a few work-appropriate memes from time to time. Customers love a little humor in their feed, which makes them more likely to remember your brand. 

Keep it internal.

I get it: Marketing is hard. You might outsource a few tasks to keep your employees focused on more pressing matters, like managing client accounts. 

But here's the thing: you can't outsource authentic BTS. That's like hiring someone to be your stunt double at a family reunion. It's weird!

Always write BTS content internally and reserve it for more experienced marketing pros. BTS needs to be strategic and purposeful to make a real difference. 

What's the bottom line?

Behind-the-scenes content invites customers to experience a new level of closeness with your brand. Use these three best practices to build a passionate following of loyal customers for your brand. 

Kailynn Bowling is the co-founder of ChicExecs PR & Retail Strategy Firm.

Published on: Sep 20, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.