Want to improve your content marketing?
Empathize with your audience.
Seriously, that’s the secret to modern marketing.
“But I’m already tuned to my audience,” you say.
“Sure, you probably are,” we respond. “But are you tuned to them only thinly, for the purposes of your own commercial agenda?”
Your audience can see right through that.
It isn’t enough to spin out content for them. You need to create content that they value, content that is just for them.
And to do that, you need to put them (and not your brand) first.
What is empathy?
Let’s ask a doctor! Brené Brown says that empathy is feeling with people.
So ask yourself about your audience:
- How do they feel?
- How do they think?
- How do they spend their time?
- What matters to them, and why?
- What are their challenges and fears?
- What are their wants, hopes, and dreams?
To be a great content marketer, you need to understand your audience and show them that you do.
No, we’re not saying that you have to let go of your commercial agenda. You’re marketing a business, after all.
Yes, we are suggesting that you come up with what your audience craves for content, regardless of what you’re trying to sell. Because we know that, if you work at it, you’ll find a way to take that winning content idea and find the connection to your brand. You’ll get your message in there. And you’ll break the cycle of tired, boring content that begins with you thinking about yourself.
Yes, we are saying that you have to give to get.
That’s what these companies are doing, and it’s working wonders for them.
Empathetic Modern Marketing To Write Home About
They’re an airline known for their exceptional customer service and sense of humor.
And it’s no wonder. Their Flight Etiquette videos capture a perfect How-Not-To sarcasm.
JetBlue knows that there are behaviors and situations that make airplane travel a hassle for us all. These videos let us know that they know that.
Plus, these videos remind us to consider our flight etiquette. Are we making travel annoying for those around us? Be courteous while you travel, they’re saying. Because if we’re all courteous, we’ll all have a better journey from here to there.
And don’t you want to fly with the airline that promotes flight etiquette?
They’re a beauty brand all about natural products. They say so in their tagline, “Fresh, handmade cosmetics.”
They know their audience wants to buy beauty products that are actually natural. So they’ve come out with a series of videos to show how their products are made – like this one about how they make their most popular shampoo.
Their transparency shows empathy. They’ve taken their customers inside their clubhouse and put a human face to their products and process. Thanks to this, their customers can trust the brand, and use the products with the peace of mind that they’re getting the natural cosmetic they’re after.
They’re a beauty brand about positive self-image, and they’re doing lots to inspire it.
They’ve built a supportive place on their Instagram, for example, where many a post calls for self-love.
And check out this video they made years ago with Real Beauty Sketches, which still pops up and gets shared all this time later. Have you seen it? Are you one of the 52 million plus views? Does it affect you emotionally? Does it make you want to see yourself and others in a more positive light?
They’ve tapped into their community’s deepest-seated insecurities. They show their empathy by reminding their community to find themselves worthy and to seek out the worthiness in others.
They’re a craft store company that has long been the place to go for crafting supplies and tutorials.
And now they’re blogging, too.
The Glue String is their gift to their community, and a gift to those who are thinking of joining their community, too. It’s a free resource that you don’t need to leave the comfort of your couch to use, whether you’re already a Michael’s customer or not.
For avid crafters, this site is a treasure trove of useful tips and tricks. It’s a place where they can go to feel like they belong and to find inspiration for their next project.
A fan can share a blog post that they especially liked. This is one way that Michael’s extends its reach – how it welcomes more crafters into its crafting family.
It’s the place you go to buy home and garden supplies.
But do you know what to do with those supplies? Do you wish someone would come along with some ideas to jumpstart your imagination?
And they create infographics to let you know what you can do with their supplies, too – like this infographic about growing your own salad bowl.
Home Depot knows that their customers are DIYers. Whether you’re a homeowner or a contractor, you’re taking away supplies and what you can do with them. Home Depot is offering the materials, the spark, and the potential.
Why does empathy in modern content marketing work?
We’re social animals. We crave connection, and we like to feel understood.
In a digital age, we’re especially starved for content that feels human. We’re looking to be reminded of our humanity and celebrated for it. So we respond to modern marketing that is human-centered because it drowns out the empty data that’s buzzing across our screens, if only for a moment or two.
When a company has empathy and shows it, that can be a way of getting heard amidst all the noise.
The bonus being that when you’ve connected with someone in your audience, it’s likely you’ll reach others, too. Because the person you reached (or changed) will feel compelled to share your content online or by word of mouth.
The greater an impact you’ve had on that person the more family and friends they’ll tell. They’ll feel proud to associate with your brand. They’ll feel grateful for your product and/or service, and the meaning it’s had in their life.
Sometimes, when you lead with empathy, you’ll make content that is so lasting it resurfaces over and over for years – someone remembers it, finds it, and reshares it. It’s still relevant.
So, do you want to feed your audience content snacks that satisfy them instantly and quickly fade away into the dark hole of the internet? Or would you rather share something so meaningful that you change their perceptions, behaviours, and actions for the better?
We hope you’ll choose to market with empathy.
Because whether you’re a B2B or B2C company, you’re sure to create better content for your audience if you can take on their perspective. And you’re sure to learn more about your company through this process, too.
No matter the size or type of your business, we’re here to help.
Let us guide you into the world of modern marketing.
Let us help you give to get.
Let us help you sell less to sell more.
In a world of abundant choice, and constant digital distraction, be the company your audience chooses, loyally. Don’t you want to have appeal that endures?