July 31, 2018
Last year, many marketing experts declared that content marketing was dead, but that’s not the case. The truth is that content marketing has not gone anywhere, but it has certainly evolved over the last several years. In the past, content marketing consisted mainly of creating lengthy blogs and promoting them to a brand’s followers online. But now, content marketing also involves the creation of podcasts, videos, live streams, and more.
Regardless of the form, the key to creating successful content is connecting with your audience. Communicate to your audience that you understand their pain points, wants, and needs. How? By creating empathetic content. Follow these tips:
Consider the Audience First
Marketers are trained to focus all of their energy on perfecting the brand’s message, but this should not be your first priority if you want to create empathetic content. Instead, it’s important for marketers to focus on getting to know the audience first before they start to think about messaging.
Marketers should take the time to speak to real consumers one-on-one. If this isn’t possible, marketers should listen to what consumers are saying online. Use social media sites to listen in on your target audience’s conversations. This is a great way to get to know your audience before you start planning how to deliver your message. If you fail to consider the audience first, there’s no way to know the appropriate way to empathize with them through your messaging.
Forget About Your Brand’s Problems
Marketers should also break out of the habit of fixating on the end result of their efforts. For example, it’s hard for marketers to stop thinking about how their decisions will affect the company’s sales, but it’s necessary to do so in order to create empathetic content. Forget about the problems that face your brand such as declining sales, low brand awareness, or new competitors. Direct your attention to the problems that face your audience instead. How can you products or services solve these problems? Communicate the answer to this question to your audience and you won’t have to worry about the problems that plague your brand anymore.
Explore All Emotions With Your Audience
The word empathy is often associated with sadness or sympathy. This is probably because people often empathize with someone who is going through a difficult time in their lives. But, it’s also possible to empathize with someone who is happy or excited. It’s just as easy for a brand to empathize with their audience with laughter and joy than it is to empathize with an audience that is anxious or sad. Marketers should keep this in mind when developing empathetic content. Don’t be afraid to explore all of these potential emotional connections with your audience. But, be sure that the emotional path you end up choosing fits well with your brand.
Help Your Audience Achieve Their Goals
Some brands focus on creating empathetic content that helps their audience reach their goals. For example, Home Depot realized that their target audience dreams of being able to complete DIY projects around their home. But unfortunately, many customers lacked the skills they needed to reach this goal. To connect with this audience, Home Depot began creating infographics with easy-to-follow step-by-step directions. Many of their customers found that following the directions on these infographics helped them achieve their goal of becoming pro-DIYers. This perfectly illustrates how brands can use empathy to help their target audience improve their lives and achieve their personal goals.
This example also illustrates how brands can empathize with customers’ desire to understand complex topics. In this example, Home Depot’s customers desperately wanted to master a new skill, but found that it was too hard because of its complexity. Home Depot made it easier for customers to understand by breaking down complex home improvement projects into short, easy-to-follow instructions. If you’re selling products or services that are difficult to understand or use, be sure to keep this example in mind when creating content.
Your audience can senses inauthenticity from a mile away, so it’s important to be authentic when creating content. Inject your brand’s personality into the content so your audience can get a better understanding of who you are as a company. You should also avoid using content to make obvious sales pitches. This isn’t authentic or empathetic–it’s boring. If you truly want to empathize and connect with your audience, imagine that you are speaking directly to someone in your target market when creating content. Let your guard down and speak from your heart.
Practice What You Preach
Brands that create empathetic content should also empower their employees and brand ambassadors at experiential marketing events to act with empathy. One brand that does this well is Delta. This airline company consistently creates empathetic content that is engaging and relevant to their target audience. But, they also encourage their employees and brand ambassadors to be empathetic when engaging with customers.
Last year, dozens of Delta flights were canceled due to bad weather. Many customers were stranded on the tarmac with no choice but to sit and wait for the weather to pass. Delta empathized with these customers by understanding how irritated they were about the unexpected delays. Instead of simply apologizing, Delta ordered dozens of pizzas for the stranded passengers to brighten their moods and lift their spirits. Acts of kindness like these make Delta’s empathetic content more believable since the brand is demonstrating that they practice what they preach.
Are you interested in incorporating empathetic content into your next experiential marketing event? If so, contact the skilled team of marketing professionals at Factory 360. Let us plan and implement the perfect strategy that will resonate with your target audience.